A State Treasure
October 15, 2020
by Jere W. Morehead, President
The State Botanical Garden of Georgia has been a treasured resource for more than 50 years, attracting 230,000 visitors annually. Part of the University of Georgia’s Office of Public Service and Outreach, the 313-acre State Botanical Garden provides an environment for learning, inspiration, and engagement. It plays a central role in habitat restoration and preservation of Georgia’s native plants and was recently recognized by the American Public Gardens Association for excellence in biodiversity and conservation programming.
This year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Botanical Garden has become even more important to local community members and to Georgians throughout the state as we have sought outdoor activities that keep us active while limiting our exposure to the novel coronavirus. The Garden has adapted its educational programs to provide more activities online, such as its first virtual environmental summer camp. Garden staffers also have continued growing produce in the Alice H. Richards Children’s Garden during the pandemic, donating it to Campus Kitchen, a program within UGA’s Office of Service-Learning that collects food and prepares meals for older adults in the Athens area.
A new entrance, completed this month, has made the State Botanical Garden more accessible than ever to families and to visitors with limited mobility. Two additional projects—the Porcelain and Decorative Arts Museum and its surrounding Discovery and Inspiration Garden—are underway and will further enhance the Garden’s offerings.
As a land-grant university, UGA takes pride in being the home of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, where our missions of teaching, research, and service work together to increase our knowledge and improve our quality of life.