Campus News Georgia Impact

Botanical garden, Macon partner to install native plants

Stephen Reichert spent much of his career in New York City. But now the Macon native and chairman of the board of the State Botanical Garden wants to see his hometown thrive, and he’s found a willing partner in UGA.

Reichert, along with his brother, Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert, watched as native plants raised at the State Botanical Garden, a unit of the UGA Office of Public Service and Outreach, were planted in a garden by the gates of Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon.

“We want the botanical garden to thrive,” Stephen Reichert said. “We want to create collaborative partnerships with other cities around the state as well as Macon so the State Botanical Garden becomes truly the botanical garden for the entire state, and this is a wonderful way to get that going.”

More than 350 plants were brought to the Rose Hill site while nearly 1,300 were planned for a wetlands area at the Dr. William G. Lee Camellia Gardens. The plants, grown since March at the Mimsie Lanier Center for Native Plant Studies at the botanical garden in Athens, are valued at about $3,000. A third of that cost was covered by a gift from Stephen Reichert, and Macon-Bibb County paid the balance.

Macon is the first Georgia city to partner with the garden to cultivate and install native plants on its public property.