Annual Blueberry Picnic in South Georgia Recognizes Important Conservation Partners

In late June, Partners for Conservation Board Director and South Georgia landowner and tree farmer Reese Thompson hosted an annual gathering of partners, neighbors, and friends known as the Blueberry Picnic. Some years ago, Reese purchased a tract of land for his wife Pam Thompson for Valentine’s Day. In addition to longleaf pine, the tract had a blueberry patch, which is notable since Pam is a registered dietician who according to Reese “lives on fresh fruit.” Reese did some investigating and determined that it didn’t pencil out to operate the blueberry orchard as a part of his commercial enterprise, but it was a nice amenity and did produce blueberries every summer. The Thompsons decided that they would host an annual “blueberry picking” to ensure that the berries were put to good use. The blueberry picking has evolved into the blueberry picnic that Pam and Reese host as a big annual “thank you” to all the individuals and organizations that have assisted and are assisting with their efforts to restore, manage, and better understand the plants and animals that comprise their piece of the longleaf pine ecosystem. But it is not just Pam and Reese that host, daughter Audrey and son Reese, two years old, are also a big part of the event, along with neighbors and friends. This year over 100 folks came out including partners from many organizations such as USDA-NRCS, The Nature Conservancy, Longleaf Alliance, The Orianne Society, [...]

2020-08-14T15:43:49-05:00July 23rd, 2018|

Partners for Conservation Partners up with Arkansas Private Lands Biologists

In May, Partners for Conservation was honored to be invited to participate in a Private Lands Biologist Training session in the Mississippi Delta region of Arkansas. This biennial event draws together private lands biologists employed by local, state, federal, nonprofit, and for-profit corporations that work with landowners all over the state. Some of the organizations represented include local conservation districts, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas Forestry Commission, University of Arkansas Extension, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Partners Program, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Quail Forever/Pheasants Forever, The Nature Conservancy among a number of others including some from neighboring states. The group spent two days together hearing from a number of speakers, including actual landowners, about topics critical to working with landowners. With the diverse organizations represented, much of the training presented related to a better understanding of landowner and agricultural producer perceptions, needs, and values. Arkansas, like many states in the Central and Eastern United States, is overwhelmingly private land where wildlife and natural resource management does not occur without the engagement and partnership of landowners. Every agency and organization represented had a slightly different set of services that they could offer landowners, which is good since landowner needs and interests when it comes to conservation are also diverse. This group of private lands biologists in Arkansas clearly demonstrates a strong sense of community and partnership as they work together to help Arkansas landowners interested in conservation. Towards the [...]

2020-08-14T15:45:40-05:00July 23rd, 2018|