Programs developed by Warnell’s outreach faculty received major recognition today, when they were honored with the Comprehensive Family Forest Education Award.
The award is presented to educational institutions deemed to have delivered the most effective education program to benefit family forest owners over the past five years. It was given at the organization’s annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.
“The Warnell School’s outreach program is established as a national leader in comprehensive family forest education,” said Dale Greene, dean of the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources who was on hand to receive the award. “We are extremely proud to receive this recognition, which reflects the hard work and dedication of our outreach faculty and staff.”
This is the fourth time Warnell has received the Family Forests Education Award, which is jointly awarded by the National Association of University Forest Resources Programs and the National Woodland Owners Association. It began in 1997; Warnell received the award in 1998, 2001 and 2013.
Warnell’s outreach program distinguished itself in several ways, including an assessment of landowner needs that helped shape programming topics, applied research that informed the information shared with landowners, collaboration with a variety of organizations and agencies and the variety of educational materials, events and other resources produced by the 13-member outreach group.
For example, said Kris Irwin, associate dean for outreach, educational pieces produced by Warnell’s outreach faculty are used by the Georgia Forestry Commission, the USDA Forest Service and other university extension programs. One particular outreach effort, the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, is recognized as a national leader for invasive species programming.
“Our coverage of planting, tending, managing, harvesting and improving the family forest is inclusive of all aspects—silviculture, invasive species control, wildlife and environmental considerations and economic considerations,” said Irwin. “We strive to meet the needs of Georgia’s family forest owners, and we are proud to have these efforts recognized.”