Jim Bearden Wins Volunteer of the Year Award
Jim Bearden has provided over eleven years of service as a member of the Friends of Green Meadows Preserve. For seven of those years Jim has served as the Coordinator of the Blue Bird Program at Green Meadows Preserve and currently serves as the Vice President of the Friends of Green Meadows Preserve.
As Coordinator (volunteer) of Green Meadows Preserve Bluebird Trail, Jim Bearden hosts and manages the Green Meadows Preserve Bluebird Trail website (http://bluebirdtrail.blogspot.com/) where he also promotes other park programs including the Friends of Green Meadows Preserve and the Green Meadows Community Garden. Annually, Jim conducts over ten tours of the Bluebird Trails to school groups and to the general public.
In his efforts to become a more impactful volunteer Jim successfully completed the University of Georgia Master Gardener Program in 2013. Since that time, he has logged over 3,000 volunteer hours through the Master Gardener Volunteers of Cobb County system and is a regular volunteer at the Green Meadows Community Garden. These volunteer hours include providing public tours and distributing information to over 5,000 visitors through conversations, tours, talks, phone calls and emails about the Bluebird Trail, Community Garden, Cherokee/Period Garden and Green Meadows Preserve in general.
Since first taking his dog Daisy for a walk in 2010 at Green Meadows Preserve, Jim has been smitten with the park. In 2011, he installed the first Bluebird nest box upon the garden fence. That first nest box was home to a couple of Bluebirds that built their nest and laid six beautiful eggs that successfully hatched and fledged six new Bluebirds.
Jim’s Bluebird Trail Project at Green Meadows Preserve has grown tremendously, hatching and fledging over 1,800 new baby birds from the nest boxes that he monitors. Jim is passionate about outdoor education. He regularly reaches out local and regional schools to provide outdoor educational opportunities.
Jim’s love of Ornithology is shared through his onsite tours and educational sessions with individuals and groups alike. He provided a tour for students and teachers at Mount Paran Christian School where he later installed 9 units on their campus and trained the teachers and students how to monitor and report. He set up a Bluebird Trail in Stone Mountain, Georgia for a middle school and taught the students how to monitor and report to NestWatch. Jim hosted a group from Elijay, Georgia on a tour of the Bluebird Trail at Green Meadows Preserve. He later built them ten next boxes, installed them in their park and taught them how to monitor and report to NestWatch.
Jim’s outreach also includes work with a senior group at Sterling Senior Campus in West Cobb. There, he installed twelve nest boxes and four feeder stations and trained them to monitor and report to NestWatch.
Jim has been so successful at bringing awareness to Bluebirds that throughout Metro-Atlanta he is known affectionately as, “the Bluebird Guy”. He has connected countless individuals to Green Meadows Preserve and has provided a lifetime of knowledge to the public. His reach is broad and full of nature.
Jim is also a member and supporter of the following organizations: Friends of Green Meadows Preserve, North American Bluebird Society, Cornell Lab Of Ornithology – NestWatch, Georgia & National Audubon Societies, National Wildlife Federation, National Parks Conservation Association and Cobb Master Gardeners.