Steward and Sustain

Launched in 2019, our Stewards and Sustainers program recognizes our generous supporters whose donations provide for the care, conservation, and preservation of native plants through Southern Highlands Reserve. In appreciation of their philanthropic leadership, participating individuals gain access to exclusive opportunities and experiences. Explore the garden and donor benefits associated with each level to find the right fit for you.

Your donation will make you a part of a group working toward a vision of education, restoration, and research in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Donations to the Reserve directly support:

  • SHR's role in the Southern Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative (SASRI), supporting SHR's efforts to propagate red spruce trees for restoration projects in the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains by collecting seeds on public land, raising them from seed and nurturing them until ready for transplant, about 3-4 years.
  • The development of a digital native plant database, empowering SHR to conduct research on data observed within its native plant collection, share the data with horticulturists worldwide and in so doing, help to advance the field of ornamental horticulture.
  • SHR's role in conservation education through tours, lectures and educational events, such as the annual Native Plant Symposium.
  • The propagation of native plants in our Nursery Complex for distribution through our annual Plant Sale and other partners.
  • The ongoing maintenance of SHR's native plant display gardens within its Core Park.
  • Education outreach programming with local elementary school children to increase environmental literacy and improve the emotional and physical psyche through time in nature.
  • Research partnerships with universities and governmental organizations to develop production protocols for native and endangered plants as well as develop population genetics to secure our native plants through the challenges of climate change and anthropogenic impacts.

We thank you for supporting Southern Highlands Reserve and welcome you to our team! You are now part of a group of conservators dedicated to sustaining the health of our native ecosystems within the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains. We thank you for choosing Southern Highlands Reserve as your partner in demonstrating your commitment to conservation.

The Southern Highlands Reserve is a nonprofit organization under the IRS code section 501(c)(3). All donations are considered a charitable contribution and are tax deductible.