Monday, December 31, 2018

David, Theo & Ruby Refuse Visit To Fort Worth's Botanic Garden

A couple days ago I blogged that David, Theo & Ruby Won't Climb Or Swim In Any Fort Worth City Park.

In that blogging I made mention of the fact that Fort Worth, population over 800,000, has zero public swimming pools, while Tacoma, population a little over 200,000 has multiple public swimming pools.

Thinking about how some towns in America are modern, whilst other towns in America seem to be more what one might expect to see in a not so modern, advanced country, had me also wondering how some towns manage to have modern city parks, with running water, and no outhouses, whilst no running water and outhouses are the norm in Fort Worth's few city parks.

At some point whilst writing the blogging about Tacoma's pools I found Wikipedia has a long article about Tacoma's Point Defiance Park. In that article there is a section about the Formal Gardens in Point Defiance Park.

Point Defiance Park's Formal Gardens reminded me of Fort Worth's Botanic Garden, a location which I have long thought is the one and only thing about Fort Worth, other than the Stockyards, that is well done and tourist worthy.

So, yesterday I asked David, Theo and Ruby's mom, my little sister Michele, if at some point in time in the near future the kids might go to Point Defiance to take some photos of the park's gardens. I also asked if Tacoma charged an entry fee to the Point Defiance Park gardens.

A response arrived quickly, with photos taken over the years, when the kids were younger. Along with those photos the possibility was mentioned time might be found to take some new photos. That time was found and new photos arrived later in yesterday's afternoon. Those photos are what you are seeing first, followed by older photos when David, Theo and Ruby were younger.

At the top you are seeing David, Theo and Ruby at the gate to enter the Rose Garden part of the Point Defiance Park Formal Gardens. There is no one charging a fee to enter. You just walk on in. In the next photo the kids are inside the Gardens, with the boys traversing a small pond whilst their sister watches.

The Japanese Garden is what you are seeing here. The Pagoda in the Japanese Garden is the location where David, Theo and Ruby's parental units got married. Can you find the kids in the above photo?

Recently those in charge of badly misgoverning Fort Worth decided to start charging an admission fee to gain admittance to the Botanic Garden. Doing this appalled me. Just like years prior when I was disgusted and appalled when Fort Worth began charging an admission fee to the Fort Worth Nature Preserve.

When that entry fee was imposed the preserve was not a heavily visited location. I have seen no followup investigating in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram as to what the attendance numbers are for the Nature Preserve, pre and post fee. How much money is raised. How much it costs to charge a fee, as in paying someone to collect it.

Another look at the Point Defiance Park Japanese Garden.

I have never returned to the Fort Worth Nature Preserve since an admission fee was charged. My personal protest. I probably have blogged about my disgust about this previously, but I do not remember doing so.

I remember being at the Prairie Dog Town part of the Fort Worth Nature Preserve and a family showed up, dad driving an old station wagon, six kids. I could tell they were not too prosperous. And that the kids were having themselves a mighty fine time. It was this family I thought of when I read Fort Worth was going to charge a fee to enter one of its parks.

I looked at the Fort Worth Nature Preserve website and saw it cost $5 for an adult to enter. A discount for seniors and kids. I do not know what $ figure has been arrived at to gain entry to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.

Above is the last of the photos taken yesterday. What you are seeing here is the marina at the east end of Point Defiance Park. And the more interesting thing is the almost completed walkway which will connect Point Defiance Park to Point Ruston and the rest of the Tacoma waterfront. This will be a fun new addition to an already impressive development.

Point Ruston is a massive private development, well there may be some public help, what with it being the location of what at the time was the most expensive Superfund cleanup in EPA history. I do know that no local politician's unqualified son was hired to be the executive director of the Point Ruston development, hence this massive project is a growing, completed HUGE success.

Seeing this was one of the highlights of my last visit to the PNW, back in August of 2017. I blogged about my Point Ruston experience at the time in Point Ruston Ruby, Theo & David Surrey Survey Of Tacoma's New Waterfront Development.

Fort Worth's embarrassing Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, which has boondoggled along for most of this century, has not reached the point, if it ever will, where ground pollution triggers an EPA Superfund cleanup. Though there has already been a chemical leak, or two, into the Trinity River, from ground work on the Boondoggle's imaginary island.

Continuing on we get to the older photos of Ruby, Theo and David in Point Defiance Park's gardens.

In answer to my question asking of a fee is charged to enter the Point Defiance Park Formal Gardens, my sister said "The only thing that costs at Point Defiance is the zoo/aquarium." Later amended to add that a fee is charged to rent a venue for an event, such as a wedding.

In the blogging from a couple days ago about Tacoma's pools in which I mentioned Point Defiance Park I also made mention of the fact that none of Fort Worth city parks were Wikipedia article worthy. However, this morning I did discover there is a short Wikipedia article about the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.

That article, in total, and please note the irony...

The Fort Worth Botanic Garden (109 acres) is a botanical garden located at 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard, Fort Worth, Texas. The garden was established in 1934 and is the oldest botanic garden in Texas, with 2,501 species of native and exotic plants in its 21 specialty gardens. It is open daily. An admission fee is charged for the Conservatory and Japanese Garden; the other gardens are free. 

Someone needs to edit the Wikipedia article to add that soon the other gardens will no longer be free to visit.

Now, that is some Ruby and Theo garden cuteness above.

Among what gripes me about charging an admission fee to a city park property is someone opining that it makes sense, why those who actually use the park should be the ones paying for it. Well, simplistically that may make sense to someone simple. But, all the citizens of a town help the town raise money to pay for city services, such as parks.

Fort Worth takes a piece of every cent paid in sales tax. Then there's the various ways everyone pays property tax. Even if you are a renter you pay property tax, though not directly via property you own.

A well managed city, like Tacoma, Wichita Falls, and many others use funds raised via various methods to pay for city services which add to the city's livability. If one feels the need to take a break with the kids at a city park one should not have to feel like it's a trip to Six Flags, paying an admission fee.

In other words, in my humble opinion, a city's parks should be readily available to all of a town's citizens, no matter how much discretionary income they may have at their disposal.

I do not know by what magic Theo and Ruby are levitating in this area of the Point Defiance Park Formal Gardens.

Fort Worth already cheaps out on its few city parks, what with already minimal services, such as not providing running water and modern restroom facilities.

This scene looks a lot like one one might see in Fort Worth's Botanic Garden. I think Ruby, Theo and David are waving at us, but I am not sure about this.

Fort Worth, as represented by its elected officials and the town's newspaper, semi-regularly deludes itself that the town might somehow successfully attract a corporation to re-locate its headquarters to Fort Worth. Such as Amazon HQ2. Or like when Intel was looking for a place to build a big development.

Intel checked out Fort Worth. Fort Worth offered incentives. Intel instead chose to build its enormous new plant in Chandler, Arizona. If you have visited both Fort Worth and Chandler you have seen why Fort Worth would not be the chosen one.

Don't those who run Fort Worth so poorly, in what is known locally as the Fort Worth Way, realize how bad it looks to a business looking to locate in Fort Worth seeing the town's few city parks so lacking in basic amenities. And no public pools. And streets without sidewalks. And any park with any semblance of being a decent attraction charging a fee to enter.

Such things do not leave a good impression on a town's few tourists.

It's all way too perplexing. What I got out of thinking about all this is I am looking forward to my next visit to Tacoma...

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