Featured Speakers

Beth Grant Beth Grant is a retired mental health counselor and educator, who led the movement that saved the old growth Lost Creek Forest at the Thomasville airport and is Founder and President of Friends of Lost Creek Forest. She is the lead volunteer at Cherokee Pollinator Garden in Thomasville and Wolf Creek Trout Lily Preserve in Grady Co., as well as an enthusiastic and active member/volunteer with Birdsong Nature Center, Florida Native Plant Society (Magnolia Chapter board member), Georgia Native Plant Society (Coastal Plain Chapter), GA Botanical Society, Ochlockonee River Water Trail, Audubon Society, Sierra Club, and SWGA Conservancy.

You may have never thought of your yard as a wildlife preserve. Dr. Doug Tallamy declares that is exactly the role your landscape can fulfill if you want to help save biodiversity!

Beth has been granted permission from Doug Tallamy. Professor and Chair, Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware, to present his slideshow on his book "Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants."

Everyone who loves the wonders of the natural world can contribute to the survival of our native birds, butterflies, and other treasures! The pressures on wildlife are greater than ever. Some populations are declining at an alarming rate. We all can help to reverse this trend. There is an unbreakable link between native plant species and native wildlife. Non-native plants do not provide the needed resources. Exotic invasives outcompete the natives, reducing needed resources even in areas that have not been developed. By planting natives and eliminating invasives, everyone can provide a welcoming environment for the web of wildlife while also promoting human well-being. There is no better way to involve children in nature than by bringing it to your garden. By acting on Dr. Tallamyís practical recommendations, everyone can make a difference.


Gary Hawkins Gary Hawkins Gary is the Water Resource Management and Policy Specialist with the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Georgia. Gary has been working with UGA for 15 years in various areas covering pollution prevention, water management and alternative energy. He graduated from Clemson, Auburn and Tennessee with degrees in Agricultural Engineering and works in the Crop and Soils Department at UGA. His current focus is working with water conservation in agricultural systems, storm water management and onsite waste treatment, but his job responsibilities also cover all aspects of water quantity, quality and conservation.


Richard Carter Richard Carter, has been a member of the faculty at Valdosta State University (VSU) since 1984. Involving students in many aspects of his research, he is field and herbarium botanist specializing in flora of Georgia and taxonomy of sedges. He also actively curates the VSU Herbarium, a regional collection of more than 70,000 plant specimens. With support from the National Science Foundation, a collaborative venture between VSU and the University of Georgia has made high-resolution images and data derived from specimens in their herbaria publically available on-line. He is currently President of the Southeastern Chapter of the Society of Herbarium Curators and was recently elected a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London. Richard received his B.S. in Zoology and M.S. in Botany from Mississippi State University and Ph.D. in General Biology with emphasis in Botany from Vanderbilt University. His major research objectives now are to complete a floristic manual of the Georgia coastal plain and a comprehensive taxonomic treatment of the sedge genus Cyperus for the southeastern United States, synthesizing his floristic and taxonomic efforts over the past three decades. More information about Richardís work, the VSU Herbarium, and the VSU Virtual Herbarium may be found at his website.

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