This September 2013, the non-resident fee is scheduled to be removed according to the original 2010 ordinance that authorized it. The plan by the Recreation and Park Department is to instead make it permanent. The performance of the fee not been good. The RPD points out that it has raised the $250,000 annually that was needed to prevent the RPD from firing three gardeners during the financial crisis years - the original excuse to institute the fee.
The link at the bottom of this page leads to an analysis of the Recreation and Park Department's non-resident fee proposal. The original plan was drawn from a study commmissioned by the S.F. Botanical Society to justify a fee and compiled by Dean Runyon Associates. Their report shows the following:
- The fee proposal will cut visitation to the garden by half.
- The plan will lead to losses if residents are not charged a fee.
This letter was delivered to the each member of the San Francisco Board Recreation and Park Commission March 1, 2010. A PDF copy along with calculations can be accessed at the link at the bottom of the letter.
March 1st, 2010
Dear S.F. Recreation and Parks Commissioners,
Download PDF version of document in link below.
The following is the press release that accompanies the Parks for the Public ballot measure:
Supervisors Avalos, Campos, Mar And Mirkarimi Submit
“Parks for the Public” Measure for the November Ballot
To Stop The Leasing Out Of Rec & Park Facilities To Private Entities
“Parks for the Public” Allows Voters to Stop Privatization of the City’s Clubhouses
REVENUE SHORTFALLS MEAN THE TIME HAS COME
TO DISCONTINUE THE ARBORETUM FEE
New information from the Recreation and Park Department (RPD) reveals that the non-resident fee at the Arboretum and Botanical Garden is performing poorly. Given the devastating impact of this fee on non-resident attendance, the facts argue it is time to discontinue the fee and provide support for ordinance #110113 currently sponsored by Supervisors Avalos, Mirkarimi, Mar, Kim and Campos.
$124,000 has been collected by the S.F. Botanical Society through the non-resident fee program and reported to the Recreation and Park Department from inception (8-7-10) until 11-22-10.
This represents about 19% of the revenue towards the RPD’s estimate in 29% of the time elapsed to reach the estimate.
Based on our analysis (see table 1), sales generated from the fee for a full fiscal year could fall somewhere between $425,000 - $475,000 – not $650,000 as assumed in the RPD plans submitted to the Board of Supervisors. A 28% to 35% revenue shortfall should be expected.
This letter was delivered to the office of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and the offices of each member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Friday, May 15, 2009.
The Honorable Mayor Gavin Newsom
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, Ca. 94102
Date: May 15th, 2009
Re: Proposed Fee at Strybing Arboretum
Dear Mayor Newsom,
We are opposed to any fee to enter the San Francisco Arboretum & Botanical Garden.
San Francisco Labor Council
Resolution Opposing Any Fee to Enter the Arboretum/Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park
Whereas, the Mayor's Director of Partnerships, Rich Hillis, and the director of the Botanical Gardens Brent Dennis, propose to charge a fee to enter the gardens, which for 68 years have been a free and integral part of Golden Gate Park and an important part of the commons enjoyed by all and available to all; and
This article appeared in the Sierra Club Yodeler and is reprinted with their kind permission.
Is Golden Gate Park going to be turned into an expansive series of commercial attractions?
The Recreation and Parks Commission is proposing to charge admission at the San Francisco Botanical Garden, known also by its original name as the Strybing Arboretum.