LOS ANGELES – Famous tree-sitter Julia “Butterfly” Hill came down to earth Saturday at an urban garden that is under threat of development.
Hill ended 19 days aloft in a walnut tree and also broke a 26-day water-only fast.
“I ate a couple of bites of food from the garden today,” she said.
Her place was taken by Rufina Juarez, a farm representative.
Hill, who gained fame by living for more than two years in a California redwood, said she remained at the garden until replacements were trained to allow “the community to shine its own brilliance.”
The 14 acres of produce and flowers are located in an inner-city area surrounded by warehouses and train tracks. The garden, farmed by about 350 families, has been around for several decades but the landowner, Ralph Horowitz, wants to replace it with a warehouse.
An attempt to buy most of the land through a nonprofit trust for $16.3 million failed last month when donations fell short. That prompted protesters to set up a tent city and use the walnut tree as a watchtower in case Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies tried to evict them.
The garden has drawn visits from such celebrities such as actors Darryl Hannah and Martin Sheen and folk singer Joan Baez.