The Adcox-Brantley Pollinator Research Garden on the University of North Georgia’s Oconee campus will continue to expand and add new features with the help of a UNG Presidential Incentive Award and grant.
The garden, which began as an effort to provide fresh produce for the UNG Food Pantry, now serves as a pollinator garden and outdoor lab. Susan Brantley, senior lecturer of biology and Dr. Gary Adcox, director of campus success and strategic initiatives, are leading efforts to expand educational usage of the garden.
According to a release from UNG, Brantley currently uses the garden for an environmental science course lab, but she and Adcox envision using the space to teach courses in biology, social sciences and mathematics. Brantley and Adcox plan to further develop the garden as a teaching tool through the use of a UNG Presidential Incentive Award, given by UNG President Bonita Jacobs, that they earned this spring.
“The garden started as a way to get fresh vegetables into the food pantry. It’s never lost those roots,” Adcox said. “We want to keep expanding the garden. The Presidential Incentive Award will help with adding fruit.”
In addition, Adcox and Brantley received two Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) into Action Grants. The first of these grants helped plant the garden initially and the second was used to launch the pollinator and lab elements.
The Adcox-Brantley Pollinator Research Garden is a certified Monarch Garden through the North American Butterfly Association and is featured on the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail, named for the former first lady of the U.S. and Georgia.
“It’s such a lovely addition to our campus,” said Dr. Cyndee Perdue Moore, executive director of UNG’s Oconee campus. “It expanded in 2020 during COVID-19 when a lot of things felt bleak and hopeless. This brought a lot of joy. It added a new center of life to our campus. It came at a time when we needed to remember that kind of beauty. I’m looking forward to students being more involved again with the garden.”
For information about becoming more involved with the Adcox-Brantley Pollinator Research Garden, contact [email protected]. Donations to help sustain the project are also accepted through the UNG Foundation at [email protected].