Georgia Native Plant Society
Events of Interest

GNPS Meetings and Events Chattahoochee Nature Center Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage & National Park Experience
GNPS Propagation & Restoration Projects Georgia Botanical Society State Botanical Garden of Georgia
Callaway Gardens South Georgia Native Plant & Wildflower Symposium Trees Atlanta

Please visit the Other Organizations Listing to get contact information for organizations which do not have activities currently listed.

*NOTICE: The GNPS is not responsible for and has no control over the subject matter, content, information, or graphics of any outside web sites that have links here. Please contact us with any comments, concerns, or questions. This list has been compiled to make it easier for GNPS members to find events that might interest them. The listing of these events does not imply any kind of endorsement, by the GNPS, of these organizations.

GNPS Meetings and Events

GNPS meetings are held on alternate months beginning in January, and are open to the public. They are held on the Second Tuesday evening at Day Hall at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, at 1345 Piedmont Avenue, NE, Atlanta, GA. Normal schedule: Social Hour at 6:45, Speaker at 7:30 PM. When you attend a meeting, you can request a $3 voucher off parking when you carpool - so bring a friend! If you'd like to get into a carpool, contact Susan Hanson for assistance. Be sure to include your address and your phone number (preferably cell).

To learn more about GNPS Chapter meetings and events, visit:

From Art to Zombies: A Peek into the more Esoteric Utilization of Fungi - Tuesday, January 13, 2015. Rod Stafford,Vice President of the Mushroom Club of Georgia, will speak on this topic. Of the major kingdoms of living organisms on earth, the fungi certainly contain some of the most bizarre and fascinating species. Knowledge of fungi and mushrooms is generally limited to eating a limited variety purchased at the local grocery. Yet mushrooms play many roles in our local ecosystems and environments besides serving as a food source. Some of the more interesting uses we will discuss include: cleaning contaminated soil and water; imitating plastics by replacing Styrofoam packing materials; providing a full-spectrum color palette for dyeing fabrics; producing a wide range of medicinal products; brainwashing living hosts and sporulating from their heads; and ridding a home of evil spirits, to name a few.

Rod Stafford is the Vice President of the Mushroom Club of Georgia (MCG) and has been a regular speaker for MCG over the past five years. Rod has an academic degree in biochemistry and was a toxicologist for the State of Georgia before switching careers to become a web application developer. He has led various workshops on growing mushrooms, and can usually be found in the woods during MCG's many public walks in metro Atlanta and North Georgia.

GNPS Propagation & Restoration Projects

Items under this heading will generally be work days for propagation and restoration projects that GNPS is participating in. Please use the contact information in the item to learn more about the activity.

Stone Mountain Propagation Project workday 10AM-noon - Saturday, December 27. Happy Holidays everyone. There will not be a workday this week. Severe weather may dictate the need for an unscheduled workday. For more information, please email Karen McCaustland.


Stone Mountain Propagation Project Workday 10AM-noon - Saturday, January 10, 2015, 2015 marks the eighth year of SMPP. Many thanks to those who worked to start this project and establish the infrastructure, and many more thanks to those who volunteer to keep it thriving. More seed starts, possibly some up-potting and site maintenance. To have the gate fee waived you must mention code SG05 to the gate attendant. For more information, please email Karen McCaustland.


Callaway Gardens

Callaway Gardens is in a unique region of Georgia. In this area, the flat, sandy, Coastal Plain ecosystem meets the rolling hills and clay soils of the Piedmont. In addition, Pine Mountain Ridge, the southernmost mountain in Georgia, is here with plant species typically found growing further north in the Appalachian Mountains. The intersection of these three different plant communities provides natural biodiversity in the forests of this region.

Callaway Gardens is owned and operated by the non-profit Ida Cason Callaway Foundation (ICCF). The 13,000 acres of Callaway Gardens include a garden, resort, preserve and residential communities. Highlights include a butterfly conservatory, horticultural center, discovery center, chapel, inland beach, nature trails and special events throughout the year.

Callaway Gardens is in Pine Mountain, GA, 60 minutes southwest of Atlanta and 30 minutes north of Columbus. For further information, call 1-800-CALLAWAY (1-800-225-5292) or visit

Workshop fees include admission to Callaway Gardens. To register, call the Education Department at 1-800-CALLAWAY (225-5292), option 5, option 2; 706-663-5153 or email Please plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before each workshop begins. For a complete listing, visit Annual Pass holders and Callaway Connection members qualify for special rates.

29th Annual Southern Garden Symposium at Callaway Gardens - Friday, January 23 - Sunday, January 25, 2015. Designed for novice to expert gardeners, this jam-packed schedule includes lectures and presentations as well as optional pre-conference workshops. Though content-rich, this event provides the unique opportunity for personal interaction with the speakers throughout the weekend.

Learn from experts including Authors Peter Loewer (Murder in the Garden), Troy Marden (Lessons from 20 Years of Gardening in the South), and Dr. Larry Mellichamp (Natives for Your Garden). These authors will have their books available for sale and will sign autographs throughout the weekend. Other lectures include Ben Page (Creating a Nurturing Garden), Jinni Hernandez (Tried, True and New Annuals), Kurt Straudt (Succulents in Your Garden), Michael Buckman (Gardening for Butterflies) and Dan Long (Clematis).

In addition to presentations, guests can indulge their passion at the SGS Marketplace offering one-stop shopping for the gardener. You'll find an assortment of choice plants, many of which are touted by Symposium speakers as the new must-haves"; a superb book selection including new releases by SGS speakers, who will be available for autographing; and a delightful array of garden ornaments.

Preregistration for SGS is required by Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. The program registration fee of $259 includes Friday's opening reception; Saturday's continental breakfast, programs with printed materials, box lunch and evening banquet; and Sunday's continental breakfast and programs with printed materials.

The Southern Gardening Symposium is approved for seven contact hours for Georgia Certified Landscape Professional Continuing Education Units.

For further information about SGS or to request a brochure, contact the Education Department at 1-800-CALLAWAY (225-5292), 706-663-5153 or

Chattahoochee Nature Center

The Chattahoochee Nature Center is a 127-acre private non-profit environmental education facility located on the banks of the Chattahoochee River, at 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell, GA 30075. More than 100,000 people visit the center each year. Many come on the weekends to roam the forest trails, stroll the river boardwalk, participate in guided hikes, visit the animals, or attend Sunday Specials. Many visitors come to the Nature Center on school field trips, for birthday parties, scout badge programs, overnight adventures, after-school nature workshops, and adult and family programs.

The center is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.

The CNC offers many programs for children, adults, and families. For more information, call 770-992-2055, or visit for a full listing.

Wildlife Habitats: If you build it they will come - Saturday, February 28, 2015. Join CNC Environmental Horticulturist, Lisa Cole to take a deeper look at the connections between the plant and animal worlds. The right plants added to a garden space provides food, shelter, and nesting habitats for bees, birds, and butterflies. Class includes a presentation and a tour of the outdoors to see what is happening in Nature during late winter. 10 AM - 12 PM

Each participant will receive a free plant and additional plants will be available for purchase.

Ages 16; $20 General Public/$10 CNC Members; Register by February 25th on-line or contacting the scheduling office at 770-992-2055 ext. 237.

Georgia Botanical Society

Our primary membership activity is sponsoring field trips to interesting natural areas in Georgia. Membership is open to all, with a basic membership fee of $25 per calendar year. Join us in exploring areas from the mountains to the coast to find fascinating varieties of plants and learn from knowledgeable botanists who lead us. Most of us are not professional botanists, but enjoy learning about our native flowers, shrubs, trees, grasses, mosses, lichens and fungi.

Visitors are welcome to participate in the Society's field trips and are encouraged to follow up their interest by joining the organization. Visit the website for information on upcoming field trips.

Trips usually meet at 10:00 a.m. on Saturdays with directions to the meeting site published in the BotSoc News and on the Bot Soc website. Simply show up at the site to join the trip. If overnight accommodations are needed, you are expected to arrange them on your own, but we often list suitable local places.

Before heading out to a BotSoc trip, it is a good idea to see if anything has changed by contacting the trip leader listed for the trip on the website. Remember that all trips are tentative. We rarely cancel a trip, but they do change occasionally. Directions for a field trip are in the latest issue of the BotSoc News and on our website. Members can also register with Anita Reaves at for email reminders of upcoming field trips.

Please be aware that these are outdoor field trips, and there is some risk involved. An indication of the physical nature of the trip is included in BotSoc News so that you may determine if the trip is appropriate for your abilities. All participants in BotSoc field trips are expected to sign a liability waiver as a condition of attending. It is our policy to visit private property only with permission of the owner.

46th Annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage - Friday, May 8 - Sunday, May 10, 2015. This year's Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage will be held in Dahlonega, GA. Plan now to join us, more information will be posted on our website soon.

South Georgia Native Plant & Wildflower Symposium

The South Georgia Native Plant & Wildflower Symposium (SGNPWS), the recipient of the 2014 Outstanding Education Award from the Georgia Urban Forest Council, is held at UGA’s Tifton Campus each year. Come and be prepared to learn something to take back to your home and your community.

For more information visit

2015 South Georgia Native Plant & Wildflower Symposium - Wednesday, March 25, 2015. This will be the 15th year of great presentations from regional experts on timely topics. Mark your calendar now for Wednesday March 25, 2015. Topics for the day will be selecting native trees, bog gardening in wet areas, and exploring the many reasons to include native plants in the home landscape. Come and be prepared to learn something to take back to your home and your community.

Mark your calendar and set your GPS for 2355 Rainwater Road, Tifton. NESPAL - the original location for the SGNPWS - will be an excellent place to gather with old - and new- friends, to share ideas and to be encouraged by avid and experienced gardeners. See you in Tifton!

Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage & National Park Experience

Since 1950, the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage has been an annual event in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Programs consist of a variety of wildflower, fauna, and natural history walks, motorcades, photographic tours, art classes, and indoor seminars. Most programs are outdoors in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, while indoor offerings are held in various venues throughout Gatlinburg, TN.

The website,, will have the latest information on Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage events.

64th Annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage - Tuesday, April 21 - Saturday, April 25, 2015. Registration begins in January for the 64th annual event. Click on the link above for registration.

State Botanical Garden of Georgia

The State Botanical Garden of Georgia is a public educational facility operated under the auspices of the University of Georgia. It is a "living laboratory" for university students and faculty who utilize the collections and natural plant communities for studies in a variety of disciplines. The Garden is also a public garden for enjoyment by the general public who find beauty, knowledge and solitude in a garden setting.

The SBG is located in Athens at the University of Georgia at 2450 South Milledge Avenue. For more information, or to register for any programs, call 706 542-6156. Visit their Web site at

Winter Tree Identification Class - Saturday, January 17, 2015. Learn to identify deciduous trees in their dormant condition by observing and describing twigs, bark, leaf scars, nuts, branching patterns, and tree form. Class time will be divided between classroom exercises and a field trip to the deciduous forests at the Botanical Garden. 9 AM to 1 PM.



COST: $50 MEMBER COST: $45.00

To register:

2015 Native Plant Symposium - Wednesday, January 21, 2015. Native plants are uniquely adapted to local conditions, having co-evolved with other plants, animals, pollinators, and soil biota. Therefore they require little maintenance and withstand temperature and moisture extremes. Most importantly, native plants provide diverse sources of food and shelter for a wide variety of insects and birds, butterflies, mammals, reptiles, etc. in the complex web of life. Join us for a day-long program that considers gardening with native flowers and trees along with related conservation issues. Learn how to incorporate your appreciation of these plants into your home landscape plan during this day long series of presentations.

This year, noted author, naturalist and activist, Janisse Ray ("The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food") will be our keynote speaker, making the connection between saving seeds and protecting native plants.

For more information and to register:

Trees Atlanta

Trees Atlanta is a non-profit citizens' group dedicated to protecting and improving our urban environment by planting and conserving trees. We also educate the public about the value of trees. We are involved in tree issues in the entire metropolitan Atlanta area.

Volunteer projects are typically on Saturday mornings from 9 to noon. Locations vary week-to-week.

All volunteers must sign up to receive weekly emails with detailed project information. Children are welcome if they bring an adult with them. Activities include tree planting and care, depending on community needs and time of year. Visit the Trees Atlanta Web site at for more information.

Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum Walking Tour - Friday, May 23 - Tuesday, December 30. The walking tour (register here) takes approximately 90 minutes and begins from an easily-accessible trailhead in the Inman Park neighborhood at 10:00 AM on Fridays and Saturdays. Each docent prepares their own unique talking points to spotlight the native trees, architectural interests, key historical stories, and much more. Be sure to take advantage of this free walking tour, which is offered all year so you can experience every season of the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum with an expert docent.

© Georgia Native Plant Society  •  1994 - 2014  •  All Rights Reserved

Last update:  December 19, 2014