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Re: AIS: membership trends in context.

  • Subject: [iris-photos] Re: AIS: membership trends in context.
  • From: Carlos Ayento brightonparkiris@yahoo.com
  • Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2005 10:45:46 -0800 (PST)

Ms. Plank had mentioned fact that memberships are dropping and asked about how to reconcile them.  I'm probably one of the younger members of the AIS, as I am only 24 years old, 25 in April.  There are a lot of factors that might contribute to the loss of members or lack of new ones. 
I am part of younger generation that moves in an ever-increasing paced life.  People are getting married a lot younger these days (22 and 23 yr. olds.)  Rarely do I find other people of my generation interested in botany or even recreational gardening.  Our lives have become computerized.  Everything is digital and at the click of a button quite literaly.  Although for some you it's a new facet in life, for us, it's how we run our everyday lives.  Many consider gardening an impractical profession in our generation, although all of you would protest otherwise.  Computer technolgy is the new profession that all schools are trying to push their students toward (unfortunately.)
Publicity is probably another aspect that is lacking.  I've only heard about the AIS from Iris catalogs.  I have never seen any advertising on a standard gardening catalog or even a gardening magazine.  I think more people would reply if it was evident that such an organization exists. 
Another thing is accessiblity.  Again, going back to my generation, we avoid "snail-mail" (postal service) like the plague and prefer doing our business over the Internet.  I believe that if the AIS website had something to apply for membership online, you would get an increasing amount of members.  The postal service is too slow and tedious.
I am a member, living in Region 9, but I have yet to receive any details about my region president or any shows, events. etc.  I believe each region needs to be active in order to thrive.  That's all I can think of right now.  I have a class to teach, so I'll see if I can come up with more ideas.
Carlos Ayento
Brighton Park Irises

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