Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Botanic Garden kicks seniors to the curb

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.


Anonymous said...

No more membership fees or donations from me!!! Plant this! (my middle finger is raised)

Anonymous said...

No more membership fees or donations from me!!! Plant this! (my middle finger is raised)

Doesnt matter what you say or think - the pols will take your taxes and tweed whatever they want.

Take a look at who gets money and how they spend it.

Anonymous said...

Take a look at who gets money and how they spend it.

By the way, do these roses come in tweed?

Anonymous said...

Some years ago, it received $6 million from then boro Pres. Claire for improvements. The Garden wasted it on building a fancy "Administrative Building" and putting up a fence around the whole botanical garden.

Anonymous said...

sad that they are now extorting seniors who helped beautify areas that the park didn't use for free and now charging ridiculous fees on people who are on a fixed income.

Extort those fees from the Families. I am sure you can charge triple from young "diverse" families!

Anonymous said...

Our guess is that Susan Lacerte is behind it all.

She wants a "better image" for the garden and perhaps having "old faces" around on their knees digging in their dirt patches simply won't do.

Well, you ain't no spring chicken yourself Susie!

Wasn't Lacerte a former hack/employee of city hall?

How did she land her plum executive director's job...for doing what (or who)?

This QBG weed patch...compared to other institutions like the Brooklyn Botanic Garden or the N.Y. Botanical Garden...is a joke anyway.

Sit down one day and people-watch. It's become quite a pick up/cruising ground.

I could have had a "date" in just my 20 minutes there.

One guy was doing butt thrust in the air (advertising his wares?) directed towards me.

No...it wasn't a Tai Chi move...trust me on that.

Then there are the folks who grab an afternoon cat-nap in the sun by sprawling out on one of the benches.

Maybe QBG is on the verge of going bust after overspending on their "water garden" and new building.

Maybe they're now looking to kiss the ass of some very wealthy Asians to bail them out with patronage money and the senior gardeners make the place look too shabby for this purpose.

Wellington Chen was once on their board...the same shadow figure that's likely been behind the takeover of Municipal lot #1.

But we believe he's gone now.

Maybe he saw the writing on the wall.

There's been a lot of funny business going on their throughout the years.

After the recent tornado wiped out their only major money maker, the wedding garden, maybe they are broke.

Let's "foil" their financial statements and see.

Maybe Lacerte should retire.
Isn't she due?
H-m-m-m...at (is it?) $95,000 a that would be hard for her to give up though?

Without all that boodle her lengthy commute from New Rochelle would hardly be worth it.

We also heard that a lot of staff and board members have left recently? Can that be true?

Something's growing lately in this "garden of Eden" and it ain't flowers from the smell of it!

This is a privately run garden on city parkland.

It's about time NYC took it over.

It's been mismanaged too damn long in our opinion.

Coming soon (maybe) "The Wellingtonian Oriental Gardens" ????

Anonymous said...

Get your facts straight #4.

Actually,it was Councilwoman Harrison that secured funds for the fence.

It's the one thing that makes that weed farm look good from the outside at least.

It's not Harrison's fault that Lacerte obviously can't make a go of the garden.

Lacerte is a crappy manager.

Anonymous said...

From what a "little bird" has been chirping in our ears...QBG doesn't seem to mind senior citizens prearranging to donate their annuity policy payments, etc. in support of the garden after their deaths.

But while they're breathing (if they're not already donating money)...it's OK to kick 'em out!

Anonymous said...

QBG is on crack. Once they started charging admission I gave up any hope on them. They also don't accept memberships from other local gardens like the NYBG or BkBG. I refuse to support the QBG despite them being in my backyard, because they have no respect for their community unless they're asian.

Anonymous said...

It does sound hoky. Leave the program alone it worked for 45 years now you want to chase retired folks away from an outdoor activity that benefits everyone including the botanical gardens which are popular like the Bronx Botanical gardens. The Queens Botanical gardens from College Point Blvd side looks like it's all weeds, come on now!

Anonymous said...

Those old farts are scaring away the Asians. Plain and simple!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I have a big yard that I can't do anything with. I invite any area seniors that want to plant for FREE to contact me. :)

Anonymous said...

That's just an offering, they already know those old people cant afford it and wont pay it.

It sounds like the ball is rolling to kick out the old people for $$$ paying Tennis courts and miniature golf over there for projected new Willets Point projects.

Aren't those gardens on public park land ? The Kelo ruling allows a city can convey public **park land** to private ?

Anonymous said...


Evan S said...

Just waitin' for my Cannabis Sativa plants to mature and I'm out!!!

Cheech Chong said...

Hey Evan! Please call. I wanna place an order.