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