I love native plants and their unique communities with a passion and fervently believe more people need to know about them and their value in the world in which we live. Much to the embarrassment of my children, I try to impart this message to people I meet in gardening centers, on trails or wherever the subject comes up. By myself, I can only reach a few people to convey my message. But when I join with other people through organizations, the message goes further.
I like to think of these groups, these organizations, as the glue that binds us together as well as a source of inspiration for the cause. I certainly learn a lot from them, but that is not their main strength. It is the combination of people together and the shared inspiration that they can impart to each other that really furthers the cause.
You see, left on my own, my enthusiasm might wane or discouragement might set in.
Then my periodical from Audubon arrives or I get an email from the Georgia Conservancy or another group and I read inspiring stories about successes that others have had, such as :
- the May/June Audubon story about working with farmers, ranchers and foresters to benefit a range of imperiled birds.
- the recent communique from the Georgia Conservancy about their accomplishments in conserving private land through their Land Conservation Initiative.
- the work by The American Chestnut Foundation in developing southern hybrids using Georgia pollen that I heard about at a conference in February.
- the work by The Nature Conservancy on facilitating water use discussions on the Colorado river and its tributaries to get more water flowing to downstream communities of native fish and plants and improving the health of the system; work that can be applied to situations throughout the U.S. and the world.
- a blog post about leading garden tours through wildlife-friendly gardens and watching people be inspired on the spot!
I also enjoy participating with local groups like the Georgia Native Plant Society and the Georgia Botanical Society. With them I have a chance to attend meetings and conferences with speakers, participate in informative workshops, or go on field trips to places I might not be able to go to on my own.
Meeting and talking with like-minded people help me realize that people are making a difference. I am inspired anew to share my message and to renew my commitments to groups that band together for greater impact. The local groups I support get more than my money, they get my time as well.
That’s how I know that organizations need your support. I have been on the administrative side, and I know that every ebb and flow in membership levels is disappointment (ebb) and joy (flow). If you don't belong to organizations like these, please consider joining. Your participation and support joins that of many others to magnify their impact on local, national and global causes.