Georgia Southern Botanic Gardens continues to aspire toward new renovations

Future parking lot of the Botanic Gardens at Georgia Southern

Matthew Enfinger

The Botanic Garden at Georgia Southern University has continued to work toward renovations from their master plan “Aspire!” to enhance visitors’ experience.

The master plan includes a new entrance and parking lot, which Carolyn Altman, director of the Botanic Garden, plans to develop with sustainable practices.

Instead of asphalt, the parking lot will be constructed using TrueGrid, a sustainable, eco-friendly paving alternative to concrete and asphalt.

“When the rain falls on the asphalt, it takes all the bits of tire and motor oil and antifreeze and everything and it washes it off into the creeks, which eventually lead to our water supply,” Altman said.

TrueGrid allows water to pass through the parking lots and into the soil while also providing support for vehicles.

In the middle of the parking lot, the Botanic Garden plans to plant a garden, which will also help absorb water runoff.

The Botanic Garden still aspires to other projects, including three new gardens: a council ring, a labyrinth and a showcase garden, and its 360 viewing tower.

On June 17, the gardens will begin construction on the Grow Zone, a children’s learning garden.

“We want [the Grow Zone] to be a place where anyone can come to learn how to grow anything,” Altman said.

Construction on the Grow Zone is hoped to be completed by Summer 2017.

In addition to these past plans, Altman hopes to construct another sound barrier wall on the garden’s side facing Fair Road, similar to the one constructed on Georgia Ave.

“We found that [the wall] almost entirely eliminates the sound on that side,” Altman said. “[Students] said ‘we come for the solitude, we come for the serenity,’ and right now, it’s really hard to get that even in the garden because you’ve got cars going by.”

While Altman is grateful for support by the university and student sustainability fees, supporters of the Botanic Garden can further help by volunteering at the gardens.

For more information about the Botanic Garden visit, http://academics.georgiasouthern.edu/garden/ or visit the gardens at 1505 Bland Ave, Statesboro, GA 30458.