Restoration will take time and lots of hard work. Matt Richards, ABG's Conservation Coordinator, is spearheading the project for ABG. According to Matt, these sites are under constant pressure from illegal trash dumping, competition from invasive exotic plants, closure of the forest canopy and herbivory. The first step will be to map and survey each site. Next, a management plan will be developed for each site, taking into account the threats specific to each site, with the immediate goal of protecting the existing plants. Some sites may need deer fencing. At others, saplings will be removed and mature trees girdled to remove competition and open the canopy. Invasive exotic plants will be removed; garbage will be hauled away.
In the United States many threatened ecosystems occur in and around urban areas, and they are a high priority for restoration despite their often degraded condition and remnant status. "It's significant that we have wetlands and natural areas in Metro Atlanta that harbor rare plants like Monkeyface Orchid," said Dr. Jenny Cruse-Sanders, Vice President for Science and Conservation at ABG. It is important that we focus our efforts and expertise towards conserving this species in our own community."
Congratulations to our conservation team on this exciting new project!
*NFWF Five Star/Urban Waters Restoration Partners:
Atlanta Botanical Garden
Georgia DNR Non-Game Conservation Section
Georgia State Parks
Big Canoe POA
Sewanee Mountain Preserve
The Dunn Family
Rock Spring Farms
Georgia Environmental Restoration Professionals
Chattahoochee Nature Center
Grady High School
Peachtree Garden Club