You are invited to register your pollinator friendly garden.

2024 Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail Spring Symposium

2024 Spring Symposium: A Tribute to Rosalynn Carter and her love of flowers and pollinators.

May 3, 2024
8:30AM – 1:00PM
Plains Community Center
Plains, Georgia

We hope you will join us for an exciting symposium in Plains on Friday, May 3, 2024. The symposium will honor Rosalynn Carter’s love for Monarch butterflies, pollinators and flowers. Speakers will focus on gardening tips, native plants, habitat for pollinators and providing a healthy environment for all pollinators. In addition to great speakers, we will have 4 plant vendors with 100’s of beautiful plants. We will also have plant experts available to talk with you about your soil, plants and gardening questions.

You can register online for $55.00. All early registrations received by April 1st will be included in a drawing for a Rosalynn Carter Native Azalea gift basket. Seating is limited so register early!

8:30AM Plant Sale and Silent Auction begin

9:15AM Welcome and Announcements

Details about speakers, plant vendors and the event are posted online
Contact Annette Wise at or 229-824-4567


Amy Heidt

Amy Heidt is a retired science educator. She taught in Ben Hill and Tift Counties and spent the last couple of years as a Science Mentor to school systems across South Georgia. She became interested in native plants as a classroom teacher and wove this into her teaching; writing grants and developing curricula that integrated native plant studies into K-12 curricula through RESA projects and state curriculum development.

Lauren Goble

Planting Seeds for Future Growth

Did you know that one out of every three bites of  food you eat is because of pollinators? Lauren Goble, Educational Programs Coordinator for Georgia Farm Bureau will share resources about pollinators and Georgia’s number one industry, agriculture. These resources can be used in educational programs for adults as well as students. Resources will include hands on activities and ways to engage participants in the importance of pollinators in our everyday life.

Tom Johnson

Creating The Romantic Garden

A Romantic Garden is Man’s attempt at recreating Eden, A place where God, Man and Nature are in Harmony. Man does not control nature, he simply designs himself a part of the song already playing. In this program, we will discuss this style of Garden: It’s history and how to use it to design a garden for butterflies and other pollinators in a natural setting.

Dr. Jaap de Roode

Migration, parasites and the best ways to protect Monarch butterflies

Jaap will present some of the biological discoveries the de Roode Lab at Emory University has made on Monarch butterflies. The research includes how parasitism has become an increasing problem, and how we can help monarchs(and other pollinators) by re-creating habitat.

Information based on research will also be presented on the impact  commercially purchased and released butterflies into an environment have on the native population.

Previous Speakers

Felicity Davis

The Georgia Department of Transportation has identified locations around the state to implement pollinator friendly wildflower roadside  plots. This presentation will include proper soil preparation, native plants and establishing a pollinator friendly habitat. The roadside locations include places the Monarch butterflies migrate through in the fall as they make their way to overwinters spots.  Felicity and GADOT team members will be present to answer your questions before and after the presentation.

Becky Griffin

Gary Bachman

Mississippi State University
Extension/Research Professor of Urban Horticulture
Host of Southern Gardening

Gary Bachman

Bodie Pennisi

Department of Horticulture
Professor, Statewide Extension
Landscape Specialist
University of Georgia

Body Pennisi UGA

Erica Glasener

Nationally recognized Author/Writer/Speaker
Senior Producer of Growing a Greener World – PBS and CREATE TV series and
TV Host/Producer of A Gardener’s Diary – HGTV series

Erica Glasener

Kathy Crye

Horticulturist, Former Manager of Callaway Gardens Pollinator Garden and developer of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Trail at Callaway Gardens

Kathy Crye

Ernest Koone

The largest grower of native azaleas in the United States and also is a landscape designer for some very well-known gardens.

Ernest Koone

Karen Oberhauser

Director, Arboretum;Professor, Department of Entomology University of Wisconsin; Chair of Monarch Joint Venture and recipient of a White House Champion of Change Award in 2013

Karen Oberhauser

Bill Starr

County Extension Coordinator as well as the Agricultural and Natural Resources Agent for Sumter County.

Bill Starr