Each year dedicated volunteers of White Plains Beautification Foundation (WPBF), a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, spend countless hours raising funds, planning and consulting with local nurseries, and overseeing the planting, maintenance and watering of about 60 gardens in the city of White Plains.
Donations from generous sponsors in the form of small businesses, corporations and individuals have allowed the foundation to continue its work since 1965. This year the gardens are especially lovely, bursting with vibrant colors and textures.
So, it is with much sadness that we have discovered a recent rash of thefts from several of our gardens, including as many as 40 plants from one garden. The thieves may assume the city’s Department of Public Works or Recreation and Parks will simply replace the lost plants, but that is not how it works.
In order to maintain the gardens at the level expected by our sponsors, WPBF must assume the cost of replacing what’s been stolen or vandalized. What makes the crime more heinous is the fact that many of WPBF’s gardens are memorial gardens planted to honor sponsors’ loved ones.
Those who steal plants from the gardens defile their memories and belittle the passion of the WPBF volunteers who endeavor to bring beauty and areas of quiet respite to our bustling city.
To all those who contemplate stealing from our gardens, please show some respect for the labors of others, visit one of our local nurseries and pay for your own plants. Going forward, WPBF gardens will be under increased surveillance; vandals will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
– Deborah Donahoe, President, White Plains Beautification Foundation
– Jean M. Bello, Co-Chair, White Plains Beautification Foundation Adopt-a-Park Program
White Plains Commissioner of Public Safety David Chong told WPCNR today:
” As far as damaging property, depending on the monetary amount of damage, the
charge would be criminal mischief as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If
someone stole items, we would charge them with larceny. We have arrested people
in the past for vandalism and will continue to arrest them as this type of crime
will not be tolerated in this city.”