The 2015 Center for Plant Conservation National Meeting was held April 16-19 at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens. The Center for Plant Conservation (CPC) is a national network of 36 of America’s leading botanical institutions dedicated to preventing the extinction of imperiled native flora. The State Botanical Garden of Georgia, which broke the mold in plant conservation through its networking and safeguarding projects for the last 20 years, was invited to join this group in 2007. National leaders in plant conservation were in attendance, including plant conservation professionals from 17 states, the new Director for CPC John Clark and President Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden Peter Raven, an internationally renowned botanist and conservationist. Twenty-one accredited Center for Plant Conservation partner botanical gardens shared project updates on their region’s work.

Among the 50 attendees were professionals from the US Fish & Wildlife Service and numerous universities, plus several special presenters who are also partners in the Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance, including the U.S.  Forest Service SE Region, The Nature Conservancy of Georgia, Georgia Department of Natural Resources Nongame Conservation Section, and Atlanta Botanical Garden. The meeting also included talks on new models for conservation networking; a State-of-the-State address on conservation by the Director of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia Wilf Nicholls; an update on the rich diversity of the southeastern U.S. by Director of the North Carolina Herbarium Alan Weakley; a tour of SBG’s Mimsie Lanier Center for Native Plant Studies, field trip to Rock and Shoals Outcrop Natural Area, and a daylong visit to the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

For more information on the Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance, visit http://bit.ly/1H1DjTP

Pictured: Joanne Baggs, botanist and ecologist for U.S. Forest Service, Southeast Region; Jennifer Cruse-Sanders, vice president for conservation and science at the Atlanta Botanical Garden; Mincy Moffett, botanist in the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Nongame Conservation Section; Malcolm Hodges, director of stewardship for the Nature Conservancy of Georgia; Jennifer Ceska, GPCA coordinator for the State Botanical Garden of Georgia