To help fund its overall operations, the nonprofit is partnering with the Bartow Business & Contractors Connection to offer a golf tournament Aug. 5.
“All of our funding is local,” said Marina Robertson, executive director for the Pettit Preserve. “We get the majority of our funding from fundraisers and then fees for activities, field trips and occasionally we’re able to get a grant. If we want to increase our visibility and our outreach, we have no choice but to fundraise.
“[The Bartow Business & Contractors Connection has] been totally invaluable. We literally could not do this fundraiser without them. We had been talking about a fundraiser for a couple of months. We got to the point of going forward and we realized we really didn’t have the expertise. Someone on the board said, ‘Well, I know Bartow Business & Contractors Connection, they have a real heart for the community and they might be willing to help us and they’ve done one.’ So we approached the four people from BBCC — Parnick Jennings, Nicole Hughes, James Hall and Jessica Fleetwood. Obviously, our board has gotten behind this and worked very closely with them, but they really are providing the expertise.”
Held at the Cartersville Country Club, the golf tournament will feature a shotgun start at 9:30 a.m. With Friday marking the benefit’s deadline to register, entry fees which start at $125, are posted on the Pettit Preserve’s website, www.pettitpreserve.org.
Situated off Ga. Highway 61 in southwest Bartow County, the Pettit Preserve consists of trails developed by Cartersville’s Switchbacks Trail Design & Construction, a swinging bridge, a 9-acre lake, two aquatic stations, three amphitheaters and a Learning Shed.
The venue was formed as a private, nonprofit corporation — The Margaret and Luke Pettit Environmental Preserve Inc. — in 1999 when the late Gay Pettit Dellinger and her children initially donated 60 acres of property to this endeavor. Tailoring educational programs, such as tree identification and water testing, to youth, the Pettit Preserve has served more than 4,700 students since 2006.
To introduce more people to the 70-acre forest and lake ecosystem, the nonprofit will present the “Georgia on My Mind” Hike and Scavenger Hunt Aug. 17 from 5 to 9 p.m. Along with offering self-led and interpreted hikes, the quarterly outreach offering will feature two options for participants: .4-mile hike or 1.6-mile scavenger hunt.
“Our hike on Aug. 17 is an evening hike and we do that in the summertime because it’s so hot during the day, although this summer has been crazy with all the rain that we’ve had,” Preserve Education Coordinator Lori Jewell said. “But anyways, Marina came across an idea and decided to do ‘Georgia on My Mind’ and I just thought, ‘Oh, that’s great, we’re going to do a scavenger hunt.’ So there will be items on the trail, clues on the trail, that will lead you to try to figure out certain Georgia natural and historical facts.
“Some of them are tough, some of them are easy, and that’s just to appeal to a wide range of audiences. We didn’t want to give them all away but at the same time we want to make it challenging for those who want a little bit more of a challenge. [The clues] could be a tree ID post. It could be a riddle. It could be a stuffed animal, any type of [item] like that. Hopefully [by attending the hike], they’ll learn some things about their home state that they did not know already. The mission of the Preserve is for education, research and to act as stewards of the land. So ... our main purpose for having an event is not necessarily recreation but education.”
Admission to the “Georgia on My Mind” Hike and Scavenger Hunt will be $3 for each person, with the maximum cost being $10 per family, and free to Preserve members. For more information about the Pettit Preserve or either event, visit www.pettitpreserve.org or contact Robertson at 678-848-4179. Further details about the golf tournament also can be obtained by calling Hughes, 404-391-6335; Hall, 770-866-2528; Fleetwood, 770-547-2157; or Jennings, 678-767-7169.