GLC NARGS Business Meeting, Saturday, 23 January 2021, 13:00 EST

[hosted by Tony Reznicek and Patrick Ion] Zoom of 16 channels; 21 persons; Zoom Meeting: ID
[Minutes prepared on the basis if notes and records from Tony and Patrick.]

After allowing the participants to congregate with the usual pleasantries and adjustments to their personal channel settings, Chair Holly Pilon opened the meeting for business at 13:05.

Holly remarked that this was a meeting to provide updates on GLC activities and concerns, and to allow the annual Treasurer's Report to be read and commented upon.  As such, since there were no elections to be held the question of a quorum for the meeting was moot.  In fact, 21 members present was a pretty good turn out.

Treasurer's Report:

Bonnie Ion's Treasurer's Report for 2020 had been circulated to the email list by Tony Reznicek. It shows a completely satisfactory financial position.  The question was raised whether the chapter was holding too much cash in the bank for a non-profit.  It was pointed out that GLC's Not-for-Profit status is well established and duly registered with the State of Michigan, and that our reserves are in no way out of line with what is acceptable.  We are acquainted with examples of Not-for-Profits in this town that run several times our finances; for instance, high school band associations.  There are requirements for extra filings by organizations that show budgetary flows much greater than GLC's, but we have filed what is correct for our business level.  There was some confusion over the filing of a State Sales Tax form last year that led to a small late fee payment, although GLC owed nothing in sales tax. Since the 2016 Gala here we have been in very sound financial shape.  

Matthaei Botanic Gardens:

Chair Holly has been in regular contact with Mike Palmer of MBG.  He tells us that a new Director, Anthony Kolenic, will take the reins in March   The MBG will be doing no new rentals for the foreseeable future.  All changes will depend on the results of the COVID responses.  We are all locked out of the fenced area but can visit the outer grounds and trails as marked.  In particular, there is no chance to work on the rebuilding of the Azary Rock Garden that GLC wishes to accomplish.

Upcoming Events (as also noted in our home page list of events):

A Crevice Gardens course is being offered by the national NARGS on February 6; it will run from 11AM to 5:30PM EST. This is a presentation that requires signing up for $25 for members; $50 for non-members); but there is a bargain offer of sign up plus a NARGS annual membership for $50. Presenters will include Paul Spriggs, whom we just had the pleasure of hearing, as well as Kenton Seth and others.

There's a Penn State Webinar, "Winter Blues and Garden of Greens", on Feb 20 with a $25 registration fee.  Presenters will include Todd Boland of Newfoundland, Joseph Tychonevich (Rock Garden Quarterly Editor) et al. Tony Reznicek has already sent out a brief note about this promising program.

NARGS Annual Meeting in Durango CO, June 17-21, is still ON as a physical (as of today) but probably depends on the population's response to new COVID vaccines and variants. .The NARGS President says a lot of activities will be outside such as meals and lectures. It is highly recommended to arrange one's own rooms, and, since there will be no buses, to rent a car. Joan Cooper pointed out that federal travel regulations have just been updated and may change again, so that it is advisable to check upon travel constraints in buying tickets or making reservations.

Jennie Wainwright-Klein will do a Zoom presentation on her garden on Saturday March 20 at 10:00 EST. Hers is the spectacular Schachen Garden in Germany, only open from June to September, when it is accessible. The garden is a satellite garden of the Münich Botanical Garden.  

The reason for the early meeting time is the 6-hour time shift between EST here, UTC - 5 hours, and CET in Germany, UTC + 1 hour. [She was supposed to address us as a visitor last April.]

Surplus Seed Exchange:

The GLC has agreed to handle the Surplus Seed Exchange distribution for NARGS this year.  There are usually 200–250 packets to be handled but this year more interest has been shown in the seed exchange.  The Siskiyou Chapter is processing the main round and will accept orders up to January 31; fulfillment begins February 1. This means that it will be about 2 months before GLC needs to be doing processing. Tony Reznicek has offered his house and garage as the location for the GLC operation. Details will depend on the local weather at the time.

Some international orders need customs forms but no phytosanitary certificates are needed, which is a welcome simplification. Some supplies will come from national NARGS but GLC will buy some supplies and be reimbursed by national. There are 3 sections of seed choices: 1st choice; preferred 2nd; 2nd choice. Seeds remaining after the surplus distribution are divided and mailed out to chapters; this is where the packets we've all seen circulating at our meetings come from.

Aside from volunteers to pull, package and mail packets, there are two essential specialist roles to be filled.  They are Order Receiver and Order Coordinator.  Both positions require skill in dealing with spreadsheets, and access to a modern computer and printer.  Most of the work can be done at home.  These individuals will have to get special access to the NARGS web site.

Chair Holly asks that all volunteers send their names to her. Volunteering gets you an extra 10 packets at the next Seed exchange (2022).  The processing will presumably take place at the end of March or beginning of April.


Holly remarked that her term as Chapter President ends with May and she will not seek a further term.   She points out that recently the GLC has done accomplished a lot of fundamental tasks: GLC is no longer just an Association but has Bylaws and Liability Insurance; there is duly constituted Board of Directors, though it needs to perhaps be more active, and the not-for-profit and state registration statuses are in proper order. There is more the GLC can turn to doing: for instance, the Azary Rock Garden project is still pending.

Holly emphasized that it's been interesting and fun being President. It was rewarding to get to know people, if sometimes a bit hectic.  She said "Think about being president; there's no election today though".

Members who wish to be candidates for other offices, such as Treasurer or Secretary, should let Holly know if they wish to be considered.

Open Garden and Plant Sale:

This is usually in May.  There is no known case of illness that resulted from the Plant Sale last fall at Andy Duval's.  We seem to have carried out a very successful event safely.

In May we need a location for an outside event with room to mask up and spread out.  It was suggested that maybe we could consider two days and more than one site, both for visits and plant sales.  Libby Greanya pointed out that this year, unusually, there are two Saturdays between Mothers Day and Memorial Day, namely May 15 and May 22; she favors May 15 as there is a Jackson event on May 22. The weekend May 15/16 was mooted.

Gala or Winter Event:

The notion of doing another Gala like 2016's was floated again.  Jacques Thompson reminded us that alternating over Winter Events with the Wisconsin Chapter had been the recent rule.  Holly will contact them and discuss inter-chapter meetings.

At 14:02 Holly adjourned the meeting with the injunction to all "Thanks you and keep smiling!".