Conserve: Research & Conservation

Every day, the State Botanical Garden of Georgia continues safeguarding imperiled populations, restoring natural habitats and training conservation professionals. You can help us too!

Contact Our Research Department Here

Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance

In 1995, the major Botanical gar­dens of Georgia ini­ti­ated a net­work of organi­za­tions actively involved in conser­va­tion edu­ca­tion and research. The head­quar­ters of this group, called the Georgia Plant Conser­va­tion Alliance (GPCA), is right here at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. In situ and ex situ efforts in hor­ti­cul­tu­ral safe­guard­ing are com­bined with habi­tat res­to­ra­tion, inva­sive spe­cies man­age­ment and applied pop­u­la­tion genet­ics in order to pro­tect Georgia’s most imper­iled plant pop­u­la­tions. The com­bined resources of GPCA mem­bers and the Botanical Guar­dian vol­un­teers pro­vide pow­er­ful tools to effect plant conser­va­tion in Georgia. More help is always needed, and public sup­port of plant conser­va­tion is crit­i­cal for long-term suc­cess.

Mimsie Lanier Center for Native Plant Studies

Named for Mim­sie Lanier, long­time advo­cate of the Garden's Conser­va­tion pro­grams, the Mim­sie Lanier Cen­ter is a research, edu­ca­tion and plant pro­duc­tion cen­ter nes­tled between the prairie, flood­plain and for­est nat­u­ral areas of the Garden. With 2.5 acres of fenced space, we pro­p­a­gate native Georgia plants for habi­tat res­to­ra­tion, endan­gered spe­cies recov­ery and intro­duc­tion to the gar­den­ing com­mu­nity. We pro­mote the incor­po­ra­tion of Georgia natives into Garden dis­plays and right-of-way res­to­ra­tion pro­jects in order to bet­ter reset the land for diver­sity, help sup­port eco­log­i­cal func­tions in urban areas and share really great plants.

Georgia Native Plant Initiative

The Georgia Native Plant Ini­tia­tive is a net­work the State Botanical Garden began coor­d­i­nat­ing in 2010. Its intent is to pro­mote eth­i­cal and sus­tain­able use of native plants in Georgia land­s­capes. The Ini­tia­tive con­sists of part­n­er­ships between com­mer­cial grow­ers, hor­ti­cul­tu­ral sci­en­tists, land man­agers, land­s­cape archi­tects and res­to­ra­tion ecol­o­gists. By iden­ti­fy­ing exist­ing sources of locally-pro­p­a­gated native spe­cies and pro­vid­ing new research, this ini­tia­tive will cre­ate a roadmap link­ing grow­ers and con­sumers. This net­work will make native plants more diverse and read­ily avai­l­able in the trade. The pro­gram tar­gets both orna­men­tal spe­cies to be used in land­s­cap­ing and genet­i­cally diverse native spe­cies needed for habi­tat res­to­ra­tion and reha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­jects.

Conservation Education

All of our research and conser­va­tion activ­i­ties have an edu­ca­tio­nal com­po­nent, whether it is hands-on train­ing for under­gra­d­u­ate stu­dents, conser­va­tion hor­ti­cul­ture activ­i­ties for adult vol­un­teers or staff pre­sen­ta­tions on cam­pus and at pro­fes­sio­nal meet­ings. Our exten­sive col­lec­tions of endan­gered spe­cies and research plots in the Mim­sie Lanier Cen­ter for Native Plant Studies are excep­tio­nal resources for for­mal and infor­mal instruc­tion. Under­gra­d­u­ate stu­dents at the Uni­ver­sity of Georgia have the oppor­tu­nity to par­ti­ci­pate in habi­tat res­to­ra­tion pro­jects at the Garden by enrolling in the ser­vice-learn­ing course “Conserv­ing Native Plants” (Hor­ti­cul­ture 3333S) offered every spring semester. Our pro­grams depend on vol­un­teer and stu­dent par­ti­ci­pa­tion for suc­cess, and we would love to have your help.

Connect to Protect

The Con­nect to Pro­tect Pro­gram pro­motes the bio­di­ver­sity of native plants and pol­li­na­tors in the Georgia Pied­mont region. Pol­li­na­tors play a cru­cial role in a healthy func­tion­ing ecosys­tem and pro­vide humans with eco­log­i­cal ser­vices such as food and seed pro­duc­tion. We encour­age cre­at­ing beau­ti­ful dis­plays of locally appro­pri­ate plants to sup­ply these insects with a source of food as well as sites to breed. The goal of this col­lab­o­ra­tive pro­ject is to pro­vide the public with neces­sary infor­ma­tion and teach­ing tools for empha­siz­ing the sig­ni­f­i­cance of ins­talling native gar­dens on large and small scales alike!

Contact Our Research Department

To Learn About Conservation Projects and Find Out How You Can Help

(706) 542-6448

Jim Affolter

Director of Research

Linda Chafin

Conservation Botanist

Heather Alley

Conservation Horticulturalist

Jennifer Ceska

Conservation Coordinator