From the Executive Director
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Laura Grant, ARS Executive Director|
We are entering the New Year with renewed energies to accomplish the mission and the goals of our Society.
The ARS, an association of worldwide chapters, is committed to encouragement of cultivation, understanding and appreciation of rhododendrons and azaleas. Your Board, with our mission in mind and your help, is working hard to meet the responsibilities of the organization:
• To share the enthusiasm of learning about and growing our favorite plants,
• To provide encouragement to those growing or wishing to grow them and
• To provide education and promote an understanding of the need for conservation of both the species and the ecosystem in which they are found.
A variety of goals shapes the activities of our organization. Each goal has been created to:
- Promote culture and education, to both members and the public, of rhododendrons and azaleas
- To support and encourage hybridization, research, conservation and appreciation, as well as preservation, of varieties from the wild, through propagation and distribution.
Another important goal of ARS is to create and celebrate fellowship, bonding and friendship within the membership.
So if you have missed our wonderful fall conferences in Florence, Oregon, or Eastlake, Ohio, this is great time to turn to the Rhododendron Calendar in this issue. In the near future, you are invited to visit gardens from Oklahoma to Scotland and south to Hawaii.
In order to accomplish these goals, your Board is committed to employing several strategies. Among them is publication of the educational brochures with your generous donations to the General Fund and implementation of the grant program for projects, which encourage interest in rhododendrons and azaleas.
In the last six years the ARS has donated over $33,000.00 to such projects. The guidelines for funding were published in the fall 2007 issue of the Journal ARS.
Hope to see many of you in Tulsa, Oklahoma.