Skip to comments.Seniors say they're priced out of Queens Botanical Garden. Entrance used to be free
Posted on 02/22/2011 12:09:36 PM PST by SeekAndFind
Senior citizens are furious with officials at the Queens Botanical Garden, saying they are being pushed out of the spots they helped cultivate for decades.
The cash-strapped organization increased fees for use of its Senior Garden to $150 this year - too steep say many retirees living on a fixed income.
It also plans to transform the site to a "Family Garden" next year and open it up to gardeners of all ages.
"What they are doing is an act of desperation," said Lola McLinden, a 91-year-old Flushing resident who has grown vegetables at the Senior Garden for 15 years. "This won't save any money at all. We don't cost them anything."
For more than 40 years, seniors were able to use the garden virtually for free. Each gets a 5-foot-by-15 foot minigarden - they jokingly refuse to use the term plots - where they have grown bounties of tomatoes, cucumbers, kale, broccoli, beets, snow peas and corn.
The Queens Botanical Garden started charging a $30 fee last year. That jumped to $150 this year.
Susan Lacerte, executive director of the botanical garden, said seniors can save $100 if they agree to volunteer a total of 48 hours during the season. She also said financial aid is available to help seniors pay the fee.
"Seniors have always been welcomed to the garden and they still are," said Lacerte. "But we needed to go beyond a club that serves a small group of people and find ways to serve a larger community."
(Excerpt) Read more at nydailynews.com ...
“Susan Lacerte, executive director of the botanical garden, said seniors can save $100 if they agree to volunteer a total of 48 hours during the season. She also said financial aid is available to help seniors pay the fee. “
The jokes write themselves.
Well, GRADUALLY increase your fees, Lucy! This is total sticker shock!
. . .They are altering the deal. Pray they do not alter it again.
Weekly Gardening ping
There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Someone has to pay for the upkeep and all the programs available in the Botanical Garden.
Wither tax payers collectively pay for it via increased taxes, or users pay for it WHEN THEY USE IT.
There really is no other way.
What we’re seeing here is a trend all over the country — TAX PAYERS ARE ALREADY UP TO THEIR NECKS IN FEES, TAXES and OTHER THINGS THAT HAVE TO PAY FOR.
The age of the freebee is slowly disappearing, and its not just here in the USA, it’s everywhere.
I just called them here and spoke to Tara [they've made up their minds and won't budge]:
Tara Rogers, Headline Communications: (631) 207-6840, extension 103
Queens Botanical Garden
43-50 Main Street
Flushing, NY 11355
Next year the most popular crop will be weed. The second most will be weeds.
I doubt you can grow $150 worth of produce on a 75 sq ft plot. Granny will have to grow weed on part of her little postage stamp to help pay for the tomatoes.
Hmmm...somebody need the higher fees to cover their proposed raises?
Get rid of those old white fogies who fought wars for this country and built this country. They haven’t earned any peace and quiet. I see a demented diverse-o-crat hard at work. Nothing wrong with having a seniors only garden project. The ghoul who runs this botanic garden is trying to drive seniors out
I hope someone comes along and bails out these senior gardeners
Lucy will then have to beg for more donations to pay for the slew of new groundskeepers she's gong to have to hire to get rid of the weeds. There may not be a free lunch anymore but Lucy and the gardens were benefitted by the seniors and the seniors benefitted from working their plots. Seems to me it was a win-win for all. Next year, Lucy wants to open it up to families? I can't see young families and kids keeping it up.
Since QBG funding has been cut from 40 to 50 percent since 2000, we have had to learn to survive on our own, said Kleinberg. Weve been getting requests about having access to the land from various community groups.
Kleinberg also asserted that once QBG transitions the Senior Garden into the Family Garden, the non-profit group will be eligible for various additional federal grants that will help it develop programs for more members of the community.
Despite the open invitation to be apart of the Family Garden, many senior members says they will not be able to meet QBG financial demands.
A lot of us come from modest financial backgrounds, said Senior Garden Chairman Alfred Rosenblatt, 73. This is their way of trying to get rid of us.
Just as I suspected. Get rid of the those white seniors who had gardens there for years and bring in a "diverse" "community" crowd and they will get Federal grants for catering to minorities. I could be wrong but this is what I see
You might have something there.
As if a 91 year old gardener has the energy to volunteer for 48 more hours! The folks in charge are just evil. They should be providing 48 hours LABOR for the 91 year olds.
Sounds like a deal to me. 5 X 15 is the perfect size for a casket and tombstone... or they could just volunteer 4 hours a month for 12 months and save 100 bucks...
Ordered my seeds this weekend.
Will clean out the SFG beds this next weekend and plant some “stuff”.
Looks a coordinated scheme to drive those old white folk out.
What they need is a philanthropist to endow the seniors with perpetual funds for their gardens - then we'd see if money is the real issue.
Hello - anyone got a line to Trump?
You’re right. This “freebie” business hasn’t been good for anybody. I don’t want it. We’re trying to keep working; husband at 67 and me at 64. This keeps us paying some taxes. I don’t want to be a darn freeloader. SIL is from a socialist country and wants everything possible FREE. Loves to pronounce this country as beyond any change from the welfare state. It’s very unbecoming; and I’m sick of it. Disgusting.
A $120.00 jump in the fee is ridiculous!
Next year the most popular crop will be weed.....
Nah- it will be gorgeous, perfectly tended- and supply jobs for hirees to keep it so..Not.
Alot of dynamics here- I do not see those that have never taken an interest before jumping in at this point.
One might argue that the freebee was never quite free. Seniors contributed their time, labor and, I'm guessing, the aesthetic beauty of thier husbandry.
If this revenue raising scheme works, good. If the older folks disappear, guess who really loses?
But, you're right. Now that we've become a third world country, why not go after the old people?
"They need money and they are trying to get it on the backs of the seniors," said Alfred Rosenblatt, co-chairman of the Senior Garden. "How are they going to have a family garden? The kids are in school. You can't just do this on weekends, the weeds will eat you alive."
“You can’t just do this on weekends, the weeds will eat you alive.”
He’s got that right. If you don’t keep after those weeds a little daily, in a week or so they’ve taken over.
Well, sounds like the free market is back in style then! Thank you very little socialist democrat party.
I still feel bad for the seniors, but they are an emerging market ~ have been really ~ maybe if they did small fees they could keep a good number of seniors coming through the turnstiles and bring in some revenue, which they need to run their facilities??
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