If you read my About this Site page, you may recall I mentioned that I serve on the Board of Trustees at Tyler Arboretum. Led by Chairman Guy Messick, this dedicated group of individuals meets every two months to oversee that the core values and of purpose of Tyler are addressed and carried out. I started my term on the Board in 2011, and I am honored to be working with such a group of dedicated, talented people that share the same passion for Tyler Arboretum as I do.
You might be wondering… what exactly happens at a Tyler Board meeting? The first agenda item at every meeting may surprise you. It is not the approval of the minutes from the previous meeting. Instead, the Chair of the Board begins by reading the mission statement of Tyler:
Tyler Arboretum Mission Statement: To preserve, develop, and share our diverse horticultural, historic, and natural site resources in order to stimulate stewardship and an understanding of our living world.
It is important for each of us to be reminded of our purpose and role on the Board, and the reading of the mission statement reminds us of what Tyler represents and what we are working to preserve, to conserve, and to inform and educate others about.
Then, we continue with the approval of the minutes from the previous meeting. We also receive reports ahead of time to review so we can ask questions and have discussions related to the summaries. These reports are prepared by Tyler’s Executive Director Rick Colbert, Director of Horticulture Mike Karkowski, and Director of Public Programs Betsey Ney. I am always amazed when I read these reports just how active all units of the arboretum are year-round! Board committees also provide updates, and this time we heard from the Executive Committee, Asset Management Committee, Education Committee, and the Tyler at Twilight chair Aralisha Newbold (yes, the planning for this June event takes place over an entire year!).
But the meeting is not just reports on what activities have been done in the past. The Board also discusses future projects – and Tyler has some exciting ones in store (think garden, sustainability, education…). I don’t want to give anything away, but something critical to the success of these future projects, and to continue existing programs and exhibits, relates back to effective networking and fundraising. And this is where the Board plays a very important role. We are, in essence, ambassadors to/for Tyler, and when each of us agreed to serve on the Board, we agreed to contribute our time, connections, talents, skills, and resources to help advance that mission of Tyler we hear about at the beginning of every Board meeting.
This Thursday, I’m thrilled that in my role as a Board member, I will be able to attend a reception celebrating those who made the creation of Tyler’s Scenic Loop possible. After the dedication ceremony, I’ll be joining others coming by to “ride, roll & stroll the Scenic Loop”. I look forward to seeing how other Tyler members explore the Loop on this special day. Hope to see you there!
This is only half of the Board pictured here from our meeting on July 15 in the Terrace Room of “The Barn.” Rick Colbert is pictured on the far left, and next to him is Guy Messick.