Wanton destruction, apparently by someone taking pleasure in defacing a flower garden at Central Park Square Sunday. Courtesy photo
My predecessor, Tom Netuschil, established a custom at Central Park Square of planting Marigolds, thousands of them, every spring.
We have continued this tradition. It is an expensive and elaborately organized project, with very precise specifications on planting, mulching, irrigation, etc. Our highly capable maintenance crew, Cesar and Howard, cumulatively spend weeks carefully tending to the marigolds. I suppose there is some commercial benefit to Central Park Square, but I see it, as I think Tom did, as a contribution to the beauty and spirit of the town.
At first, I was discouraged but not entirely surprised by some vandalism, a few flowers ripped up and thrown on the sidewalk. I preferred to make the most benign assumption, that it was the result of relatively innocent vandalism by children who will eventually learn to value the natural beauty of their surroundings. Then, the second or third time, it turned into wanton destruction, apparently by someone taking pleasure in defacing a flower garden (see photo).
This was surpassed, however, by premeditated theft of the flowers. I was truly shocked last week to learn that more than 100 of the flowers had been systematically stolen. The plants were carefully dug-up and transported away (second photo).
This is not Jean Valjean stealing a piece of bread. Aside from gratuitously violating and stealing the property of some other person, with no desperation or motive of self-preservation, and no complaint of injustice, this is a choice to desecrate something that is an enhancement of a public space for some private enjoyment. Presumably, the perpetrator is not trying to re-sell the flowers to buy food for a hungry family.
I entertain the thought, probably illusory, that the responsible individual might read this letter and feel some shame. Or perhaps, a reader, if he or she encounters behavior of this nature, will call the individual to account. We are making efforts to replace the flowers.
More than 100 flowers have been systematically stolen – carefully dug-up and transported away – from beds at Central Park Square. Courtesy photo