Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Restoring Native Habitat

The State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens is developing The Center for Native Plant Studies within the Garden to develop methods for propagating and growing native plants, research endangered and other native plants, and work on habitat restoration. Several acres of privet were cleared last fall as an initial step toward restoring the biodiversity of the floodplain forest understory. You can see in this photo that light returns to the forest floor in the areas where the dense evergreen privet is removed. We were pleased to see trillium, mayapple, corydalis and wild geranium pop up in that area this spring.

Botanical Garden staff are working with UGA classes to determine the best way to restore this habitat, with the goal of developing a template for landowners and government agencies to reclaim lands overrun by privet and other invasive species. On Tuesday, May 15, from 5:30 – 7:00 pm, the Garden’s Research & Conservation Department is leading a free behind the scenes tour of the Center for Native Plant Studies. Meet at the powerline cut parking lot near the Middle Oconee River. For more information call 706-542-6156.