In 2022, we watched our chapters grow and host activities throughout the state. We also planned for growth at the state level by starting the process to hire an executive director. While GNPS members and volunteers will always be our most important asset, the Board recognizes that an executive director can help us grow further and faster, helping GNPS to spread the message about the importance of native plants and habitat conservation to more people in Georgia.

As the year concludes, here we provide a summary of where GNPS is now and some of what we look forward to next year. You, our members, are the reason we exist. We thank you for your support in 2022 and hope that you will continue to be with us in 2023.

Chapter Status

Chapters are the core of GNPS, and we now have seven fully-chartered chapters and one in the final stages of formation. All are active, and just as an illustration of their impact, note that:

  • All chapters had at least one educational meeting and their annual business meeting
  • 4 chapters held workshops or field trips
  • 6 chapters supported workdays for planting or invasive removal
  • 7 chapters held plant sales or swaps
  • 5 chapters supported plant rescues
  • 2 chapters held garden/habitat tours
  • 3 chapters received grant funding or significant material donations for projects
  • 5 chapters managed restoration sitesor certified educational gardens
  • 2 chapters provided grants or are organizing fund raising for grants
  • 3 chapters held events for the Great Georgia Pollinator Count
  • 3 chapters have at least one member on the state board

Chapters provide newsletters and emails targeted to their members. Most of our members have chosen a chapter affiliation. If you haven’t chosen a chapter, ask us how to do that so that you can get newsletters from your closest chapter.

Membership

  • We end the year with 1,547 memberships, a 20% increase over the beginning of 2022. We saw a lot of gift memberships this year; thank you to those who decided to share your love of native plants with others!
  • We’d love to have chapters in new areas of the state: Rome, Columbus, Albany, and Cumming are just some of the areas that could use folks willing to start a new chapter. We have a fantastic support program for new chapters. If you are interested helping to start a chapter, please email [email protected].

New Items

  • In February, we published our 2022-2025 Strategic plan. If you didn’t get a chance to read it or you’ve joined since then, you can find the details on our website here.
  • As part of that plan, we created an advocacy committee to research pro-native plant policies for municipalities and we engaged a team of students at Georgia Tech to help us. If you are interested in volunteering for this committee, send an email to [email protected].
  • In our April newsletter, we asked for people to help us put together resources for HOAs. If you’d like to work on developing these valuable resources for our members, please write to us at [email protected].
  • In an effort to provide a summary of resources for some of the most common native plant-related questions, our July newsletter had an articlefull of guidance and links.
  • The Chapter Council was created, and members from each chapter have met regularly.
  • The Stone Mountain Propagation Project (SMPP) has shifted focus toward providing plants for GNPS and other habitat restoration projects. In 2022, SMPP grew over 5,000 pollinator plants for Georgia Audubon in support of a prairie restoration project at Panola Mountain State Park.  The Coastal Plain Chapter also continues propagation efforts both to support chapter plant sales and growing species of concern for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Continuing Programs

  • Symposium: The 2022 Symposium was held virtually across two sessions on February 19 and 20 and the attendance a testament to how many more people we can reach with virtual events. GNPS partnered with Georgia Audubon for the event. For 2023, we will have the virtual event on February 18 and 19, again in partnership with Georgia Audubon.
  • The state level newsletter (you’re reading it right now!) will shift to every other month in 2023. All chapters now provide regular communications to their affiliated members, including newsletters. We will continue to include some chapter news in the state newsletter. Thanks to board member Tom Collins for continuing to be the editor for this newsletter.
  • Our online store is available year-round for GNPS swag. You can find plant of the year t-shirts here for the current year (2023 shirt generally not available until February) and the years 2021 and 2022.

Society Financials

As of November 30, GNPS’s total 2022 income was $72,176, with total expenses of $55,313. Membership dues and donations were our primary sources of income. Thank you for your support!

The GNPS Stone Mountain Propagation Project (SMPP) had revenues of $20,053 (including restricted donations) with direct expenses of $9,657. SMPP grows eco-type plants in support of GNPS and its partners’ restoration projects, plus chapter plant sales.

Chapters received $11,684 in direct financial support. GNPS’s insurance premiums increased $3,800 with the expansion of insurance coverage for chapters. $6,100 was invested to enhance our brand through logo designs for GNPS and chapters.

GNPS had cash savings of $213K, which will support planned additional investment in GNPS’s growth, including the hiring of an executive director.

State Board

Thank you to all who voted in our election of the 2023 board of directors. The following new board members are joining in 2023: Chadd Reynolds, Lea Millet, and Les Cane. If you missed the election email, you can read the bio profiles of these new board members by clicking here. We wish to thank departing board members Carling Kirk and Mary Lillian Walker for their service.

Lea Millett has graciously offered to serve as the new board Secretary. We still are on the lookout for a state Treasurer to begin in 2024. Our current Treasurer, Ron Smith, has laid a firm financial foundation crafting policies and procedures that will allow for a seamless transition. Ron wishes to work closely with the incoming Treasurer for a year to ensure this success. If you are interested, please contact us by emailing [email protected].

Thank you for being a member in 2022!

We encourage you to get more active in your chapter; the old adage is still true: many hands make light work. In addition, fresh ideas and perspectives are essential to positive change while the experience of longtime members helps our new ones grow. We need you all.

For those of you with an expiring membership, you should have already received an email reminder; we encourage you to renew. Reach out to the board with any questions or to volunteer: [email protected].

 

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