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Environmental Education

Beginning in October 2018, the University of North Georgia will promote responsible, sustainable actions in the care and conservation of native forest ecosystems in North Georgia. Students and members of the public will assess water quality, tree health, apply chemicals sustainable, and identify native/invasive species during workshops over the next two years. EPA Grant # 00D882218.

Read the October 2018 UNG News article about the grant.

Sign up for a Spring 2019 Environmental Education Workshop

Gainesville - Tumbling Creek
March 23, 2019

Dahlonega - Hurricane Creek
May 4, 2019

Project Details

Environmental activities will include:

  • Identify both native and invasive species through an introductory lecture by community partners
  • Research species type using mobile applications or online field guides on the iPad during the forest walk at the field lab workshop
  • Measure trees using calipers and assess tree health with a field lab demonstration
  • Record tree, soil, and water conditions on a GIS data collection app on the iPad during the field lab workshop
  • Test soil in proximity to selected trees for soil conditions necessary for optimum planting and tree maintenance during a field lab demonstration
  • Conduct test for water quality in streams located in forest areas
  • Promote sustainable practices for removing invasive threats

Principal Investigator: Dr. Allison Joy Bailey
Co-PI: Dr. Jamie Mitchem

Collaborating Partners:

  1. Lumpkin Coalition
  2. Master Gardeners
  3. Georgia Forestry Commission
  4. Georgia Urban Forestry Council
  5. Georgia Forestwatch
  6. Chattahoochee Riverkeeper

Counties in Georgia Being Served by This Project

  • Banks
  • Barrow
  • Bartow
  • Catoosa
  • Chattooga
  • Cherokee
  • Clarke
  • Dade
  • Dawson
  • Elbert
  • Fannin
  • Floyd
  • Forsyth
  • Franklin
  • Gilmer
  • Gordon
  • Habersham
  • Hall
  • Hart
  • Jackson
  • Lumpkin
  • Madison
  • Murray
  • Oconee
  • Pickens
  • Rabun
  • Stephens
  • Towns
  • Union
  • Walker
  • White
  • Whitfield

Schools and non-profit organizations located in any of the above counties may apply for a sub-award up to $5000 to conduct a smaller environmental education project in their community. 

The project objectives focus on comprehensive knowledge, application, technology, and environmental science skills on the environmental issues of invasive insect species, vegetation management, impairment of waterways due to sediment, soil and water quality issues affecting native forest ecosystems in urban, suburban, or rural communities, as all of these community types have native forest ecosystems in Georgia. One of the major issues in vegetation management is how to control invasive plant species without the excessive use of pesticides. Most citizens cannot identify native species in the Foothills landscape, nor proper methods for treatment; and therefore, are unable to act as good stewards of native forests/trees in Georgia rural, suburban, or urban landscapes. Learning activities on native/invasive plant identification and best treatment practices will mitigate this lack of knowledge.

The importance of clean water to North Georgia ecosystems and Chattahoochee River Watershed will be addressed through lectures on the chemical properties of pesticides/herbicides and the effects on soil and water quality, then field lab exercises will be conducted in order to monitor pesticide/herbicide run-off by using single use water quality test kits on water samples from Tumbling Creek and Hurricane Creek. Experts from community partners will educate participants on species identification, timber management practices, assessing tree health, and invasive pest sustainable practices for pesticide/herbicide use to reduce environmental harm when applied in riparian forests. These comprehensive lectures, learning activities, and field lab exercises on vegetation, soil, water run-off, and chemical use in urban/suburban settings will be designed to motivate citizens to be good stewards of their communities and demonstrate the multitude of interlocking issues related to forest health.

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