New Project WILD leader is a natural

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (March 6, 2008) -- Who's teaching Georgia's teachers how to go wild in the classroom? Mary Terry, of course the new Project WILD coordinator for Georgia's educators.

After serving more than 14 years as an interpretive park ranger/naturalist for Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve in Lithonia, Terry joined the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division in February, bringing to the states Project WILD program a wealth of knowledge, and most importantly, a contagious enthusiasm and love for Georgia's wildlife.


Project WILD is one of the most widely used conservation and environmental education programs among educators of students in kindergarten through high school throughout Georgia and the United States. The award-winning curriculum helps teachers and youth leaders teach a wide range of subjects such as math, science, social studies, language arts and expressive arts while also explaining the importance of the environment.


As Georgia's Project WILD coordinator, Terry plans and conducts training workshops statewide for educators and others interested in teaching children about wildlife. At the workshops, participants receive two activity guides consisting of more than 170 hands-on activities. Teachers become students, participating in exciting wildlife conservation activities that become valuable resources to take back to the classroom.


In 2006, Project WILD celebrated a milestone, having trained one million educators since its introduction in 1983. In Georgia, more than 20,000 educators have been trained. Using the Project WILD curriculum, these educators have provided environmental education instruction to more than 3 million students across the state, enabling the students to experience the outdoors and gain a deeper appreciation for wildlife and the need to conserve natural resources.


The Georgia Department of Education recognizes Project WILD workshops for Professional Learning Unit credits. Educators can learn more about Project WILD and view a list of upcoming workshops at the Georgia Wildlife Resources Divisions Web site, (Click on the link for education.)

For more information, contact Mary Terry at (770) 784-3059 or by e-mail at


Meet Mary Terry

What drives Project WILD's Mary Terry to share her knowledge about Georgia's wildlife? Heres a closer look.


Q: What makes you love what you do?

A: I have been teaching Project WILD since it began! When I first went to training, I thought, How cool is this! What a great way to inform kids and adults about wildlife management and habitats. This is something everyone needs to experience!


Q: What began your in interest in nature? In education?

A:: I was lucky to have grown up on a farm where I had access to hundreds of acres of land where I could experience the out of doors and nature. I loved every minute of being on the farm. Like every child, I (illegally) tried to raise the abandoned baby bird and the squealing baby squirrel without much success. My first job in the field was at an environmental education center. There, one of our tasks was to rescue and rehabilitate wildlife. I was hooked! I wanted to teach everyone about wildlife. From there, my interests just kept growing. I had always loved wildlife, but now I had a passion to teach!


Q: What have these many years of experience shown you about teaching teachers?

A: Teachers love Project WILD! It gives them activities and lesson plans that are fun and educational for the students. The teacher trainings are so much fun. One of the main things I realized about teachers was something that I find very dear to my heart resources, resources, resources. They love posters, lesson plans and freebies. And so do I!


Q: Why have you stuck with this field?

A: Working with kids, adults, teachers and wildlife professionals who love to explore habitats is a great job! I cannot imagine not working in this field. I get to be outdoors, meet interesting people, see great sites, experience wildlife closely and work in the greatest of environments.


Who's teaching Georgia's teachers how to go wild in the classroom? Mary Terry, of course the new Project WILD coordinator for Georgia's educators.