Georgia Native Plant Society Annual Symposium


Saturday, February 29, 2020

Middle Georgia State University Conference Center
Charles H. Jones Building
Macon, GA.

Note: Registration for this Event is now FULL.

Our 25th annual Symposium is all about connections between native plants and the fauna that rely upon them. Inspired by the February book release of Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard from Doug Tallamy, we invite you to be among the first to hear his new message. Growing more native plants to sustain all of nature is more urgent than ever.

REGISTER NOW for this informative lecture series and join us in our mission to promote the stewardship and conservation of Georgia’s native plants and their habitats.

Attendee Registration Vendor Registration

This is your opportunity to:
  • Listen and learn from our five distinguished speakers
  • Purchase native plants from nurseries all over Georgia
  • Get to know other chapters and their members
  • Meet with wildlife and environmental organizations
  • Learn about our Native Plant Habitat Certification program
  • Check out crafts and gifts from local artists
  • Buy signed books authored by our speakers and distinguished members



Nature’s Best Hope: Creating A Vibrant Ecosystem In The Home Landscape

BIO: Doug Tallamy is a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 95 research publications and has taught insect related courses for 39 years. His award-winning books have transformed our thinking about the role of native plants and insects in the landscape.

PRESENTATION: His new book, “Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard” arrives at a critical time. Headlines about insect declines, the impending extinction of one million species, and three billion fewer birds are a reality check about how ineffective our landscape designs have been. The good news is that the areas where we live can be pieces of the conservation puzzle. If we design small, isolated areas with plants that insects and pollinators require and connect them, we can increase the size and effectiveness of local ecosystems, sustaining biodiversity. We, ourselves, are nature’s best hope.




The Inside Scoop On Soil

BIO: Susan Varlamoff is a biologist with more than 35 years’ experience in working for resource preservation in both governmental and University of Georgia positions. She was the winner of the 2012 University of Georgia Sustainability Award while on the faculty there. She is the author of “Sustainable Gardening for the Southeast,” and her writing has appeared in the New York Times and Atlanta Journal Constitution.Gardeners who protect and enhance their soils will be rewarded with a flourishing landscape.

PRESENTATION: Susan will discuss the biology of fertile soil, and the importance of good soil structure and texture for growing native plants. Georgia soils range from packed clay in the Piedmont to porous sandy soils in the south. Learn how restoring fertility to these soils with homemade compost and avoiding pesticides that can disrupt microbial soil life will go a long way toward creating a sustainable habitat.




Woody Natives: Making Quick And Confident Choices

BIO: Ginger Woolridge is a landscape designer, author and consultant.  She holds a BS in Landscape Architecture from Pennsylvania State and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania. Her particular interest is in supporting the use of native plants. Ginger is the coauthor of “Essential Native Trees and Shrubs for the Eastern US: The Guide to Creating a Sustainable Landscape.”

PRESENTATION: The eastern US has a rich palette of native plants for almost any use. Our beautiful and tough trees and shrubs can be used to stunning effect in our landscapes. In this period of species loss, native plants are the foundation of native food webs. Ginger will underscore the case for planting natives and the threats that face them. She will review important design principles to consider when planting native trees and shrubs, and present some of her favorite woody plants.





Native Grasses And Wildflowers For Your Yard

BIO: Walter Bland is the managing partner of Rock Spring Restorations, with extensive experience in restoring habitats throughout the Southeast, and particular expertise in propagating and establishing grasses and wildflowers for native meadow habitats. He is known throughout Georgia for his restoration work. His clients include the US Forest Service, several city and county governments, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Trees Atlanta, and many other large green-space owners/managers who are improving habitat for wildlife.

PRESENTATION: Grasses and wildflowers are vital to wildlife. Walter will guide us in learning about the best native grasses and wildflowers for yards in the Southeast, and how to grow and maintain them. This talk will cover species selection, cultural practices, benefits to pollinators and birds, and weed management. Observation and planning are key to the process of creating a natural habitat in your yard. Learn, too, how the concept of natural succession in the landscape can inspire and guide your actions in creating more natural gardens to support more wildlife.



Cultivating Conservation: Native Plants And Other Tools To Help Our Birds

BIO: Adam Betuel has a B.S. in zoology from Ohio State University and has conducted avian field research across the eastern United States and South America. He is the conservation director for Atlanta Audubon, where he manages multiple programs, including reducing bird-building collisions, restoring native habitat, promoting the value of native plants, and encouraging community science programs.

PRESENTATION: Birds are vital to healthy ecosystems. They control pests, disperse seeds, act as pollinators, and serve as nature’s cleaning crew. Adam will describe the diversity of birds in Georgia and how they utilize the diverse landscapes of our state, including developed areas. He will discuss the large-scale bird decline being observed in North America, and how planting more native plants, preserving and connecting habitat, restoring greenspaces, and other steps can help reverse the decline.











News & Events


Pin It on Pinterest