As part of Fernbank Museum’s education department, I had the great pleasure of celebrating Earth Day Fernbank style! Our Earth Day celebration featured guided explorations in Fernbank Forest and restoration in the Museum’s backyard.
Our environmental educators shared passions and knowledge of Fernbank Forest’s unique character and ecology with visitors. Fernbank Forest is 65 acres of old-growth forest, featuring trees as much as 300 years old, a rich diversity of flora and fauna and a relaxing experience for all. During our forest explorations, guests learned about wildflowers, animals, tracks, the watershed and trees of Fernbank Forest at a variety of educational stations.
At the pond station, guests saw mosquitofish up-close, looked at water samples for clarity and learned about the local watershed.
Guests investigated trees at another station. Actual tree slices showing growth rings helped us learn more about trees. Visitors identified the surrounding trees, with the help of leaf identification cards and quizzed their friends.
At our station near the stream, visitors saw salamanders that live in the Forest, as well as salamanders native to Georgia. We learned about indicator species and their importance to the ecosystem.
At the end of the day, we enjoyed the outdoors and had many opportunities to see exciting things in Fernbank Forest. We spotted Yellow trillium and Nodding trillium along the trail, enjoyed the lush green foliage of our native hardwood trees and saw a few local creatures along the way.
We wrapped up the weekend with a restoration project in the woodland behind the Museum. Twenty five community volunteers joined Ferbank’s team to remove non-native invasive plant species, and then transplanted native wildflowers that had emerged in the middle of a trail to a safer location. We experienced some excitement with the discovery of a large female garter snake! All enjoyed the work and made a huge impact on the health of our woodland. A big shout out to Stacey, Robert, Pamela, Rocio, Isabel, Tim and the Georgia State Football team! Without your help, we would not be able to make such strides in our forest restoration efforts.
Celebrate Earth Day with us next year or become a restoration volunteer and make your own impact for Mother Earth. Public programs, including monthly activities in Fernbank Forest, can be viewed on our calendar of events.
Lynn Anders, Education Program Manager—Animal Programs