After 10 years the Kirtland-based Holden Arboretum had no choice but to raise its annual membership and daily admission rates, institution officials are saying.
Commenting in the horticultural institution's Spring edition of “Leaves,” the arboretum's president and CEO Clem Hamilton says the new membership fee structure is coming about “for the first time in anyone's memory.”
Yet, Hamilton says as well, that as the institution works to build individual membership, belonging to the arboretum includes rates that are “... still lower than almost all of our peer institutions.”
Under the old membership format the annual fees were $40 for one adult; $40 for two adults if one was at least 60 years old and both were living in the same household; $50 for two adults and children 18 years of age or younger or grandchildren 18 years of age or younger.
A stable of annual donor memberships were available as well and include additional perks. These slots ranged in price from $100 (Pine) to $150 (Azelea), $250 (Viburnum), and $500 (Lilac).
The new annual membership rate structure is now being built around $55 for individuals; $65 for membership-plus; senior citizens get a $5 discount; Pine - $125; Azalea - $175; and Viburnum - $300.
The arboretum's current daily general admission policy includes $6 for non-members; $5 for those age 60 and older as well as free on Tuesdays only; $3 for those age 6 to 18; free for those age 5 and younger.
Also, the new daily admission fees will be $10 for those age 19 and older; $4 for those age 6 to 18; and free for those age 5 and younger.
In every example, says the arboretum, the increases are not only modest but minimal and continue “to be a great value.”
In stressing its case that additional funding is both important and necessary for carrying out the institution's efforts, the arboretum notes a to-do list that contains several items that lie ahead.
Among them are new gardens and improvements to existing ones as well updating guest amenities; continued development of school programing; greater conservation work on the institution's 3,600-acre platform; continued horticultural, ecological and scientific research; and outreach to “our region's professional, government and volunteer 'green' communities.”
For further details and for a complete rundown on what the new fees include and represent, contact the Holden Arboretum at 440-946-4400, with its web site being www.holdenarb.org.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn