Agnes Scott College Native Habitat Sanctuary
In collaboration with Indie Lorick, we have co-authored this project summary alongside the Center of Sustainability staff, including Sustainability Fellow Grace Payne and Executive Director of the Center for Sustainability Kimberly Reeves. Should this grant be awarded, the hired Grant Program Intern will join the NWF EcoLeaders community, and create a project for the Wild Kingdom grant project within the community at the close of the grant term, showcasing progress in Agnes Scott College’s Native Habitat Sanctuary.
With a commitment to environmental stewardship, education, and community engagement, the Center for Sustainability at Agnes Scott College aims to support the restoration of Agnes Scott College’s Native Habitat Sanctuary. This project would be made possible through the support of the Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom College and University Grant.
The primary goal of this project is to hire a Grant Program Intern who will focus on three core areas:
- Restore the ASC Native Habitat Sanctuary from invasive species
- Inventory, map and establish a maintenance program for all invasive species on campus in both formal and informal spaces
- Engage and educate students, faculty, staff and the broader community in all aspects of project
Starting from the award announcement in January 2024, the project spans from February to September 2024. Our timeline outlines specific steps starting with the intern’s hiring and volunteer activities. The Center for Sustainability staff will post a job announcement, interview, and hire a student employee for the Grant Program Intern position for part-time employment February-May 2024, with full-time employment (35 hours) for May-July 2024, or part-time May-July or -August 2024.
The intern will work closely with Center for Sustainability staff, our campus arborist and biology faculty, students across campus, and the broader Decatur community. They will focus on invasive species mapping, maintenance planning, volunteer opportunity coordination, bluebird house installations, and certification processes. The Grant Program Intern will utilize the invasive species inventory to create a removal and maintenance plan for the other areas identified on campus. This plan will help guide the landscape crew along with the Arboretum Advisory Committee. The Grant Program Intern will create educational awareness materials for a campaign around both regional and national certifications and their intersectionality along with key ways the community can participate. The ASC Native Habitat Sanctuary project will conclude with a detailed summary report submitted in September 2024.
These efforts aim to create a thriving habitat and promote wildlife conservation while engaging our City of Decatur community and our Agnes Scott students who represent a diverse background.
Full support of the grant’s budget allocates $8,000 for the Grant Program Intern stipend and $2,000 for native plantings, certification costs, and volunteer support. Ensuring fair compensation for the intern's efforts and covering essential expenses.
This project anticipates tangible outcomes like:
- Habitat restoration through invasive species management plans and certification of NWF Wildlife Habitat and Birds Georgia Wildlife Sanctuary
- Monthly volunteer opportunities and educational awareness campaigns
- Introduction to environmental solutions to urban spaces
- Create a replicable model of wildlife conservation and sustainable land management practices for the wider community
What is the challenge the project is designed to address?
Reviving and maintaining a natural habitat that has faced degradation, loss of native species, and invasive species encroachment.
Building climate resilience in urban neighborhoods that bear disproportionate effects of environmental consequences.
Engaging diverse groups of people to participate in intersectionality of environmental justice.
How will the challenge be impacted?
Implementing a comprehensive plan supported by the Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom College Grant by hiring a dedicated Grant Program Intern mentored and supervised by the Center for Sustainability staff seeking to:
Habitat restoration: Removal of invasive species, mapping and managing these species, engaging in habitat restoration efforts, and building resilient natural hedges against extreme weather impacts in urban areas.
Education and engagement: Develop educational materials and equitable access to campaigns that engage and empower our local diverse community members to participate in wildlife conservation efforts. Build volunteer opportunities centered in educating people to reflect, analyze, and act on how they might play a role in environmental justice no matter where they live, their socioeconomic status, or their perceived expertise.
In alignment with certification program requirements, at least 50% of plants in the area of focus will be native, which will provide food sources, shelter, places to raise young, attract beneficial insects and pollinators, and which will provide multiple layers of plants creating a holistic habitat.
How will progress or success be measured?
Completion of planned activities within the designated timeline:
Invasive species mapping and management plans
Measuring the progress of controlling invasive species and restoring native flora and fauna
Certification of the ASC Native Habitat Sanctuary as NWF Wildlife Habitat and Birds Georgia Wildlife Sanctuary
Tracking the number, diversity, and satisfaction of volunteers engaged in conservation efforts and educational campaigns
Certify Your EcoLeader Project