Mark Your Calendars!

Mark Your Calendars!

There is a lot to do and see as we approach spring. Come out and get involved at one of these upcoming events!

Book Signing and Author Discussion March 28

    Meet the authors and photographers responsible for The Natural Communities of Georgia, the stunning new update on Dr. Charles Wharton’s Natural Environments of Georgia. This definitive volume is a must have for professionals or wildlife enthusiasts all over the state. We will host all three authors, both photographers and GWF’s own former President & CEO Jerry McCollum to sign copies of the book Thursday, March 28th at 6 p.m. as a fundraiser for GWF’s Special Collections, notably the Dr. Charles H. Wharton Archives.
This special event will include exhibits of some of Dr. Wharton’s own research materials and tools, samples, artwork and personal journals from the archive, none of which has been open to the public before. Also, there will be two screenings of Dr. Wharton’s classic film, Wild Cattle of Cambodia, documenting his 1957 expedition into Cambodia. This trip, accompanied by Cambodian troops and guides, is also the last documented sighting of the wild kouprey, now largely believed to be extinct. The half-hour film will be shown twice, beginning at 6 p.m.
The event is free with the purchase of the book, either at the door, or via presale on the GWF web site($59.95 + tax). Without a book, the event will cost $10 at the door. This looks to be a truly special event and a fitting tribute to the memory of Dr. Wharton. After the film, there will be a short discussion with the authors about Wharton’s life and work. Authors and photographers are: Leslie Edwards is a lecturer at Georgia State University. Jonathan Ambrose is an assistant chief in the Nongame Conservation Section, Wildlife Resources Division, of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Katherine Kirkman is a scientist of plant ecology at Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center at Ichauway. Hugh O. Nourse and Carol Nourse are botanical photographers and authors. Jerry L. McCollum contributed a remembrance of Dr. Wharton and is the former President and CEO of the Georgia Wildlife Federation.

The More You Know

The Georgia Wildlife Federation is also offering several opportunities to bone up on your own knowledge and skills in the next couple of months. We will hold two Adopt-A-Stream workshops at the Alcovy Conservation Center to certify water monitors. On Saturday, April 6, there will be a chemical and introductory course from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. On Saturday, April 27th, there will be a biological training session that will focus on requirements for biological certification with the Georgia Adopt-A-Stream program. It will also run from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Each course costs $5 to attend. spaces are still available. Pre-registration is required. To sign up, email Robert Phillips at rphillips@gwf.org or call 770-787-7887.
Georgia Adopt-A-Stream (AAS) is a unique effort to involve the public and local communities in water quality assessment and protection.  The program promotes environmental stewardship through training workshops, outdoor field activities, and by introducing participants to watershed action projects. Through Adopt-A-Stream training workshops, participants gain an in-depth study of watersheds as well as hands-on training in chemical and biological parameters important to a healthy stream.
On Tuesday, April 16th, GWF will host an Alcovy River Greenway Landowner Workshop from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. This event will be focused primarily on landowners with property adjacent to rivers or wetlands, but is open to all. GWF will have experts discussing managing wildlife habitat, improving water quality, tax incentives and more. Participants may bring a lunch or purchase one for $5. To register, call 770-787-7887.

Volunteer Opportunities

GWF will be hosting a work day on Saturday, March 23rd to remove invasive plants in Newton County. The day will begin at 9 a.m. at the Alcovy Conservation Center. Bring gloves and tools, if possible. This will be a great time to get out and get in shape for your spring yard work!
The 6th annual Clay Shoot For Conservation is coming up Friday, May 3rd at Burge Plantation in Mansfield. See our website for more details. There are still opportunities for teams and sponsors. But there is also a need for a large number of volunteers to work the different stations, manage shells, etc. We need all the help we can get to make this event a success! To sign up for a volunteer spot, email Robert Phillips at rphillips@gwf.org or call 770-787-7887.

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Join us for Earth Day at Mill Creek Nature Center Saturday, April 21st!

Earth Day at Mill Creek Nature Center

Saturday, April 21 10 a.m. – 12: p.m.

Join us for an Earth Day morning of work and play at the Georgia Wildlife Federation’s Mill Creek Nature Center in Buford! There is restoration work that needs to be done, crafts for the kids and nature hikes for everyone!

Participants need to park in the Mall of Georgia parking lot near the intersection of Mall of Georgia Blvd. and Nature Center Parkway. They should cross the street and look for the MCNC banner. The registration table will be set up in the gravel turnaround behind the banner.

We will have several activities going on simultaneously. If some adults would like to help repair a damaged boardwalk, then they should bring portable drills (with charged batteries). They will be replacing warped decking and using phillips head or star (torque) head screws. Knee high waterproof boots would be advisable  as well.

If other adults are inclined to assist in removing Chinese privet (a non-native, invasive plant), they need to bring bow saws, clippers, loppers, pruning shears, and gloves. we will have adults with chainsaws to cut down the large privet, and everyone else will cut them in to smaller pieces, and stack the limbs in to brush piles for the birds.

Children are encouraged to go to the amphitheater where there will be supervised crafts. There are a limited number of bird house kits to assemble and there will be things to make out of Chinese privet discs. We will also have coloring sheets and a MCNC Nature Scrapbook on display.

Of course, if anyone does not want to participate in any of these activities, they are welcome to take a nature walk through the property. We will have guides if they are needed.

In any event, we would like for all participants to wear closed-toed shoes, bring their own water, insect repellent, and sun screen. There are no restroom facilities on the property. If a participant has not previously completed a “Volunteer Waiver Form” (see attachment), he or she will be required to fill one out at the registration table.

For information, questions or to volunteer, please email hrohme29@gmail.com.

I look forward to seeing you on April 21st!

Hank Ohme
Program Manager, Mill Creek Nature Center

Thank you, Suzy Downing!

The lifeblood of an organization like the Georgia Wildlife Federation is in its membership and volunteers. Without dedicated volunteers, leading by example, there can be no conservation community. The best way to spread the message of the the GWF is to become actively involved in getting people connected to the outdoors.

For the past several years, Suzy Downing from Gwinnett County has been one of the GWF’s top volunteers. She has dedicated hundreds of hours of involvement at the Mill Creek Nature Center in Buford, helping with the many educational events at the facility as well as much of the dirty work of restoration and facility repair. Suzy is also a wonderful photographer and has allowed the GWF the use of much of her photography for our web site and publications.

Suzy was presented with a commemorative brick along the GWF’s Legacy Walk at the Alcovy Conservation Center by the Mill Creek Nature Center Program Manager Hank Ohme, who has worked alongside Suzy at Mill Creek first as a volunteer himself and now as a member of the GWF staff.

“Suzy does so much for the GWF and Mill Creek, and is a terrific asset to our programs,” Hank said. “This is a very deserving honor for her.”

Thank you, Suzy, for all that you do for conservation in Georgia. The strength of the GWF lies in members and volunteers like you!