2021 Impact Report

Connecting Georgians to Working Forests as a Natural Solution to Our Greatest Challenges

Why does our work matter?

Approximately 80 percent of Georgia’s population lives in urban or suburban areas, and our state is continuing to grow at a rapid pace.

From school-aged children and teens to working adults and decision makers, we must ensure that Georgians understand the importance of working forests, products that come from trees and the people who steward our forests.

Snapshot: Nail laminated timber panels being lowered into place at T3 West Midtown, a mass timber office building in Atlanta (credit: Structure Craft)

So how do we tell the story of forestry?

We are focused on bringing together the best thinkers, educators, innovators and forestry leaders to work within the following areas.

Snapshot: A new forest begins its life. Claire Lee, a private landowner and GFF Forest Champion, planted these longleaf seedlings on her land in Valdosta, GA. 

Digital and Virtual Reality Curriculum

Our innovative approach to developing digital forestry curriculum is focused on connecting 1.2 million Georgia students to the forest without leaving the classroom.

  • 32,000 Virtual Learning Journey Views
  • 7,000 Educators Trained
  • 68 Virtual Reality Headsets Distributed to Schools by Donors


Snapshot: Students at an event on the BeltLine at Ponce City Market for Earth Day explore the forestry curriculum.

Digital and Virtual Reality Curriculum

In 2021, GFF’s digital and VR forestry education assets made a major impact in classrooms across the state.

  • 8,385 page views on Georgia Forests I
  • 1,865 page views on Georgia Forests II
  • 3,237 views of VR / 360 videos
  • 4 GPB Mobile Lab visits with VR headsets
  • 21,022 Total Views in 2021

Snapshot: the Virtual Learning Journey assets provide an interactive user experience for all Georgia students. 

Engaging Georgia’s Agricultural Educators

GFF attended the Georgia Vocational Agricultural Teachers Association Conference in July. Engagement included an overview of the Foundation’s digital and VR/AR forestry curriculum and a tour of a sawmill.

  • 550 Teachers attended
  • GFF interacted with teachers from 70 Counties regarding GPB curriculum
  • 45 Teachers attended GPB Forestry Platform breakout/training session

Snapshot: GFF staff help to connect agriculture teachers with resources and information for their classrooms.

Preparing the Next Generation of Forestry Leaders

Our interactive workforce scenario game Make That Paper! is focused on teaching high school students about the forestry industry while honing in their career employability skills in a fun and engaging way.

  • 7,535 views – Make That Paper Game


Snapshot: The game is professionally illustrated and students are given the opportunity to play as these characters who represent three forestry career pathways.

Metro Atlanta In-School Education Programs

Our partnership with Chattahoochee Nature Center helps students learn about working forests through in-person wildlife encounters and other hands on activities.

  • 2,135 Student Contacts
  • 427 students, 29 teachers

Key Partner

Snapshot: CNC’s wildlife encounters play a critical role in piquing the interest of students in order to make a connection to importance of working forests to wildlife habitat. 

Metro Atlanta In-School Education Programs

Thrive Outside with Trust for Public Land & CNC

  • 412 Students Reached

Trees Atlanta Engagement Numbers

  • Urban TreeTrackers In-School program: 15 schools (9 Title I schools), 60 classroom visits, 921 students
  • Junior TreeKeepers Summer Camp: 300 campers between grades 1-6; 3.4 camp scholarships awarded
  • Youth Tree Team (summer “green-collar” job training program): 33 students

Key Partners


Snapshot: For many children who attended the Thrive Outside program, it was their first hike in the woods. 

Supporting Minority Forest Landowner Education

Together with the Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources, GFF supported the Women’s Landowner Symposium, a national-level event to connect women landowners with forestry professionals and experts to support the economic and environmental sustainability of their land.


Developing Ecosystem Services Markets for Water Quality

With funding from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry & Communities, we partnered with Keeping Forests and researchers at Dovetail Partners to study different types of ecosystem services markets and to gather perspectives from forest owners and water users.

4 Watersheds Researched

4 Conference Presentations

9 Forums Hosted

350 Stakeholders Engaged

137-Page Report Published

Snapshot: Privately-owned, working forests hugging the edges of the Willacoochee River in Valdosta, GA. 

Promoting the Utilization of Mass Timber

Since 2017, GFF has been instrumental in promoting the use of mass timber in the built environment. Last year, GFF hosted two mass timber events to engage architects, engineers and developers with resources and information related to the benefits of building with wood.

In 2021, GFF committed to supporting scientific expertise in developing the methodology for the Sustainable Development Carbon Registry, which will allow developers to receive credits for the carbon sequestered in buildings when choosing to build with wood over conventional concrete or steel materials.

Snapshot: GFF hosted a tour of the ThinkWood display at the Southern Lumber Manufacturers Association Expo in Atlanta in 2021.

Increasing Efficiency and Sustainability of the Forestry Supply Chain

GFF funded research with the Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources to develop recommendations regarding Georgia’s regulations for log truck weights and configurations and determine the safety and efficiencies gained through a shift to heavier trucks.

  • Georgia has among the lowest gross vehicle weight limits for log trucks in the South, the US, and internationally.
  • Experience in the US and internationally demonstrates that allowing heavier log trucks will reduce transportation costs, pavement damage, fuel consumption, and carbon dioxide emissions.

This research will be critical in educating key decision makers at the federal and state level about issues related to trucking and logistics, including driver availability, truck insurance and haul weights.

January 1, 2022

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The Georgia Forestry Foundation’s work is framing Georgia’s working forests as a solution to our greatest challenges. We need your help to increase our impact in 2022.

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