Georgia Teen Rallies Community Around Community Wildlife Habitat

At first, Johns Creek seems like your typical suburban neighborhood outside of Atlanta.  Residents obviously take great pride in their gardens. What they can also now take pride in is the fact that Johns Creek was recently recognized by the National Wildlife Federation as the  60th Certified Community Wildlife Habitat in the nation, and only the second community in Georgia to receive this honor.

Johns Creek residents have made it a priority to provide food, water, cover and places to raise young in backyards, school grounds and in community spaces throughout the city.  Amazingly, the Community Wildlife Habitat team of volunteers was led by high school student Malcolm Barnard.

Malcolm with city proclamation. Photos by Brian Lucy, NWF.
Two years ago, when Malcolm formed his team, there were skeptics in Johns Creek who thought that a high school student couldn’t possibly pull off a project of this magnitude, but Malcolm proved them wrong. Not only did he galvanize the Johns Creek community, he also was a finalist in the Cox Conserves Heroes contest and received $1250 in prize money, which he then used to give mini-grants to the schools in Johns Creek to use for their habitat gardens. He also purchased NWF Certified Wildlife Habitat signs and presented one to each school

Schoolyard Habitats representatives accept signs on behalf of their schools
Mayor Mike Bodker was among the dignitaries at Johns Creek’s ceremony and he gratefully received NWF’s Certificate of Exceptional Merit with Malcolm from NWF representatives Roxanne Paul and Na’Taki Osbourne Jelks.

Roxanne Paul, Na'Taki Osbourne Jelks, Malcolm & Mayor Bodker