The Council uses three primary means of online communication, each with a slightly different purpose. The Council website, Council of Chapters section of the Forum, and Council of Chapters section of the Handbook are open to view by everyone inside and outside of the Society. Certain constructive actions on these three sites require ID and password access as described below. For those that use Facebook, there is also a "closed group" for Chapter Representatives to communicate informally with each other.
Council of Chapters Website
The Council of Chapters website is a publicly accessible site that provides visibility into Council activities and governance. The Council aspires to a democratic representation of the Chapters and the public interest in the conservation of Florida's native plants. A link in the footer of every FNPS.org webpage is the easiest way for anyone to find the Council website, and through the website all the other programs, activities, and operations. The Council leadership have access to direct the content of the Council website and its Calendar.
The FNPS Forum "Council of Chapters" Section
The FNPS Forum provides two-way communication for Chapter Representatives to discuss Council work. The website can't accommodate two-way communication, so the Forum serves this important purpose for Chapter Representatives and Board Directors. Additionally, online Council votes and "straw" polls can be set up on the Forum to assess the Chapter Representatives' collective opinion. The ability to Comment or Vote on the Forum requires an individual ID and password (all explained in detail under the "How To" tab on the Council website).
Email and Phone Communication
All Chapter Representatives can communicate with every other Representative and with Board Officers and Directors through email or a phone call. All Society Contact information can be accessed via a hidden footer link, "Chapter Membership Tools," on every FNPS.org page that appears only when the Chapter Representative is logged in with the Chapter ID and password. Within Chapter Membership Tools is confidential contact information for Representatives, Chapter Presidents, Directors and Officers. This, too, is explained in detail on the Council website under the "How To" tab.
The FNPS Handbook
The Handbook that you are now reading serves to centralize operational information for the Society. To avoid duplication of effort and the possibility of two different revisions of Council operations, most Council operations link to their original location on the Council website. More Chapter Representatives and Chapter members visit the Council website, or visit it first, so it makes sense to put what we want Chapters Representatives (and everyone else) to understand on the Council website rather than hidden in the Handbook. All Council of Chapters pages link to the Council website to help Handbook users find the operational information they seek.
The "Chapter Operations" section of this Handbook has information specifically designed for FNPS Chapters and their Boards. Much useful information for Chapters was developed in that section before the Council was established in 2014. Although it is an imperfect distinction, we try to focus the Handbook section, "Council of Chapters" on Council operations, rather than individual Chapter operations.