The Botanic Garden in Statesboro is a gem worth visiting. It is fascinating that the 11-acre parcel of land adjacent to Georgia Southern University’s main campus was once a thriving small family farm.
Catherine and Daniel Bland met in 1916 at the First District Agricultural and Mechanical School, now known at GSU. Nearly 100 years ago, they forged a partnership that would transform the land and the way we view it in the present and preserve it for the future.
Toiling a living out of the sandy coastal plain soil, they managed to run a small dairy farm that raised livestock, grew pecans, pears and row crops early in the century. Georgia Magazine deemed the Bland Farm as a model farm in Georgia Magazine 1929.
A self-taught naturalist, Dan Bland was really ahead of his time. He had a keen sense of botany and understood that planting native plants, while raising animals, would allow the farm to be self-sustaining and preserve the region’s landscape. As a result, he and Catherine established a legacy for the future, and area residents and visitors are now the beneficiaries of their vision.
The Bland farm, now the Botanic Garden at Georgia Southern University, boasts a myriad of progress and activity. The acres of gardens on the original farmstead provide wandering trails, paths and courtyards that allow visitors to explore natural terrain of the southeastern coastal plain. Here you will find over 20 of the state of Georgia’s most protected species while seeing first hand farm history, including instruments such as plows that once hand toiled the land.
The Garden is a showcase of annual and seasonal flowers, plants, trees, original structures and the like. It is a popular place to visit in Statesboro for all ages. There are family friendly things to do there; you can explore, learn, participate and grow your knowledge of the past, present and see the vision for the future of this area highlight.
Because of the popularity of The Botanic Garden, an exciting plan for expansion and development has been established, and momentum is catching to move forward. The current facilities, including a Heritage Pavilion, Children’s Learning Garden, Butterfly and Hummingbird borders, Heritage Farmyard, Weathervane Barn Rural Life Exhibit and Bland Cottage to name a few, are a marvel to enjoy and explore.
What you see now is just the beginning, as exciting plans for growth are underway for additional features.
Education is a big part of the mission there. School aged children visit daily for an opportunity to explore nature and man’s partnership with it. Adults can participate through the monthly Lunch and Learn Series, with upcoming programs on November 10th and December 10th. These delightful lunches allow supporters and interested visitors to enjoy a delicious lunch while learning about a variety of topics, such as organic cooking to the latest in coffee roasting.
If you are visiting Statesboro or live here and haven’t been out to the Botanic Garden lately, you need to set time aside to do so. You will be delighted to see nature at it’s finest and discover what a beautiful treasure we have tucked away from the hub of campus activity while being right next-door. Be sure to visit the website for hours, programs and specific areas of interest for you, your friends and family.
For more information read: http://academics.georgiasouthern.edu/garden/.