As you many of you may recall going back to 2018, DNR’s Urban Forestry Program encouraged our program constituents to sign up for the American Grove, a website dedicated to the sharing of information between urban forestry professionals and tree enthusiasts across the United States. Unfortunately, shortcomings in the website’s design and functionality were too limiting, and cultivating an engaged community of users in Washington state proved difficult.
Back in October of 2018, we asked for your feedback in advance of an American Grove redesign intended to resolve those shortcomings and limitations. We are pleased to announce that redesign has finally become a reality, and the American Grove is back with a new look, new features, and new experiences, including:
- Redesigned website
- New, easier-to-use commenting system
- New Conversations section, featuring articles and blog posts
- National events calendar
- Beautiful new photo galleries
Here at DNR, we are optimistic that this redesign will allow our group members to use the Grove for meaningful, interactive engagement, and sharing of information.
Any of you previously registered with the Grove will find that your accounts have been transferred to the new platform, although you probably need to update your account information.
Those of you without a previous account can create one and start using the Grove right away. Once you are logged in with your new or existing account, we encourage you to participate in the “Washington Grove”, a sub-group that is specific to other American Grove members from Washington state.
Any new American Grove members can locate the Washington Grove by searching for it using the feature (magnifying glass icon) located in the top right of the homepage next to your profile name and avatar. You’ll then click on the Washington Grove Search result to navigate to that page, and then click to join the Washington Grove. Instructions for interacting with other Washington Grove members can be found beginning at step 3 as outlined below.
Those of you previously subscribed to American Grove can reacquaint yourself with the site and start posting content by following these step-by-step instructions:
Step 1: Simply click your profile name, which opens a drop down menu, then scroll to and click on “Groups””
Step 2: This will take you to your “My Groups” page where you will click on the Washington Grove:
Step 3: This is the main page for the Washington Grove. To pose a question to the group, begin a dialog with group members, post a job listing, or announce an opportunity, click the “Discussions” tab:
Step 4: Once on the “Discussions” page of the Washington Grove, you’ll see two buttons. By clicking the “Subscribe” button, you will receive an email alert every time there is a new “discussion” posted to the Washington Grove by one of the members. You only need to click this once on your first visit. Once you do, the button changes to say “Unsubscribe”, which you can do at any time.
There is also a button where you can post a new discussion to the group, which is far easier to do than it was on the old platform. Simply click “New Discussion” and the pop-up window should be fairly self-explanatory and user-friendly.
Step 5: For example, let’s say you’ve already subscribed to the Washington Grove’s Discussions (step 4) and you receive an email notification that a member has posted a new discussion called “Suspicious fungi on ponderosa pine”. You find this topic interesting so you click the link provided by the email to navigate back to the Washington Grove. Once you’ve read the new post, you decide you’d like to comment and so you click the “Reply” button, and a window appears allowing you to do so.
Note there is another “Subscribe” button below the “Reply” button. Clicking “Subscribe” (again, only necessary one time, unsubscribe at any time) means that you will receive email notifications any time any other member adds a reply of their own to this discussion thread. If you forget to click subscribe or decide that you do not want to subscribe to the “Suspicious fungi on ponderosa pine” discussion, then you receive no further email notifications on that discussion:
In summary, subscribing to the Washington Grove (Step 4) only alerts you whenever there is a new discussion started. Subscribing to any specific discussion (Step 5) alerts you when others add to that discussion (kind of like…. wait for it…. a listerv!).
Step 4 makes sure that you stay in the know, and Step 5 allows you to ignore or participate in particular discussions.
We look forward to seeing you on the Grove!