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Native Plant Habitat Certification

This program exists to recognize and honor you, the GNPS members, for planting, nurturing and protecting native plants in your gardens. With your work, you demonstrate that even a small residential property can can help sustain the native ecosystem—its plants, wildlife, water, soil, and air—a vital contribution to a world that has lost so much.
A garden is always a work in progress: it will have its ongoing tasks and its ongoing and unfolding pleasures. We hope to help you appreciate and enjoy the process.

Once your application is received, a member of the certification committee will arrange to visit you on your property as part of the certification process. Having a guide to help you explore the plants, site conditions, (and sometimes the wildlife!) on your property can be a fun and inspiring way to see it with new eyes.
GNPS is unable to certify your site as a native plant habitat if you are actively cultivating any Category 1 plants, as listed by the Georgia Exotic Plant Pest Council (http://www.gaeppc.org/list/). Some of the more common plants on this list are: Privet, kudzu, wisteria, Japanese honeysuckle, mimosa, English ivy, and autumn olive (eleagnus). We can help you identify the others during our site visit, but if you do not know what they are, chances are you are not trying to grow them.

Upon certification, we would welcome a photo showing off the native plants in your garden. Your photo will join others in the GNPS Native Plant Habitat Certification Album and be available for viewing and inspiration at various GNPS events.

Please include a certification program fee of $10 for Bronze and $30 for Silver or Gold, payable to GNPS, along with your completed application. You must be a member of GNPS to participate; if you are interested in certification and are not yet a member, all you need to do is join!

There are three ways to complete the application form: (1) Complete the interactive online form above and submit your information directly to the Certification Committee; (2) Download the Habitat Certification Application, complete, and email the form to the certification committee address located on the last page of the application; (3) Download the Certification Application, print, complete and mail to the address on the last page of the application.

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News & Events

Volunteer at the Fall Native Plant Sale in September

Many hands make light work for sure and it would be our pleasure to have you join us at Stone Mountain Park on the day of the Native Plant Sale to help with set up, welcome shoppers, enjoy your day performing any number of tasks with native plants and then put in a little extra energy to participate in clean up after the sale.  GNPS cannot run this event on September 23, 2017 without volunteers so please come along to lend a hand keeping in mind the plant sale can be a great learning experience for you too.  Please click on the link below to sign up and volunteer:

Volunteer for Fall Native Plant Sale

Native Plants and Birds at Kennesaw Mountain

Native Plants and Birds at Kennesaw Mountain

 One of the best things about native plants is how they attract and sustain our native birds!  Here’s a chance to learn more in a talk  + walk up Kennesaw Mountain. This is a great location for learning about birds:   Kennesaw Mountain is one of Georgia’s foremost “migrant traps”, a place where a high number and variety of migrating songbirds can be seen and heard in spring and fall. During the rest of the year, good numbers of breeding (or wintering) resident birds are found here. This workshop will use Kennesaw Mountain as a backdrop to explore the relationship between birds and native plant species and the importance of conserving one to protect the other. We will try to identify both birds and native plants found on the walk up the road to the top of the mountain and discuss bird behaviors that we observe. We should see late migrants as well as resident breeders in full nesting and chick-rearing mode.  
The workshop leader, Vinod Babu, is a researcher at Georgia Tech and a GNPS Board member who has been leading walks for Atlanta Audubon Society for the past few years, with a growing interest in the important interdependence between birds and the native plant species they depend on. 
This workshop is free and open to GNPS members only.  This is a free workshop, but registration is required here.

Report of Berkeley Lake Workday April 26, 2017

Report of Berkeley Lake workday April 26, 2017

Three GNPS members met at the Henderson Nature Sanctuary at Berkeley Lake to combat weeds, like Mondo grass, liriope, English ivy, privet sprouts, and Japanese honeysuckle. Green and gold and Carolina silverbell were blooming.

After weeding, we enjoyed lunch together.

The next scheduled workday will be Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 10:00 – 12:00, when we will again remove mondo grass.

Report of Mary Scott Nature Park Workday, May 06, 2017

Report of Mary Scott Nature Park workday May 06, 2017

On a sunny blackberry winter day, seven GNPS members met at the Mary Scott Nature Park to continue planting and weeding the front parking lot bed and the pollinator flower bed. A GNPS couple had potted and donated many plants for the front bed, the pollinator bed, and for the woods: Phlox divaricata, woodland aster, seersucker sedge, blue-eyed grass, Stokes’s aster, Juncus, Spiderwort, Oxeye sunflower (Tennessee sunflower), two species of mountain mint, and Bluestar. The new plants were mulched. A couple of workers concentrated on the West Overlook entrance since so many exotic plant pests are clustered there. The nonnative invasives removed included Youngia japonica, dandelion, chickweed, Poa annua, Japanese honeysuckle, jetbead, English ivy, nandina, Microstegium, Acuba, winter creeper, Japanese holly, Wisteria seedlings, and the dreaded chaff flower. A couple of Bradford pear trees were pulled with a weed wrench. We also pulled out a little junk left by the previous owners: a length of cable hidden under the ivy, plus three chunks of asphalt.

The next scheduled workday will be Saturday, June 03, 2017, 1:00-3:00 pm when we plan to remove weeds from the new beds. We will also work along the paths hand pulling Microstegium and excavating the chaff flower plants.

Native Magnolias of Georgia at Woodlands Gardens

The magnolia family is an ancient, beautiful, and interesting one.  Georgia has seven species of magnolias, and all but one grows in Woodlands Garden in Decatur, Georgia, along with tulip-tree, which is in the same family.  We will first talk about the interesting ecology and habitats of Georgia magnolias, and then we will walk through the garden and learn how to identify them.  We’ll also observe another fairly primitive family, the buttercups, including black cohosh, columbine, yellow root, and meadow rue. (Hand-outs provided.)  Registration required at https://gnps.z2systems.com/np/clients/gnps/eventRegistration.jsp?event=16&

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