Glencoe Park District plant sale may wither
Updated: December 28, 2012 6:47PM
GLENCOE — The Glencoe Park District’s annual plant sale may soon be yanked out by the roots.
At a district committee meeting Monday night, Dec. 3, district horticulturist Tom McDonald and greenhouse manager Karen Keefe told commissioners the sale had grown to the point that it distracts them from doing more important business of the district.
That includes tending a growing collection of planting beds, which now number 30.
Their boss, Director of Parks Rick Bold, submitted a report that supported their position. It detailed the history of the district greenhouses, going back to construction of the first one, funded by a donation from resident Ingrid Rosenfeld.
Originally, Rosenfeld personally worked the greenhouse with the intention of growing plants for the district and village to use in public spaces. Over the years, however, the primary use of two greenhouses seems to have become support of what is now a May-long sale to the public.
The sale has grown to the point that plants are bought from elsewhere to sell to about 1,000 buyers annually. Last year, despite prices similar to for-profit garden centers, the sale lost $33,900, and the attention of staff members over a period of four months.
Keefe and McDonald said they think it would be better to use the greenhouses next year to just provide public plants again, especially as the district cooperates with village government in shared-services programs to save money. They added that they were able to assist volunteers in establishing plantings in the Glencoe Community Garden and the Green Bay Trail, but they’d like to do more.
District Commissioner Trent Cornell saw their point.
“(The sale) is really not the best use of the facility and your time,” said Cornell, who heads the Special Projects and Facilities Committee. Fellow committee members, commissioners Andre Lerman and Max Retsky, didn’t defend the sale, either.
Audience members agreed. “I’m a huge fan of the plant sale, (but) I support this change,” Laurie Morse said.
“I can go to Home Depot or Lowes and get what I need.” ~.