Saturday, February 10th, 2018

Middle Georgia State University Conference Center, Macon, GA.
Doors open at 8:00 AM  I  Symposium begins at 8:45 AM

Our 23rd Symposium boasts an exciting line-up of five distinguished speakers who will demonstrate the importance of landscaping with native plantings rooted in the geology and ecology of Georgia’s diverse native plant communities. REGISTER NOW for this informative lecture series to learn about the ecological importance of planned communities in our landscape, particularly those integrating with Georgia’s native trees and forests. There is outstanding tree diversity in Georgia with many lessons to be learned from our greatest natural asset: GEORGIA NATIVE TREES.

This is your opportunity to:

  • Listen and learn from our five diverse speakers
  • Take advantage of planting advice from skilled botanists and Master Gardeners
  • Purchase native plants from nurseries for all of Georgia’s diverse regions
  • Meet with wildlife and environmental organizations
  • Purchase native plants from nurseries for all of Georgia’s diverse regions
  • Learn about our Native Plant Habitat Certification Program
  • Check out crafts and gifts from local artists
  • Purchase a 2018 Plant of the Year T-shirt, patented Kombi shovels or GNPS merchandise
  • Buy signed books authored by our speakers and distinguished members
  • Get to know other chapters and their members





Southern Live Oaks, Quercus virginiana, Residential Grove in Brookgreen

LARRY MELLICHAMP I  Gardening with the Best Native Plants of the Southeast
BIO: Dr. Larry Mellichamp is Emeritus Professor of Botany & Horticulture at UNCC, where he also served as Director of the University Botanical Gardens. Author of many technical and popular articles, Larry is also the recipient of several horticultural and teaching awards.

9:00 AM PRESENTATION: It’s time to celebrate our great southeastern US native plants and use them in the home landscape. Many natives are easy to grow and are becoming more widely available. Plus, these plants are better adapted to our warm southern climate, support our native butterflies and birds, and are interesting in their own right. Join us to learn more about some of the best species for a variety of home landscape uses.


White Oak, Quercus alba, in Fall Seasonal Color

KIM CODER  I  Secret Understandings of Trees: Careful Beginnings, Riotous Living & Catastrophic Ending

BIO: Kim D. Coder is Professor of Tree Biology & Health Care at UGA.

10:45 AM PRESENTATION: Tree life is filled with patient, progressive expansion, and shedding. A large tree has relatively few living cells, but must colonize and control large expanses of resource- containing space. The environment conspires to constrain tree life, and trees fight against this ecological friction to grow, thrive and reproduce. Tree understandings include biology and structure – how they survive on harsh sites, stand against storm winds and gravity, and usually outlive us by three generations.





Lurie Garden, SE Millennium Park, Chicago, IL

SCOTT STEWART  I  Trees & Designed Plant Communities
BIO: Deeply passionate about the value and role of public space, Dr. Scott Stewart serves as Executive Director of the Millennium Park Foundation. He is extensively published on topics ranging from the evolving roles of public gardens and parks to rare plant species propagation.

1:00 PM PRESENTATION: Designed plant communities, particularly those integrating tree communities, require bringing together aspects of traditional horticulture with a knowledge of local natural history and ecology, an approach often uncomfortable for the more traditional gardener or landscape designer. In this session, we will discuss the unique characteristics of designed plant communities and best practices for their management and care.




#2 ATL Champion Tuliptree, Liriodendron tulipifera, Lullwater Conservation Park

KATHRYN KOLB  I  What’s In Your Yard? Old Growth & Original Forests in the City and Beyond

BIO: Master Naturalist Kathryn Kolb shares over 30 years of field experience in forests and wild lands of the Southeast. She is also known for her distinctive work as a fine art photographer of natural forms and landscapes.

2:15 PM PRESENTATION: Kathryn shows how the settlement and development history of our eco-region left pockets of high-value forest even in urban places, and how to “read” the landscape for clues about older forest remnants. Native plant species are a critical part of the story, and you can learn to recognize, nurture and protect these special places, which might be found in your backyard or on larger properties.



#1 ATL Champion Red Oak, Quercus rubra, Beecher Hills

ELI DICKERSON  I  Champion Trees & You | Empowering Georgia Citizens to Discover New Champions.
BIO: Eli Dickerson, ecologist at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, oversees the restoration of the 65-acre, old growth Fernbank forest. Through the Atlanta Champion Tree program and certified by the American Forests National Cadre of Big Tree Measurers, Eli also works to locate, identify and measure our largest Georgia trees. Many city and state champion trees have already been discovered, several of which call Fernbank Forest home.

3:00 PM PRESENTATION: Champion trees represent the largest of their species to be documented. Georgia’s outstanding tree diversity boasts over 250 native species and is home to many champion trees. Some of these champions are tucked away in hidden forest ravines and mountain coves while others are hiding in plain sight in urban environments. With your help, countless new Champions are bound to be discovered!

Download the map or click this link to add the location to your GPS to this address:
Middle Georgia State University
Charles H. Jones Building
Ivey Drive
Macon, GA 31206

Doors open at 8:00 AM. 
Contact us at to find out more or for our carpool.
Discounts offered at Best Western. Just mention GNPS for the $90 discount price.

Download the Press Release for publishing announcements to your news channels of our Symposium event. Spreading the word to your media outlets helps to increase awareness of Georgia native plants and encourage conversations on their role in our SE habitats. Don’t forget to visit our event Facebook page. We also Tweet! @GNPSociety #GoNative

Our flyer offers details on our speakers with an agenda on back detailing the days schedule and benefits of attending this once-a-year event. It’s a great tool opportunity to spread the word at your office, neighborhood events, club meetings, municipalities, bulletin boards and gatherings. We hope to see you there! Email us with any questions at:  or tweet us @GNPSociety #GoNative!

Download and print our poster to display in your office, schools, garden clubs, libraries or where there will be high-visibility traffic that may be interested in our Georgia native plants and environment. It’s a great way to increase awareness of the GNPS and our mission to preserve the native plants and their habitats for our wildlife and ecosystems we all depend upon.
#GoNative @GNPSociety

Our online banner is a great way to spread the word about the GNPS Symposium. Online sharing is one of today’s primary communication tools that reaches a diverse audience including younger audiences benefiting from our GNPS Symposium and member’s extensive ecological knowledge. Georgia’s southeastern wildlife, pollinators and ecosystem depend up on our native plants which makes our mission even more important to educate on safe practices for ecological sustainability. Take advantage of our custom tools throughout these tabs and enable that universal desire: to make a difference. In other words: #GoNative!


Landscape Architects can qualify for up to 5 Continuing Education Credits attendance at our 2018 Symposium. Download the form, print and complete to collect your credits at the end of the day. Credits must be be approved and a signature with date acquired by a GNPS Registration Chair at the end of the day to qualify. Please be sure to inquire upon registration and/or before conclusion of the Symposium at 4:00 pm.









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