I attended the OneHundredMiles.org event on Jekyll Island Saturday night.
Don Berryhill was one of the award recipients for being a top educator near the Georgia Coast. Don’s passion for teaching about and studying the Okefenokee Swamp for over fifty years was recognized.
At this years event, they allowed the recipient to have a choice as to who they thought should also receive the award and join them up on stage. Don chose Dr. Missy Bennett, a lady he worked with for many years.
I have known Don for a long time and have worked with him on several Satilla River cleanups and even worked for him in the Okefenokee back when I was a teenager.
When I published my first book, Satilla Solitude, in 2011, he bought one and told me if I ever did another book, he wanted to work with me on it.
I knew right off, we had to do one on the swamp that he has dedicated so much of his life to studying. Don was already over eighty years old when we jumped on that book project: Okefenokee Swamp — Wild & Natural, and after we finally finished, I am pretty sure he was glad it was over!
Our first 1,000 books sold out and after we made a few changes, a second edition was printed. Don has tried to slow down some because he sometimes forgets, but with 85 years behind him, I guess he has a genuine excuse.
He still loves talking with kids and I am so glad he was able to get his due recognition. I recently received a Christmas card from Don and his wife Sandra and in it was a simple “Thanks for being our friend. “
I, and thousands of other area residents who have benefited from Don’s work, are the ones who should be saying Thank You!
• Wayne Morgan is a Brantley County resident who has achieved fame as a remarkable outdoors photographer. He is also the author of several books. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.