Thursday, August 21, 2014

People’s Forum: Duchon’s gardens story was careless and biased

Posted on July 16, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on July 16, 2013 at 7:16 p.m.

Wellfield

On July 12, Emily Duchon wrote an article about Wellfield Botanic Gardens. She stated it was a picturesque view for a price and quoted a lady who called it a “park” and a photographer who said charging for professional photographers is “crap.”

Wellfield Botanic Gardens is not a “park.” It was never conceived as a park and it takes no tax money to support it as a park. It is a private endeavor; it is not owned or operated by the city. Everyone is welcome at the gardens but there is a charge just as there is a charge for going to a movie, the county fair, the Railroad Museum (which is $5 and supported by city tax dollars), the Lerner Theatre, the Midwest Museum of Art or the Ruthmere. The generous contributors to the gardens expect their pieces of art, sculptures, donated gardens and tributes to their families to be well maintained and securely protected so they are preserved for future generations. Fees and memberships are a necessary part of annual operations if the Wellfield Botanic Gardens is to maintain the standards that are expected. It is also common practice for professional photographers to pay an annual fee to use a private or botanic gardens as background for their commercial wedding/family photos.

Emily Duchon does not have to like the existence of Wellfield Gardens. But, the newspaper she works for states on page 2 (under Errors) that “stories must be fair, accurate and balanced,” and hers wasn’t. There were too many facts she didn’t bother to learn or chose not to share. From the angry comments I’ve heard in the community, I don’t believe The Elkhart Truth’s philosophy of “We Build Community” was adhered to in the careless and biased writing of this article.

Sandy Amt

Elkhart