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Posted on May 3 at 2:12 p.m.
Yes it would be a real shame if the Garden’s plan to improve their facilities and continue their important mission was not passed by the Board of Supervisors. Don’t the opposing neighbors understand that the Botanic Garden has been a part of our community since the 1926, and has always been a place for science and education? Don’t the neighbors know that the number of visitors allow to come through the Garden will be lower than historic usage? Remember folks, it’s not just your backyard to make independent decisions about; it’s a cherished community resource that needs upgrades and is not asking for much. Garden needs the opportunity to rebuild just like everyone else who makes upgrades to their homes that have been around for several decades.It doesn’t make sense to me. Seem like the opponents are trying to control and micromanage the Garden, and they should not have the final say. The Garden has already listened to them and stripped down their plan to the minimum necessary to carry on their important work. The supposed ‘classroom’ which docents currently teach children the importance of plants to our planet, is inadequate and completely out of date. Furthermore, 60 of the 78 acres were burned in the Jesusita fire, so the Garden needs these improvements now more than ever.
On Garden’s Burning Issue
Posted on April 29 at 12:59 p.m.
Ms. Zimmer, I was present at the Planning Commission hearing when the County Fire Dept. testified that the Vital Mission Plan will improve fire safety. How could it not? They’re adding a number of fire protection measures, buildings will FINALLY be improved with fire-retardant materials, and they’re installing additional sprinklers and fire hydrants. One Red Flag days, the Garden will be completely closed and any events/classes cancelled. So I don’t see why you think the plan is compromising fire safety? Right now, the Garden has no limits on visitation or events. They have decided to put a self-imposed limit on visitation and events. Visitation will be capped at well below historic usage. I would applaud them for this, and not criticize wanting to improve their basic facilities for education and research.
What’s even more sad, is that neighbors are criticizing the Garden on the fact that they’ve hired outside help to educate community members about their plan. Of course they need outside help, when such a vicious group of neighbors try to fight such a positive community benefit as a Botanic Garden. The majority of our community supports the Botanic Garden and their plans, because they plans are not over ambitious and will not drastically change the garden, and because the plans are supporting education in our community.
Mrs. Conn, I don’t see how the Garden is going to compromise the “natural history” or beauty with a plan that’s only taking 1 percent of their land, in the same footprint where buildings already exist! What do you know about botanical science, plant propagation, and cultivating a 78-acre Garden with a myriad of California native plant displays? Are you aware that the Meadow is a created environment – one that SBBG has carefully planted, maintained, and cultivated. The beautiful poppies in the Meadow now are the result of the hard work by SBBG staff and volunteers who have cultivated the seeds, and carefully planted every flower. And their Meadow Terrace is a small leveled area that is barely noticed – and one that historically (dating back to 1930’s) has been a gathering place for Garden visitors. We’re talking about a world-class environmental non-profit, not a “historical museum” that remains frozen in time. I think there’s a way to carefully balance the buildings for science, education, and horticulture – with the natural open space. The Garden has struck this balance perfectly, with a minimal plan that leaves 99 percent open space. I hope that you will take education and science seriously.
On Two Views of the Garden