Rebecca Byrd, Rare Plant Survey and Safeguarding Technician with the Nongame Conservation Section of the Wildlife Resources Division, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and Henning Von Schmeling, the Operations Senior Director at the Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell, Ga., visited the East Georgia State College campus recently.
Von Schmeling donated ten pitcher plants that are grown at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. The white top pitcher plants (Sarracenia leucophylla), yellow trumpets (Sarracenia flava) and hybrid pitcher plant (Sarracenia oreophila x minor var. okefenokeensis) were for the Bog Garden on EGSC’s Swainsboro campus.
Along with Biology student Norman Bevan and Interim Biology Chair Dr. David Chevalier, Byrd and Von Schmeling planted the pitcher plants in the bog garden on the Nature Trail. Von Schmeling indicated that, if the pitcher plants put in also grow well, the Chattahoochee Nature Center would be willing to donate additional and rarer native pitcher plants net year.
A bog garden is a garden with permanently wet soil. This garden at EGSC was established by Dr. Jimmy Wedincamp, now Dean of the School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at EGSC, more than fifteen years ago and was used as an educational tool for the local schools. After ten years of abandonment, Dr. Chevalier and the students enrolled in the BIOL 3460 Plant Biology class began restoration of the garden during the Spring 2016 semester. Initially, the only carnivorous plants left in the garden were several Venus Fly Traps. The test pitcher plants put in by the students prospered during the summer.
The donation from the Chattahoochee Nature Center was able to fully restore the bog garden and provide an important educational resource for the community around EGSC. The bog garden has already been used as a resource for the community during Fall 2016. During the annual Parents, Family, Friends and Alumni Day in September, more than 50 people visited the garden. The biology department plans to coordinate with local schools to organize visits to the bog garden in 2017.