On December 2, Great Mountain Forest (GMF) will be participating in Giving Tuesday. This is a new initiative to set aside a global day, focused on giving back during the holiday season, and participating organizations are asked to choose one project for which to seek funding. There will be a modest match (1:25), given by Network for Good, for any money raised on December 2. It is our goal to raise a significant portion of the $10,000.00 we need to expand our Forest Intern Program on that day.
The summer intern program was started here at GMF in the late 1940's by Ted Childs, and for many decades it was an important part of the work that he funded. Every summer, five or six students from forestry programs around the country would join the crew and help in all aspects of forest management, and Ted gave several generations the experience of working in this special place and learning from himself, Darrell Russ, and Sam Hawley. Many of them went on to notable careers in forestry and education, and have told us that the hands-on learning offered here was an invaluable part of their education.
The intern program has continued under Forest Manager Jody Bronson, but since the creation of the non-profit foundation, we have only been able to fund one or two interns per year, exposed to a more limited range of experiences. We are now looking to expand the number of interns, to three this coming summer, and to rebuild the program further in years to come.
Eventually, we would like once again to offer this opportunity to five or six students a year. We are excited by the possibility of using Giving Tuesday as a way of funding one additional intern next summer and jumpstarting the re-development of this program. We are thus seeking help from all of you, our Friends of Great Mountain Forest, in raising the funds needed. Any giving that exceeds this year's need will be put in the Ted Fund for Foresters, a restricted part of our endowment used exclusively for interns
We would greatly appreciate your support in expanding this valuable educational experience for the future stewards of our forest lands. We will be sending out a quick reminder next Monday, and then on Giving Tuesday itself, along with some additional information and pictures to help you understand the legacy and importance of this program to our work here at Great Mountain.
Thank you for thinking of Great Mountain Forest during this giving season, and have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.