Energy and enthusiasm are two critical ingredients necessary for the continued growth and success of the ACS. I must applaud the Western region at this time for the tremendous effort and work they are doing on behalf of the ACS. They have hosted and teamed up with other organizations to produce multiple events over the past few months. These activities have resulted in dozens of new memberships, a surging Facebook page and a great deal of conifer camaraderie. Thank you to everyone in the Western region who has made these events possible. And welcome to all of our new ACS members!
It’s 12:30 am as I sit here and compose this column. I must confess I’ve been distracted the past three hours web surfing some of the sections of the ACS new website currently under construction. While the site is still in its development phase but I can already see and appreciate the amount of work that has already gone into it. The Northeast Region’s Sean Callahan has spent much of his spring and summer compiling the text and photos with the help of the various committee chairpersons who have contributed material to make this a content – rich website. Without this teamwork and combined vigor the new ACS website would not be possible.
The Southeastern Region has been blessed with a dynamic member who has led their Reference Garden Program to include and feature 15 gardens on the new site – the most of any Region. Barbie Colvin has done an extraordinary job over the past five years regionally and has volunteered to share her talents and techniques with the other regions to help them launch more Reference Gardens in their areas. The Western Region has just added Quarryhill Botanical Garden to its list. I’m told that the Northeastern Region has three new applications for their program as well. The Reference Garden Program allows the ACS to assist various gardens with their efforts to display conifers to the gardening public. As you know, educating the public about conifers is primary component of the ACS mission.
As President I automatically receive each of the region’s newsletters. I am astounded by the effort and quality of each region’s publication. It started in the Northeast Region some ten years ago by Suzanne Mahoney, who continues as the editor today. Shortly thereafter Maud Henne started to produce a wonderful publication tailored the Southeast Region’s interests. Next came Jerry Belanger with an outstanding publication for the Central Region. In the Western Region they are experimenting with a more frequent e-newsletter approach, which will be lead by Sara Malone. Each of these individuals gives countless hours of their time and talent to enrich your ACS membership. Past issues of the Regional newsletters will be found on the new ACS website for everyone to enjoy and expand their knowledge of the Society beyond their area.
Prior to our National Meeting in August in Mount Kisco, NY, your Board of Directors will gather for its semi annual meeting when your officers and directors bring forth new ideas and programs. Each of these members brings with them projects that they feel will grow and enhance the ACS as it strives to meet its mission. After our meeting I will request that each BOD member reach out and chat with the ACS members present to solicit their ideas and suggestions.
For those members unable to attend the National Meeting the contact information for each BOD member is always found on the final page of this CQ so contact us! When the new web site is launched there will be a Discussion area where the Society’s business will be talked about and where, I hope, you will feel free to hash out your ideas about how to make the ACS better serve your interests.
We need to tap the energy and enthusiasm of each member to grow and strengthen the ACS. Do not be shy, help us invigorate and expand the American Conifer Society.