NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - For the past 40 years, Jenny Benitez has poured her blood sweat and tears into a community garden. What started as a patch of deserted land under Riverside Drive spans multiple blocks in upper Manhattan.
"It was garbage, abandoned cars, and homeless and drugs," she said.
Now, it is her own private oasis. Or, it was. She called what happened a nightmare.
"My mother was in hysterics—truly hysterics," Victoria Benitez, Jenny's daughter, said about getting an early-morning call from her mom.
Her trees were dead. Her plants were dying. Her life's work was decaying. Only after Jenny calmed down was she was able to convey the problem.
"It hit me—oh, this is the spray again!" she said.
The Benitezes believe Amtrak workers have sprayed pesticides on the weeds near the railroad tracks without taking into account jenny's garden, on the other side of the fence. Everything with caution tape is done.
The city is investigating the allegations. The family is talking to the railroad. Ultimately, they say, the want the soil tested and the railroad to replace part of what was lost.
Amtrak told Fox 5 that it is investigating the claims.