By Michelle Boaen Jameson
Photos courtesy GNPS
At approximately 800 members strong, the Georgia Native Plant Society has been around for almost 24 years.
According to group president Lane Conville-Canney the mission of the organization is “to promote the stewardship and conservation of Georgia’s native plants and their habitats through education and with the involvement of individuals and organizations.”
Group events happen throughout the year that include plant sales, educational seminars and workshops.
“An annual educational Native Plant Symposium is set for April 7, and fall plant sales, plant rescues, educational workshops and field trips are planned, said Conville-Canney.
The group focuses on native plants, such as native azaleas and rhododendrons, Christmas ferns and American Snowbells. The website defines native plants as “those plants which have inhabited a particular region for thousands of years, arguably plants that were present in a particular area prior to European settlement.”
With three chapters throughout the state, the groups can work on saving plants in various habitats from coastal regions to the North Georgia Mountains.
According to the group’s website, the purpose of the rescue program is to “relocate native plants that are in the direct path of development. It is a community effort undertaken with the developer’s written permission and with many hours of volunteer labor. Rescued plants go to nature centers, parks, schools, public gardens and backyard habitats.”
The website has a complete list of plants on the rescue list as well as photos for identification. You also can suggest a site where native plants need rescuing.
How can one become a member? Easy. Just visit gnps.org/get-involved/become-member. You can work to earn your Native Plant Habitat Certification or you can be an “armchair activist” through donations to the GNPS.