Chapter Council was great!

Chapter Council

I joined chapter delegates from all over California and into Baja – we met at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and the meeting was fascinating. The diversity of  issues combined with passion was inspiring.

The picture above is of César Garcia, president of the Baja chapter, with Lesley and Bill Hunt who represent the East Bay chapter in a variety of important functions.

We sat outside for meals, and for the breakout sessions. I ran one on horticulture, of course, and we found some very interesting information: chapters are connected in varying ways and at varying levels with other organizations, water authorities and political leaders. Over time, we will coordinate efforts to improve our presence in the larger local context. We will also work on a smooth flow of information between chapters, and with the organization staff.

Pesticide use in nurseries was another topic that will take some work – we need data in order to work with nurseries and towers to remove harmful materials from their inventories.

And, finally, our message is being honed to clearly present our point of view, and so that we can deliver it with clarity to differing audiences.

Chapter Council Meeting

Representatives from the many California Native Plant Society chapters met in Santa Ynez this month to talk about issues throughout the organization. The meeting was at the gorgeous Sedgwick Reserve, and we had a lively group. As the new Horticulture Program Director, I was busy introducing myself to all sorts of people, and seeing old buddies like Jim and Catie Bishop. I was amazed and gratified at the high level of interest in gardening issues.

The primary focus is, of course, how do we support the chapters in their activities. From our round table discussion, and informal conversations, the consensus seemed to be that we need to work on helping the chapters to organize and promote the events that spread the word: symposia, garden tours, a database and plant sales. Great. That is right on target and I look forward to fulfilling that mission.

The photo is of a cute little birdhouse attached to one of the live oaks near the conference center at Sedgwick.