Lou Reeta Barton Northcutt Native Garden & Walking Trail
This 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."
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
Wild Roses (type)
Eastern Red Cedar
Learn more about the stewardship and conservation of Georgia's native plants and their habitats through the Gerogia Native Plant Association at http://www.gnps.org/
Lou 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.