The Oconee River Resources, Conservation and Development Council will host a barbecue on Sunday to honor Jim Wren, who retired this summer as executive director of the nonprofit agency that serves 14 counties in northeast Georgia.
Wren had worked for the agency since 1999 before retiring in July when Tim Savelle took over as the new director.
The picnic takes place 1-4 p.m. at the Hardigree Wildlife Sanctuary located on Old Greensboro Highway about 2 miles south of Watkinsville off Ga. Highway 15.
Tickets are $10 per person, which includes the chicken barbecue and a chance to explore the sanctuary. Proceeds go to the sanctuary’s maintenance and improvements.
Savelle, who retired after three decades of teaching high school agriculture, said the 82-acre sanctuary is a haven for wildlife such as deer, turkey and wild birds.
“It’s a piece of property donated to our council about 20 years ago,” Savelle said. “It was deeded with the stipulation that it is kept in its natural state and used for wildlife conservation and wildlife and natural resources demonstrations.”
The RC&D Council also agreed to maintain the land of meadows and forests as a wildlife haven and “would not be spoiled by development or land use that is not compatible with wildlife,” Savelle said.
The sanctuary has a covered pavilion for picnics. Restrooms are now under construction at the site. The land was donated by Vivian Ward in honor of her grandfather, David Hardigree.
The counties covered by the council are Baldwin, Barrow, Clarke, Elbert, Greene, Hancock, Jackson, Madison, Morgan, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Putnam, Taliaferro and Walton.
The RC&D works with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in protecting natural resources in those counties.
For information, call (706) 769-7922.