The Georgia Green Industry Association and the FFA were proud to partner with Governor Sonny Perdue and mansion staff to landscape the front portion of the Georgia Governor’s Mansion.
During wintertime discussions with Governor Perdue’s staff regarding the efficiencies of drip irrigation, the idea arose to demonstrate the efficient irrigation and best management practices in the landscape. Governor Perdue has been a staunch supporter of the green industry during Georgia’s historic drought and has always been a proponent of water conservation. The mansion grounds proved the perfect stage to demonstrate that not only was it okay to plant again in Georgia but that sustainable landscape projects don’t have to use a lot of water.
The green industry in Georgia is a leading segment of agriculture. Prior to the drought, economic impact of the industry was estimated to be in excess of $8 billion annually with over 75,000 Georgians employed by nursery growers, landscape firms, garden centers, greenhouse operators, irrigation contractors and allied suppliers. The effects of the drought and of the subsequent economic downturn have been estimated at over $1 billion in lost sales and the loss of 25,000 jobs.
The FFA working with the GGIA recognized
the potential impact of participating in such a high profile project and
volunteered their labor to make the mansion project a
full-blown success. Special attention was given to water efficiency and
sustainability. Every aspect of the
project served as a model for practices that would not only create a beautiful
landscape to showcase Georgia grown products, but would do so while using
minimal water resources.