Direct Action Mass Picnic on April 26th! Shut It Down! Way Down! Yeah- we didn't post anything on this earlier- because of well, you know the situation in Arizona.
This is from a letter from Don Hyatt a member of the Azalea Society of America:
I wanted to alert people that Hearst Television has prepared a news story on the pending destruction of the Glenn Dale Azaleas at the National Arboretum. They interviewed me and also Dr. Ramon Jordan, the Interim Director. Dr. Jordan and Scott Aker are the two people at the Arboretum who seem to be pushing for the destruction of the original Glenn Dale Azaleas on Mount Hamilton. They say that it will be only about 25% of the azaleas in the collection, but it includes all of the oldest and most majestic plants, the original azaleas set out by Ben Morrison in 1947. They also plan to destroy the National Boxwood Collection, an equally irreplaceable collection of rare germplasm, as well as the perennial collections in the Boxwood Garden which includes the Daffodil, Daylily, and Peony Collections. Members of their respective societies are angry, too.
If you are in an area where you have a Hearst affiliate, be sure to watch and become informed about the situation. Even if they get it wrong- it's more than you'll hear from other sources.
The Hearst reporter, Sally Kidd, just told me that they are sending the finished piece to their affiliate stations nationwide today. Hearst Media is one of the largest organizations of its kind including newspapers, magazines, and TV stations that reach about 18% of all households in the US. Where or when those stations choose to air the story is up to them, of course, but she expected most of them to air it by Monday. Ms. Kidd indicated that we can probably expect additional media interest of all kinds after their story airs.
Again this is more coverage than we have gotten otherwise. Call or write your local newspaper or TV station to ask what their coverage on this is. Ask your Congress person as well.
Hearst will post the story online this Tuesday, and she will provide me a link at that time so others can see it via the Internet. I am sure I made a fool of myself, but I have done that many times before. I just hope that the story will help our cause. I did give them some video of the azaleas that are scheduled to be cut down this year. It was not HD, but I invited them to come back in April to get some footage of their own. Ms. Kidd indicated that they might do that.
Your response to this story will help get us more coverage. Be sure to write (email) your local affiliate, and visit the online story and post a comment. That way we can be sure that more attention is paid to this situation, and it doesn't land on the compost heap!
For those of you who might be passing through the Washington DC are this April, I wanted to let you know that the local DC chapters of the Azalea Society of America and the American Rhododendron Society are planning a joint field trip to the Arboretum on Tuesday, April 26. It will be in the middle of the day, about 10:00 AM till 2:00 PM, so we avoid rush hour traffic. That is the week when the early Glenn Dales are usually coming into peak bloom. Come join us if you can or see them on your own. If we are not successful in our cause, this could be the last chance to do so.
Wish the azaleas luck!
If you are in DC on the 26th or close by- come see the azaleas for the LAST time.