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Court order forcing ill Grand Rapids woman to remove garden or be evicted

Holly Fiser got sick in 2018 and nearly died. Her creation of a garden around her trailer is what helped her recover, but Plainfield Township wants it removed.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Grand Rapids woman who used her creation of a garden and memorial around her home as therapy for recovering from a near-fatal illness, is being forced by court order to take it all down because it violates their mobile home park's trash and sanitation rules.

Holly Fiser became ill in late 2018. She's endured two heart surgeries over the past 18 months, and at one point was only given 30 days to live.

"I can no longer work because my heart is not pumping at a rate high enough that would be covered by liability insurance," said Holly.

Holly said she tried many different types of therapies while she was recovering but none of them were effective.

Her passion project ultimately became the exact therapy she needed.

"I started creating a garden," said Holly, who lives at Spring Valley Mobile Home Park in Plainfield Township. "Most of the stuff in the yard was donated by community groups so it became something I could connect to and felt I could do."

The garden is made up of several plants and birdfeeders that Holly arranged. A part of the garden is also a memorial with a plaque, honoring her deceased father who was a Korean War Veteran.

On Wednesday, Holly and her mother, Helen Fiser, began tearing everything down after being ordered to do so via court order from Plainfield Township.

"We have fought this battle for a long time," said Helen. "We have to have everything removed by Wednesday, October 6th or we face eviction."

Helen says some of the surrounding neighbors began complaining to the trailer park's management, who then reached out to Plainfield Township. 

On Sept. 27, the Township court ordered the Fisers to remove the garden, declaring it was violating sanitation rules and some of the structures were fire hazards.

Helen and Holly Fiser claim they've been following the rules outlined in the trailer park's lease agreement.

"These gardens were bringing me back," Holly said. "They were something that made me feel alive and like I had purpose."

"I was connecting back with my community, and I'm being told it's not allowed."

13 ON YOUR SIDE contacted Plainfield Township for comment for this story, but the message we left wasn't returned.

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