The UGA Master Naturalists of Forsyth County have created a Native Plant Garden at the Bethelview Road trailhead of Big Creek Greenway. This garden features small trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials that are native to Georgia. The plants include flowering and berry producing plants that are not only attractive but provide food and life cycle habitat for birds and insects. This garden showcases the natural plant diversity essential to a healthy and resilient ecosystem. Native azaleas, asters, coreopsis, viburnum, boltonia, amsonias, switch grass and many others can also provide multi-season beauty to homes and businesses. Native plants, when properly sited and established, are tough because they have evolved to thrive in the natural climate variations (droughts and heat extremes), tolerate less than ideal garden soil and are resistant to the insect pests and endemic plant diseases of Georgia.
As Forsyth County grows in population large tracts of forest, meadows and pasture are being cleared to bare earth to build new homes and roads. Homeowners can mitigate the loss of native plant communities and habitat by choosing to install Georgia native small trees, shrubs and perennials. Robust native plants will reward the homeowner with diverse beauty while needing minimal water and maintenance, fewer disease issues and a bird and butterfly population that connects your family to the natural world.