I reported here last October that the American Horticultural Society had decided to sell its historic River Farm headquarters, and mentioned some blowback from the community.
Well! Since then the blowback has turned into a tsunami of opposition, including from local legislators, and now half of the AHS board itself! Yes, despite being told not to speak publicly, five of the ten board members are on record opposing the sale. Their statement includes this:
There is growing evidence that the decision to sell River Farm is not only morally and ethically wrong, but is fraught with serious legal issues.
Morally and ethically wrong? These five are NOT staying silent or coy about what’s going on, and I’m convinced they’re on the right side of this disagreement. Kudos to AHS board members Skipp Calvert, Tim Conlon, Laura Dowling (Michelle Obama’s floral designer), Holly Shimizu (former executive director of the U.S. Botanic Garden) and Marcia Zech. The directors in favor of the sale (asking price almost $33 million) are: Terry Hayes, Bob Murray, Amy Bolton, Nancy Ross, and Cindy Tyler.
Today’s story in the Washington Post (shown above) is just one of many they’ve run on this subject, which is of great interest in suburban Virginia.