Tuesday, February 09, 2010
What's going on at Fairchild Garden? by gimleteye
The board of Fairchild is meeting tomorrow in response to a request by members to amend the Garden By-Laws to provide for term limits for trustees and officers. Most have served for more than a decade and are unaware of the turmoil marring the Garden. The turmoil did not start with the firing of the dynamic founder of the Fairchild Environmental Challenge; a program that garnered national attention. In my opinion, a few trustees-- representing large corporate interests including FPL and Big Agriculture who are also donors to the Garden-- wanted closer control of the educational program that was gaining considerable exposure. Equity, fairness and balance in educating children on the environment does not always play well where long term profits are at stake. Think about it: of the 50,000 children served by the Fairchild Challenge, a certain percentage would later choose to be professionally involved in the environment. Let's say you are a donor, giving a pledging a gift over 10, 20, or 30 years: don't you think you would want to be sure that Garden programs did not foster opposition to his or her long term goals? It is possible that some trustees have not paid attention to the Garden or its controversies and are surprised by the opposition that has been galvanized by Garden management. Last Saturday, protest signs calling for term limits greeted attendees of the Garden's annual Gala. The Garden annual meeting when term limits for trustees might be considered is scheduled for early March.