Highlands Biological Station is open to visitors. Masks are still required in the Nature Center, but are no longer required on campus, including the Botanical Garden. Highlands Biological Station is offering academic and public programming this summer. For the safety of the HBS summer community, before being permitted to work or study at HBS prospective summer students, teaching faculty, and researchers must provide documentation of (1) having received a Covid-19 vaccine or (2) a negative Covid-19 test taken within 3 days of planned arrival.

About the Foundation

The Foundation is dedicated to educating our community on what makes Highlands such a special place.  HBF supports both academic research on mountain ecosystems, communities, and species as well as public education programs available to all ages. 

With the State of North Carolina and Western Carolina University, we help run a full year-round program in the Highlands Nature Center and HBS Botanical Gardens and grounds focused on environmental education.  Your generosity ensures that the Highlands Nature Center and the Highlands Botanical Garden remain free to the public, and it supports academic research through the Foundation’s scholarships and grants-in-aid.

Grants in Aid of Research

 For over 50 years the Highlands Biological Foundation, Inc. has provided grants in support of scientific research, bringing graduate students and research scientists to Highlands from all over the country.

MAPS Bird Banding at HBS

Since 2020, the Highlands Biological Foundation has been financing HBS’s MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) bird banding efforts. Click HERE to learn more about this on-going research project at the Station in partnership with Blue Ridge Bird Observatory.

Foundation Events

Throughout the year the Highlands Biological Foundation hosts events to support and raise funds for the three pillars of the Highland Biological Station: The Nature Center, Botanical Garden and Laboratory. Your participation allows for the care and expansion of the Botanical Garden’s plant collection, improvements to the exhibits and programs of the Nature Center, and support for research and education conducted through the Laboratory.


Annual Meeting Minutes

Review the minutes from the Foundation’s annual membership meeting.

Foundation Newsletter

See what’s been happening with the latest from the Foundation.


Join or Renew Membership

Click here to contribute to the Highlands Biological Foundation.


Zahner Lectures

Learn more about the Zahner Conservation Lecture series.

Foundation Board of Trustees

Tricia Allen

Lisa Armstrong

Linda Barlow

William Clarkson- Secretary

Kimberly Coward

Ruth Edwards

Monte Gaillard


Greg Gregory

Julia Grumbles – Past President

Marianne Jenkins

Cathy Jones

Frank Langford

David Martin – Member at Large

Melanie Mauldin


James Milby

John Mitchener- VP

Frances Oakley

Amy Patterson- Treasurer

Karen Patterson – Member at Large

William Reeves

Vernon Skiles – Member at Large

Alex Smith

Carol Stewart

Jennie Stowers- President

Sarah Morgan Wingfield