From the Queens Tribune:
Seniors who enjoy the use of Queens Botanical Garden for planting vegetables and flowers believe they are being “financially extorted,” after being told they will now have to pay $150 for plots that were always free.
In January, QBG notified Senior Garden members of the introduction of the annual fee to use plots which were free to them for 45 years.
In addition to the new fee, seniors will also have to pay a membership fee which increased from $30 to $45 as well as $1 for parking each time they use the garden’s lot.
Although the Senior Garden will be phased out over the next year, QBG Deputy Director Patty Kleinberg said seniors are more than welcome to join the Family Garden, which will debut in 2012.
Ultimately, the Garden is not trying to get rid of seniors, added Kleinberg, but rather is trying to expand the use of the garden to a broader range of people in the community.
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.
Sounds like the Flushing elders are being kicked out in order to benefit a more vibrantly diverse clientele.