LCSWA seedling sale sees leadership change

Jun 12, 2023 | Author: LCSWA volunteers | Editor: Nancy Hildebrandt

Upgrade for ordering and payment process is task for retired ODF official

Big changes are coming to the ever-popular Linn County Small Woodlands Association’s Seedling Sale for 2024.

After seven years of nurturing and growing the seedling sale for the LCSWA, Lance and Bonnie Marshall are turning over the reins to Lena Tucker.

Tucker — a Sweet Home-area resident — retired from the Oregon Department of Forestry in fall 2021 as deputy state forester. Her extensive career at ODF began in 1994 where she served many leadership roles, including Private Forests Division Chief. Tucker has been involved nationally with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and is also a Certified Forester through the Society of American Foresters.

Tucker has also volunteered locally while serving as a member of Sweet Home’s Tree Commission. She has logged many hours within the city to plant, identify and inventory the tree population. She has also participated in multiple Arbor Day events locally to promote and distribute trees and shrubs for planting.

Photo of Bonnie and Lance Marshall

Bonnie and Lance Marshall have shepherded the annual seedling sale for the past seven years. Photo credit: Marshall family photo

“Her organizational skills and strong leadership will help take the 29th annual seedling sale to a new level as it moves from paper ordering to online ordering and payment,” said Bonnie Marshall.

Sales and net profit have increased dramatically in the past seven years, even as the Covid pandemic created challenges for the group. The 2023 sale netted more than $19,000.

Bonnie and Lance Marshall were named as LCSWA “volunteers of the year” in 2020.

The seedling sale provides money for LCSWA to offer college scholarships to Linn County students with forestry and conservation majors. It also provides annual funding for 4-H scholarships. 4-H students, their parents and LCSWA members provide a volunteer workforce to make the sale a success.

In 2022, $5,600 in scholarship money was awarded.

With the guidance of the LCSWA Webmaster Nancy Hildebrandt, Tucker is doing research and preparation to make the transition to an online seedling “shop” — to be located on the LCSWA website — as seamless as possible. With real-time pre-ordering, customers will know how many seedlings are available or if they are sold out. Sales will be conducted through a secure payment gateway using a credit card. The LCSWA will still be able to provide refunds if our nurseries have changes in supply after you place your order.

“The tools to build a typical online store are free, but the challenge is to customize the functionality to meet LCSWA requirements by using free or low-cost additional tools to minimize the need for custom code,” said Hildebrandt. “So far we’re making great progress because Lena is really good at spelling out requirements, entering data, and testing.”

Lena Tucker sitting at laptop, LCSWA board members standing around her.

At the June 8 board meeting Lena Tucker, seated, previewed the new seedling sale web program for the board of directors. From left are Jim Merzenich, Jim Cota, Mike Barsotti and Katie Kohl. Photo credit: Larry Mauter, LCSWA member.

Tucker previewed the online seedling sale “shop” to the LCSWA board of directors June 8. The response was positive.

“I like it. I’m trying to make it clean and simple,” she said. “I’m excited. I don’t see anything that’s a deal breaker,” Tucker told the board.

The 2024 sale will be held at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center Saturday, Feb. 3.
The sale offers conifers, hardwoods and shrubs to small woodland owners and back yard gardeners — with plants coming from area nurseries.

The timetable for the seedling sale will be similar to previous years with information emailed out to previous customers and online ordering available in early December. The deadline for pre-ordering seedlings will be two weeks before the sale date.

Feb. 3 sales may be paid with cash or check. For more information or to comment, please contact us.

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Prepackaged orders reached a record 238 for the 28th annual sale.

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