Oglethorpe Helps Blue Heron Nature Preserve to Protect Local Flora

Oglethorpe’s Buckhead neighbor, the  Blue Heron Nature Preserve,  recently received a $12,500 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help eliminate non-native plant species that have settled in the 25-acre preserve.  The Five Star Restoration grant, provided in part by Georgia Power, is one of the most notable wetland conservation grants in the country, and OU biology professor Dr. Charles Baube and his students were not only instrumental in securing it, but will play a large part in seeing the project through. 

To secure the grant, Dr. Baube and Blue Heron used data that Oglethorpe biology students collected to understand the problem of invasive species and to write the proposal.  Now Blue Heron and Oglethorpe University will work together to tackle the project.

As unbelievable as it sounds, some 100 years ago, there was no such thing as kudzu or Chinese privet in the state of Georgia.  Flash forward a century-plus later, and kudzu is the unofficial state flora—growing up to a foot a day and wrapping its roots around seemingly every thing in its path.  But according to Dr. Baube, this species— along with several others—have no natural enemies in the area to limit their reproduction, and are a threat to biodiversity and the survival of domestic plants and animals in the area.  Continue reading