We appreciate our chapters so much, helping to bring activities even closer to our state-wide members. We have status from all 3 chapters this morning, so keep reading (and click to enlarge their pictures).

From the West GA Chapter in Carrollton:

Our chapter’s primary focus since late 2015 has been the beautification of the area where the Buffalo Creek Trail meets the Carrollton Green Belt, now known as the Meadow Entrance. The Carrollton Green Belt, similar to the Atlanta BeltLine, is an 18 mile paved walking/biking trail circling Carrollton. Unlike the BeltLine, which follows transit lines, the Green Belt traverses public and private lands and offers wonderful views of old farmland, forests, and wetlands, and access to downtown Carrollton and the University of West Georgia.

There is a parking lot at the Green Belt entrance next to the Meadow Area, where bikes can be rented and dropped off along the Green Belt.  The Buffalo Creek Trail is now marked on the Green Belt map, so users can detour for a walk along the Trail as they use the Green Belt. After many hours of removing privet and other invasive plants, and with generous grants from the Community Foundation of West Georgia, the Carroll County Master Gardeners, and GNPS, we have added a kiosk, bike rack, bench, pollinator garden, birdhouses, and split rail fencing to the Meadow area.  Gina and Mike Strickland donated a boardwalk and funds for planting a rain garden/bog in the Meadow area.  The boardwalk has just been completed and planting will begin soon.  Signage will follow. A couple pictures of the construction are below.

Note: We, unfortunately, had to cancel our October program on mason bees and bumblebees due to the death of our speaker, Nick Stewart.  We hope to find another speaker and reschedule it for 2018.

Mike Strickland tries out the new bench.

A view of the boardwalk from the meadow.

From the Coastal Plain Chapter in Tifton:

The Coastal Plain Chapter, GNPS will hold its annual business meeting on November 4 at the Altama Plantation near Brunswick, GA.  There will be a short business meeting to elect officers, recap this year’s activities and plan for the coming year.  Heather Alley with UGA State Botanical Garden will present on their Connect to Protect Program. This project provides the public information, plant materials and educational tools for teaching the significance of incorporating native plants on large and small scales alike! We will also discuss a Coastal Plain Milkweed Initiative, followed by a tour of a 1930’s era formal garden & explore the Altama property.

On October 21st Coastal Plain Chapter, GNPS helped sponsor the third annual Butterfly, Bees, and Beyond Symposium at Vincent Gardens in Douglas, GA.  The meeting was well attended with persons attending from as far away as St Mary’s and Warner Robins.  Activities included:  a Wildlife Habitat Walkabout by Donna Vincent, an introduction to the Rosalyn Carter Butterfly Trail by Annette Wise, Backyard Wildlife – Birds by Noah McCord, and Edible Landscaping with Natives by Katherine Melcher.  In the afternoon, participants were treated to break out make and take sessions that included propagating from cuttings by Donna Vincent and making cast stone butterfly waterers by Amy Heidt and Karan Rawlins.  Participants were able to take home cuttings to be rooted and a butterfly waterer for their gardens.

From the Redbud Chapter in Gainesville:

The Redbud Chapter presented a program on rain gardens for Building Green Infrastructure to Water Quality at Lake Lanier and Oconee Basin Advisory Board of Metro Water Districts held Tuesday, Oct 24 at the Linwood Ecology Center.

We also continued our community engagement effort with testing of monarchs for the protozoan parasite OE (see pictures below). This is something we learned about in our June 2016 meeting with speaker Paola Barriga (Post-doctoral Researcher, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens). She is part of Altizer labs doing this research. This website has more info:  https://www.altizerlab.org/research-1

We have a field trip coming up on November 8th: Thompson Mills Forest – Georgia State Arboretum, 1740 New Liberty Church Rd. Bill Lott will be our guide for a 10-12pm Walk & Talk, followed by 12-1pm Lunch (BYOBag Lunch) Q&A.

For 2018, we are working on a Gainesville Ridges Native Plant ID Certification Workshop Series. Stay in touch with us for details.

OE sampling

One of the Monarchs sampled



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