There is urgency for the Council to get about the work of preserving, conserving, and restoring the native plants of Florida. There has never been a moment in all of human history when so many species were endangered and becoming extinct. Neverthess, it is important for all of us to stay on the optimistic side of reality, to realize how many of our beautiful native plants still exist at this moment. Not only can they be saved, they can become important to the public, valued, and enjoyed. If we do our job well, every threat to plants and wildlife and natural lands brings a public outcry.
To move from where we are, as an organization, to enjoying much greater public awareness and support for conservation, we must: 1) be well organized, 2) have enlighted ideas and initiatives, and 3) be so nimble that we take the opportunities sympathetic people are yearning to provide.
Meeting and communication are the foundation of the organization: the soil. Enlightened ideas and group inititives can only take root when meetings are dynamic, enjoyable, and productive. Meeting statewide is a challenge because we actually spend only two hours productively four times a year (often less). Even at peak performance, if our meetings are perfect, we only have about eight hours together to accomplish our mission and objectives for the year. During that year, things change in the world, opportunities come and go. This is the urgency. When we are together, let us be: 1) well organized, 2) enlightened, 3) nimble, and 4) enjoying the experience.
Of course, we communicate outside meetings, a lot. And this is where the work gets done. But are we well enough organized to contribute significantly to public awareness about conservation? Do we understand what our members and FNPS leaders are working on now: all our committees, who is on them, who is leading them, how to contact them, how their work relates to ours? The Initiatives web page is one way for every participant to see what the Council is working. The Chapter Representatives contact information is how we can talk with them.
The Initialives web page is what we, The Council, are working on right now. It's how we move in the same direction to accomplish something greater than what each of us can do working alone. It's how we change direction quickly when we need to or take the next progressive step.
The How To web pages should help you understand how to communicate or organize within the Council, that is, how it operates. Working with others statewide is a challenge, so learning and using the tools to communicate (phones, email, conference calls, and The Forum) between live meetings is essential. Skype can make long distance calls cheap. AnyMeeting is free and allows anyone to set up or join a conference call. We have more than enough tools to communicate effectively across the state, the challenge is encouraging Representatives to use them enough so that they become comfortable and easy.
Our vision, our improved organization, our inspiration, and a culture of excited accomplishment keep us engaged. Our inspiration and accomplishments attract others and their resources, and move us into the garden of public attention and wide public support. Be inspired; call a sympathic ally; get it done. Enjoy the plants and working well together.