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Schools and other groups of 10 or more can schedule field trips any day, seven days per week. The nature center can handle up to 300 students and up to 7 buses at a time, so most schools bring a whole grade level or more at one time. Tours can last from 60 minutes to 3 hours (average is 2 hours), and will be adjusted to meet your schedule on the field trip day. Misters and cooling fans keep students comfortable even on the warmest days. We recommend bringing bag lunches — we allow 30 minutes for lunch in our picnic area after the tour. Tours conform to Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) for K-12 grade levels.
Georgia Nature Center — The Largest Educational Center of its Kind in the Southeast Georgia Nature Center is located in Oconee County, Georgia, 20 minutes south of Athens, or 75 minutes east of Atlanta. The center is nestled among 100 acres of rolling hills, creeks, springs, meadows, fern grottos and hardwood forests known as the Indigo Preserve. Tours of the center feature our Clean Energy Exhibition with 3,000 watts of solar power, a wind turbine, and a 600-foot long geothermal air-cooling system.
Tours also go through our organic farm, where you will learn how dozens of species of heirloom fruits and vegetables are grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. Nearby in our carnivorous plant greenhouse watch demonstrations of rare wetland plants which have evolved to capture and digest live prey — from insects to animals as large as frogs, lizards and small mammals.
Nature trails follow Greenbrier Creek and wind throughout the preserve. As you walk, view native orchids, small waterfalls and dozens of mushroom species including the Indigo Mushroom for which the preserve is named. Wildlife is abundant: animals such as deer, wild turkeys, foxes, bobcats, owls, blue heron, raccoons, flying squirrels and 18-inch tall pileated woodpeckers are sometimes seen during guided nature hikes at Georgia Nature Center.
Tours also include the Next Generation Home, a partially underground home with an all-glass main floor cooled by geothermal earth tubes. This home is powered only by the sun and wind.
Exhibits and trails are open to the public only during guided tours. Click here for our current tour schedule. K-12 and college classes, and other groups of 10 or more, can schedule field trips on any day of the week with short notice. Reservations are required for all tours. Charter bus packages are available for large groups wanting affordable transportation to the center.
Upon request, tours can also include a presentation about animal rescue, featuring a discussion about the Rescue Me! animal rescue network started by the nature center founder.
Field trips for K-12 students conform to Georgia Performance Standards (GPS).
Dr. Teri Hamlin
North Region Agriculture Education
Georgia Department of Education
204C Four Towers University of Georgia
Athens, Ga 30602
706-552-4461 / 706-540-0032
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