Page 23 - Georgia Forestry - Issue 4 - Fall 2019
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   Trees Atlanta’s director of education. “So, if we introduce them to our partners and some green collar jobs, we’re getting them involved in the work so that they can develop an appreciation for the land that they live on.”
Trees Atlanta’s education programs like the Youth Tree Team are going to expand over the coming years to help more people in the metro area share that appreciation. “We’re looking to be the key educator on forests in the city of Atlanta,” Render said. “And a key part of that is the work we do here with the Youth Tree Team.” They received 130 applications for the 2019 program and are expecting that number to reach 200 next year.
“The process of growing the program and getting kids interested in nature is a big task, but it’s not very hard when you have a passion for it like I do,” Harper said. “My passion for nature, which I got from my father, comes first, but my passion for working with these kids is a close second. I feel like this is me giving back and giving these kids great experiences in nature like I had growing up. They’ll remember it for a lifetime; they just have to have somebody to teach them.”
At the end of their seven weeks together, the Youth Tree Team presented on their projects and what they learned to family, friends, Trees Atlanta staff and others. It was clear by the faces of many of the parents in the room that they were amazed by how much their kids had learned and grown through the program. Greg Levine, co-executive director of Trees Atlanta, marveled at the potential for the Youth Tree Team graduates: “We know you’re going to make a difference in this world.”
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