Community Certification for
Going forward with a “new” community project is the perfect time to reflect on our past. It turns out, our greatest resources are our “Gardner Sisters” and the archived Petal Pusher Bulletins on our website. The Birds and Conservation Committee resurrected the Backyard Certification Project with a goal of total Community Certification for wild-life sustainability. The Garden Club of Georgia describes the Community Certification as “an in-depth, multi-faceted program intended to educate the community while creating a diverse and large-scale habitat for wildlife”. Our garden club is working with Skidaway Audubon and Green Thumb towards a wildlife sustainable designation on a national level as this is beneficial to our Island, our community and our homes.
It turns out The Landings Garden Club applied for and met all criteria and was awarded the first Community Certification designation in Georgia in 2004! We are registered with The Garden Club of Georgia and Georgia Department of Natural Resources, as a Certified Community. We thought we were expanding a great project, turns out our “Sisters” already did that and more. With every new generation comes insights, ways of looking at our community, challenges that ebb and flow with the environment. How much change has taken place in 15 years? A lot; we are all much more tech savvy, connected to phones, internet and Siri/Alexa. We have electric cars (beyond golf carts) and “smart” everything. But much stays the same as gardening, by nature, is a slow meditative process. Gardeners, birdwatchers, conservationists all active people in the community are attracted to this Island; not just now but from its inception. Our Garden Club has a history of women who are committed to learning about native wildlife and plants and encouraging their use in our gardens, documenting bird migration, providing water and food for migratory birds and insects, building and maintaining brush and rock piles for wildlife habitats. We have not thought of something new but rather we carry on a legacy of sustaining our amazing Island.
Our leadership and active membership continue to care for our native community as our population increases. We bump up against sharing space with more people, more wildlife and environmental concerns. We have had 3 Mandatory Evacuations in 5 years. Tropical Storm Mathew took out not only a huge amount of wildlife habitats but also scattered the beehive on our island. Between increased population and weather, we lost natural habitats in shrubbery, Purple Martin homes, pollinators at Skidaway Farms along with several hundred trees. While GCG and Ga DNR do not require re-certification of our community, 15 years is a good place to reassess. At heart we continue to find that our long-time club members are smart, forward thinking, environmentally protective women who continue to guide us in our pursuit of life among the wildlife at The Landings.
The various other organizations that work for our betterment all remind us that we are in this together, no matter the group we represent. And for all future projects we envision but find have already been done by “Garden Sisters”, I say Thank you!
-- Jean Deitch, Birds and Conservation Chair
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