Formed in 1999, the Margaret and Luke Pettit Environmental Preserve is celebrating 20 years since the founding of the organization. In that time, the Preserve has served over 24,000 persons with school field trips, general interest public programs, camps, Scout programs and outreach in the community. This year also marks the completion of the first phase of the new multipurpose building which, when completed, will allow the Preserve to offer field trips to larger groups and provide an all-weather programming venue.
Another cause for celebration in this anniversary year is the recognition by the Coosa River Basin Initiative (CRBI), which presented the Preserve with their Riverkeeper Outdoor Recreation Award in March. CRBI Executive Director Jesse Demonbreun-Chapman had this to say in presenting the award: “We are inspired by the resourcefulness of this local group committed to protecting a wildlife sanctuary and raising the next generation of nature-lovers.”
To continue to expand their outreach in the community, the Preserve is actively seeking new Board members. Members serve a three-year term, which includes active participation in one of the Board’s standing committees and a financial commitment. The Board meets monthly while committees meet as needed (no more than monthly).
Board Chairman Dee Bishop has a special connection to the Preserve since her mother, Gay Pettit Dellinger, founded the Preserve. Bishop says that new Board members “need to be comfortable talking about the Preserve and asking for money to support it, enjoy working with a team, love the outdoors and be interested in our mission.” Bishop added that she is happy to provide tours of the Preserve to anyone interested in serving.
Ann Warren, both an education volunteer and a member of the Board of Directors, has this perspective on the Preserve’s mission: “I have seen firsthand the impact that being outdoors can have on children. When I grew up, everyone played outdoors. We played outside all day every day. With TV, video games, cell phones, and all the other indoor distractions, I’m afraid that children today are spending less and less time outdoors. It is my hope that the trails and learning experiences at the Pettit Preserve will provide the new generation with an opportunity to learn to love the outdoors.”
Located in south Bartow County off Highway 61, the Preserve’s 70 acres includes a 10-acre lake and three hiking trails. Open by appointment for the curriculum-aligned school field trip program, the Preserve also conducts summer camps, hosts summer daycare groups, provides Boy & Girl Scout Badge programs and is open to the public the second Saturday of every month for hiking and general interest nature programming. A membership program also provides admission to Preserve events and at the Premier level, access to property for private hiking and fishing.
For more information about the Preserve or becoming a Board member, please contact Marina Robertson, Executive Director, at 678-848-4179 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org