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Explore the Okefenokee – Virtual Scavenger Hunt Stop
Aug 19 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm EDT
This Scavenger Hunt to the Sea – Virtual Day at the Stop is on August 19. Register to join us on Zoom.
The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is one of America’s greatest treasures. Join Science for Georgia and refuge staff to learn a little about the swamp’s amazing ecological diversity and its status as a tentative UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Science for Georgia
The Okefenokee Swamp Park (OSP), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 1946, is currently spearheading the vision for the Okefenokee Experience, an initiative designed in partnership with the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), the state of Georgia, and other public and private entities that seeks to activate a natural resources economy to positively shape the future of the region.
This multi-faceted project will showcase the ecological, cultural, and historical significance of the Okefenokee NWR on campuses in the Okefenokee’s three gateway communities: Waycross (Ware County), Folkston (Charlton County), and Fargo (Clinch County). Collectively, these educational facilities—a nature center, a cultural history and community center, and an observatory—will create immersive opportunities for the public to experience the wonder and value of the Okefenokee and will serve as a catalyst for sustainable economic development.
In addition to serving as a recreational and educational partner to the Okefenokee NWR, in 2022 the refuge and OSP launched a unique public-private partnership to seek UNESCO World Heritage Site status and deliver on a 40-year quest to be awarded this international designation. The partnership offers project management and financial resources to the Okefenokee NWR to organize, develop, and fund the multi-year inscription process, working closely with the Department of the Interior, which oversees the World Heritage Site nomination process for the United States.
If inscribed, Okefenokee NWR would be the first site entirely managed by the National Wildlife Refuge System and the first natural site of its kind to be recognized as a World Heritage Site. World Heritage status would further the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service vision to protect the Okefenokee and its vast ecological resources for years to come.
In concert with this effort to officially place the Okefenokee on the international stage, OSP’s next era will be defined by building an interdependent economic development model, one in which nonprofit institutions, the private sector, and government together support sustainable conservation and development, working collaboratively through the prism of one of the world’s great natural resources