Final Thoughts for the Year
It has been several weeks since I took the opportunity to communicate directly to our members, volunteers and supporters. In that time, we have enjoyed a wonderful Family Day event which saw lots of people enjoying the Lockerly Experience. It was held in conjunction with our 'Scarecrow' competition which we are planning on making an annual event. I want to thank all the wonderful volunteers who make an event like this a success.
One of my goals has always been for Lockerly Arboretum to gain recognition as a regional site. One of the ways you accomplish that goal is to gain recognition from organizations that have a common interest or focus. That has happened with our marvelous conifer collection being awarded 'Reference Garden' status by the American Conifer Society. We are one of only 19 locations throughout the Southeast United States. It is a distinguished group of gardens and arboretums. I would hope that we can host future events for the American Conifer Society. We will be expanding our Japanese Maple, Camellia and Daylily collections as we move forward. It would be quite an honor to gain recognition from those Societies and we will keep moving forward with that goal in mind.
Our Education Department continues to provide an excellent program for students in the surrounding area. We would like to develop an adult education program of interesting subjects appropriate to Lockerly Arboretum. These can be in the form of lectures by knowledgeable individuals, demonstrations or whatever would be interesting to you, our supporters. If you have any ideas, please contact any of our staff or our Trustees. This program is just in the early stages and we welcome all ideas.
As is always the case, these programs require funding to make them possible. To that end I would like to encourage your support as a Friend of Lockerly. I can report that the program is alive and growing. Last year at this time we had less than 90 members; we presently have almost 200 members. As you can see our membership has doubled in just one year. Our Development Committee, under the leadership of Mr. John Darity (recently retired marketing and sales professional from Imerys), is planning on several Gala / Date Night events for next year. We are also planning on more of the Family oriented events like Family Day. We are hopeful that this will enhance your experience and encourage everyone to renew their membership at a higher level of participation. This is the time of the year that people look to minimize their tax burden by making donations to non-profit organizations like Lockerly Arboretum. To that end we can accommodate several different means of contributing. Direct contributions to the general fund are always an option or restricted contributions to a specific part of our program is another. Your donations can be in the form of a check or we can also accommodate the direct transfer of stocks and bonds through our investment advisor Graystone Consulting, a business of Morgan Stanley.
As we approach the Holiday Season we are pleased to announce that our Holiday Reception is sold out. Please join us for the Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 10th from 10:00 to 2:00. Rose Hill will be at her finest thanks to the four Garden Clubs of Milledgeville who so graciously volunteer to do the decorations.
Let me close by expressing my gratitude to everyone who enjoys the Lockerly Experience. I look forward to seeing many of you at our Holiday Reception. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Rodger L. Flotta, President
Lockerly Arboretum Foundation