To: Palm Beach County Commissioners
From: Cerabino & Assoc., uncertified public consultants
Subject: Renaming the Mounts Botanical Garden
The decision you will be asked to make today about renaming the Mounts Botanical Garden in suburban West Palm Beach is bound to create disappointment.
Both sides are very worked up.
“We just want the name to be more aligned with Palm Beach County,” said Mike Zimmerman, the past president of the Friends of The Mounts. “People don’t know what the Mounts is. Everybody owns this botanical garden.”
So the garden group wants the name changed to The Palm Beach Botanical Garden at Mounts, to give it a more public-sounding name.
“We’re not trying to get rid of history,” Zimmerman said. “This will just better identify it with the community.”
And make it easier to raise money for the garden.
The other side of this debate wants the name to remain just as it is, because it’s a fitting tribute to Marvin “Red” Mounts, the county’s agricultural agent for 40 years, a man who established the first 4H club in Florida and shepherded farming practices that made the Glades an agricultural giant.
“What’s next? Take George Morikami’s name off of Morikami Park and call it the Palm Beach Japanese Gardens?” quipped retired agricultural extension agent Gene Joyner. “When they took George Dreher’s name off the zoo, it started out as the Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park, but then the last part of the name was dropped.”
So there you have it: Modern-day marketing vs. Yesteryear Traditionalism.
We here at C&A recommend you reject both philosophies and go for a third approach: Crass Commercialism.
That’s right, announce that the naming rights to the botanical gardens will be up for sale to the highest bidder.
Here are the pros and cons of some possibilities:
The Botanical Olive Garden
Overview: As part of the deal, the popular restaurant chain also would get to open an Italian restaurant in what is now the auditorium and re-purpose the Rose & Fragrance Garden into an outdoor boccie court.
Pros: Visitors get free bread sticks.
Cons: Exotic trees, tropical fruits and flowering plants will need to be replaced by extensive garlic farming.
The Trump Botanical Garden and Executive Golf Course
Overview: The latest addition to the Donald Trump empire. Extensive sand-pit construction, berming and plowing of the Tropical Shade Forest to make room for a 9-hole course.
Pros: Raises visibility of garden with possible new TV reality show: Celebrity Horticultural Apprentice.
Cons: Exposes county to lawsuit over flight paths west of Palm Beach International Airport.
The Cruzan Plant-o-Theater
Overview: The rum brand expands its name recognition beyond the amphitheater near the South Florida Fairgrounds.
Pros: Audience already has appreciation for herbs and potting.
Cons: Ornamental flowers aren’t very barf-resistant.
Overview: The private prison company from Boca Raton, GEO Group, was recently spurned from getting naming rights to Florida Atlantic University’s football stadium. Associating with a botanical garden would soften the history of human rights abuses that have been made against the private prison company.
Pros: Dramatic upgrade of perimeter fencing.
Cons: Public relations issues in event of excessive pruning.