The Club Newsletter is a monthly publication to inform members of club events and calendar, to educate in horticulture, conservation and other subjects, and to distribute other pertinent news and information. It is prepared and sent in September, October, November, combined December and January, (no board meeting in December) February, March, April, May and June.
A template is used from month to month and consists of the heading, a calendar of our club events in the right column and beneath that, a brief Federation calendar, a letter from the President in the left column, followed by the Over the Fence section for general news, requests and sundry subjects. Following are the standing committee articles that are submitted by committee chairs. Interspersed may be notices about one-time yearly events such as the Spring Plant Sale, along with columns that come and go. Often included is a recipe or a garden poem to close each Newsletter, and photos might appear.
The blank template should list all current committees and their chairs. After submitted articles are entered, the committee headings with no new articles are deleted. The updated template can be prepared in the summer and therefore be ready for the September letter. There also is a separate document for the club logo which appears in the heading. A brief newsletter is sent in August to remind members of the date and location of the first Board Meeting that month.
The letter averages six pages. Currently, all Active and Honorary members receive the letter. Be certain all prospective members receive it and after they are voted in, remind the website chair to add their names to the group list. The Newsletter Chair also makes certain the letter is prepared on the Thursday following the monthly Board Meeting and emailed within two days. In this way, the membership receives information in time to plan to attend the upcoming events.
Calendar information can be obtained from the Yearbook for the HGC calendar section, and from the Federation website calendar or the Mayflower magazine for the Federation calendar section. The Federation calendar is also in the Yearbook. The Co-Presidents send their letter to the Newsletter Chair. Various members might submit news for Over the Fence. Articles must be sent by email by Noon of Newsletter day, which is two days after the Board Meeting, depending on the Chair’s preference. The letter is then prepared, proofread, and emailed, preferably that day but occasionally a day later.
Currently no expenses are incurred and the Treasurer has been informed that no budget will be submitted. As a committee chair, it is important to attend the Board Meetings so you can remind folks to send articles and to stay abreast of club happenings and issues. The Newsletter Chair can use the Newsletter Committee space in the letter to remind members to send articles the next month and for other news. It is important that the letter be well proofed, as it represents our club. The chair has set up a group email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) which we use for distributing the Newsletter. In addition, membership changes should be printed under the ‘Newsletter’ column, to encourage members to keep abreast of these.
The current chair also includes pertinent photos to brighten up the letter. They may be of seasonal plants or flowers or related to current issues, such as native plants. She also adds pictures to articles to enhance them.
Carol Holly, Newsletter Chair 2004-present