School Tours
Donate Now!
School Trips
Film & Theater
Hall of Ancients
Tool Collections
Art Galleries
Appalachian Settlement
Native Garden
Bennett Store
Museum Store
Special Programs
About the Center
  • The Funk Heritage Center
  • The Funk Heritage Center
  • The Funk Heritage Center
  • The Funk Heritage Center
  • Funk Heritage Center
  • The Funk Heritage Center
  • The Funk Heritage Center
  • The Funk Heritage Center
  • The Funk Heritage Center
  • The Funk Heritage Center
  • The Funk Heritage Center
  • The Funk Heritage Center
  • The Funk Heritage Center
  • The Funk Heritage Center

Lou Reeta Barton Northcutt Native Garden & Walking Trail

native gardenThis trail leads visitors from the Bennett History Museum to the Native Garden area.  It features a variety of native plants and provides an interesting and educational experience. Native Americans and early settlers possessed confidence in the old-fashioned Indian remedies which used plants native to this region. Many of these plants were used for medicinal purposes and were thought to provide a remedy for various illnesses. Indians believe that when God made this earth, every plant had a purpose.

Dr. Joseph Kitchens, executive director of the Funk Heritage Center, is proud of the work members of the Cherokee Master Gardener and other volunteers have accomplished to improve this beautiful setting. He said, "Plants native to Georgia are part of our heritage, and we want to have a place where visitors can learn about them and understand how important they were to the Native Americans and early settlers. This natural area will be used to educate children and adults, and it adds another interesting venue to our museum."

Native Plants   

lady slipper

Each spring, visitors can see pink Lady's Slippers, an endangered species, in bloom. Several varieties of Trilliums are also in bloom in early spring. Visitors will see Wild Ginger, Foamflowers, Solomon's Seal, and Rue Anemone. Native Oakleaf Hydrangeas bloom in June, and many types of trees are also located on the Trail.

This lady slipper plant (Cypripedium acaule) at right is a protected plant species and it requires authorization to take, possess, exchange, transport, or sell. This is an example of the unusual native plants in our native garden. 

Plant Information Brochure

A plant information brochure has been produced and printed by the Cherokee Master Gardeners and other volunteers.  Each plant is identified by a photo, the common name, the Latin name and how it was used by the Cherokee Indians. 

Plant & Tree List for the Native Garden in the Funk Heritage Center 

Wild Ginger & Trillium (white)

Pink Lady’s Slipper

Trillium (purple)

Oakleaf Hydrangea

Buttercups (type)


Wild Roses (type)


American Holly



Christmas Ferns

Rue Anemone

Wild Strawberry


Piedmont Azalea

White Pine

Loblolly Pine


Tulip Poplar

Smooth Sumac

Tag alder

Black Willow

Eastern Red Cedar

American Holly

Wild Cherry




Dog Fennel

Learn more about the stewardship and conservation of Georgia's native plants and their habitats through the Gerogia Native Plant Association at

Lou Reeta Barton NorthcuttLou Reeta Barton Northcutt '21

The Trail is named in memory of Lou Reeta Barton Northcutt. Her father, James Monroe Barton, was a farmer and Methodist minister in Pine Log, Ga. He and his wife gave each of their 11 children $200.  Lou Reeta and her brother, Eugene, put their money towards their education, and the family moved to Waleska so they could attend Reinhardt Academy.  Lou Reeta graduated from Reinhardt in 1921, but she stayed on an additional year to study art and music. She spent 40 years in education as a teacher, assistant principal and principal. Though she and her husband never had children of their own, she loved and nurtured her many nieces, nephews and other family members. She loved Reinhardt, and on the eve of her 95th birthday, her family decided to honor her by donating funds for the Native Garden and Walking Trail at Reinhardt.  Though she passed away in December of 2001, her memory lives on at the Funk Heritage Center.