Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Youth Birding Competition

What kid doesn’t love a treasure hunt?

In this case, the "hunt" is a challenge to see who can find the most bird species. March 31st is the deadline to register for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Third Annual Youth Birding Competition, open to children in grades K-12.

The event takes place during a 24-hour period beginning at 5 p.m. May 2. Teams can search for birds anywhere in Georgia, but they must be at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield by 5 p.m. May 3 for the awards banquet.

Each team must consist of at least two children. Their adult chaperones are not allowed to help them locate or identify the birds. Registration forms, rules and instructions about the contest are available at this website.

The First Annual Youth Birding Competition was featured in tonight's Georgia Outdoors episode. Watch it at 7:30 PM on GPB-TV or online at anytime.

Tonight on Georgia Outdoors

Georgia Outdoors: Citizen Science

Tuesday, March 25, 7:30 PM

Have you ever wanted to live the life of a wildlife biologist? Georgia Outdoors profiles a few groups of average citizens who are making a difference by helping to keep track of wildlife populations.

We'll start at the Colonial Coast Birding Festival, a gathering of hundreds of bird watchers who converge on the coast every year to explore the aviary wonders of coastal Georgia. Attendees also learn some techniques in documenting and tracking bird populations.

Next, we'll follow an energetic young group of Citizen Scientists-in-training as they participate in Georgia's Annual Youth Birding Competition.

Plus, we'll feature bird and butterfly counting and participate in the Charlie Elliot Wildlife Center's Dragonfly Identification Program. You won't want to miss this action packed program.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

March is the beginning of Appalachian Trail season

March is the traditional starting month for folks embarking on a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. The southern terminus of the trail is right here in Georgia-- on Springer Mountain, to be precise. The northern terminus is 2,175-miles north on Mount Katahdin in Maine.

Every year hundreds of hikers attempt a thru-hike. Many are out for an adventure of a lifetime, some just love hiking and others are out to prove to themselves that they can do it. But two hikers are hoping to make a difference on a larger scale. They hope to raise $150,000 for Keep America Beautiful. People can donate to their cause via their website Trek Against Trash. Donors are encouraged to give a penny per mile for a modest total of $21.74.

A thru-hike takes a lot of planning so most of you reading this shouldn't make a thru hike attempt until next spring. In the meantime, there are 75 miles of AT in Georgia with many opportunities for day hikes and short overnights.

Here are some online resources to help you:

Georgia Appalachian Trail Club, Inc.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy

American Hiking Society

Georgia Backpacker

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Watch Georgia Outdoors: Weather

Georgia Outdoors will be pre-empted tonight to bring you more GPB Membership programming. Our membership dollars are very important to us-- and you! They are the source dollars that pay for the programming that you enjoy every day. If you watch Georgia Outdoors and are not a member it's time to join us! If you are a member but it's time to renew please visit our Support GPB website today.

In the meantime, if you're jonesing for your Georgia Outdoors fix visit our website and view some archived programming. May I recommend Georgia Outdoors: Weather. Learn more about tornadoes and other weather phenomenon that affects our outdoor world and certainly relevant to those of us still cleaning up around the state from the tornadoes of last weekend.

I would also recommend Georgia Outdoors: Green Getaways. Spring break is right around the corner and this program offers great ideas for eco-friendly family trips in Georgia. You might also watch Georgia Outdoors: Family Camping.

Environmental Education and Georgia Outdoors

I just got back from the Environmental Education Alliance's Annual Conference where I gave a presentation entitled "Behind the Scenes, Georgia Outdoors" to an assortment of traditional and non-traditional environmental educators. Many of us in that room got our first taste of environmental work as children by watching wonderful natural history television programming like the Jacques Cousteau programs, Nature and National Geographic and maybe, just maybe, Georgia Outdoors.

I'm lucky to work on a television program like Georgia Outdoors and I was lucky to be able to share my experiences with those at the conference. I hope to post my presentation on this blog in the very near future so check back often. In the meantime to learn more about the EEA please visit their website at www.eealliance.org.

Bainbridge Named "Bass Capital of Georgia"

Bainbridge is now officially the "Bass Capital of Georgia," thanks to it's proximity to Lake Seminole and to a Georgia House resolution introduced last week by Rep. Gene Maddox (R-Cairo). Bainbridge bass celebrities and natives Jack Wingate and Pam Martin-Wells have both been inducted into the Great Outdoors Sports Hall of Fame for their bass fishing expertise.

Watch Georgia Outdoors: Great Lakes of Georgia to watch a segment about Lake Seminole.