The Georgia Forestry Foundation grew its influence at this year’s GFA Annual Conference on Jekyll Island (July 29-31, 2022). GFF lead the silent and live auctions, the golf tournament now called the Sand Gnat Classic, and the presentation of two awards.

Our impact this year →


Evergreen Award for Partnership Presented to the Chattahoochee Nature Center

Alicia Thompson, Senior Director of Learning and Engagement at CNC, receives the Evergreen Award.

The Evergreen award recognizes an organization that embodies the mission of the Georgia Forestry Association and Foundation.

This year, the Georgia Forestry Association (GFA) and Foundation (GFF) recognized the Chattahoochee Nature Center (CNC) in Roswell, GA. CNC is an organization whose work has been essential in expanding the reach of GFF’s education work since we began our partnership in 2018.

With CNC’s steadfast partnership, GFF has created metro Atlanta forestry education programs that connect students to the importance of Georgia’s working forests through in-school education programs. Through these initiatives GFF has had over 7400 student contacts and 375 teacher contacts. We have reached over 1500 individual metro Atlanta students, and an additional over 760 City of Atlanta summer campers through the Thrive Outside partnership with Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta and Camp Best Friends. And, with CNC’s help, we still reached 1100 students through live, virtual programs during the height of COVID.

These programs educate both students and teachers about what a working forest is, the products it produces, and the opportunities for jobs in the forestry industry. Alicia Thompson, Senior Director of Learning and Engagement at CNC, accepted the award at the Annual Conference,

“Our education staff have such enthusiasm for interpreting the importance of Georgia’s forests and have learned so much in working with GFF. It’s wonderful to be able to capture the impact that the unique curriculum has on students.”

By partnering closely with CNC, GFF has been able to establish a critical bridge between the forests and our state’s urban communities, broadening the understanding and appreciation for forestry in the metro Atlanta area.

First Annual “Outstanding Forestry Teacher of the Year” Award

For the first time ever, GFF recognized a forestry teacher for excellence in forestry instruction in the state of Georgia. GFF presented Mr. Tim Griffeth (North Oconee High School) with the award at both the Georgia Vocational Teachers Association Conference and GFA’s Annual Conference – at the latter of which he received a standing ovation.

Sand Gnat Classic 2022 Attracts More than Bugs

The annual golf tournament, now affectionately referred to as the Sand Gnat Classic, welcomed 90 golfers to the Jekyll Island Golf Club. All proceeds from the golf tournament benefit GFF.

Lastly, GFF greatly appreciates the generosity of the organizations and individuals who donated items to the live and silent auctions. Your donations helped us break fundraising records! Auction proceeds benefit Tree Farm, Teacher Conservation Workshop, Project Learning Tree and GFF. This year’s auction was sponsored by Pierce Timber.

If your organization would like to sponsor the Annual Conference auction in 2023, please contact Vice President Nick DiLuzio,

What Has GFF Been Up to in the First Half of 2022?