Memorial Forest

EEA Memorial Forest  

To honor deceased, exemplary environmental educators and stewards and to celebrate relationships and interactions between dynamic natural and human systems, EEA is planting memorial trees in remembrance of our friends.  Located in meaningful EE locations, hosted by partner organizations, the EEA Forest is being created grove by grove of across the state.  Utilizing native trees, we strive to plant diverse groves for beauty, wildlife, and ecological function, reflecting the deep ethic and passion for local ecology fostered by each of these individuals.

Launched in Fall 2015, with an initial plants at Fortson 4-H Center in Hampton during our annual Outdoor Learning Symposium, EE members help install the trees.  Memorial markers are being placed at each grove to identify the plantings as part of the EEA Forest. 


Donations are welcome. You can donate to the EEA Memorial Fund or submit an individual to be considered for recognition by clicking on the form links below:



EEA Memorial Forest Fund Donation Form

EEA Memorial Forest Submission Form




EEA Connections 

Brian Sterner

Born in San Diego, Calif., on March 22, 1974. Brian lost his battle with lung cancer on Feb. 2, 2014. - See more at:

March 22, 1974 - February 2, 2014

Brian Sterner was a man of many talents. He could fix/build just about anything, played the harmonica, guitar, and jawharp, animal lover, designer, performer of circus tricks, museum curator, beekeeper, and holder of the best laugh ever. The thing Brian will be remembered for by most, however, is his love for all things environmental and outdoors.

Brian was an Eagle Scout and mentored many young scouts through years as a camp counselor, then as a mentor for Eagle Scout projects.  He held a degree from State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.  He was involved in many environmental education programs and also was a certified with the National Association for Interpretation. He worked with the Lanier Museum and the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center as their Program Coordinator. Brian was the recipient of the Environmental Education Alliance’s Environmental Educator of the year in 2013. He also was honored with the Boy Scout Association’s William T. Hornaday Conservation Award.

Brian’s legacy is kindness and always giving of oneself. He loved the environment and sharing this love with everyone he could. But even more than that, Brian just loved. Loved everything and everyone. He loved giving. He loved life. In his memory, and that of so many others, we plant this forest. We hope that you will plant the love of our Earth, but also plant kindness, gentleness, laughter, hope, and a love of life~

EEA Member

Outstanding Service to Environmental Education by an Individual Award Recipient

 Margaret Olsen

December 31, 1946 - August 17, 2012

Margaret McElhannon (Eidsen) Olsen, 1946-2012. Margaret was a Georgia educator for 42 years. She had a Bachelor of Science in Science Education and a Master of Science in Secondary Science Education from West Georgia College, and was a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. She worked towards a Specialist of Marine Science Education, Curriculum, & Instruction from Georgia State University. Margaret taught for the Douglas County Board of Education, in Douglasville, for 23 years, and Woodward Academy, of College Park, for 13 years. Throughout her classroom years, Margaret taught through experiential learning. She published a number of curricula based on Earth, Environmental, and Marine sciences. Many were published by and are still available through the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). Margaret retired from the University of Georgia after 6 years as the Education Specialist for the Southeast Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEESE) in Savannah. During her career, she was actively involved in numerous professional organizations and activities, and received numerous honors for her work in education. Among her honors she was President of the Georgia Science Teachers Association (GSTA), President of the Georgia Association of Marine Education (GAME) for several terms, recipient of the prestigious GSTA Dallas Stewart Award, NSTA Earth Science Teacher of the Year, GA Teacher of the Year, GAME Marine Educator of the Year and Millie Graham Awards, just to name a few. Margaret exemplified her leadership through a lifetime of encouragement to others to expand their experiences, knowledge, and skills. These acknowledgements only scrape the surface of the contributions made in the realm of education and leadership by Margaret Olsen.

EEA Member

Eugene Odum Lifetime Service Award Recipient

 David Hedgepeth

September 24, 1953 - June 30, 2012

David was a much loved professor in the Department of Early Childhood and Special Education here at Valdosta State University. He began his career in Middle Grades Education in 1995, but moved to our department in 2005. He was the most patient person I have ever met and his calm personality was appreciated by all who knew him. David cared deeply for his students and colleagues and was always ready to lend a hand at any task.  He was passionate about Project Learning Tree, Project wet and Project Wild. He loved overseeing the PLT workshop for all of our teacher candidates each semester.  David served as the president of EEA  in 2011-2012 and was on the board for the Georgia Science Teachers Association.  I think that his friend Lisa Weinstein said it best when she wrote, " As we all know, the true measure of a person is not the letters after his name or the boards on which he served, but how he touched the hearts of others." He was the one of the kindest people we have ever known and we still miss him.

EEA President: 2010-2011

EEA Board of Directors

ATEEG Certification Advisory Board Member

  Petey Giroux

  April 3, 1945 - July 30, 2008 

uly 30, 2008 at the home of her daughter, surrounded by her family. Born on April 3, 1945 - See more at:

In honor of her life of service and legacy of environmental education through the arts, the Environmental Education Alliance of Georgia has established the Petey Giroux Dragonfly Grants program. The program will provide mini-grant awards up to $1,000 for projects that use the power of performing and/or visual arts to enhance environmental education.

Petey Giroux served as conference chair, president and advisory board chair of the Environmental Education Alliance (EEA) of Georgia, contributing greatly to the successful organization it is today. At the annual conference in March 2008, EEA honored Petey with the Eugene Odum Lifetime Achievement Award.

Petey once summed up her life philosophy when her daughter, Lynne, asked her for career advice: “It’s finding the path that allows you to give the best of yourself to others and the earth, and sharing your time and talents with others in a way that makes positive change. It’s love.”

In her short life, Petey found her path, shared of herself and made positive change. The Dragonfly Grants Program is designed to honor Petey’s memory by helping other passionate environmental educators make the world a better place, one project at a time.  Read on...

EEA President: 2003-2004

EEA Board of  Directors

Eugene Odum Lifetime Service Award Recipient

  Charles Allen Nasworthy

Allen Nasworthy

  February 26, 1987 - February 8, 2016

Allen was a member of EEA, served on the Board, helped organize the 2015 Conference, and, as the director of the Fortson 4-H Center, hosted EEA’s 2015 Outdoor Learning Symposium. Allen grew up as an Emanuel County 4-H’er, earned a BS in Agriculture and a Masters of Agricultural Leadership from UGA, and went on to serve the 4-H program in multiple capacities. He served as a Georgia 4-H Summer Camp Counselor at Rock Eagle 4-H Center for three summers (2007, 2008, 2009). He taught high school Agriscience in Henry County from 2009-2011, earning “Teacher of the Year” his first year. Allen also worked for the Future Farmers of America camping program. In 2011, he came back to 4-H to serve as the Fortson 4-H Center Director, where he served until he passed away in 2016. In this role, Allen contributed significantly to the organization and facility by providing leadership to the year round and seasonal staff members, overseeing the two primary programs (camp and environmental education), and by managing the facilities and fiscal operations. Allen built a small farm and brought his love of agriculture to Fortson, creating “Fortson’s Farm” and leaving a legacy of passion for the outdoors and teaching.

In addition to his 4-H roles, Allen was an active member of the Georgia Project Learning Tree community. He attended a Teacher Conservation Workshop in 2010 and later became a Project Learning Tree, Project WILD, and Project WET triple facilitator in 2011. As a facilitator, he trained over 100 educators in the three curricula. Allen became a member of the Project Learning Tree steering committee in 2014. He was honored in 2015 as Georgia Project Learning Tree’s Educator of the Year.

Allen was an Agent of Change. His whole life, all the way back to his summers spent as a 4-H counselor, reflects his belief in being an agent of change in people’s lives. He believed in providing people opportunities to change, grow, and better themselves, and he believed in supporting those people as they grew. He did it as a high school teacher and as a Georgia 4-H Center Director. We remember him as an Agent of Change and take encouragement as we, too, strive to be Agents of Change. You are missed, Allen. Rest in peace.

EEA Board of Directors

  Kathy Gunn

Kathy Gunn

  December 28, 1956 - September 11, 2010

Kathy Gunn taught seventh grade life science in Vidalia Georgia for five years. She then served as the regional coordinator of the Magnolia Midlands Georgia Youth Science and Technology Center (GYSTC) with East Georgia College in Swainsboro. While serving as coordinator, Kathy impacted the lives of many students, teachers, and parents with her expert knowledge of science. While completing an internship for her Master’s degree, Kathy fell in love with sea turtles. She shared this love with her seventh grade students, and it also heavily influenced her work at GYSTC. Kathy was the first coordinator to develop a professional learning course on Ossabaw Island. With the Island as her classroom, she taught educators about sea turtles, birds, archaeology, and Earth science. Island teaching was certainly one of her favorites loves, but she also conducted numerous in-class field trips, family science nights, and planetarium shows. Kathy was the life science guru and developed a 7th grade science activity guide correlated to the State standards while working for GYSTC.

Kathy truly loved the outdoors and all that nature had to offer. Through her active involvement in the Environmental Education Alliance of Georgia, Monarchs Across Georgia, and the Georgia Association of Marine Educators, Kathy was able to promote environmental education to students, parents, and teachers. In 2006, Kathy was named the Georgia Project Wild Facilitator of the Year for her outstanding performance and commitment to wildlife education.

When Kathy became ill, she taught us all to appreciate the beauty in everything and to always look for miracles. She recognized the beauty bestowed upon us by nature and found peace within it. Kathy was always an overachiever – going above and beyond in all she did. She was a blessing. She was a miracle. She was a keeper of secrets. She was a believer of mysteries. She was a catcher of dreams. She was our “Fruit Loop” in a world of Cheerios.

EEA Member