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County Endangering a Source of Revenue

September 20, 1986

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has chosen to endanger a valuable source of funds.

On flower show weekends attendance shoots up as hundreds of people pay admission to the Arcadia Arboretum, Descanso Gardens and the South Coast Botanical Gardens in order to view bloom and plant displays at these state and county facilities. Interested gardeners, mainly from the various plant societies, raise thousands of plants and flowers to exhibit, prepare displays, provide awards and staff the shows with knowledgeable members to educate the public on growing and pruning techniques. The county and state pay nothing for this volunteer labor or the awards.

Now the Board of Supervisors has arbitrarily decided that plant societies must carry liability insurance in order to stage these shows. The more people likely to attend a show, the higher the insurance fees.

The societies receive no part of the admission charge. All attendance revenue goes to the county or state. In essence, the more money the show brings in, the more society members will be assessed for insurance, often close to $400 a show.

As an outcome of the supervisors' decision to force insurance costs on plant societies, society members must investigate other show sites or eventually drop the shows entirely.

Not only do the supervisors risk losing admission revenue, but also donations from the plant societies for new buildings and equipment such as those received in the past.

The Board of Supervisors must reconsider its shortsighted new policy or risk alienating some of the staunchest supporters of our public gardens.

PAT GREUTERT

Pasadena

Greutert is a member of the Southern California Camellia Society, Temple City Camellia Society and the California Arboretum Foundation.

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