Athens, Ga. – What started off as a small group of forestry students who wanted to mingle with each other has evolved into one of the University of Georgia’s most active student leadership clubs—and one of its longest lasting. The UGA Forestry Club is celebrating its centennial this weekend with “100 Years of Forestry Club.”
The UGA Forestry Club—whose members compete in collegiate forestry contests as the Timberdawgs—was founded in February 1914 and is one of the oldest non-Greek clubs on campus.
For 100 years, the UGA Forestry Club has helped its members and other students at the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources prepare for their future careers by hosting lectures and participating in environmental outreach efforts, educational programs and National FFA Organization field days.
The Warnell School is the oldest forestry school in the South.
The UGA Forestry Club is hosting several events to commemorate its 100th birthday, and they will coincide with Warnell Weekend, a two-day open house set for April 4-5.
“Warnell Weekend is a great time for parents, alumni and students to reconnect with us,” said Emily Saunders, the college’s alumni director.
Many Warnell School alumni and former club members have contributed to a historical exhibit about the UGA Forestry Club by loaning memorabilia or sharing their experiences for the video heritage screening, she said.
“For over a century, our students have developed their skills and grown into professionals while here at Warnell,” Saunders said. “Our students and alumni set a great example for conservation, stewardship and professionalism, and we couldn’t be prouder of their accomplishments.”
Those attending Warnell Weekend on Friday will have the opportunity to participate in classes, take a guided dendrology walk in the State Botanical Gardens or enjoy a cookout accompanied by games such as corn hole and ladder ball.
On Saturday, the day will begin with the “100 Years of Forestry Club Historical Exhibit” at 10 a.m. in Flinchum’s Phoenix, a lodge located in the heart of Whitehall Forest, which is managed by the Warnell School. Tours of the Warnell College’s fish lab, deer barn and the Whitehall Mansion will be followed by an alumni reception in the mansion.
Back at Flinchum’s Phoenix, the UGA Forestry Club will host a screening of the Video Heritage Project, which features alumni sharing stories about the Warnell of yesteryear, including tales of initiation, club activities and college friends.
The screening will be followed by a time capsule ceremony at 4:30 p.m. The time capsule contains student-selected items including the Video Heritage Project, photos, Warnell clothing and accessories, current club T-shirts and letters from current students written to their future selves. The time capsule will be opened in 50 years, said Krisha Faw, a Warnell master’s student and member of the UGA Forestry Club.
“I’ve always been very interested in the historical aspects of our natural resources and how we’ve interacted with them,” Faw said. “So working on this history project has been very enlightening about my school’s past. The alumni who have given us interviews for our video have shared some amazing anecdotes from Warnell’s history, and we hope that people who see that footage in 50 years will be as intrigued as we are today.”
A complete itinerary can be found at http://warnell.uga.edu/alumni/ww/index.php.
The UGA Forestry Club, which is associated with the Society of American Foresters, was founded to help students learn more about their future careers while having fun and socializing with people of similar interests. Today, the UGA Forestry Club is one of the most active clubs at the Warnell School, hosting biweekly meetings, participating in FFA Forestry Field Days, selling firewood to the Athens and UGA community and competing in the Association of Southern Forestry Clubs Conclave.
The AFSC Conclave is an annual competition between the 15 forestry clubs located across the South. Typically involving more than 250 competitors from all the schools, conclave features physical events—like archery, axe throwing, pole climbing, log rolling and saw competitions—and technical events—such as photogrammetry, wood identification and dendrology tests. The UGA Forestry Club hosted the very first conclave in 1958 and hosted again in 2011. The Timberdawgs typically place in the top five of all competing schools.
For more information about the UGA Forestry Club, see http://warnell.forestry.uga.edu/ugrad/forclub/index.html.