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Rose bushes stolen from Omaha's Memorial Park, volunteer gardener says

Posted at 7:29 PM, Jul 04, 2023

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Madelaine Adler has volunteered at the rose garden in Memorial Park in Omaha off and on since the '80s, helping keep the roses looking pristine.

In that time, the first time she's ever heard of someone taking the bushes for themselves was last week.

About 10 rose bushes were stolen from the rose garden at Memorial Park in Omaha sometime overnight on June 24 or 25, Adler said.

"We take pride on having everything look beautiful so that anyone can enjoy it," said Adler, vice president of the Omaha Rose Society. "It's not a personal rose garden."

She says two of the bushes, of the Tahitian Sunset variety, were left behind. She speculates the thief was spooked by someone catching them in the act. She says they're worth about $50 each.

But she says it isn't the only way people have been disrespecting the garden. She says some feel entitled to take a bouquet for themselves, sometimes with volunteers around.

"Even when they're being told 'This is for everyone to enjoy, please don't take the roses ... they're totally ignored," she said, "and they just keep doing it anyway. That's just being so disrespectful for everybody who's working hard to maintain and keep everything so beautiful."

Now, she's asked the Parks and Recreation Department to consider putting up signs that ask people not to take the roses.

When the Omaha Rose Society brought told the Parks and Recreation Department about the missing bushes, the department reported it to the police.

About 25 people volunteer for the Omaha Rose Society, Adler said. She said they could use more volunteers, and anyone interested with helping can start on their Facebook page.

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