The American South is famous for its astonishingly rich biodiversity. In this talk, based on her most recent book from UNC Press, Saving the Wild South – The Fight for Native Plants on the Brink of Extinction, author Georgann Eubanks takes readers on a wondrous trek across six states to search out native plants that are endangered and wavering on the edge of erasure. Even as she reveals the intricate beauty and biology of the South’s interconnected plant and animal life, she also shows how local development and global climate change are threatening many species, some of which have been graduated to the federal list of endangered species.
Why should we care, Eubanks asks, about supporting native plants in our yards and gardens and avoiding invasive non-natives? Native plants, she argues, are important not only to the natural environment but also to southern identity, and Eubanks finds inspiration in talking with the heroes—the botanists, advocates, and conservationists young and old—on a quest to save these green gifts of the South for future generations. These passionate plant lovers caution all of us not to take for granted the sensitive ecosystems that contribute to the region’s long-standing appeal, beauty, and character.
About the Speaker: Author Georgann Eubanks is the author of five books from the University of North Carolina Press. The latest is Saving the Wild South: The Fight for Native Plants on the Brink of Extinction. Georgann has published essays, poetry, fiction, profiles, and reviews in many magazines and journals, including Southern Cultures, South Writ Large, Our State, and Oxford American.
Since 2000 she has been a principal with Donna Campbell in Minnow Media, an Emmy-winning multimedia company that creates independent documentaries for public television. Georgann is also director of the annual Table Rock Writers Workshop, a one-week writing camp for adults held in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her blog, called Food Pilgrim, is about Southern foodways, interesting dishes and their history, and the culture of gardening in the South.