Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanks for nothing, Mr. Collins

It’s like I’ve said all along. Politicians have an inbred aversion to such things as flowers, paintings, dancers, actors, plays, and literature. Oh, right, and library access.

See, when you run government like a rich businessman, you can’t really understand why other people would need any of the things you’ve taken for granted (though clearly ignored) for your entire life.

I wonder how many politicians rely on the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. Many of you saw this magnificent facility last summer, during Garden Bloggers Buffa10. It needs work—and hopefully will continue to get it—but what it has right now is enough to entrance local families on a regular basis and impress out-of-town visitors whenever they get a chance to see it. It is one of three Lord & Burnham conservatories sited in an Olmsted park. It has the largest collection of ivy in the U.S. and it is the one place in Western New York where you can escape to the tropics in a twenty minute drive. In February.

That might impress some people, but clearly it is not enough for the leader of our county (the aforementioned Mr. Collins), who has withheld funding from the facility for the last year and plans the same treatment in 2011.

My friends from Idaho, North Carolina, and Wisconsin seemed to think the Botanical Gardens was a pretty cool place.

Look, we all know money is tight. But those of us who pay attention also know that the funds allocated to the Botanical Gardens and every other cultural organization in the area—AND the libraries—would not be enough to make a $2 dent in anyone’s property taxes. Seriously.

Fund the gardens. Fund the theaters. Fund the galleries. And for gods sake, fund the libraries. We can’t afford to have another generation growing up as ignorant as YOU, Mr. Collins, clearly are.

If any of my fellow admirers of the Botanical Gardens would like to advocate, I have an email for you:, and here's a phone number: 716-842-0490.


Helen Yoest @ Gardening With Confidence said...

I have an email formulating in my head right now! H.

EAL said...

Thanks Helen!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

People need libraries now more than ever. Since the economic downturn, my library has seen a huge spike in patron visits and materials checked out. People have found jobs thru the library's resources.
Funding your botanic garden is an investment in Buffalo. It's a wonderful facility and a great tourist attraction. It's also a great place to get the next generation interested in plants and the Earth, which can only be a good thing for the long-term survival of our species.

Susan aka Miss R said...

The conservatory is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen...including those at Kew. We are always so busy trying to build new when in places like Buffalo preservation is the key to the future not new, new, new. Politicians can sell new as job construction is sexier than restoration.

It sounds like your Mr. Collins is similar to Elizabeth Bennett's in Pride and Prejudice...too ignorant and full of his own self importance to see the big picture.

Let me know if I can help in any way!

Anonymous said...

I agree, if we had the money. We are going bankrupt: city, county, state, nationally and internationally. No more money for subjective interests. Everybody, including those in the arts, humanities, and the "entitled" will need to work market place principles.