On December 16, 2016, Dr. David Chevalier, East Georgia State College’s Interim Biology Chair, traveled to the State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens. While there, he met with Heather Alley, conservation horticulturalist at the State Botanical Garden. Both EGSC and the State Botanical Garden are members of the Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance (GPCA).
GPCA is a consortium of universities, plant societies, museums, botanical gardens and state and federal agencies. A non-profit organization, the goal of this consortium is the preservation and propagation of endangered plant species.
As a member of the GPCA, the goal of the Biology faculty and students at EGSC is to preserve endangered Georgia native species and reaching out to inform the local community about native plants and their habitats, such as the Ohoopee Sand Dunes. The first step towards this goal was achieved by a donation from the State Botanical Garden. They donated multiple Georgia native, endangered species to EGSC.
These plants were grown by Alley and included Sarracenia flava, Arabis Georgiana, and Rhexia virginica. These endangered plants are currently being grown in the greenhouse located at the Swainsboro campus of EGSC by two students enrolled in the Bachelor program at EGSC as part of a research project.
“EGSC has been a member of the GPCA since August of 2015,” explained Dr. Chevalier. “This donation is the first step towards setting up raised beds to grown Georgia native plants. These beds will be used as an outdoor classroom for EGSC students and an outreach classroom for students from local schools.”