But I can say that reading this sounded fewer alarms in my alarmist brain than usual. Perhaps it's even a smart move to get a funder to come forward (that's the fundraiser in me talking!)
Here's the Park's broader statement:
The Prospect Park Alliance, like many organizations that serve the public, has had to tighten its budget over the last few years. As the economic downturn has reduced funding, the Alliance will take on some unexpected expenses to meet our baseline commitment to provide a clean and safe Park. This has necessitated that we look closely at reining in expenses and staffing costs.
While the Park will continue to offer a variety of public programs, we will be eliminating some education related positions and decreasing the hours worked by some part-time staff at both Lefferts Historic House and the Prospect Park Audubon Center.
We are suspending the school programs at the Audubon Center and Lefferts Historic House for the upcoming year. This will allow Park staff the opportunity to explore how to best structure and fund this important program. These changes to school programs will have no effect on our BASE high school or the Heart of Brooklyn BCAP summer program. Moreover, we encourage teachers to continue to visit the Park on field trips and enjoy what is Brooklyn's greatest outdoor classroom: Prospect Park.
The Park will continue to provide a robust offering of public programs and public education opportunities to Park visitors at both the Prospect Park Audubon Center and Lefferts Historic House. There will be some changes to the schedule of programming at both facilities, reflecting the Park's ongoing evaluation of how to serve visitors. We are suspending the Macy's fishing contest and exploring other ways to connect children with nature.
In addition the Lefferts Historic House will implement a modest admission charge for adults visiting the House on weekends starting in the fall. Almost all the Historic House Trust sites in New York City (of which Lefferts is one), charge some form of admission. This helps the Houses to maintain their historic collections, and supports their ability to present high-quality public programming.
The Prospect Park Alliance is committed to offering the best experience for our Park visitors and will continue to look for new sources of general support. We hope that these changes to staffing and programming will have as little impact as possible on the public's enjoyment of Prospect Park.