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Supporting the Nature Center since 1973

Celebrating the Past, Protecting the Future

Our beloved Sandy Creek Nature Center celebrated 50 years in 2023.

Now we look forward to the next 50 years!

How We Celebrated 50 Years of 
Sandy Creek Nature Center

  • Our members and friends contributed over $50,000 to add to the SCNC,Inc. Endowment Fund, helping to ensure that the organization can support, promote and protect the efforts of the Nature Center far into the future. Thank you to everyone who gave!

We Raised $50,000 for the Endowment!

The Annual Love of Herpetology Art Contest

  • 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!

Sandy Creek Nature Center Oral History Collection

  • Retired journalist and SCNC,Inc. Board Member, Roger Nielsen, 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.​​​

50 Ways to Celebrate the Nature Center Checklist

  • Nature Center Staff and Board Members created a "50 Things to Do to Celebrate 50 Years" Brochure. Print this fun checklist at home and get to know the Nature Center! 

Founders Event, January 2023

We started the 50th Anniversary Celebrations in January with a reception for the Nature Center Founders, their families, and many of the key staff and other important people from 50 years of the Nature Center. We enjoyed seeing old friends and making new ones!

Volunteer Work Days

We invited the public to join us in carrying on the tradition of environmental stewardship that was started by the Nature Center’s original founders 50 years ago. In honor of our 50th Anniversary we planned volunteer activities for adults and youth, removing invasive plant species and weeding and maintaining the new Nature Playscape. The work days took place in February and again in December.

50th Anniversary Celebration and Open House March 2023

On March 18, we held a celebration for the whole community! Here's the schedule from this fun and 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

Trail Hopper Ale Collaboration Fundraiser with Athentic Brewery

SCNC,Inc. teamed up with Athentic Brewing Company for a collaborative beer--Trail Hopper Ale! It was a hopping success!

An Afternoon with Georgia Nature Author, Janisse Ray, May 20, 2023

Beloved Georgia nature author, Janisse Ray, spoke 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  spoke outside at the picnic pavilion to a rapt audience. Her talk was followed by a reception and an opportunity for guests to speak to her in person. 

50 Years: Inspired by Nature--Art Exhibit at ACC Public Library Opening Reception July 16, 2023

In July 2023 we co-hosted an art exhibit at the Athens-Clarke County Public Library: "50 Years: Inspired by Nature". More than 30 artists participated. The opening reception featured artist's talks by several of the participants. 

Many thanks to these amazing artists for sharing their work: 

Margaret Agner, Frances Arnold, Kimberly Barnes, Susie Burch, C. Olivia Carlisle, Morgan Carter, Carmen Champagne, Claire Clements, Robert Clements, Susie Criswell, Dallas Anne Duncan, Joey Dunlap, Karl Enter, Will Eskridge, Anna Forester, David Hale, Judy Hammond, Erik Hogan,

Karen Holmgren, Jason Hubbard, Sarah Hubbard, Don Hunter, Jennifer Kiley, Bart King, Sue Lawrence, Jorma Loss, S. Ann Nace, Tracy Rackensperger, Wade Sheldon, Kip Welch, Rosemary Woodel

Time Capsule:
Don't Open Until 2073!

We collected historical materials from the Nature Center to fill a time capsule that will 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!

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