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Homemade Boyle Heights Art Garden Festers Amid Fight

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A little-known oddity in Boyle Heights--a folk art garden in an industrial area near Olympic Boulevard--is in flux since its creator and caretaker died last year. Started by a homeless man named Charles Ray Walker, the garden was once filled with greenery, fresh vegetables, carved staircases, and exhibits made out of toys, signs, and other ephemera that Walker worked to keep clean. People, some homeless, would hang there and find a bit of respite from the city. But Walker died last year and now two potential inheritors are fighting over what to do with the space: One is Rebecca Buckley, a homeless woman who was pals with Walker and spent a lot of time at the art garden. She's locked up the camp after failing to come to an agreement with Damian Rete, a young cook who also befriended Walker and enjoyed his garden. After initially working together to preserve the space, Rete accused Buckley of allowing drug-users in the space, while Buckley denies the drug aspect and accuses Rete of booting out homeless visitors. Until the dispute ends, the items that made up the art park are deteriorating and starting to look simply like litter and junk.
· Homeless camp with artistic flourishes struggles after designer's death [LA Times]