By Mary Beth Jordan
As the year draws to a close, it’s customary to reflect on the year’s milestones, successes and challenges while setting goals for the coming new year. As the Chair of the Board of Trustees for The Nature Conservancy in Georgia, I am particularly grateful to support work that preserves and protects lands and waters that are economically and culturally significant in addition to being treasure by residents and visitors alike.
There is a lot to celebrate about conservation in Georgia this year, from the availability of the first round of preservation grants through the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Program to realizing decades-long plans to protect freshwater habitat at Raccoon Creek in north Georgia to implementing nature-based solutions to climate change along the coast. Innovative partnerships, dedicated institutional funders and Georgia’s strong community of conservation nonprofits contribute to these successes.
Coalitions like the Gopher Tortoise Conservation Initiative, which is dedicated to preventing Georgia’s iconic state reptile from joining the endangered species list by restoring the longleaf pine forests they need to survive, and the Atlanta Canopy Alliance strengthen the reach of important conservation messages and provide pathways for individual Georgians to get involved.
The need to achieve large-scale results at a fast pace is urgent given the huge challenges facing Georgia and the planet—climate change, drought, wildfires and more. We can’t rest on our laurels. On behalf of The Nature Conservancy, I respectfully invite all Georgians to take action in 2020 to protect the environment and to tackle climate change. Whether you advocate, amplify other voices or donate, it’s the little things that ultimately create big impact.
Mary Beth Jordan is an independent consultant providing sustainability strategy, management and communicationsconsulting to corporate and non-profit clients. Prior to launching her consultancy, she held a senior management position at Homrich Partners where she assessed sustainability risks and opportunities for clients in the apparel, automotive and communications sectors. She also worked in the energy sector managing annual sustainability reporting and partnerships. A resident of Decatur, Mary Beth serves as Chair of the Nature Conservancy in Georgia’s Board of Trustees.