Border

Crews Bulldoze Friendship Park Garden at US-Mexico Border

Border Encuentro started the park project in 2007.

Friendship Park

A garden in San Diego's South Bay that was once part of a reunification park for families living on opposite sides of the U.S.-Mexico Border was bulldozed this week.

The garden, which housed native plants on both sides of the border, was created at Border Field State Park as a way to foster friendships between the two countries, said Watman with Border Encuentro, the group that started the project in 2007.

Photos sent to NBC 7 by Daniel Watman, with Border Encuentro, showed a bulldozer plowing the garden.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Chief Douglas E. Harrison confirmed the garden was torn down.

"Traffickers cut the legacy border mesh and were using the binational garden to cover illegal activities. I know they had to take measures to eliminate the vulnerability. I contacted Friends of Friendship Park and will meet with them to discuss the next steps," Harrison said.

Harrison said the Border Patrol in San Diego is committed to dialogue with members of Friends of the Friendship Park for the future of the binational garden.

Friendship Park allows families to see each other through a fortified fence while still remaining firmly in their countries.

In the past, CBP would conduct an event called "Opening the Door for Hope," which allowed some families to reunite for three minutes when they opened the gate separating the U.S. Mexico Border. The program was shut down in 2018.

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