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Sandy Creek Nature Center, Inc. 

Celebrating the Past, Protecting the Future

Supporting the Nature Center since 1973

Our beloved Sandy Creek Nature Center celebrates 50 years in 2023,

and this is a time to remember, to celebrate and to look forward to the next 50 years.

Sandy Creek Nature Center 50th

Anniversary Celebrations 2023


Come see the Contents of the Time Capsule!

December 30, 2023 from 12-2

Location: Sandy Creek Nature Center

Join us in preparing a time capsule to be opened in another 50 years! The materials will be stored in a vault at the Athens-Clarke County Public Library that will be sealed until December 2073!

We invite the public to contribute letters, drawings, poems, etc. letting the people of the future know what Sandy Creek Nature Center means to you. Bring your items to the Nature Center front desk by Friday, December 15 so we can prepare them for the time capsule. Please only bring flat paper items. 

50 Things to do to Celebrate 50 Years Brochure

All Year Long!

Location: Sandy Creek Nature Center


Print this free brochure and head to Sandy Creek Nature Center to see how many of these 50 Ways to Celebrate 50 Years you can do over the year. Use your checklist each time you visit and do as many activities as you can. At the end of the year, present your checklist to a staff member for a Certificate of Achievement!

Sandy Creek Nature Center Oral History Collection

Retired journalist and SCNC volunteer, Roger Nielsen, has collected hours of recordings of interviews with key figures in the history of Sandy Creek Nature Center. The interviews are housed at the UGA Hargrett Library Oral History Collections. Click the button below for the link to the library. Take some time to listen to these informative interviews. They are a treasure!

Thank you to Roger and to all the interviewees who shared their time, and also to the UGA Hargrett Library for their assistance with this project.


Congratulations to Saige, the winner of the Love of Herpetology Contest to celebrate 50 Years of the Nature Center! This image is of a Red Salamander. We are impressed with the wonderful details. Thank you Saige for this beautiful piece of art!

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Volunteer Work Day

Saturday, December 9 

1 p.m.- 3 p.m.

Location: Sandy Creek Nature Center

Free, registration required 

We had so much fun last February that we want to do it again! Join us in carrying on the tradition of environmental stewardship that was laid out by the Nature Center’s original founders 50 years ago. In honor of our 50th Anniversary we have planned volunteer activities for adults and youth, removing invasive plant species and weeding and maintaining the new Nature Playscape. There will also be separate hour long work activities for families with young children ages five and up. Children under 13 must be accompanied by a registered adult. Participants should plan to bring water and wear comfortable, weather appropriate clothes and closed toed shoes. All tools, including gloves, will be provided. We will have hot cocoa, coffee, and snacks to warm you up when we’re done! Registration opens Nov. 11. Click the button below to go to the GivePulse website.

Sandy Creek Nature Center Golden Anniversary Celebration and Open House

Saturday, March 18, 2023

1-4 p.m.

Location: Sandy Creek Nature Center

Free, no registration required

50 Years! Half a Century! This calls for a Party! Join us for an afternoon of fun and celebration, with special guests, speakers, entertainment, activities, and environmental education. There might even be a visit from Sandy the Frog! Mark your calendars for this special day.

50th Anniversary Celebration Schedule


1:00    Celebration Begins

1:15     Welcome from SCNC, Inc. President Emily Carr, SCNC Facility Supervisor Randy Smith, Kent Kilpatrick Director, ACC Leisure Services Dept.,

          and Proclamation by Mayor Kelly Girtz (Pavilion)

2:15     Bird Walk (Meet at the front of the building)

2:30    -Music by the UGA Ecotones  (Pavilion)

          -Plant Walk (Meet at the front of the building)

3:00    Planetarium Program (Limited to 30 participants—sign up inside)

3:30    Music by A.M. Rodriguez and the Little Pocket Protection Band (Pavilion)

4:00    Thank You for Celebrating With Us!


Also through the afternoon:

-Guided Trail Hikes 1:45, 2:30, 3:15 (Meet at the front of the building)

-Touch an Animal Table (inside exhibit hall)

-Behind the Scenes Animal Care Tours 2:00, 2:30, 3:00 (limited space. Sign up at Animal Table in exhibit hall)

-ACC Poet Laureate Jeff Fallis

-Art Demonstration (Nature Playscape)

-Historic and Program exhibits (Classroom)

-Nature Craft (Classroom)

-Planetarium tours


Visit our Community Friends at their tables located outside the building:

-Oconee Rivers Audubon Society

-Georgia Native Plant Society East Piedmont Chapter

-Athens Astronomy Club

-Oconee River Land Trust

-Athens Greenway Commission

-Storybook Trail book authors, Jacob Wenzka and Bart King

-UGA University Archaeological Training—Sandy Creek Program

-Sandy Creek Nature Center Frog Watch Volunteers

5oth Anniversary Trail Hopper Ale Roll Out

Friday, March 24, 2023

Social Hour 6-7 p.m., Trivia Contest 7-9 p.m

Location: Athentic Brewing (108 Park Avenue, Athens)

There’s going to be a new beer in town, with a percentage of proceeds benefitting Sandy Creek Nature Center, Inc.! Join us for the kick-off event for Trail Hopper Ale, a "lightly hoppy pale ale" brewed especially for the SCNC, Inc. 50th Anniversary by Athentic Brewery. Grab a pint as you visit with us and a few of our animal friends, and then team up to play some nature and history Trivia. There will be prizes! The Taproom opens at 2pm and our events start at 6. Homy's Kitchen food truck will be there selling tacos and more, or you can bring your own picnic. Tell your friends and come have fun supporting SCNC, Inc!

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Writer Janisse Ray

Saturday, May 20,2023

2-4 p.m.

Location: Sandy Creek Nature Center

Free, no registration required

Beloved Georgia nature author, Janisse Ray, will speak at the Sandy Creek Nature Center in honor of our 50 years.  Author of works such as "Ecology of a Cracker Childhood" and "Wild Spectacle: Seeking Wonders in a World Beyond Humans", Janisse Ray is a writer, naturalist and environmental activist whose deep love of Georgia shines through every page. She will speak outside at the picnic pavilion, so bring a blanket or lawn chairs and make yourself comfortable. Her talk will be followed by a reception and an opportunity to speak to her purchase her books. 

Art Show--50 Years: Inspired by Nature

July 9-August 20, 2023

Location: Athens-Clarke County Library, Bogue Gallery, 2025 Baxter Street, Athens GA 30606.  

Free, no registration required.

Opening Reception for "50 Years: Inspired by Nature" 

Sunday, July 16, 2023

3-5 p.m.

Location: Athens-Clarke County Library, 2025 Baxter Street, Athens GA 30606. Downstairs meeting room.

Free, no registration required.

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