planting for today and future generations

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A Special Message to Members and Supporters of Growing Friends

This is a special issue of our newsletter. Its purposes are to recruit new board members and to obtain your opinions about Growing Friends’ future.

The viability of Growing Friends as an organization is in jeopardy. New board members are needed to replace those who are retiring. We must also attract a next generation of volunteers. The current Board fears that without sufficient new board members, the organization will not survive.

Helena needs an organization that advocates for, and plants, trees. There are clear-cut (forgive the pun) challenges. Governments and businesses alike sometimes forget how much trees improve the quality of life in the Helena area, and in its public spaces. With the threat of the Emerald Ash Borer, climate change, and more, Helena will continue to look like the Helena we know only if there are people who push for trees.

Board member duties are modest. The Board meets six or seven times a year, always in the evening, for about 90 minutes. The Board controls the organization and makes all of its decisions. Sometimes board members organize plantings; sometimes members do. There is no staff to oversee. Most revenue comes from member dues and donations; no fundraising is required of board members.

Please seriously consider serving on the Board. If being on the Board is not your interest, please talk to someone you know who may be interested. The only mandatory qualification is to care about the health and propagation of trees in the Helena urban area. Of course, skill at handling a shovel and digging bar (or willingness to learn) would guarantee immediate bonding with current board members!

Growing Friends has a good reputation. It has money in the bank. Its twenty-nine-year record of accomplishments is based on spending almost $500,000 on trees and landscaping, and encouraging others to spend that much and more. (You can read more about our accomplishments at www.growingfriends.org.) What Growing Friends lacks is new board members and the next generation of volunteers.

If enough new board members are not found, then Growing Friends will either go “dormant” for a period of time until there is new enthusiasm for starting it up again, or will go out of existence after having given away all of its money in a manner that is consistent with its mission.

Please let us hear from you. Nominate yourself or someone else to serve on the Board. Give us your ideas and feedback. The Board believes strongly that your opinions, as the members and supporters of Growing Friends, should influence the decision we make about the future of the organization. The need for new participants is essential to our future.

Write us a letter, send us an e-mail at [email protected], or telephone our contact person, John McEwen, treasurer of the organization, at 406-461-1894.

There will be a special meeting of the Board and anyone else who wants to attend, on Thursday, September 13th, at 7:00 P.M. in the downstairs Fellowship Room at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 512 Logan Street. Please plan to attend.

Sincerely,

Bob Throssell, President
On behalf of the Board of Growing Friends

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