Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens
At the Historic Bamboo Farm
Rooted in History
1919 - 2019
The history of our beloved Bamboo Farm is long and storied. It begins in 1919, when David Fairchild, Chief Plant Explorer for the US Department of Agriculture, helps his long-time friend Barbour Lathrop purchase a 46-acre bamboo grove just outside of Savannah, Georgia for $5,000. Lathrop, a wealthy American philanthropist and world traveler, immediately leases the property to the USDA as Savannah’s first and only USDA plant introduction station.
For more than 60 years this property grew and evaluated thousands of plants from around the world. Many specimen plants and trees still remain at the Gardens today. The USDA closed the station in 1979 and the property was deeded to the University of Georgia’s College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences in 1984 and was later named the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens.
As we celebrate one hundred years rich in history, agriculture and beauty, we are tasked with saving one of the structures original to the property, the Old Packing Shed. Constructed in 1919, this shed was the second structure built by the USDA after the superintendent’s cottage and has served a multitude of uses including a workshop, office, storage facility and a livery stable. Thousands of seeds and bamboo plants were packaged for worldwide distribution in this shed. Until the shed was deemed unusable due to termite damage in 2018, the building served as the Garden’s Bamboo Museum and also housed the Roots & Shoots Program for local children.
Friends of the Coastal Gardens has created a Centennial Capital Fund with a goal of raising $100,000. The first $50,000 raised will be matched by the University of Georgia to “raise the roof” and refurbish the Old Packing Shed. The second $50,000 will be used to build the Children’s Garden currently being partially funded through SPLOST and scheduled to break ground this fall.
We hope you will support this historic endeavor and consider a sponsorship. All donations are welcome and appreciated.
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