2017 Member Group Accomplishments
Our member groups work hard every day to address environmental health risks, restore natural habitats, protect wildlife, reduce global warming, and much more. EarthShare of Georgia annually certifies that member groups operate within the highest ethical and professional standards and engage in active programs that protect our air, land, water and health on local, national and global levels. The following are some highlights from 2017:
– Led more than 125 FREE bird walks around the metro-Atlanta area, attended by more than 1,000 participants.
– Launched Atlanta Urban Ecologists program to engage 7th through 12th graders in a nine-month exploration of metro-Atlanta ecology and conservation topics.
– Engaged 3,750 community members and students through public education outreach programs.
– Advocated for $133.7 million worth of bike projects and 65.5 miles of bicycle infrastructure in the latest T-SPLOST.
– 68 new schools were added to the Project Learning Garden (PLG) Program.
– 12,000 pounds of produce was grown in the Unity Garden and donated to a local food pantry.
– 4,256 Samples were collected and analyzed by Neighborhood Water Watch (NWW)
– Hosted 5,310 students and teachers on the Lake Lanier Floating Classroom
– Through our events, outings, and trash clean ups; we removed 23.4 tons of trash, recycled 2.5 tons, and hosted 1,004 volunteers to make it all possible
– One new permanent exhibit has been installed: The Pollinator Pass and demonstration beehives.
– More than 65 volunteers planted 150 trees, wood-stained two bridges, and planted a butterfly garden at one of the Southern Conservation Land Trust properties in the upper Flint watershed at EarthShare of Georgia’s 2017 Corporate Green Day Challenge.
– Contributed approximately $3 million in total value to Georgia’s state parks and historic sites.
– Friends volunteers helped with the Gardens of the World Ball floral arrangement preparation.
– After the Ball, Friends volunteers recycled the decorative flowers, providing almost 300 individual arrangements that were delivered to local hospitals, nursing homes, hospice units.
– Planted 10,000 native wild flower and grass plugs in a piedmont prairie restoration project. Contributed over $75,000 to the State Botanical Garden of Georgia to support projects including summer camps and field trips for kids, endangered pollinator habitat restoration, and native plant research.
– The Stewardship Trips and Service program hosted nearly 3,000 individuals on 50 hiking, biking, paddling and service trips across the state.
– The Land Conservation Initiative helped to place 7,843 acres of land into permanent conservation. Over its 5 year history, the LCI program has helped to protect 61,000 acres.
– The Advocacy Director spent more than 550 hours at the state Capitol advocating for Georgia’s natural resources.
– Surveyed more than 250,000 acres of unprotected wildlands in the Chattahoochee National Forest.
– Spurred a 44 percent increase in the number of organic farms over the past two years to meet our 100 Organic Farms campaign goal and provided cost-share to eight new organic farmers.
– Honored 53 school districts at the Capitol this October with our Golden Radish Awards for achievement in farm to school, representing almost one-third of school districts in Georgia
– Provided $59,000 in local grants for Georgia Food Oasis and awarded over $32,600 in micro-grants to seed 20 community-led projects.
– GOS awarded $15,000 in research grants to support Georgia-related research in ornithology.
– GOS awarded $16,000 in research grants in support of graduate students investigating the climate driven decline of bird species in the southeastern U. S., investigating factors limiting songbird distribution, and the effect of predator enclosures on nest success of Wilson Warblers.
– Bird Counts – GOS continues its support of numerous statewide Christmas Bird Counts, Breeding Bird Surveys, Operation Migration (Whooping Crane), International Crane Foundation, Mid-Winter Shorebird Count, and Great Backyard Bird Count. It also publishes the “Oriole”, a biannual journal of Georgia ornithology and the Youth Birding Competition.
– Served on the Georgia Water Coalition leadership team to help guide 240 Georgia Water Coalition partner groups in how to affect change for Georgia Rivers.
– Provided 900 individuals with an experience on a Georgia river through paddling trips and events.
– Supported 30 watershed and water trail groups with resources and assistance so they are empowered to protect their local river.
– Through Georgia Wildlife Federation’s Hunters for the Hungry, more than 1,496,000 meals of venison have been donated to Georgians in need with the help of hunters, processors and food banks.
– Succeeded in convincing Georgia Power to agree to a greener future through the state’s IRP process, including getting Georgia Power to close its 29 active coal ash ponds across the state.
– Bring One for the Chipper celebrated its 25th year of tree-cycling in 2016. 108,468 trees were collected in total. Of these, 105,369 were recycled into mulch for local playgrounds, city and county landscaping projects, and individual homes.
– Through Great American Cleanup events across the state – 298 gardens and green spaces were created; 6,245 trees, seedlings, flowers, and shrubs were planted; 1.7 million pounds of litter were collected.
– In 2016, KGBF was able to introduce ‘Leaders Against Litter’, an environmental PSA opportunity for Georgia’s elected officials during the 2016 legislative session.
– During 2016, the MAS raised funds needed to expand its popular live animal programming to include one lemur (in 2017), plus bats and raptors (in 2018).
– Began development of our Discovery Forest at Oxbow Meadows – a nature-based play area
– Sponsored 2 STEAM Days at local middle schools, where Oxbow provided a full day of alternative curriculum in life and environmental science for Title 1 seventh graders
– Had our 15th annual Reptile Fest
– In 2016, Park Pride worked with 105 Friends of the Park groups and 6,300 volunteers who contributed 20,000 hours of service to parks throughout the City of Atlanta and DeKalb County.
– In 2016, Park Pride awarded $557,000 that leveraged a total of $4 million in park improvements in our service area.
– Park Pride was recognized in 2016 as a Charity Navigator Four Star Charity — the highest designation possible.
– Reynolds hosted its 8th annual Wild Azalea Festival. This free community event permitted festival goers to enjoy guided hikes, live animal shows, nature center exhibits, native azalea showcases, hands on workshops and much more.
– Hosted 125 Clayton State University students throughout the year for onsite Biology and Ecology labs. Students joined professors to study our ponds, streams, flora and fauna. In addition, at our spring fed Angel creek, Dr. Christopher Kodani trained and certified 12 local Clayton County middle school teachers in Georgia Adopt-A-Stream.
– Atlanta Audubon Society facilitated approximately 36 birdwatching walks, guided by AAU Master Birder Anne McCallum.
– Held 5 clean ups in Augusta, GA collecting 2.3 tons of trash and 5 clean ups in Savannah, GA collecting 3.6 tons of trash.
– Worked with Calpers, a Southern Company owner (2.6%), to introduce a 2-degree risk resolution at the annual Shareholders Meeting. Thirty four percent of shareholders were in favor of the company doing a preparedness study for the 2-degree increase in climate.
– Partnered with several organizations to encourage residential and commercial installations of solar in DeKalb county. We hit our goal of 100 contracts for a total of 698kW of solar to be installed.
– Hosted 3 clean energy town halls in Rome, LaGrange, and Savannah attended by 175 Georgians statewide. Our team submitted 17 letters and 3 op-eds (two were published) to the editor, generated 1039 comments to the Georgia Public Service Commission and recruited diverse voices to speak on our behalf at 3 public hearings; resulting in Georgia Power’s commitment to pursue enough solar energy to power 264,000 homes.
– Successfully advocated for the largest increase in renewable energy commitments to date by Georgia Power.
– Through our leadership in national networks, advanced new initiatives including healthy homes and Green Infrastructure and Resilience Institute
– Intervened in the Georgia power Integrated Resource Plan, resulting in dedicated funding for energy efficiency programming in low-income housing
– Celebrated the career of our founding executive director Dennis Creech by endowing a program to enhance our fellowships program for young sustainability professionals
– Southern Alliance for Clean Energy- Successfully advocated for the largest increase in renewable energy commitments to date by Georgia Power.
– The Nature Conservancy permanently protected 18,000 acres in the Altamaha River watershed, securing critical longleaf pine habitat and solidifying the 50+ miles lower Altamaha River conservation corridor.
– Coordinated the design and kicked off a $12.7 million capital fundraising campaign for Cook Park, a dynamic 16-acre park project in Atlanta’s historic Vine City neighborhood.
– Planted over 6,700 trees and seedlings with over 30,000 volunteer hours in more than 70 neighborhoods in the metro Atlanta area.
– Advised hundreds of concerned community members and advocated for the preservation of dozens of acres of forested land threatened by development through our Canopy Advocacy program.
– Launched the Trees Atlanta Youth Tree Team, a new summer job training and leadership development program aimed at high school students.
– Hosted “Casting for Recovery,” a women’s breast cancer survivor group that uses fly fishing as mental and physical therapy.
– 3,694 students participated in WAWA’s various Atlanta Children’s Forest Network programs in 2016 that encouraged exploring STEM related disciplines, healthy outdoor activity, and developing soft job skills.