Tuesday, December 16, 2008

NARGS national going electronic

From Dick Bartlett, NARGS President:

We all know the current times are difficult right now and changes have to be made. We in the leadership of NARGS know making changes are hard when we have been doing things the same way for many, many years. If you think about it, and many of us have, the most influential change in our lives has come about because of the Internet. It is very important for all of us to realize, if we want our Society to survive and grow, it will be because the younger generation has shown us how to use the Internet. For us older people, and I am one of them, we must adapt to it to be current. We also need to pay close attention to announcements concerning the electronic changes to our Society.

An example of these electronic changes was a valuable announcement mentioned on the inside front cover of the Fall Quarterly effecting how we will be replacing inserts. Jane McGary, the Quarterly editor, very distinctly explained the reasons for the changes which comes down to the normal bottom line of cost. If we fail to pay attention to these significant notices we will possibly miss out on our favorite features such as the Seed Exchange. In the Fall Quarterly, there is an electronic change in the Seed Exchange mentioned on page 242. "NARGS Seed List will not be mailed out to all members this year." For further details read your Quarterly or look at "Seeds" on the NARGS website. In other words, the seed list will be on the Internet.

Likewise, there is a different procedure for learning about our upcoming meetings and applications for registration. On pages 309 to 312 of the Quarterly are the announcement and forms for attending "Some Like it Hot!" This is the January 30-February 1, 2009 Eastern Winter Study Weekend held in Reston, VA. The NARGS website also has information on this meeting. As you can see, these pages replace the old color inserts. On the following pages are the same sort of announcement and forms for the Western Winter Study Weekend hosted by the Columbia-Willamette Chapter. "Revitalizing the Rock Garden" is the title of this meeting held in Portland, OR on March 13-15. And it will also be our annual business meeting so it should be an important one.

As President, I cannot take all this space up in giving you all the details about how these changes work or just why we must do them. The important point is that I let you know that they are here or soon to come about. This Extra President column is one example of only many changes we must adjust to. The chapter Chairs and Editors have been informed about the President column on the website and that in about 45 days there should be an additional one. It is hoped the Chairs pass the word about these announcements on to the membership, and that the Editors publish them in their newsletters. But if we are going to bring about these changes smoothly, it is important that everyone spreads the word by mouth. Talk about these alterations with your fellow chapter members. Tell your gardening friends and neighbors about our NARGS website.

I am pleased to announce we are making great progress on a new NARGS website, and hope it will be operational shortly after the end of March. We have a "pre-prototype" at http://planethugh.com for people to view. There will be a lot of text to be filled in, but as can be seen we will be able to have color photographs. Hugh MacMillan (CO) is the website designer with a great deal of experience having created the Penstemon Society Internet site. We recommend you visit that site to see his work. But remember, our website is much larger. And so it is, that change comes, ready or not; but that hopefully our electronic foot print is much improved.

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