President's Report, Executive Director's Report, Western Region Reports, Eastern Region Reports, Committee Reports
Call to order, introductions and President's opening remarks - Fred Whitney
Minutes of April 12, 2007- June Walsh
Reports from Officers, Board of Directors, Executive Director and Journal Editor:
Whitney - September 1, 2007
Two items which I want the Board to focus on and
provide information/discussion relate to:
2) Membership initiatives. There have been several ideas floated as to initiatives which might be undertaken to reverse our membership decline and I am intending that Don Smart will have a "committee solution" to this committee which has lapsed into inactivity in recent years. We are not alone as an organization in this membership decline, but we do have some options which are worthy of consideration/pursuit with an active and progressive committee.
An ancillary item which I want discussed is the evaluation of the ARS sponsored meetings. We have not routinely had a process by which the opinions/suggestions of attendees are solicited/collected/assimilated/and distributed; this leaves each sponsoring group with an open item in their "wrap up" for these meetings as well as provides some guidance for hosts of future meetings. Let's come prepared to discuss this open item.
The work which Ted, Werner, Julie and Laura expended in "cleaning up the budget" has certainly resulted in much better visibility of where the ARS is "planning to go" and also brings together the missing elements of the Seed Exchange and the Endowment activities. Now, our task is to insure that the income and expenses get balanced by the appropriate actions on both sides of that balance sheet! I trust all are "making the most of this most unusual year" - plant-wise. I'm sure the jury will be better able to render a verdict on "Mother Nature" next spring when we see the fruits of this year in the blooms we will enjoy!
Past President: Leonard Miller - September 3, 2007
Executive Director: Laura Grant - September 11, 2007
Vireya Rhododendrons, A Guide to Planting & Care:
Rhododendron of the Year postcards and posters:
Internal Revenue Service New Requirement
Fall Census Report
Executive Director's Forum
Action Items from the Last Board meeting
Western Regional Vice President: Don Smart - August 30, 2007
As the new Western VP, I don't have a lot to report. I have contacted the Committee Chairs and the District Directors in the region offering my help in any way I can. I will work to keep these lines of communications open and do the best I can at whatever comes up.
I am involved as the chair of the 2009 ARS Convention in Everett, WA. We have had several planning meetings and a number of the committees are already at work. This convention is being sponsored by all the chapter is the District 2 area.
I have been thinking a lot about the ARS membership issue - declining membership, aging membership and the need for new and younger members to carry on the organization. I would like everyone to consider another side of the membership issue. If the rest of the Society is experiencing what I find in local chapters, 90% of the work is done by 10% of the people. We need to work on ways to get existing members more involved in the activities of the Society. I was really impressed by the letter Dick Murcott wrote this spring about getting members enthused. Also, this summer, our church pastor had a message on "Living Missionally" to attract others. Well, I'll not mix church and state here, but it hit me that Society members need to do the same thing. It's my opinion that organizations in themselves do not attract people, but people attract other people; especially if those people are having fun at something. I saw it at the Cascade Chapter sale this spring. The lady in charge of the sale, Dee Smith, first of all has a gift of gab - she loves to talk. But she also loves gardening and loves rhododendrons and she lets everyone know it. Cascade got 5 new members that weekend. I won't even go into the Florence, OR Rhododendron Festival and how the Siuslaw Chapter gets the whole town involved in their activities during that weekend, but it's amazing. We need to work with our chapters to get that kind of exposure to the public. I also support some new national advertising of the ARS. We should also encourage more advertising at the local level. I have seen this to be very effective. Getting existing members involved is going to be my "soapbox issue". Hopefully new membership will follow.
I have also had a request from one of our DD's, Ron Knight, District 1, to make available evaluations of conventions and conference. This would be used by chapters and districts planning on hosting future events. I know there are probably some "after action" reports that may be available from past conferences and I'll work on getting these. Ron has also suggested it would be good for conference attendees to fill out a evaluation form as they attend. I've been to many conventions where that was done. If the board is interested in following up on that, Ron has volunteered to work with me and whoever else might want to help to develop a format for this evaluation form.
The other item I've working on is an updated ARS Organization chart that will be easily updated as required. I will have that at the meeting for comments and changes.
In the time between now and Cleveland, there is a Fall Western Regional Conference in September, pulled together by the folks in District 4 in a very short period of time. Looking at their agenda, I was very impressed what a group of people can do when they put their minds to it. And who can resist a trip to the Oregon Coast?
Eastern Vice President: Ted Stecki
- August 20, 2007
The GPC lost one of its oldest member in April, Polly Hill. Polly celebrated her 100th birthday in January 2007. Polly will be missed. Her legacy is her donation of her 40 acre estate on Martha's Vineyard to the state of Massachusetts to be used for an arboretum, which is now open to the public. It has been named for her, The Polly Hill Arboretum. When I highlighted Polly's 100th birthday in February, other chapters responded that they also have members over 100 years young who are still active in the chapter. The Society's membership is now at approx. 4,000 down from 5700 in 1997.
The membership committee is looking into ways to get new members from the group of seniors who have retired and moved into smaller homes. Container gardening is being looked at. Although they have left their garden behind when they moved, they still have a love for the genus and growing them in containers will enable them to grow them on decks, porches etc. Also this is a way to get new people involved in the Society when they see their neighbors' plants in bloom etc. This will require some research, finding plants that will grow in containers, be winter hardy in containers and be pleasing to the grower year round. I would suggest that a committee be established to take on this project which would involve developing a list of plants, soil mixes, techniques in growing, fertilizing, maintenance etc. This would be an excellent project for the Society to undertake. The write up could be made available to the AARP to put in their magazine that is sent to the AARP members. I had a member tell me that "Reality" gardening using a web site called 2nd life might entice younger members to join. Also another stated that if we could get children involved, the parents would follow.
The Membership Committee could write an article, and put it in the journal telling the membership about the declining membership and ask for ideas. We can't just sit back and wish for new members to join. We must be proactive and come up with new ideas.
Treasurer: Bill Mangels - September 1, 2007
The Seed Exchange accounting has improved over the last twelve months. Werner Brack is now a co chair of the Seed Exchange Committee and has focused on improving accounting procedures. The Seed exchange had been carrying several thousand dollars in account receivables dating from 2005 and this situation has improved. However there should be policy or an arrangement where delinquent purchasers shouldn't be allowed to continue to order more seed.
At this past spring Board meeting in San Francisco the Seed Exchange Policy 9.12 was significantly revised. In haste to approve these changes the Board jeopardized the non-profit status of the Society. This was done when we allow "...all income received shall be employed to further committee purposes". The Seed Exchange in effect acts as a separate entity to the Board. This view is supported in an August 9, 2007 email to Don Smart and to Society officers by Julianne Rizzo that follows. This was in response to Don's question regarding surplus Seed Exchange funds.
From an accounting standpoint, anything not needed for daily operations would be considered surplus (less, perhaps a small stash for 'just in case' circumstances). The budget should already have any and all expenses expected to be incurred. Don't forget that there will be income to offset those budgeted expenses (I have always preferred a budget which shows a goal for income as well as expenses).
For the question of who determines what is surplus, the ultimate answer would be the board of directors (upon consultation with the committee). Unfortunately, you have great number of people involved that believe that the SE is and should be considered a separate entity. It is not. It is not even a separate fund. It is and always has been - at least for organizational and accounting purposes - part of the general fund. This subject of handling Seed Exchange funds needs to be revisited by the Board.
Secretary: June Walsh - August 6, 2007
Journal Editor: Sonja Nelson- August 21, 2007
The new hardware and software I purchased:
I have already been reimbursed for the grand total. I especially thank Fred, Ted and Laura for their quick response.
2. Although our membership may be declining, the members we do have continue their amazing output of articles and photos for the journal, so the flow of articles remains constant.
3. Advertising, however, is at low ebb. I encourage you to consider buying from our faithful advertisers whenever the urge hits.
WESTERN REGIONAL REPORTS:
After the financial report was presented, it was decided that District 1 will not send a delegate to the fall BOD meeting in Cleveland because of budget constraints. However, subsidy money has been allocated for the Director or Alternate to attend the Tulsa and Hilo BOD meetings in 2008.
Garth Wedemire is doing a fabulous job of administering the District 1 website at www.rhodos.ca. He has recently included a list of District 1 Bronze Medallion winners. Another excellent innovation is a screen that allows direct access to all nine chapter newsletters. District 1 presidents requested that Garth set up a chat room on the website so that Chapter executive members can discuss issues. A second request was that he publish a photo of the District 1 presidents and vice presidents which was taken at the August meeting. In addition, the group would like to have chapter newsletter editors send articles of general interest to Garth for inclusion on the website.
Rhododendron Species Workshops: Art Lightburn's committee on Vancouver Island is analyzing results from a questionnaire they distributed. There is definitely interest in the workshops and they will report back again in March. On the mainland, plans have been finalized and 4 workshops will be offered next spring at UBC Botanical Garden with Douglas Justice teaching and Ron Knight coordinating. An advertising flyer will be sent to all chapters in August and registration packages will be emailed in November. (This flyer may be viewed on the District 1 website at: www.rhodos.ca)
Mount Elphinstone R. macrophyllum grove: Ron Knight attended a meeting of the Sechelt Community Forest committee in March. Their minutes show they are committed to protecting the grove from logging and damage by the public. Eight committee members participated in a field trip to the grove in early June. An article about the protection of these plants was sent to a local newspaper. Dean Goard has raised over 100 seedlings which will be available to chapters who are willing to make yearly reports on garden testing. In 2009, some seedlings will be planted in an already-protected and remote area of the Sechelt Community Forest, hopefully to form a satellite population. Ron has sent an article about the Mount Elphinstone grove to the ARS Journal editor.
Lofthouse Rhododendrons at Government House in Victoria: We are planning to get a specimen or two into the Government House garden in memory of Jack Lofthouse.
A question was raised about the possibility of omitting one District 1 meeting each year and just communicating by email. Five people responded that the two face-to-face meetings were very beneficial and Ron Knight added that the ARS Bylaws compelled Directors to call regular meetings and to provide reports to the spring and autumn ARS board meetings.
A sample ROY card was passed around and presidents reminded to order them from the ARS office. Each chapter should send in ROY nominations next spring, taken from their lists of Proven Performers. The 2 chapter presidents who have not sent the ARS office a list of Proven Performers were asked to consider contacting other presidents to find out what process was used to identify the listed rhododendrons.
Great Plant Picks posters and brochures were distributed to each chapter. These materials are free each year and may be ordered through their website at: www.greatplantpicks.org.
The meeting broke into three discussion groups during the afternoon: How to encourage new members in the first 2 months (Ingeborg Woodsworth); What we need from the ARS so we can better sell the idea of ARS membership (Joanne Ronsley); Speaker topics that appeal to new members (Art Lightburn). The suggestions from Joanne's group have been sent to the ARS president for his comments.
In general, ARS District 1 is thriving under the leadership of enthusiastic and very competent presidents and executive members.
District 2 Director: Bill Stipe - August 26, 2007
Our district, like so many others, is facing the challenge of maintaining existing membership and recruiting new members. Some ideas that have been suggested; advertising in local and national publications, reduced or subsidized membership dues for students or first time members, participation in garden tours open to the public. Young families have so many other activities that compete for their time; we need to make our programs more relevant to younger participants. Meerkerk Gardens has a program that invites local grade schools to participate in a "Botany Adventure". The kids and teachers go away with a better knowledge of gardening and rhododendrons in particular.
District 2 is deeply involved in planning the 2009 ARS Convention in Everett Washington. All chapters are participating and it looks like we will have a good convention.
We believe our District has the ideal growing conditions for Rhododendron; after all we have three native species that grow wild here, albiflorum, groenlandicum, and macrophyllum. We also boast many gardens that feature rhododendrons; The Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden, Meerkerk Rhododendron Garden, The Edward Dunn Garden, just to name a few. Many ARS members gardens are also exceptional and will be on tour for the convention.
The Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden (RSBG) continues to draw visitors from around the world to the gardens. Their fall plant distribution list of rare species rhododendrons contains many plants that are not available anywhere else. T heir 2007 yearbook sent to all RSBG members paid tribute to Warren Berg, a dedicated rhododendron collector and grower.
The Meerkerk Garden has improved the entrance by construction of a new gate house, inspired by the pepper pot style building in the Secret Gardens of Highgrove, Prince Charles, Garden in England. They are continuing to work on their signage project and expect to have it complete by year end.
All of the chapters have updated their proven performers list and made them available to growers and nurseries. Our local hybridizers, Jim Barlup, Frank Fujioka, and Bill Stipe are continuing to release their new introductions. We expect many of these new hybrids to end up on the proven performers list in the near future.
District 3 Director: Don Powell - September 3, 2007
One such meeting took place on March 20th at Homestead Park in University Place, WA. It was a joint meeting of the Peninsula and Tacoma Chapters. Homestead Park contains a stately stand of Douglas fir. A large part of this open forest is being developed into a woodland Rhododendron park through the hard work and dedication of many people within the Peninsula Chapter and numerous community organizations.
Quoting from the Peninsula Chapter's April newsletter: "The final number of guests was 86, almost a full house. Harold Greer, the featured speaker, gave a very good presentation of color in the garden throughout the year. As usual, Harold's photography was excellent. Gary Becker received a surprise award by the City of University Place for his contributions to Homestead Park. It was a surprise and much appreciated. For those that had not seen Homestead Park, it was an opportunity to visit this public space dedicated to Rhododendrons which was built with community volunteers. It should be a place of enjoyment for years to come."
And quoting from the Tacoma Chapter's May newsletter: "Our joint March meeting with the Peninsula Chapter held at University Place City Hall, almost turned into a District meeting. The Olympia and Shelton Chapters were represented; the Mayor and most of the City Council made an appearance, and Doris Briggs and Marge Badger were also spotted in the audience. The Friends of Homestead Park put on a free, very delicious buffet style dinner complete with dessert. A brief history of the park was given and a bronze plaque was unveiled in honor of Dr. Gary Becker's commitment and perseverance in the establishment of Homestead Park. Dr. Becker gave a short speech and was very touched by the recognition . Speaker Harold Greer amazed us with a brand new program he put together for our meeting. The program was a hit with all who were there and many of us found different ways to display plants with odd colored bark and leaves as well as flowers." A great venue, a world class speaker, tasty food and new and renewed acquaintances are great ingredients for building the ARS. The Homestead Park evening was like a mini-convention but without huge logistics.
We learned a tough lesson regarding the importance of communication within the society. One of our chapter's increasing unpaid balance with ARS largely resulted from the continuing insurance coverage. With good intentions the Society kept renewing the coverage, but apparently the chapter didn't keep up to date by viewing its account through OARS. Laura stated she had "continued the same practice that Dee implemented. All chapters are notified and if they do not wish to have insurance, they have to let me know by a set date or they are automatically renewed. This works well with most chapters". However to avoid this situation Fred has directed that unless a chapter "opts in", they are not a part of the ARS umbrella insurance. This has its own set of dangers, but either way, clear two-way communication is essential.
Dan Meier, Alternate District Director, will represent District 3 at the board meeting and attend the ARS Fall Regional Conference October 12–14 in Eastlake, Ohio. I will attend the 27th Western Regional Rhododendron Conference sponsored by District 4 September 21-23 in Newport, Oregon.
District 4 Director: Anne Gross - September 1, 2007
For the first time, the Willamette chapter held their truss show at the Friends of Bush Garden plant sale. There was much better attendance than at the old venue. This summer, several chapter members took a hike to Rhody Lake. Willamette chapter members continue to do the routine maintenance at the Cecil & Molly Smith garden. Portland and Tualatin Valley chapter members helped out at the spring work party at the garden. The Tualatin Valley chapter also helps to maintain the Jenkins Estate garden. The chapter will also be involved in plantings of a rhododendron species garden at a park in Hillsboro. The Portland chapter continues it's involvement with Crystal Springs Park, doing maintenance, working on projects & raising funds. The early and Mother's Day plant sales grossed over $25,000. A circular stairway near a waterfall in the park is planned, awaiting final approval from the city. A test garden of 39 Encore hybrid azaleas from Alabama is being established to determine the hardiness of these plants, which bloom several times a season.
We are looking forward to hosting the 2007 Western Regional conference on the coast in Newport, Oregon. This will be the fourth time in seven years that we have put on the conference. We had very short notice, but, thanks primarily to Harold Greer and Mike Stewart we've put together a great lineup of 21 speakers. As usual, there will be a variety of plants, not just rhodies, available at the plant sale.
District 5 Director: Paul Anderson - August 30, 2007
ARS District 5 was honored to be host for the April '07 Annual ARS convention in S. San Francisco. The planning and leadership for the convention was expertly conducted by Tim and June Walsh of the Eureka chapter. We also had excellent participation from the four host chapters - Cal, Noyo, Eureka, and De Anza. We appreciated having talented volunteers take on the responsibilities for the success of the convention.
The convention was a good success in having three days of garden tours and having
gardens mostly in peak bloom, a good attendance, a large plant sale, silent
auction, and was successful financially due to careful planning. The proceeds
from the convention have been distributed as follows:
ARS - $1200 - general fund,
$ 400 - endowment fund,
$ 200 - research foundation
Reports from chapters include:
Monterey Bay Chapter - They held a plant sale on May 12 at Cabrillo College and sold all of the plants except the 5 gal size and most of these were sold by the end of their May meeting.
California Chapter - are having continuing efforts to improve the rhododendron display garden at the Lakeside Garden Center in Oakland.
Noyo Chapter - The Noyo chapter had a successful flower show in May with 649 entries. This was down from their 724 entries in '06 but more than entries in previous years of '05, '04, '03, '02, '01, and '00. The Noyo chapter is pleased to have one of their members, Peter Schick, receive the ARS Gold medal at the '07 convention. Peter joins 2 others from the Noyo chapter who have received ARS awards - Paul Bowman - a gold medal in 1968 (first person in District 5 to receive a gold award) and Eleanor Philp, a silver medal in 2002. Peter also was honored on April 17 to have the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens dedicate their Rhododendron Tender Species Garden to Peter. The May 3rd issue of the Fort Bragg Advocate News had an extensive article detailing both of these honors.
Eureka Chapter - Dee Daneri has been spending time in Puerto Vallarta Mexico and has joined their Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden. She has been promoting a Puerto Vallarta Vireya Garden that could be a sister garden from the Hawaii Chapter's Hilo garden. Both Puerto Vallarta and Hilo are on the same latitude.
The Eureka Chapter has also been working on the Plant Selection committee for the Humboldt Botanical Garden's Temperate Woodland Garden (TWG). The TWG has received two ARS Endowment Fund awards to collect tender species rhododendrons for its collection. The plants are mostly being sourced from the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden.
De Anza Chapter - Nan Ray has been working with the San Francisco Botanic Garden Society in upgrading the Rhododendron Garden there. In the recent fall newsletter the "Leaflet" of the SF Botanical Garden Society, Michael McKechnie, executive director of the society reports, "The Rhododendron garden has been under construction and looks beautiful. The so-called Monastery Stones have been shaped by master stonemasons into a wonderful structure. Planting of our unique collection is proceeding with some advice from the Steve Hootman and Rhododendron Species Foundation".
District 5 is planning to have an active and informative year with assisting chapters in support of their needs. We have received a kind welcome from our Western Regional Director - Don Smart, and look forward to having his assistance when needed. We are placing his name on the e-mailing address of our chapter newsletters.
EASTERN REGIONAL REPORTS:
Massachusetts Chapter continues to have Plants for Members program throughout
the summer, which has been hot and dry.
2010 Convention Update
District 8 Director: Karel Bernady - August 31, 2007
The Valley Forge Chapter hosted in August at the garden of Will Smith the District's Annual Cutting Exchange and Plant Auction. In attendance on a very welcomed rainy afternoon were fifty members, mostly under the protection of a tent, from the district and chapters beyond. Gold Medal awardee, Hank Schannen, skillfully auctioned off member-donated plants. The Valley Forge Chapter will donate the proceeds equally to the Endowment Fund and the ARS Research Foundation.
The Valley Forge and Greater Philadelphia Chapters continue to participate in an effort by Tyler Arboretum to improve the John C. Wister Rhododendron Collection. Jim Willhite of the Valley Forge Chapter has organized the gathering of cuttings for propagation of plants originally in the Collection but now gone. The Plants for Members (P4M) Program of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter in October struck cuttings of thirty cultivars, for which only a single specimen exists at the arboretum. The rooted cuttings were potted up by ARS members and Tyler Arboretum staff and grown on over the summer. Plants have been reserved for the arboretum's Collection and the excess will be distributed to members through the P4M Program. The ARS awarded a grant to Tyler Arboretum in 2006 towards this propagation effort.
During the reporting period the Greater Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley and Valley Forge Chapters all held Plant Sales. Truss Shows, open to the public, were set up by the Susquehanna Valley, Valley Forge, and Greater Philadelphia Chapters. In March, the Susquehanna Valley Chapter participated with its information booth in the York Flower Show. Also in March the Greater Philadelphia Chapter had its exhibit, "Perfect Together," at the Philadelphia Flower Show. The display featured a monochromatic theme. All plants were white in flower, which drew numerous compliments.
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Polly Hill in April. Polly celebrated her 100th birthday on January 30th. She was well known for the extraordinary arboretum she started on the island of Martha's Vineyard and her many plant introductions. The ARS awarded its Gold Medal to Polly in 1990.
The district celebrates two milestones in this year. The Greater Philadelphia Chapter observed at its Annual Banquet in April the Golden Anniversary of its founding in November 1957. The Valley Forge Chapter will commemorate at its Annual Banquet in November the fortieth anniversary of its beginning in May 1967.
District 9 Director: Kenneth McDonald, Jr.
- August 28, 2007
I have made several written reports and telephone calls to the chapters' presidents, vice presidents, newsletter editors and membership chairs. We have been working up Chapter Awards lists for OARS which Laura should receive by the BOD meeting. Our chapters seem to be doing well membership wise, but it is touch and go. Middle Atlantic is giving a gift membership to garden tour hosts. At least one has renewed on their own. Mason-Dixon is using flower shows and garden centers for membership promotion and public education, and has quite a list of new members--see Summer JARS. Potomac Valley says they are "holding their own" and are doing a lot of work at the Margaret White Garden. All of the chapters seem to be concerned about conserving chapter resources and budgeting money to projects that most likely will help retain and increase membership.
We still hope that a student membership category can be established. Suggested criteria are: botany, biology, horticulture or related scientific field , at an accredited college or university, age under 25 and for no more than 5 years. Dues could be $24 with $6 to the recruiting chapter. If the category is established should there be any limit on number of such memberships per chapter?
Regarding Sponsoring and Sustaining memberships: Could the chapters retain a larger portion of these dues as an incentive to recruit or upgrade existing members?
A MAC member, Merl Aitken died in Feb. There was no mention of this in the Spring or Summer JARS; although unspecified Endowment fund chapter memorial donations appeared. Who is responsible for communicating this information to the Journal Editor? Also, I see nothing about Thais Spencer- PVC dying this year.
Helen Myers is the new Mason-Dixon President. This was not updated in the Summer JARS.
It has been mentioned that there is no way to recognize writers who have made substantial voluntary contributions of articles and photographs for the Journal. Many of these authors are ‘off shore' non chapter members. Is there a way to award Bronze medals or other suitable recognition? (Award of Merit or Service Citation).
Laura Grant sent copies of the ARS insurance policy to me and Ray Doggett of MAC. He is working with her on it.
As traveling becomes more expensive and difficult, I am concerned for future Directors and the Society as to how the Fall Board meetings are being scheduled. During my 3 year term only 1 of 6 BOD meetings will occur east of the Mississippi River. If the Fall meeting could be scheduled on the same coast (E or W) as the preceding Spring meeting rather than the Fall ahead of the Spring meeting, it would create a better chance of a 3 & 3 balance.
As our ARS membership has declined from almost 6000 to just over 4000; do we still need 13 Directors and 12 Districts? The present alignment seems good and has worked well, but is it now time to review it?
District 10 Director: David Royster - September 10, 2007
District 11 Director: John Heinze - August 28, 2007
MIDWEST: Recently had an outing in southern Wisconsin to visit gardens of members. A great time was had by a good turnout of members. The chapter had a cutting workshop at members' gardens and the cuttings will be rooted by the Woodlands Nursery. A Bronze Medal was awarded to Tom Horner. The Chapters are Finalizing plans for their part in the Fall Conference in Cleveland. Website address is: www.midwestars.org.
GREAT LAKES: Meeting held in Granville Ohio at member Jill Griesse's home. Members were invited for swimming, fishing, hiking, and viewing her husband's collection of old time cars. Evening dinner was a pig roast enjoyed by all. New officers took the reins at this meeting. Plans for the Fall Conference were discussed and reviewed.
ANN ARBOR: Big plant sale of 360 rhodos was held at member Janice Grichor's home. All plant sold and plans for next year were made. Talk of having a bus load of the faithful to come to Cleveland is in progress.
District 12 Director: Peter Neubauer - No report
Director at Large: Garth Wedemire - No report
Note: Wing Fong will show one of the programs from the Program Library and give his report after the District Directors' reports. You will find his written report below in Program Library.
I have also sent a large collection of CDs containing scanned slides of Britt Smith. The scanning of the slides was done by Bob Dunning. Fred Whitney has been working on getting the actual slides to the Manuscripts Collection. This project is a work in process so nothing shows up online in the library records yet.
The library did accept a good number of books from the library of Harry Wise,
but they are not in the Manuscripts Collection, but rather in the library. Over
the years, with gifts from ARS members and purchases from its own rhododendron
fund, the library has amassed a fairly comprehensive collection of books and
journals about rhododendrons and azaleas. But Harry Wise had some esoteric
titles not in the collection, and the addition of these makes the collection at U.
Va. even more comprehensive.
Committee: Jeanne Hammer, Kendon Stubbs, David Lay, Sandra McDonald
Azalea: Peg Van Patten - September 6, 2007
In mid-June, rooted cuttings of our test group were sent to John Weagle in Nova Scotia, Dr. Dave Lewis in Vermont, John and Sally Perkins in New Hampshire, Shirley and Allan Anderson in northern New Jersey, and John Doppel in hilly central Pennsylvania.
Several growing seasons, of course, will be needed to complete our study. During this time, our participants will be asked to regularly report on results, and asked to photograph plants.
On another matter, the Chair has asked Princeton ARS member, Ellie Gural, to allow us to reprint her recently published article in American Nurseryman on the subject of mealy bugs, the damage they inflict on azaleas, and methods of treatment - to which she has agreed.
Budget & Finance: Ted Stecki - August 20, 2007
The data that has been used in the past is included in this package for
you to have for reference and information on past budgets. It is broken out as
NOTE: Actuals for FY 06-07 will be available at the BODs meeting in October. The Accountant has to certify the financials for the Society for the FY ending 31 August before they can be given out.
FY 04-05 Actuals 9/1/04 – 8/31/05
FY 05-06 Actuals 9/1/05 – 8/31/06
FY 06 - 07 6 Month Actuals 9/1/06 – 2/28/07
FY 07 – 08 INCOME BUDGET RECOMMENDED
FY 07-08 INCOME BUDGET PLANNED TOTAL: $ 185,056.00
ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ( EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR – ED )
Bylaws & Policies: Vacant
Digital Publications: Bob Weissman - September 4, 2007
The DLA continues to be willing to provide electronic archiving services to the ARS. The last several months we have had discussions with the DLA concerning formatting of content and what content is appropriate for inclusion in the electronic archive. These issues have, for the most part, now been decided. In the words of Gail McMillan, Director of the DLA, "Thanks for the opportunity to provide this attractive, informative, and very appropriate title at Virginia Tech's DLA."
Electronic Media: Bob Weissman - September 4, 2007
Several new web ads were added to the web site for members with commercial category membership. The commercial web ads are very frequently viewed by web site visitors and are an excellent, low-cost way for commercial businesses to advertise to a targeted audience. Many ARS commercial members do not take advantage of this great marketing opportunity. Directors should encourage current commercial members to participate and also sign-up local nurseries and growers to become commercial members of the ARS. All that is needed is a short description of the desired ad content. The web committee will prepare a draft design for review and approval by the commercial member. The process is easy and no web knowledge or computer expertise is required!
Work is mostly completed on web pages for the 2008 Rhododendron of the Year (ROY) awards. Content at the public web site will be released later in the year. Descriptions along with a photograph are provided for each awardee plant. A media press release and high-resolution photos will be available at the OARS web.
Editorial: Sandra McDonald - August 24, 2007
Electronic Newsletter: Marty Anderson - August 21, 2007
Exciting, too, more members are in the 21st Century, have computers, and can print out their own copy! This saves the chapter considerable money for mailing. It appears all chapters are equipped for e-mail!
Website count remains same. According to my count, we have 68 chapters and most pleased to report 44 of these chapters have web sites.
Scheduled meetings; it was a surprise to find the favorite meeting time for chapters is…Thursday evening! It is often said more people would come on a Saturday or a Sunday…not so…not so. If you have a question of which night might be the best one, look at this summary. Thursday 19 chapters, Monday 4 chapters, Tuesday 9 chapters, Saturday 2 chapters, Wednesday 9 chapters, Sunday 6 chapters, Change date often, no established date 18 chapters.
More and more chapters are creating links one to another and sharing their marvelous articles. There is a strong support of authors and a willingness on their part to have their labors of writing appear in another chapter's newsletter. To me…it is called the best of ARS teamwork! And is just what we want. Encourage your members to go into the ARS websites and take a look at others. Try it…you will like it!
I again appeal for individual stories. I know many of you are very gifted writers and like to share your personal experiences with your local chapter and friends. It would be admirable to share this information with friends around the world. Do submit your article, poem, personal thoughts and it will be given very special attention. Credit attributions are duly enforced!
Bob Weissman deserves a tip of my hat for the marvelous leadership Bob gives me and the ARS through his dedication, his outstanding technical knowledge, and a long-range vision for the future. He has done the most fantastic job of making the ARS site one of the very best! We appreciate you, Bob.
Personal thanks for the privilege of being the editor of R&A News.
Endowment: Jeff Cheyne and Bill Mangels, co-chairs - September 1, 2007
The Endowment Fund Committee appreciates the thoughtfulness of members, chapters and friends for their contributions. These gifts show interest and confidence in the Board's handling of the grant program. As of this writing (8/25/07) the Fund has a balance of $672,032. The endowment fund advertisement located on the inside of the Journal wrapper has been freshened up and includes a form for making contributions.
Honors: Dee Daneri - August 19, 2007
District Directors are reminded to have proposers compile from 8-12 letters for a nominee and present them to you with a cover letter giving the names and contact information for all of the seconding letters. You are then asked to add your own letter and forward them to me as a packet before November 15.
The Honors Committee reviewed the polices concerning Regional citations - silver, and International citations - gold; the majority concluded that global contributions to our mission carry greater weight than regional contributions, and would like to see the medal presentations return to traditional protocol with silver medals awarded first, followed by gold at the annual banquet. If the board wishes to determine that the two awards have equal merit, we suggest the policies be expanded to include this.
Long Range Planning - inactive
Membership: Mike Bones - No Report
Nominations: Mike Stewart - September 11, 2007
Plant Awards: Ray Smith and Ed Reiley, co-chairs - August 30, 2007
As mentioned in our report for the spring meeting, we are still lacking selections from several regions for the 2009 awards, as well as coordinators for the Northeast and Southeast. Between now and the board meeting, contacts will be made with the representatives and district directors concerned to try to get these selections in and the positions filled.
Our thanks to everyone who has helped with the ROY program.
Program Library: Wing Fong - August 21, 2007
The above figures indicate that ARS chapters and their members are barely using the Program Library. Here are a few reasons why we believe this is the case:
1. The PL DVD program is very new.
What can the PL Committee do to improve the situation?
1. We have to reach out to some of our knowledgeable
talented members for them to help create and donate DVD/CD programs to the ARSPL. We
believe this is crucial for the ARSPL to be successful. We will be sending one of our DVDs along
with a letter that explains our mission and ask such members to participate in
the ARSPL program.
We have purchased a DVD Duplicator for the ARSPL. Duplicating DVD/CDs is not a
problem now. There is one more piece of equipment that is needed to give the
Program Library more versatility. A digital voice recorder that we can mail to
members interested in helping with programs such as on their hybridizing, their
garden, rhododendron propagating, controlling pests, etc. They can record their
thoughts, advice, narration, etc. and return the recorder and recording to us. With
their photographs and voice recording we can create the DVDs. An actual
personal voice accompanying the DVD would enhance the program.
Public Education: Harold Greer - No Report
Publicity & Public Relations: Jerry Reynolds - August 28, 2007
A few weeks ago I exchanged e-mail with the publicity chair for the Western Regional Conference to provide some suggestions for the best way to promote that event.
I will be following up on an idea, originally suggested by Tadeusz Dauksaz of the Midwest Chapter, involving membership recruitment among the retiring boomer generation. I have had some e-mail conversation with the Executive Director Laura Grant, Western Regional Vice President Don Smart and Eastern Regional Vice President Ted Stecki. The proposal involves advertising in AARP publications and suggesting some ideas for rhododendron related stories in the AARP Magazine garden section.
As chapters gear up for the new year, I would again like to remind the District Directors that I would like to receive copies of any newspaper or magazine article mentioning the ARS or ARS chapter activities and events. Since the "clipping" is best done at the Chapter level, perhaps the District Directors can remind Chapter presidents and newsletter editors. I prefer actual clippings or copies, mailed to me at 1220 E. California Ave., Arcata, CA 95521-5241.
Registrar of Plant Names: Jay Murray - August 27, 2007
During this period the estimated expense incurred supporting the ARS is $250 ($50 for supplies and postage and $200 to replace a monitor). No reimbursement will be requested.
Research Committee: Dr. Harold Sweetman - August 31, 2007
The Committee convened at the 2007 Convention in San Francisco CA on Friday, April 13, 2007 to review the proposals. Five proposals were received for the 2007 grant funding cycle. The Chair received nine completed evaluation forms from committee members, which were summarized in table format. The four committee members present reviewed each of the proposals and their ranking for probability of success, value to society members, and overall ranking. The committee members present were in agreement with the overall evaluation summary.
Trustees of the Research Foundation confirmed that $15,000 in potential research
funding was available for this year.
The Research Committee recommended that the Research Foundation of the American
Rhododendron Society provide funding for the following three proposals:
Summary of Proposal
#07-2 Rhododendron Decline of the Southern Appalachian Mountains: Holistic Study of Biotic and Abiotic Factors Compared Between Healthy and Declining Stands, William D. Starrett, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MI - $5,000
Summary of Proposal
#07-3 Breeding Polyploid Rhododendrons and Azaleas, Thomas Ranney, Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, Fletcher, NC - $5,000
Summary of Proposal
The goal is to develop improved methods of inducing polyploidy. Pollen germination and viability will be tested in ‘Nova Zembla' (2x) vs."Super Nova (4x); ‘The Honorable Jean Marie Montague' (2x) vs. ‘Briggs Red Star' (4x); ‘Vulcan' (2x) vs. ‘Vulcan Tetraploid' (4x) and six other cultivars will also be assessed.
Initial studies revealed that polyploidy has been found to be more prevalent in
Rhododendron than previously thought. One of the significant expected outcomes
of this research is the development of an extensive and informative database on ploidy level
and genome size of diverse species, clones and cultivars of Rhododendron.
Resource Development: Mary Parker - September 8, 2007
Rhododendron Database: Forrest Bump, MD and Jeff Cheyne
- September 11, 2007
Dear Mr Cheyne,
I thought you would like to be aware that I can now confirm that the Society is currently in the process of drawing up licensing agreements relevant to our various International Register databases. We just need to ensure that the details are in order before we make an offer to the ARS in relation to the International Rhododendron Register and Checklist. Can I assure you that the matter is under active consideration and I will be in contact again as soon as I have some concrete results to report to you.
At this point we can't speculate about the details offered from the RHS. As details develop from the RHS we will be in close contact with the president of the ARS. In conclusion, we are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to establish a workable license agreement with the RHS.
Members of the Database Committee:
April 5, 2007
Dr Alan C. Leslie
Dear Dr. Leslie:
The name of the project is Rhododendron On-line Display and Information Exchange
System; hence, the acronym "RhODIES." The RhODIES Project is designed as a
comprehensive, genealogical-oriented research system for genus Rhododendron,
both species and hybrids, and it will be operated as part of the floraGRAPHICS
software that Mr. Petit has developed.
AMERICAN RHODODENDRON DATABASE COMMITTEE
The active database members have been working on this project for nearly four
years. We are now ready to move forward with the data collection and we hope
that we can form a productive working relationship with the RHS in this matter.
We look forward to working with the RHS and their database staff to establish a
data-sharing relationship to the advantage of both Societies.
Seed Exchange: John Nicolella and Werner Brack - September 5, 2007
The potential species seed will be from areas not collected in for some time and thus will be of great benefit to the Exchange and its customers. The Seed Committee will also inform the collectors of the 'wish list' of seed that we have generated. Hopefully conditions in China and Taiwan have been conducive to seed set.
2. The pollen-to-seed program initiated last fall has, as of the end of June, resulted in just under $400 in purchases from the Rhododendron Species Foundation. The program remains open and pollen is still being ordered by our donors. We do not have the final figures for 2007 we are obligating $2,000 for 2008 which we feel is more than adequate to cover demand for pollen. The Committee views the pollen program as an import step in support of primary and complex hybridizing efforts of our donors. The emphasis on wild collected species seed coupled with the pollen program in conjunction with RSF should have a significant positive impact on hybrid seed availability. The Committee will evaluate any proposals or ideas submitted to it which will further support new garden hybrids and hybridizers such as support of public collections of well known hybridizers.
3. We had unexpected failure of the hard drive in the Exchange computer. Servicing did not satisfactorily resolve the problem thus a new computer was purchased. The new PC does not have all the necessary software (Word and Excel) and if we are not able to recover it from back up discs from the old PC we will need to acquire new software. The Seed Committee has taken note of the fact that the Board Policy for the Seed Committee has just been posted on the ARS website. We anticipate no problems working under the new policy wording. Werner Brack, as co-Chairman for financial matters, has adjusted the budget and financial statement to reserve adequate funds for unexpected expenses such as PC failure. The Seed Committee is trying to keep seed prices as low as possible and is considering possible pricing structures to fully meet the operating expenses and generate some profit. In 2008 we do not anticipate any profits to rebuild the reserve fund to its former level of over $35,000 as seed sales have been rather lean the past several years and in any event it is time to spend down the retained profits by investing in the future seed availability for the Exchange of seed types which experience shows are in most demand namely wild collected species seed. This is not to say that we intend to discourage primary or complex hybrid cross donations and we hope to find additional ways to invest in their improvement as discussed in paragraph 2 above.
4. The budget presented for 2008 for approval which follows the format used for the 2007 budget and which is based on actual experience from 2007 will be fine tuned by the committee as more details become know to us relating to expedition funding and audit costs. The Seed Committee will finalize the seed pricing before the 2008 catalog is released electronically so as to have a high probability that income from seed sales will be adequate to cover our recurring operating costs. The non-recurring costs of the pollen-to-seed program and the funding of expeditions will come from the retained profits. See the attachment for the proposed budget for 2008.
B. Other Matters:
We are aware that the BOD has provided funding to a federal agency for the purchase of mowing equipment to keep certain balds in North Carolina free of encroaching vegetation. We hope to build on this existing relationship to obtain legal authority to collect seed.
The availability of seed is believed to be a sound part of any program to preserve plants in the wild by providing people a sound alternate manner to obtain desirable plants. We will also investigate the possibility of including in any permit the limited propagation of selected wild specimens through the collection of cuttings by qualified personnel who have expertise in native rhododendrons.
The intent is to have superior quality plants available for selective breeding, distribution to commercial sources for bulk propagation, and provision of seed to ARS membership.
2. Wish List of Rhododendron Seeds:
Most of the wishes received are on the list. Some have been deleted since they have been offered on this year's list, or have been on the seed list more than one time over the last five years. Maybe a shorter list would be more effective, but I feel that the list now shows members thoughts and dreams for their gardens in the future. It also tells us how important the seed distribution is and how it can be improved to the benefit of our own members.
We now hope that the collectors and growers with large collections among us go through their plant lists and ask themselves if they can support some of these species seeds in the future. Even one new name on the seed list will be greatly appreciated by someone who has been searching for that species for years.
Long-time growers often do not realize the difficulty newer members have in obtaining particular plants. There is also a need to insure that we are providing true seed and not seed of hybrids that are not true to the wild populations. This is where the Seed Committee sponsorship of expeditions becomes important.
You can read about the subject in "Success with Rhododendrons and Azaleas" by H. Edward Reiley and in "The Cultivation of Rhododendrons" by Peter Cox.
Several Societies and local groups have excellent information on their website as well.
The member's wishes for the future seed lists are available upon request.
American Rhododendron Society
* these items are for funding
a collecting expedition to Taiwan by Philip Mac
Before reaching a decision on this matter, we would remind the Board that there is a second component to the Flower Show and Judging resource, that essentially links those looking for information and help with Flower Shows, with willing volunteers from nearby Chapters. In this connection, we can report that not a single inquiry or request for help has been received since the announcement of the program in the Journal some time ago. While various conclusions can be drawn from this experience, it may suggest that there is little, if any, demand for a program of this type at Society level, with or without published guidelines.
Speakers Bureau: Bill Stipe - August 26, 2007
Test & Display Gardens: Ron Mapes - No Report
New and Ongoing Action Items:
Items added at April 2007 meeting: