This fall, downtown Athens gained some biodiversity with the installation of Connect to Protect flower beds at corners of Washington St. and College Ave. The featured native plants were grown at the garden’s Mimsie Lanier Center for Native Plant Studies and were planted by garden staff. The beds have now reached full spring bloom and are enhancing the visual space downtown while also providing an inviting space for pollinators. SBG’s presence downtown was made official last week with the installation of our interpretive sign which explains the importance of native plants in urban spaces. The plant beds feature attractive native plant species favored by native bees, butterflies and birds as well as colorful annuals to beautify our cityscape. This project was completed with the support of Athens Downtown Development, UGA Extension Master Gardeners and the Athens-Clarke Co. Unified Government.