Georgia Wild E-Newsletter
All who know 'Petey' will agree: environmental honor fits
By Deron Davis
At its annual conference in March, the Environmental Education Alliance of Georgia honored Petey Giroux with the group's Eugene Odum Lifetime Achievement Award.
Anyone who knows Petey knows how committed she is to making the world a better place. Her enthusiasm for people and the planet is so great she has developed an enormous and diverse network of fans.
Some people know her as the dedicated parent who created entertaining and educational characters to teach kids about environmental issues. (There is the garbage-strewn Waste Watcher, endangered Canis rufus and freshwater songstress Momma Bass, all starring Petey).
Others have learned how to bring Petey's creative teaching strategies to their indoor and outdoor classrooms through the almost countless workshops she has conducted across the state as the first ever chair of environmental education for Georgia PTA and then as the first coordinator of Georgia Project WET.
Still others know Petey as a Twilight Twirler, strutting her stuff and spinning her baton up and down parade-filled streets. Then there are the African drummers with whom she has donned a Dashiki and pounded away on percussion instruments. And her graduate school friends (who are less than half her age -- sorry, Petey) know her as a consummate storyteller who made their trip to the Boundary Waters fun and exciting.
Regardless of how you know Petey, you know shes a determined leader.
Wearing the "mommy shoes" as she calls them, she helped her own children become vibrant, successful young women. Two of them are now wearing "mommy shoes" of their own for Petey's four beautiful grandchildren.
Petey transformed the work of PTAs across the state by making environmental education a priority for them.
She worked hand-in-hand with the folks at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area to establish a friends group and create an environmental education training center for adults.
Petey served as conference chair, president and advisory board chair of the Environmental Education Alliance of Georgia, contributing greatly to the successful organization the alliance is today.
And let's not forget the mark she left on Project WET USA, the Georgia Aquarium and the Georgia Conservancy (theyll never be the same).
Anyone and everyone who knows Petey knows she is an unparalleled friend to people, plants and animals (especially her own dogs and cats, which she rescued).
Petey has earned the love and respect of all who know her.
Deron Davis is director of waterSmart for the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, and an unabashed Petey Giroux fan.
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