Monday, September 29, 2014

4th Anniversary Celebration

I always say this, but our anniversary tour/celebration was another lovely SAPS event. The tour, led by Elaine Delcuze and Glen Henderson, of the woodland trail and the ethnobotanic gardens was impressive especially for the progress made since our last visit in 2010. The sites are beautiful and the number and variety of native plants is a wonderful preservation effort. The wine and cheese reception, beautifully prepared by SuSu Davis (of course), gave us the time to reminisce about the past 4 years. I want again to say my thanks to everyone that's made us possible: Elaine Delcuze, whose ICL wildflower class brought us together and sparked our interest. SuSu Davis, who surprised us with wine and cheese at that last class and gave us the opportunity to socialize and realize we wanted to continue. Members of that class who were so enthusiastic about continuing. Bob Gilbert, who had developed a list of ideas for programs by the time we got home that night - and has continued to be our inspiration. And to Bob and SuSu for developing email lists and keeping us informed and enthusiastic with regular mailings. Since that day we've grown from 10 in the class to more than 120 on our current mailing list. Our first program and organizing meeting was at GMREC in December 2010. We decided then we didn't want a formally structured organization. We simply wanted to be become "more informed about the plants in the forests and gardens of the Southern Appalachians." We brainstormed about a name and SuSu clinched it with the SAPS acronym. We may not be very structured, but our programs are of top quality and our mailings and blog site look "professional." Thanks for that to: Dan Rawlins for establishing the blog site that first year. Kathy Stilwell for developing the current blog site, for the professional-looking flyers, and the wonderful write-ups about each program on the blog. And for maintaining the email addresses and sending all mailings. Karen Lawrence whose amazing photographs of plants and flowers (and anything else of interest on our trips) help us remember and maybe even see more than we realized was there. David Fann whose candid people photographs capture the fun and enthusiasm of each trip. And to everyone who shares comments and photographs about each program. It's been a wonderful 4 years and I can hardly wait for the next 4! From Jean Hunnicutt

Jean Hunnicutt, with her usual modesty, has left her name off the list of people who have built SAPS. But without Jean, SAPS would be a far-different organization. Jean holds things together -- she works on programs, she communicates with members, and she makes sure newcomers feel welcome. She does all this (and more) with grace and style. Jean, we love you and all you do!
Julie Ross

 Karen's photos

1 comment:

  1. For years I had hoped a botany-loving group would develop here in this "broadest" state border section of the Bluer Ridge Province of the SOUTHERN APPALACHIANS. Asheville with the chapter of the Native Plant Society was more related to the mid section of the Blue Ridge Province. And my work with the NC Bartram Trail Society was the closest one dealing with botany and native plants. On the Tennessee side there are others, especially those associated with Great Smoky Mt. NP. So it was a delight to realize you all were already going when you asked me to join you for a plant id. session at Highlands Bot. Garden. And, wow, how well you have become educated with each other participating in various components of the natualist interests. So, you now have in four years progressed to a recognized group that is bring statewide recognition, that even without a formal organization. So, GO SAPS, GO!