On November 16, 2017, East Georgia State College’s Chair of the Department of Biology, Dr. David Chevalier, joined 25 volunteers from eight different organizations at the Canoochee Bogs. The bogs are located along a five-mile stretch of powerline right-of-way. As one of Georgia’s best hillside seep pitcher plant bogs, these bogs provide the perfect habitat for three species of pitcher plants. One of these species, the purple pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea var. venosa), can only be found in the Canoochee Bogs.
The group met to work on pitcher plant bog restoration, led by the Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance (GPCA) and the Georgia Botanical Society. The GPCA is a non-profit organization which includes state and federal agencies, museums, botanical gardens, universities and plant societies. The goal of the organization, which EGSC joined in 2015, is to preserve and propagate endangered plant species.
The Canoochee Bogs have been a high-priority conservation project of the GPCA since its formation in 1995. Dr. Lisa Kruse, botanist from the Nongame Conservation – Wildlife Resources Division of the Department of Natural Resources, led the field work day. Volunteers worked to cut back shrubs in strategic locations that prescribed fire had not been able to penetrate. As a result, the work area that is not open to the sun and wind should now burn well so that herbaceous bog habitat can be restored.
Dr. Chevalier worked with Dr. Lynn Hodgson, a retired professor from the University of Hawaii who is now living on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina.
“I like doing this work because I can combine doing my big for the native plants, meeting interesting like-minded people, and getting a good workout,” Dr. Hodgson said. “Better than hours spent in the gym any day!”
Dr. Chevalier added, “It was a great opportunity to learn about habitats for rare plants. This experience will be used to start a propagation facility for rare plants on the EGSC campus.”