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Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has brought back its Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest for 2014.

This year's theme is Plug into Nature, emphasizing the importance of experiencing wildlife and plants firsthand.

All Georgia students in grades kindergarten through 5 are invited to enter the contest. The top 12 winners' posters will be displayed on the DNR's Flickr site and at the Go Fish Education Center in Perry during the first two weeks in May.

Contest entries are due Apr. 16. Three winners will be picked in four categories (kindergarten, grades 1-2, grades 3-4, grade 5).

Visit georgiawildlife.com for more information about the contest.

Pike Nurseries recycling Christmas trees

Pike Nurseries recycling Christmas trees

(WXIA) -- Do you still have your Christmas tree? Pike Nurseries is holding a tree recycling event through the end of January.

Customers can bring their live trees to any Pike Nurseries location until Jan. 31. The trees will be chipped and recycled; Pike Nurseries plans to turn Christmas trees into compost and other environmentally friendly materials.

Pike Nurseries will also come to customers' homes and pick up their trees for $50.

To find your nearest Pike, visit pikenursery.com.

GEMA: Georgians should prepare as hurricane season hurries in

GEMA: Georgians should prepare as hurricane season hurries in

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Emergency Management Agency stresses the importance of safety just before Hurricane Preparedness Week hits. 

During the week, May 26 - June 1, education will be offered to all residents through Georgia who plan to camp outdoors, throw cookouts and spend time at the lakes or in the backyard. Severe weather can make its way here anytime, a Ready Georgia spokeswoman said, which puts Georgians at risk statewide.

15 counties must clean their air

15 counties must clean their air

ATLANTA -- Air Quality Awareness Week recently came to a close, and 15 metro Atlanta counties didn't quite make the clean air cut.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently changed its standards of attainment for ozone standards from .08 parts per billion to .075 parts.

The change means that 15 formerly compliant counties were re-designated at nonattainment for ground-level ozone: Bartow, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Newton, Paulding and Rockdale.

To clean up the air, residents can try carpooling to work or taking MARTA if possible; fewer cars on the roads means more breathable air for everyone in metro Atlanta.

Learn more about how to reduce emissions and cut down on ozone at www.cleanaircampaign.org.

Girl Scouts Use Cookie Sale Proceeds to Help Local School

Girl Scouts Use Cookie Sale Proceeds to Help Local School

As a service project, Girl Scout Junior Troop 28253 purchased new flowers and decorations to beautify the main entrance at Carmel Elementary School.  They also spent the next day picking up debris, dead-heading plants, and weeding the beds around the school. 

The Troop learned about planting and maintaining flower beds while doing a great project to help the school. 

The girls use proceeds from their cookie sales for service projects throughout the year, this is the 4th time they have planted flowers/bushes at their school.  The girls have also planned a service project for the school library for the holidays, and they will again donate proceeds from their cookie sales towards a service project this spring. 

Girl Scout Junior Troop 28253 is based out of Carmel Elementary and is comprised of 4th and 5th graders. 

Students Learn About Bees-Up Close and Personal

Students Learn About Bees-Up Close and Personal

 

Drought spreads into North Georgia

Drought spreads into North Georgia

ATLANTA -- Georgia's state climatologist says extreme drought conditions have now spread into North Georgia and cover most of the state south of the mountains.

Climatologist David Stooksbury says all of Georgia's counties are now classified as being in moderate, severe or extreme drought.

In his most recent reports on the drought, Stooksbury said the outlook for relief in the short-term is not promising. Unless Georgia sees some tropical weather over the next few months, the state can expect below-normal rainfall and above-normal temperatures.

Without tropical rain, Georgia's soil is expected to continue to dry out. Stream flows, groundwater levels and reservoir levels are expected to continue to drop, and wildfire potentials are expected to remain high to extreme.