I used to be…

We’ve gone through a lot of changes in the past year, not least of which was our switch to a new computer system. With this came a change in the type of membership cards we use. We used to have thick plastic, credit card-style cards. They were expensive, so we charged $5 to replace them (not very customer-friendly!), and they were not really eco-friendly. Whenever we can, we try to “walk the walk” when it comes to sustainability and using recycled products.

When we first started doing memberships, everyone was assigned a number. Literally, our first member was 001, and on down the line. Those of you who were frequent visitors used to come in to the Visitor’s Cottage and give us your number. Some of you stopped to chat, enough that you became more than “just a number” and we knew you by name-we like that! A comment we receive from our long time members is that they miss the days when we referred to them by number. We understand you wear that number with pride! We want you to know, you are more to us than a number; we hope you don’t mind us getting to know you by name. But if you loved your number that much, let us know; we can make sure your membership still reflects your number, too.

Our new cards have many features that align more closely with our Mission. They are more environmentally-friendly; less raw materials were used to create them, which supports our sustainability plan (and serves our planet). They are more accepted at Reciprocal Gardens, many of which use our same computer system and will recognize the cards immediately. We also have the ability to provide additional information on the back of the cards, such as our hours of operation, website and contact information; more info for you in the palm of your hand! Our new cards are easily mailed, and they save administrative staff time – we used to have to peel off and replace the labels, which required a trip to the Gardens for you (not that we ever discourage that!) and dexterity exercises for us (no small feat!). They are thinner, so they take up less space in your wallet and easily slip into your pocket. We also now have the ability to scan your barcode, which helps get you into the Gardens faster. The old cards had magnetic bar codes, but we didn’t have the ability to scan, so that feature was kind of useless! We hope you will agree, these new cards are a win-win for everyone, and they allow us to spend more time and resources on amenities and programs for YOU, our members and guests. As always, we thank you for supporting the Gardens, and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Nina Cunningham
Visitor’s Cottage Manager