From The President
My time as president of the ARS is winding down and Fred Whitney will take over after the spring convention. It has been interesting during the last nine years as District Director and the Vice President. Your officers are loyal and enthusiastic members who give of their time and fortune to serve the Society. The most rewarding of this engagement is the wonderful people you meet along the way, who are dedicated volunteers.
For those of us who do not live in the rhododendron country of the Pacific Northwest, rhododendrons are becoming more and more difficult to purchase. If you want something more than those plants offered by Lowes and Home Depot, you must search for a source. A number of fine nurseries have closed in the last few years. Those nurseries that are still doing business are most likely buying ads in the back of the Journal. These ads do keep the cost of the Journal down, so please thank them for their willingness to package and send rare plants to you.
One committee chair that has been vacant for a while is the chair of the Resource Development Committee. Mary Parker of Nanaimo, B.C., Canada, has agreed to fill that position. This committee looks to help the Society through grants offered by foundations. The Stanley Smith Foundation has funded some of our publications. Mary has served as substitute District Director and traveled from British Columbia via train to our fall conference in Princeton, N.J. She is one of our most enthusiastic members. Please help her if you can.
I want to thank Laura Grant who took the job of Executive Director when I became president. She has worked very hard to learn the software that is unique to our organization. It is a full-time job and she has fulfilled our expectation. I know she will continue to help the Society build it bigger and better. I want to thank our editor, Sonja Nelson, who year after year makes our journal the best in all of the plant societies. If we are lucky, we will have her with us for many years to come.
Remember rhododendrons make the most beautiful gardens. (There are not bad rhododendrons, just bad locations.)