Although there are hundreds of members of the Society who deserve recognition, three were singled out for the President’s Award this year at our annual Awards Banquet on October 18, held this year at the Texarkana Convention Center
The Native Landscape Certification Program (NLCP) was created six years ago in San Antonio and almost immediately other chapters began saying they wanted the program too. Carol Feldman set out to bring the NLC Program to North Texas. She had a lot to do. First of all the classes had to be adapted to refer to the plants and the ecoregions of North Texas. In addition she had to sell the program to the chapters in North Texas. She built a coalition of seven chapters who jointly sponsored the classes and created a small committee to work on the adaptation. Those seven chapters represent almost a fourth of our chapters and more than a fourth of our total membership.
This year the NLC Program evolved into a state-wide program and is now offering classes in two more areas – Tyler and Georgetown. We usually talk about the program in terms of ecoregions, but if we think instead in terms of members served, it becomes apparent the classes are now available to over half of all our members, counting those who live within an easy commute.
This is a remarkable achievement in so short a time and a huge amount of the credit goes to Carol for her dedication to the Society and her hard work in seeing the project through.
Of course the program is bigger than just one person. Last year we recognized Melissa Miller for her vision in starting the program and her hard work in the early years in San Antonio. Carol had help also in North Texas. Most especially she had help in the form of Malinda Slagle. Malinda was the hugely efficient and organized coordinator of the North Texas program. Malinda has now left the program to follow her husband to a new job in St Louis.
Our third President’s Award this year goes to Sam Kieschnick of the Cross Timbers Chapter for his work in spear-heading our social media campaign for the last three years.
Social media are huge generators of publicity. Under Sam’s leadership our social media pages have increased their reach to almost 10,,000 subscribers or fans. In fact a university seminar last year cited our use of Facebook as an example for other non-profits.