Rooted | July 6, 2020
By: Erin Anderson, Executive Director | 07/03/2020
The past month, three months, heck the entire year has been hard to process for us all. The events taking place within our community, our country, and the world are heartbreaking on so many levels. The Garden is working hard to respond to these events, and I want to share with you our progress and how we plan to move forward for the betterment and safety of our community.
Our staff is adjusting to a new normal with a smaller team than we have operated with for many years. As stated in an email sent last month, we were faced with the heartbreaking decision to reduce our staff significantly, and are now operating with half of our usual summer team members. This may mean slower response times on email and phone calls, sometimes longer (socially distanced) lines at the gate, and reduced hours of operations at the Garden.
We have made the decision to close our onsite store for the remainder of the year, but are working on opportunities for you to purchase our merchandise through an online store when the time is right. We simply didn’t have the space to provide a safe shopping experience or the funding to keep the store afloat.
Events in the Garden
As for our events, which seem to be the million-dollar question, we are working extra hard to bring you the same great events with fewer people, and additional processes and protocols in place. Because we are an outdoor space, we are able to hold enjoyable events while making sure social distancing guidelines are upheld. We have worked with local health officials to solidify a strong plan for the safety of our guests for all future events.
These events, your memberships, and your donations help to keep our garden growing this spring and summer. But, I am going to be very transparent here, we need your support now more than ever. We are currently experiencing a great decrease in revenue, about 50-65% reduction each month. While we have money in reserves, maintaining at this level is not sustainable.
Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism
To be silent in these times is to be complicit with the broken systems we are living within. Diversity is an important value here at the Garden. Diversity in varying gender, religion, race, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, education, and honestly any other attribute you can think of. This is what makes our organization special, and our team so unique.
However, focusing on diversity simply isn’t enough. In the coming weeks we will examine how we can support our value in diversity, but most importantly focus on how we can take a stronger stance and effort to become an anti-racist organization. Our staff and Board of Directors have created a joint committee to focus on these very issues. Together we will determine how we can be better, do more, and take action against systemic racism in our community.
Once we have created our action plan we will share it with you, our garden community.