Giving in Action

Annual Fund gifts grow many programs at the Garden. Learn about a few recent examples that are realized through the generosity of Annual Fund giving.

Questions about Annual Fund and Giving to the Garden?
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Middle School Garden Chefs

As part of the Garden’s outreach to underserved schoolchildren, the Garden launched the Middle School Summer Cooking Program. In partnership with Atlanta Public Schools, students from Crawford Long and Price Middle School participated in the Global Garden Chefs program. Through recipes inspired by Asian, Mexican, Middle Eastern and Caribbean cuisine, students explored the cultural, social and sensory aspects of food while learning how to prepare healthy meals with ingredients fresh from the Garden.

With each day devoted to a specific culture’s cuisine, students learned about different ingredients and cooking techniques as well as how to plan menus. Reflecting on what food they cooked, its preparation and how it tasted, they documented their daily experiences in a “passport journal”. As part of their hands-on activities, students also learned how to grow produce by harvesting and weeding in the Garden. Kathryn Masuda the Garden’s Youth Programs Manager notes, through their culinary journey students “discovered where their food comes, the factors that affect their food choices and how those choices affect the environment.” For their final project, students cooked and served a three course restaurant-style lunch. At the end, each student took home their passport journal containing delicious, healthy recipes to share with family and friends.

Tis the Season for Camellias

With winter’s arrival, the Camellia Garden provides a welcome burst of color with shades of pink, red and white blooms against dark green leaves. Situated on the gentle hill looping down from the top of the Canopy Walk, the horticulture team has enhanced the Camellia Garden over the last few years with new plantings. Showcasing over 50 unique Camellias, the collection now represents more than a dozen different Camellia species including C. japonica, C. sasanqua and C. sinensis along with some unusual species rarely seen on display, such as the C. grijsii, C. handelii, C. rosiflora and C. yuhsienensis. With patterned bark in vertical stripes of dark to light green, six different types of Snakebark Maples have been planted to provide additional winter interest.

Creating visual interest during the summer, a new perennial layer featuring Epimedium, Astilbe, Hosta, Ferns, Solidago, Tradescantia, Tricyrtis, Heuchera and Phlox to name a few has evolved over the last few years. Plants from 25 different genus have been incorporated for a grand total of over 600 individual plants with Aster ‘Bluebird’ interspersed throughout to form a cohesive visual element. For a layer of spring color, several thousand bulbs were also planted, including various cultivars of Narcissus, Crocus, Scilla, Puschkinia, Chionodoxa and Camassia.  As part of their worldwide Daffodil Project, the organization Am Yisrael Chai donated Narcissus bulbs in memory of the children who died during the Holocaust.

Conservation Update: Fringed Leaf Frogs

The Garden’s amphibian conservation team has had an incredible captive breeding success with its Fringed Leaf Frogs (Cruziohyla craspedopus), a rare species with which they have worked since 2007. Unlike most frogs, Fringed Leaf Frogs do not need to come down to the ground to forage or breed, but instead remain high in the Amazonian tree canopy making them a challenge to find. Consequently, the Cruziohyla craspedopus is a difficult species for herpetologists to understand and breed.

However, the Garden’s amphibian specialists were resourceful. As the Garden’s Amphibian Conservation Coordinator Mark Mandica explains, “we created a ‘rain chamber’ from a modified trash can and then left the frogs alone. After a year’s wait, we achieved success with the birth of the Garden’s first Fringed Leaf Froglet!” The froglets have grown and are now “sub adult.” The conservation team has since succeeded in breeding the Fringed Leaf Frog a few more times and currently has twenty new tadpoles. Mandica says there are plans to publish research regarding the captive breeding of Cruziohyla craspedopus (most likely in the journal Herpetological Review) and to also donate one of the young adults to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago for exhibition. The Garden was the first to ever exhibit this species with two adult Fringed Leaf Frogs on display in the Fuqua Conservatory’s Frogs of the Amazon exhibit.

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