JARS v56n1 - From the Executive Director

From the Executive Director
Dee Daneri
Fortuna, California

There is scarcely a day goes by that I don't receive some message about something wonderful that a member or chapter is doing. I thought you might enjoy hearing about a couple of sensational chapter and individual projects, all in the name of beautifying our planet through the love of rhododendrons.

Our Siuslaw Chapter President Mike Bones has been very busy working with the City of Florence to add more meaning to the fact that rhododendrons grow very well in the area. The results are in, and here's the Proclamation from the City of Florence:

WHEREAS, Florence is the City of Rhododendrons; and WHEREAS, Florence is famous for beautiful and bountiful rhododendrons; and WHEREAS, Florence celebrates this magnificent plant with its annual Rhododendron Festival, and WHEREAS, citizens and businesses of the community are encouraged to further enhance the City of Rhododendrons, by planting rhododendrons in their gardens and landscapes; and WHEREAS, October is the ideal month to plant and transplant rhododendrons; and WHEREAS, the American Rhododendron Society, Siuslaw Chapter, is supporting "Plant A Rhododendron Month," NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT, I Alan Burns, Mayor of the City of Florence, do hereby proclaim the month of October as "Plant a Rhododendron Month". IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the official seal of Florence, Lane County, Oregon, this first day of October, 2001. Congratulations Siuslaw!

Meanwhile, busy member Bill Dale has been devoting much of his discretionary time to researching the history and life of George Fraser. Celebration in the small Vancouver Island town of Ucluelet, home of George Fraser, has now culminated in an official "George Fraser Days" annual community celebration. Bill tells me that five of the Island chapters have donated over 150 rhododendrons which were planted along the road to Ucluelet last November. May 18 will mark the date of the second annual "George Fraser Days" celebration. Congratulations Bill and District 1 for all of your participation in this worthy project.

On another front, our Rhododendron Spider Web is growing. These beneficial spiders answer Internet inquiries which frequently arrive at Rhody Central - yes, real people, our dedicated members, ready to serve the planet. A very talented member of the New York Chapter (and chairman of the Northeast Conference), Jim Fry, creates exquisite garden whimsies. While in Long Island last November, I "contracted" with Jim to create a mascot for our project - the Official Rhododendron Spider. In a progress report Jim said the spider's footprint is 48 inches across - not recommended for the coffee table.

And speaking of conferences, if Convention Chairman Earl Sommerville has anything to say about it, the Atlanta Convention is definitely going to be a "must do in 02". It's April 17-21. Why not take out that centerfold right now and send it off. It's looking like a very good year!