Conservation Hero – Kathryn Litton
Photography by: Scott Anna

Southern Woman Magazine congratulates Kathryn Litton on her outstanding achievement.

Kathryn Litton of Blairsville, Georgia, is a 2022 recipient of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) Conservation Medal.

Nominated by the Old Unicoi Trail Chapter, Blairsville, Georgia, Kathryn joins the few recipients nationally each year. Upon notification of her recognition, Kathryn, now 89, shared with enthusiasm, “…when I was in high school, I was nominated for the DAR Good Citizen Award and received a medal which I still have. Two times honored in my life. What a joy.”

Annette Hopgood, Immediate Past Conservation Chair for Georgia Society of DAR shares, “As State Roadside Beautification Chairman in the Garden Club of Georgia, Litton works with the GA Department of Transportation on their Roadside Enhancement and Beautification Project promoting mass plantings of perennials such as black-eyed susan, cosmos, corn poppies, and coreopsis alongside Georgia highways. In 2016 the Georgia Board of Transportation honored her with a resolution.”

Kathryn has received many honors through the years for her efforts including her research and study of cold hardy factors for plants that would survive the extreme temperatures of the north Georgia mountains. The Tennessee Valley Authority awarded her a competitive grant for this work. The Kellogg Foundation also chose her for a competitive grant for community service as a non-professional educator. As a well-known presenter throughout her professional career, Kathryn has taught native plants to University of Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteers and the general public. She is especially known for her knowledge of native azaleas and rhododendrons.

She has years of work with the GA Department of Natural Resources in their endangered wildflower program and worked with State Parks on their native plant landscaping projects.

In 1993, Kathryn won the National Council of State Garden Clubs Education Award and blue seal for her display of native plants at “Celebrate Autumn”, a standard flower held at Atlanta Botanical Gardens.

She also received the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Award at the Southeastern Flower Show in 1994, depicting the best use of native plants in a garden setting. To exhibit in February, she had to force native azaleas and other spring flowering plants to come into full bloom for the show during the cold weather in the North Georgia Mountains.

Her booklet “Here Come the Natives” won first place in the National Garden Club competition and is in the library of Georgia authors in Georgia’s Governor’s mansion.

Kathryn is committed to conservation in her local community. She instigated and remained the primary sponsor of Blairsville as a Tree City USA for over 25 years. Her commitment to community was confirmed when she was inducted into the 2014 Union County Agriculture Hall of Fame at Union County Farmers Market, Blairsville, Georgia. This program is sponsored by Union County Historical Society. Her selection was based on her work in the horticulture field, and many accomplishments in horticulture through the Blairsville, Georgia, and National Garden Clubs.

Old Unicoi Trail, Chapter Regent Pam Greene and Annete Bomar Hopgood, immediate past Conservation Chair GSDAR, presented the National Society Daughters of American Revolution Conservation Medal to Kathryn Litton at their September meeting.

The NSDAR Conservation Medal recognizes individuals and organizations who exhibit distinguished conservation records, sustained efforts to improve the environment and public education on conservation issues.

A longtime advocate and practitioner in the conservation of native plants and the beautification of Georgia’s homes, communities and highways, Litton has been deemed deserving of the medal by the Georgia and National Conservation Committees of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

According to Annette Hopgood, immediate past Conservation Chair for the Georgia Society of DAR:

“The accolades Litton has received for her work in the areas of horticulture, landscaping, and the preservation of natural resources are numerous. They clearly validate her having earned this recognition.”