He was honored in part for his strong role in driving Johns Creek to become certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a Community Wildlife Habitat.
Barnard used a three-pronged approach of “education, conservation and continuation” to help the city obtain the certification. Passionate about his cause, Barnard went door to door, speaking personally to residents to raise awareness of the need to plan, maintain and conserve natural habitats for wildlife through the community, from public spaces to private backyards. Together with his “wildlife team,” he held community workshops, promoted sustainable gardening practices and encouraged other young people to get involved.
In addition to the city obtaining the certification, all 18 of Johns Creek public schools became certified as National Wildlife Federation Schoolyard Habitats, fulfilling one of Barnard’s personal goals.
Barnard also has volunteered with the Chattahoochee Nature Center and the National Park Service. He developed a website and smart phone application that helps people identify native plant species. He also conducted research on water quality and discovered a way to utilize algae to reduce pesticide runoff, thereby improving the water quality of local freshwater lakes.
For winning the Eco-Hero Award, Barnard will receive a cash prize and a certificate of achievement.