My wife and I were dismayed to read the article “In Boothbay, controversy blooms in Botanical Gardens plan” (Maine Sunday Telegram, Page A1, Dec. 4). Unfortunately, this story contains misinformation and misconceptions.

We have been members of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens since 2005 and have served as advisers and consultants. The Gardens has built strong community support through steady, responsible and sustainable growth and has created a world-class botanical garden, one of the top 10 botanical gardens in the U.S. and a powerful economic driver for the Boothbay region and the state of Maine.

The expansion will not degrade Knickerbocker Lake. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens has a Department of Environmental Protection-permitted and Environmental Protection Agency-guided plan that limits phosphorus runoff to one teaspoon per acre.

This is 50 times less than runoff from existing residential development and town roads around the lake. Moreover, a well-designed septic system is located a half mile from the lake, and will not negatively impact the lake.

The new parking is not a “massive” addition and will not resemble a Wal-Mart parking lot. The plan adds space for an additional 500 cars with a series of 12 terraced parking pods separated by dense native plantings. A “smart parking lot system,” new to Maine but popular in Europe, will control drainage and remove automotive pollutants from the septic discharge.

Wetlands are not being recklessly filled in. Some “wetland areas” were created by improper road design by a previous developer over 20 years ago. Swales in the existing parking lot are also considered wetlands. One small wetland is an area of concern, and the Gardens has received DEP approval to replace this wetland space with a new natural area, thereby creating new ecological habitats and opportunities for wetland education.

Orrin and Linda Shane

Portland