Chapters in Georgia Native Plant Society

History

Over two decades ago, the Georgia Native Plant Society was founded by people based in metro Atlanta.  Since that time, their initiative and message around the importance of native plants to our lives and the ability of individuals to make a difference locally in their protection, stewardship, rescue and propagation, has spread across Georgia and in fact across the USA.  Today our members are served in other locations across the state where local groups are providing educational information, restoration opportunities and opportunities to learn more.

Realignment

In November 2019, GNPS adopted new bylaws, which implemented a state-wide governing board to set organizational policy, define its strategic vision, and directly support chapter activities. This new organizational structure paved the way for more chapters to form throughout Georgia.

Join a chapter

There are currently six chapters of the Georgia Native Plant Society with two more forming. As a member of GNPS you too can get to work and join like minded people in your area by aligning yourself with one of our chapters.

For current members, login and update your chapter affiliation through the chapter affiliation form. For new or renewing members, select your chapter affiliation on the membership form.

Form a chapter

Let us know if you are interested in learning more about how to join or start up a local chapter near you in the state of Georgia by using the Contact Us form. Current members can also use the Chapter Interest Form. To learn more about the overall process, view the Chapter Quick Start Guide. For a more in-depth guide to forming and running a chapter, see the Chapter Manual.

News & Events

North Metro Educational Talk Jan 23 7 pm Alpharetta

With the change in the governing structure of GNPS, GNPS board leadership is no longer organizing bi-monthly meetings in Atlanta. Members are encouraged to form groups that might become metro Atlanta chapters and host local educational events. This meeting is the first such event. Come meet your fellow members and exchange ideas about more local educational events, and bring a friend!

“The Best Native Plants for Home & Business & How to Use Them” is the topic for this educational presentation and Rick Barnes will be the presenter. While the focus of the talk is on trees and shrubs, some attention will be given to the concepts of provenance, evaluation of the landscape as a plant community, and some interesting facts about pollinators.

The presentation starts at 7 pm, gather for meet and greet at 6:30 pm. The meeting will be in the Community Room in Alpharetta City Hall. Parking is available along the street in front of City Hall and in the parking garage across from the library. The address for City Hall is 2 Park Plaza, Alpharetta, GA 30009.

Rick Barnes has been an active horticulturist in Atlanta for over 35 years, working in the interiorscape industry during and after graduation from the University of Georgia, and then as co-owner of Greensphere Landscaping, Inc., an award-winning design-build-maintenance firm. Greensphere was acquired by NatureScapes, Inc. in 1996 and Rick stayed with the company as Vice-President of Sales and Marketing until March of 2016, when he became a part of the team at Downey Trees, Inc. There, he is a Business Developer for the Tree & Plant Health Care division, which provides treatments for the care of living trees and improvement of their growing conditions. Read more

GNPS Transitions: State Board and Atlanta Chapter

A number of communications have been shared with the membership over the last few months regarding the transition of the GNPS Board to a State Board. This will happen in January 2020 following the approval of new by-laws and the election of the new Board at our Annual Business Meeting on November 12th.

We’ve compiled a page of information to help members understand the background and the changes associated with this transformation. We’ve talked a lot about the goals for improving our impact in the state as a result of this change, but it’s important to realize the change on the members that were never associated with a chapter before in the Atlanta area. Members in the Atlanta area are particularly affected by the change in that these members now need to come together to create one or more new chapters to help keep education and events happening in their communities.

While developing the metro Atlanta chapters will be some work, we hope that it will be an opportunity to elevate existing members to leadership positions, to bring new local ideas to the organization, and to develop educational events closer to our members, especially given the challenges associated with driving in the metro area. A group of folks are already working on an educational event in Alpharetta.

At a chapter formation meeting we held in Dunwoody recently, we emphasized that there are no preconceived notions of where metro Atlanta chapters might form. Members have expressed interest in having chapters in metro-north, metro-east, and metro-south areas. People who step up to lead chapter formation activities are the ones who will determine where these initially form and where future meetings will be held. The Strategic Task Form Team is available to help facilitate the initial communications between members looking to organize. You may reach the Strategic Task Force via email: strategic@gnps.org and chapter questions may be directed to chapters@gnps.org.

Specifically, we can help in the following ways:

  1. Provide a list of existing members in the chapter area so you can reach out to them for events, board positions, and energy.
  2. Provide GNPS materials such as brochures for your events.
  3. Provide introductions to locations for meeting venues that we have worked with; also provide ideas for speakers and event topics.
  4. Provide publicity for your events through the website, emails, and our social media channels.
  5. Provide a quick-start chapter guide to help you come up to speed quickly.

Certificate in Native Plants Program now at UGA Tifton Campus

Starting January 2019 the Certificate in Native Plants program will  be offered in addition at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus.  This successful program has been running at the State Botanical Garden in Athens for many years.  Programming at the Tifton campus will concentrate on the plant communities of the inner and outer Coastal Plain of Georgia. Download the program brochure here, and register for course offerings at www.botgarden.uga.edu.

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