Native plants are vital to their local ecosystems. A garden or natural area with native plants increases biodiversity and is particularly interesting because of the complex relationships between plants, their pollinators and disseminators, and the environment.
A key part of Georgia Native Plant Society’s mission is to educate our members and the public about native plants and the habitats they live in. Continuing education activities include field trips, workshops, reading lists, membership meetings, and special educational events, all of which offer many ways to learn how to identify native plants, understand their natural settings and ecology, and propagate and grow them.
We host an annual symposium, which is a full day of presentations and lectures by scholars and professionals on a wide array of topics related to native plants. GNPS strongly believes in ensuring that students and dedicated professionals have an opportunity to learn, so scholarships are available to attend the symposium, open to college students, interns at nature centers and botanical gardens, and to interpretive naturalists who work at Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites and other natural areas.
To further educate students, GNPS sponsors scholarships to the regional Cullowhee Native Plant Conference held at Western North Carolina University. A plant of the year is chosen by the membership and enables us to appreciate an important native plant in more depth. A speaker’s bureau provides the names of members who can serve as potential speakers for schools and other organizations. We also provide educational materials for many age and knowledge levels, and sponsor formal research into all aspects of native plants and their environmental relationships.