Georgia Forestry Association Awards CNC with Evergreen Award

By Alicia Thompson, Senior Director of Learning and Engagement

On July 30, CNC was recognized at the Georgia Forestry Association’s annual conference with the Evergreen Award. The Award serves to recognize both the partnership between our organizations, as well as the talent and dedication of CNC staff to sharing the love of forests. CNC’s education staff has a true passion for interpreting the importance of Georgia’s forests. We are grateful to be able to pair CNC’s unique outdoor learning opportunities with all that Georgia Forestry Foundation (GFF) brings to our curriculum.

Since 2017 CNC and GFF have partnered to bring forest ecology and forest career education to thousands of students in the metro Atlanta area. In part of our program, a simple exercise allows students to reflect on what they’ve learned. Before we begin, 3rd-grade students are asked to draw or write about a Georgia forest. We get a tree, flower, maybe a cloud, perhaps a tiger, some may even use the word ‘scary’

After our multi-part series, students are again asked to draw a forest – and their forests explode into true ecosystems! Where there was once a simple line under a tree to represent the ground now includes sketches underneath that line – the ground is filled with roots, soil, biotic and abiotic…the sun shines above their forest, they include native animals, fire, biodiversity, some even write the word ‘peaceful’… 

We’ve also partnered with GFF as part of Outdoor Foundation’s Thrive Outside program, providing foundational outdoor experiences for underserved youth during the summer and servings campers from both Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta and City of Atlanta’s Camp Best Friends. The Thrive Outside Atlanta Community is led by the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance together with a diverse network of partners in West Atlanta and along the Chattahoochee River. This summer, students visited CNC over 7 dates. One of our partners at the Boys and Girls Club recently shared “Parents are so thrilled that you all provide these recreational opportunities that enhance the kids’ summers. To get on a fancy charter bus and travel, to go out and hike, get out in nature, see the river, for these kids it’s been awesome.”

CNC thanks the GFF staff and board members who have supported our partnership through the years. We are proud to receive the Evergreen Award and are fired up for the school year ahead!