A pledge to boycott stores located on Hayes land

For more of my commentary on life in Richmond, Indiana check out RichmondMatters.com.
(Please note, because of the time that has passed since I wrote this article, it may no longer reflect my current views or the most accurate and complete information available on this subject.)

In June of 2003, the folks who manage the Hayes Arboretum here in Richmond announced their plans to sell 33 acres of the Arboretum that runs along the main National Road in Richmond for commercial development...another strip mall, ugh. It was recently announced that the first three tenants signed on to the planned development are Menard's, Walgreens, and Frisch's Big Boy. I usually avoid activism of this sort, but I've launched a petition, where the signatories have pledged not to spend money at these locations or any other retailers that might locate there. The full pledge is below; please consider signing if you agree.

WHEREAS we consider the Hayes Arboretum in Richmond, Indiana to be a valuable natural resource, a distinctive representation of the quality of Richmond's green areas, and a positive public space that merits preservation; and

WHEREAS we consider the re-zoning and commercial development of a significant and highly visible part of the Hayes Arboretum to be undesirable and harmful act that degrades the quality of life in the Richmond community while also representing an unnecessary risk to the safety of the water supply; and

WHEREAS we acknowledge the widespread availability of existing commercial sites in Richmond that would provide ample and diverse space for the vendors that would otherwise choose to locate in the new Arboretum development, the use of which would contribute more effectively and sustainably to the local economy than the proposed new development; and

WHEREAS we see the development of the Arboretum land as a manifestation of economic priorities that are in conflict with the values and heritage of our community and with the founding purpose of the Arboretum, and that tolerate and even favor the ongoing trend of displacing local businesses with national chain stores that, as institutions, have minimal investment in the long-term health of our local community,

WE THE UNDERSIGNED hereby pledge not to frequent, spend money at, or otherwise patronize or support the locations of the businesses, organizations, or other entities that would choose to locate their operations in the proposed Arboretum development. We make this pledge without any particular ill-will toward them or any illusion that this will prevent said development from carrying forward, but with the hope that the ostensible economic impact of this commitment might inspire those locating in this new development to reflect and act on the harm in which we believe they are participating.

More information about the Hayes Arboretum and the planned development can be found at http://www.fotaweb.com/. If you agree with this statement, you can sign this petition now.

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