The Wild Ones Annual Member Meeting was held virtually last Saturday, September 19th. If you didn’t get a chance to join us live, a video recording of the meeting is available now on the Member’s website. Meet the Wild Ones Board of Directors and staff, preview the new professionally designed residential native garden plans funded by the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust grant, and learn how Wild Ones is growing.
Wild Ones Journal Wins APEX Award
The Wild Ones Journal just won a 2020 APEX Award for Publication Excellence! This is an annual competition for corporate and nonprofit publishers, editors, writers and designers who create print, web, electronic, and social media. Winners were selected from 1,183 entries in 12 major categories. (The Journal‘s award is in the “Magazines, Journals, & Tabloids-Green” category.)
Wild Ones members and staff have long been proud of our publication and are pleased that a large national competition also felt that The Journal is outstanding.
Wild Ones congratulates editor Barbara Schmitz, designer Kevin Rau, and technical contributor Denise Gehring for receiving this honor.
Tim Lewis, former Wild Ones National Board President, has passed away.
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tim Lewis on Sunday, July 12, 2020. Tim served as the Wild Ones National Board President from 2010 to 2016 and as the Rock River Valley Chapter president for many years. Tim was an avid gardener, photographer, conservationist and environmentalist. Most importantly, Tim was a friend and mentor to both local chapter members and to national board members. We thank Tim for his unyielding commitment to Wild Ones.
To view Tim’s obituary click on: https://www.honquestfh.com/obituary/Timothy-Lewis
Tim is celebrated at the WILD Center with the three beautiful Burr Oak Trees he donated to the Center. A rock with a plaque showing the years of Tim’s service was donated by the National Board and placed at the entrance of the prairie.
Announcement: Renewing Your Membership via Mail
In keeping with public health codes, Wild Ones is making every effort to ensure that the national office staff remains safe during the coronavirus crisis.
We receive mail from all over the country on a daily basis. We would like to limit the amount of mail that comes into the office regarding new and renewal memberships. The coronavirus has the ability to persist on surfaces for up to nine days which puts our staff at risk when handling mail.
We are asking members to please utilize the online signup option by going to:
If you need assistance with utilizing the online membership system, please email [email protected]
Please know that any checks we do receive, will be held a minimum of nine days prior to entering them into our membership database.
We do apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience with this issue.
Wild Ones National Director
Wild Ones’ website host experienced a system-wide outage
On Thursday, Wild Ones learned that its website, hosted by Bluehost, had crashed. This included the national website, as well as our chapter’s websites. Since Wild Ones staff and national officer emails are also located on the server, our email service was disabled as well. On behalf of Wild Ones staff, board, and chapters, I apologize for this disruption. It is unacceptable, and we are taking steps to prevent future issues. Our members and supporters deserve a more stable system.
What happened and Wild Ones’ response
Wild Ones’ website tech support, Rick Sanders, immediately contacted Bluehost. He learned that the company’s entire server crashed, knocking out service to all of its customers, not just Wild Ones. Bluehost was unable to provide a timeline for when they expected to server to be fixed. Rick spent the next 48 hours working with Bluehost’s customer tech support asking questions and trying to get more information.
The Wild Ones website was restored on Saturday, January 18 at approximately 3:30 PM CST. All chapter websites on the wildones.org domain are working again as well. To visit a chapter website, click here for your closest chapter.
Looking forward: our next steps
The national office’s tech support service is in the process of moving all Wild Ones email addresses to a new Microsoft Office 365 server. This will protect Wild Ones emails from being disabled if our website’s server ever crashes in the future.
Wild Ones is also in the process of migrating all of our wildones.org websites to a different hosting service. We are making this change to improve the security of your personal data, speed up the website’s response time, and reduce costs by 85% at the same time.
Here are some of the key features being upgraded to improve your Wild Ones website experience:
- Malware Detection and Removal
- Spam and Anti-Virus Protection
- Domain Privacy and Protection
- Daily Scheduled Website Backups (previously done by Wild Ones tech volunteer)
- Free SSL to safeguard personal information and sensitive data (we previously paid for this service)
- Unlimited Web Storage that uses Solid State Drives (SSD) for faster website browsing
What this service disruption means to you
Any emails sent to an email address ending in @wildones.org since Thursday afternoon were not received. Senders should have received a “bounce message” informing them that the email was not delivered. If you received such a reply, please resend your email.
If you have joined Wild Ones, renewed your membership, or made a donation recently, there may be a delay in receiving confirmation of your membership or gift. This is because staff utilizes email to send out these confirmations. These transactions will be entered and confirmed as soon as possible.
Wild Ones staff and national board volunteers worked together to post updates about the status of our website on Facebook, both on the public page and in the private group just for members. Social media is another great way to keep up with all things Wild. If you are not yet following Wild Ones on Facebook, please click here for our public page. Wild Ones members can also click here and ask to join the private member group.
We are grateful for the patience of our members and supporters during this communication and information disruption. Our server issues have been caused in part by “growing pains”. As Wild Ones members and chapters continue to reach new markets to share the importance of native plants, our numbers have skyrocketed. Wild Ones membership has increased by 25% in just two years! In the past year, we have chartered four new chapters, including two states where we did not previously have a presence, Arkansas and Maryland.
Wild Ones’ new website hosting system and unlimited web storage will enable the organization to continue adding more educational information about the crucial role native plants play in the health of the environment. Thank you all for following this path with us, and for your commitment to make a difference every day. We are truly grateful for your support of both Wild Ones and the environment!