Connect to Protect

What is Connect to Protect?

Connect to Protect is a program that combines beautiful public displays of native plants with educational materials to foster an understanding of the role that native plants play in maintaining biodiversity in urban and suburban landscapes of Georgia.

Healthy ecosystems depend on native plants. The animal food web all starts with the smallest among us: insects. In turn, most plants depend on insects for pollination. Reptiles, amphibians, birds, fish and mammals all require insects in their diet to survive and reproduce. For humans, insects play a crucial role in food production, pollinating two-thirds of the world’s crops.

Insects require native plants to eat and native plants need insect pollinators. So without native plants woven in urban and suburban landscapes, biodiversity declines at all levels from bees to birds to butterflies and lizards. The good news is that studies have shown that adding regionally appropriate native plants to urban and suburban neighborhoods significantly supports insect, bird and other biodiversity.

Connect to Protect creates displays of plants native to your area of Georgia that supply insects with a source of food. The goal of this collaborative project is to provide the public information, plant materials, and educational tools for teaching the significance of incorporating native plants on large and small scales alike. Connect to Protect gardens range in size from potted gardens to full sized gardens.

Environmental educators from the State Botanical Garden are available to provide educational programs built around the Connect to Protect philosophy. By doing this, SBG ensures that the next generation of Georgians will not only understand and appreciate the connections between plants, animals, and people.

Connect to Protect is funded in part by the Vaughn-Jordan Foundation.


Support wildlife by providing nectar, pollen, food, and shelter.

Encourage schools, businesses and parks to include native plants in their landscapes.

Provide teaching materials to foster an appreciation for the connections between plants, animals, and people.


How to “Connect to Protect”

How We can Help

  • Training classes through the Certificate in Native Plants Program
  • Contract grown plant material
  • Interpretive signage
  • Help with plant sourcing through our network of growers
  • Plant lists
  • Sample garden designs
  • Sample budgets

Science & Conservation staff and Education staff from the State Botanical Garden of Georgia will work with you to customize your Connect to Protect garden to suit your site and individual needs. Contact us at

Apply for Connect to Protect Certification Here

See Connect to Protect in action: Macon Garden »

Connect to Protect in the news >>