"This Land is your land, this land is my land."
These are the opening lyrics to a song many of us grew up singing in grade school. My grade school years were amongst the best years of my life. The world was big and my curiosities were vibrant. A time when you stayed outside all day. "Be home by the time the street lights come on", my mother would say as I dashed out the screened door. I spent all day riding my bike through narrow trails in the neighborhood woods, catching "crawdads" and salamanders in the creek, and climbing every tree with a branch low enough for me to reach.
About 5 years ago, this childhood love was reinvigorated in me by the Georgia Conservancy. Showing me the diverse beauty of Georgia, teaching me the importance of land and water conservation and how I, a single citizen can influence legislation designed to promote both. They gave me a platform in which to influence other African-Americans to venture out and witness the natural gifts we all have been given. I have gained a photography hobby as a result, in an attempt to spark wonder and conversation. I am often approached about selling my photos to which I respond, "I shoot to share." While I'm not opposed to selling a few from time to time, I am more invested in telling nature's story. "Get out, there's life outside", I say. As adults, we have forgotten how to wonder, let curiosity guide our day and ask the simple questions.
The outdoors reminds me of these things and I am never more reminded then when I am paddling in the Okefenokee Swamp in south Georgia. The Cypress trees arching the narrow water trails, alligators sunning on a log, Blue Heron fishing along the marshy edges. Who needs a doctor when the gift of healing has already been given to us all through nature's meditative ease.
This is my Georgia. This is our Georgia.
If you have enjoyed any of my photos, want to support me in continuing to find new adventures, believe sustainable living is vital towards the well-being of our children or just enjoy a nice walk from time to time, please help me in supporting the Georgia Conservancy.
Georgia... Made for you and me.
Over the next 12 months we’re raising the bar: conserving more than 30,000 - 35,000 acres of land, educating more than 3,500 people in “Georgia’s outdoor classroom” that we call our trips program, and helping thousands of students and parents breath a little easier with our school siting workshops. But, truthfully, the issue that gives us great concern is maintaining steady handed advocacy on behalf of the gem of Georgia’s coast: Cumberland Island.
With so much to do, we’ve had to expand annual fundraising goals. We’re currently $50,000 behind our expanded funding needs and we need your help.
For our 50th Anniversary, we've asked some of our most important donors and members to share their Georgia story as a Georgia Conservancy Storyteller.
Thank you for supporting our storytellers and the Georgia Conservancy!
|Bryan Schroeder||05/04/2017||$10.00||Andre, this is an incredible story. I'm so glad Keeping It Wild and James King brought you into our life. I look forward to sharing the woods and rivers (and beers) with you for a long long time.||Emily Strickland||05/04/2017||$50.00||I have shared many wonderful Heartland paddle trips with the Georgia Conservancy. This organization does a tremendous service for the natural resources of our state by legislative lobbying and by creating opportunities for Georgians to experience the wonderful natural resources that Georgia possesses and to make them aware of the challenges that are faced with preserving these.|