Native bees need native plants.

Help pollinators thrive!

Support pollinators by providing forage and nesting sites with native plants.

Encourage local businesses, schools, and homeowners to include native plants in their gardens

Provide teaching materials schools to teach about the types and importance of pollinators and their interactions with plants.

Why are Natives Important ?

Habitat Fragmentation

Habitat fragmentation has reduced suitable habitat and food supply. Paved roads, housing developments, and city expansion have intersected and divided much of our natural areas. This habitat loss and declining functional ecosystems is the greatest threat to biodiversity.

Creating small native gardens in urban areas can create habitat connectivity in formerly unhospitable areas for pollinators.

Exotic Plants

Exotic plants, which are ubiquitous in our landscapes, often do not contribute ecologically to surrounding organisms. Many insects are specialists and require specific native plants to feed or reproduce on. Long term evolutionary relationships between plants and insects develop over long periods of time to form these essential associations.

Native plants support a multitude of native pollinators while providing gorgeous variety to the landscape.

Loss of Diversity

Loss of diversity threatens the health of our natural communities. Rich and complex ecosystems have organisms with overlapping functionalities. As species are lost, so is the stability and efficiency of the system.

Using a variety of native plants creates a more complex landscape capable of supporting various beneficial insects and subsequently higher trophic levels including humans!

Getting Involved

Garden installation

We provide schools, businesses, and homeowners with packages of gorgeous native plants ready for installation in raised beds or pots. Seasonally available grasses and wildflowers are grown at the State Botanical Garden and will feed native pollinators while beautifying your garden. These plants require full sun and well drained soil to thrive. Plan for your garden to be situated in a sunny location. Send us photos of your established garden for us to include in our interactive Connect to Protect Garden map!

On-site education

Our team of environmental educators will come to your school within 15 miles of Athens to help you and your students install a Connect to Protect planting of your choice and lead related hands-on activities. Programs cost $4/student. Plants and signs are free of cost while supplies last!

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