(Media release from Georgia Archives):

Join us on Saturday, April 1, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m., for the Georgia Archives symposium, “Georgia, Nature, and the Environment.” The free symposium will feature scholarly presentations discussing Georgia’s history of conservation efforts throughout the years, the various environmental changes in the landscape and animal life of Georgia, and the developments that stimulated the economic growth of Georgia, such as the marble industry, the parks system, and the Blue Ridge parkway.

Breaks are sponsored by the Friends of Georgia Archives and History (FOGAH), including a pizza lunch for donation. Otherwise, you may wish to visit a local restaurant or bring your own meal. For more information about our presentations and directions to the Georgia Archives, please see our website,

Below is the schedule of events. A brief Q&A session will follow each presentation.

9:00 a.m.         Opening and Coffee 

9:10 a.m.         Welcome from Christopher Davidson, JD, State Archivist / Assistant Vice Chancellor USG 

9:15 a.m.         “You People Don’t Seem to Want a Parkway”: The Failure of the Blue Ridge Parkway 

                        Extension into Georgia, Richelle Brown 

10:20 a.m.       Panel: Conservation and Old Growth Forests

                         Early Conservation in Georgia: An Overview of the Development of Georgia’s Efforts to 

                        Conserve Our State’s Natural Resources from Colonial Times to Early Twentieth Century, 

                        Leah Edwards 

                        Protecting Old-Growth “Hope Spots” in North Georgia: From Cooper Creek to Grassy 

                        Mountain, Emma Kiser 

11:10 a.m.       Panel: Race, Class, and Recreation

                        Hard Labor Creek State Park: A Case Study in Discriminatory Recreation, W. Cole Wicker 

                        Under the Surface of Lake Lanier, Angela Hronek     

11:50 a.m.       Poster Session: Oyster Wars and Bustling Factories: The Georgia Oyster Industry, 

                        1880s – 1940s, Sadie Ingram 

12:10 p.m.       Lunch available for a cash donation 

1:00 p.m.         Bamboo in Georgia’s Landscape: From Native Americans to the USDA, Dr. Kay Koppedrayer, 

                        Dr. Walter E. Campbell, and Dr. Mike Hotchkiss 

2:00 p.m.         Panel: Nature at Home

                        The Introduction, Spread, and Potential Impacts of a Non-native Spider to Georgia, 

                        Dr. Michael Sitvarin 

                        Imagine the Possibilities of Our Landscapes: How Landscapes Can Fight Climate Change and 

                        Grow Green Jobs, Jamie Rosenthal 

                        Rethinking Informal Urbanism in Metro-Atlanta, Dr. Georgeta Connor 

3:00 p.m.         Pretty in Pink: Georgia’s Marble Industry and the Human Impact on the Land, Al Connolly, 

                        Bill Cagle, Dr. Candy Tate, and Dr. Kathleen Thompson 

The Georgia Archives is a unit of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. The Georgia Archives identifies, collects, manages, preserves, provides access to, and publicizes records and information of Georgia and its people, and assists state and local government agencies with their records management.