‘Alarming’: National Historic Landmark Decries Rising Plant Thefts

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John Oyewale Contributor
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Authorities at a National Historic Landmark in Missouri decried a spate of theft of plants from its premises, a statement released Wednesday revealed.

“Tower Grove Park has experienced an alarming amount of plant theft from our beautiful display beds!” the statement from the management of Tower Grove Park (TGP), St. Louis, read in part.

“Nearly 200 plants (tropicals and annuals) are stolen each year, resulting in thousands of dollars lost for the Park,” the park’s management added.

Photographs accompanying the statement showed areas from which some plants appear to have been uprooted.

TGP staff and volunteers plant some 17,000-odd tulips, 3,600 annuals and 350 tropicals in the parks display beds every year, according to the statement. The park reportedly spends about $11,000 for the plants, with the figure not including the labor and resources expended to nurture the plants. The park’s staff and volunteers also reportedly expend months cultivating the plants in an on-site greenhouse.

“Volunteers often get free plants (no need to steal),” according to the statement.

TGP advertises volunteer shifts via its website, adding that it is always on the lookout for new volunteers.

The park’s authorities called on the public to report any suspicious activity to the park’s rangers by phone and email as provided in the statement. (RELATED: Shocking Video Appears To Show Brazen Porch Pirate Snatching Newly-Delivered Package In Front Of FedEx Driver)

The statement elicited reactions online. Commenters labeled the thefts “awful,” “terrible” and “disgusting.”

“This town is full of grifters,” said one, while another followed with, “Come on, people. Be better.”

“The city has a lot off riff raff pouring out into the streets and parks. People’s front porches and gardens are not exempt either. If it’s placed outside, then expect vandalism or theft,” another said.

“I saw some kids pulling up the lily pads by the stone fountain. I called the ranger and was told that no one was on duty over the weekend,” yet another comment partly read.

At least two commenters asked if the park had cameras.

TGP was officially opened to the public in 1872, having been gifted to St. Louis by the park’s main designer and 19th-century merchant philanthropist Henry Shaw, according to a municipal government statement. It is “the largest and best preserved 19th-century Gardenesque style city park in the United States,” according to the statement.