The S.F. Recreation and Park Department is proposing the imposition of a $5 entrance fee to the San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park. Facing an $11.4 million shortfall for the coming year, this is just one of the fees under consideration by the parks department. You can read more about the proposal in this article in the SF Chronicle.
I hate to hear about things like this because these are the kind of proposals that become self-defeating in the end. You take a venue that everyone can enjoy and appreciate because it's free and impose an entrance fee. Only then, there are many people who will never set foot in it again. Then it becomes a sort of "rarefied" spot, the kind of place that people think isn't really meant for the masses. Which is, of course, exactly what an urban garden should be.
I know a $5 fee doesn't sound like much, and these are exceptionally hard times, but it still sounds like a bad idea to me. Couldn't the city impose other, more worthwhile fees instead? Like for gun registrations, for example? Here's a bumper sticker I'd like to see: "Use a gun, fund an orchid."