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What is the Georgia Grasslands Initiative?

Georgia Grasslands Initiative (GGI) is a conservation based project within the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. This initiative aims to motivate action, instill inspiration and support change on behalf of native plants by raising awareness for the loss of biodiversity in Georgia and preserving the native grassland ecosystem throughout the state.


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We want to make gardening with native plants and valuing a mosaic of habitats mainstream in Georgia.

-Heather Alley, Conservation Horticulturist

What happened to the Georgia Grasslands?

Grasslands in Georgia have been lost to our collective memory. They disappeared because of fire suppression across the state, lack of disturbance historically by elk, intense land use history, and reforestation with closely placed trees creating lack of sunlight in woodlands. A few precious examples do exist. Help us find small, relict sites along roadsides and rights of way, in old fields, and mature woods.

 

This Initiative is prioritizing identification, restoration, management, education, and connection to grasslands in the Northern third of Georgia, the Piedmont, Mountains, Ridge & Valley, and Cumberland Plateau. To follow the great work and progress of Coastal Plain grasslands and the Longleaf Pine Ecosystem, visit our colleagues in The Longleaf Alliance and The Orianne Society.

19th Century Grasslands

21st Century Grasslands

“The more we link up pockets of prairies, the more support to migrating species we create—species like migrating songbirds and Monarch Butterflies.”

— State Botanical Garden of Georgia

Types of Grasslands in Georgia

So many of Georgia’s habitats are sunny, or open, or with sunlight reaching the forest floor!

There are many different types of Georgia Grasslands including: woodlands, barrens, rocky summits, cliffs, domes, glades, bogs, fens, longleaf pine forests, outcrops, gravelly seeps, prairies, savannas, cobbly river shoals, sandhills, dunes, flatwoods, swamp, marsh.

If you want to learn more about these plant communities, click the button below.

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“Looking at diversity in the SE US, Piedmont Prairies are the most in trouble, among the highest listed in most critical need for conservation, and they are the farthest behind.”

— Dr. Rua Mordecai, Coordinator, South Atlantic and Southeast Conservation Blueprints and the Piedmont Prairie Partnership

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