Preserving and Nurturing our Bio-Indicators
In the next two years my focus as president will be to guide our resources, message and action plan to reversing the population declines in amphibian and pollinator species; particularly frogs, bees and Monarch butterflies, as well as the population decline in our upcoming leadership ranks. Each of these has been challenged by environmental factors - some imposed by nature, and some by human beings. In order to reverse these trends, we must step in and actively create the attitudes, environments and habitats that will nurture healthy populations and return each to a strong footing. By strengthening all of these we will be contributing enormously to the health and preservation of our planet and our organization.
The first step in any endeavor is awareness. You cannot know what you don't know. As such, creating awareness of the issues challenging amphibians and pollinator species survival is a critical first step to addressing the issue of depopulation. The next step is understanding what we can do - what our options are and how we can best use those options in our communities - to reverse the negative circumstances. The final step is Service In Action - guiding our communities to thoughtful choices, new actions and improved results.
Tools to help us with this vision are the focus of my President's Project: continuing and enhancing our partnership with Crown Bees; partnering with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Monarch Watch / Waystations; a Youth initiative for amphibians called "The Frightened Frog"; and creating gardens of all sizes for wildlife - "Bee an Action Hero". Strengthening our leadership ranks is equally important. The "Leap Into Leadership" initiative is designed to focus our attention, talents and resources onto identifying, mentoring and raising up our next generation of leaders, providing our states, regions and national organization with well-trained, capable and competent leaders. Awards have been created to recognize clubs and states who create outstanding, comprehensive and effective projects and programs within the five areas.
While we are locally focused, we are globally present. With nearly 175,000 members, we are a world organization dedicated to the preservation of our planet.
Our clubs and programs foster peace, beauty, tranquility, and life - things which are increasingly important and dearly needed. Our International Affiliate membership ranks continue to grow, and the number 2 and 3 languages used on our website are Mexican Spanish and Portuguese. As we grow and expand our influence we are more and more aware that we are speaking to the world, not just our immediate neighbors. We have invested in technology to serve our members more immediately, present our message, materials and activities and make our organization more accessible to potential members. Going forward, I see that trend increasing and we will meet the challenge, remaining a very viable, vibrant organization that fulfills very important needs.
Outside of my special two year project, we will continue to support several on-going projects. I encourage all clubs, states and regions to explore all of the ways you can have an impact in your communities. Figure out what you do well - and expand on it. Partner with other clubs and states to create working projects that serve you all.
We have so much to offer to individuals, families, clubs, communities, states and the world. Please join me in being passionate about our world - and living a life of Service In Action.
Sandra H. Robinson
National Garden Clubs, Inc.