Today the employees of the Toledo Botanical Garden were informed that the Toledo Metroparks will be fully taking over fiscal and management operations of the garden. Some employees will have an opportunity to apply for similar positions at the Metroparks. Others will not. Toledo Grows will continue to operate separately as a stand alone entity, as they own their own property and have been able to manage funding their community gardens and other activities.
The title to all of the Elmer Drive properties is held by the City of Toledo. When the City abandoned operations of the Elmer Drive properties and infrastructure, they left buildings and equipment in seriously poor condition. It has been an ongoing struggle to maintain operations with the current level of funding provided by the Metroparks, donations, membership fees and the occasional grant opportunity. The Metroparks provided 20% of the overall operating budget of the garden.
I believe this is the right thing for the garden. The Metroparks has expressed a commitment to maintaining the horticultural mission of the garden. I look forward to the changes, although some things that are going away (Season's Gift Shop) will be missed. The resident artists organizations are wholly embraced in the new garden operations.