Earth Tomorrow Kicks off Spring Season of Service and Environmental Action on MLK
The National Wildlife Federation’s Atlanta Earth Tomorrow Program will kick off its spring season of service and environmental action on January 17, 2011 from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm at the Atlanta Outdoor Activity Center (OAC) in Southwest Atlanta. Members of Earth Tomorrow Clubs from across Metropolitan Atlanta will join the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance (WAWA) for a Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service to help to maintain, revive, and renew the 26 acre urban forest, NWF certified wildlife habitat, and community garden plots at the OAC.
On the MLK Day of Service Earth Tomorrow leaders and other community volunteers will conduct invasive plant removal, trail maintenance, repair foot bridges, install trail markers and interpretive signage, prepare garden beds for the spring planting season, and prepare and hang bird feeders throughout the forest preserve.
The West Atlanta Watershed Alliance (WAWA) is “a community based non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for the residents in West Atlanta by protecting, preserving, and restoring the community’s natural resources. WAWA advocates for preserving greenspace, protecting and improving water quality, and promoting quality environmental health within the Proctor, Sandy, and Utoy Watersheds of West Atlanta and has been a long-standing partner with the Southeast Regional Center of the National Wildlife Federation.
The Outdoor Activity Center is one of the oldest urban forests in Atlanta. It includes a multi-purpose building and learning facility where environmental classes, field trips, and hands-on ecology and nature activities are held for kids of all ages. The “family friendly” nature center also has a tree house classroom, 650- gallon freshwater aquarium, and an interactive ecological playground called Naturescape. Suffering from years of limited resources, the OAC had once fallen into a state of disrepair, but the Earth Tomorrow Program has been partnering with WAWA, the current stewards of the facility, over the past several years, to revitalize it into Atlanta’s premiere nature center and urban forest preserve.
In addition to Earth Tomorrow students, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service will also attract many community volunteers including outdoor apparel and equipment company, REI, the Georgia Power Company, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, the Edge of Night Camping Club, Keeping it Wild, the Crossbridge Girl Scouts, and numerous other individuals and groups.
Additional individuals or groups who want to volunteer and join in on the fun should RSVP to Dejia Freeman, Earth Tomorrow Program Assistant, by Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at firstname.lastname@example.org. The OAC is located at 1442 Richland Rd. S.W., Atlanta, GA 30310. For directions, or more information, call 404-752-5385. Work gloves, food, and beverages will be provided for all volunteers. Dress for the weather and plan to get dirty!
The Atlanta Earth Tomorrow Program is a high school and community club-based program that creates opportunities for teens (ages 14-18) to become environmental stewards through a year-long cycle of leadership training, issues exploration, civic engagement, career development, community outreach and education, and student-led community action projects. NWF works with select high schools in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area, but is expanding the Earth Tomorrow Program to additional schools. For more information about the program or getting one started in your neighborhood school, please contact the program manager, Na’Taki Osborne Jelks at Osborne@nwf.org or 404-876-8733.