Sandy Creek Nature Center, Inc. Funded Projects

The Nature Playscape

 

​Our current project is turning our backyard garden area into a natural play area for children of all ages to explore nature, get some energy out and enjoy themselves in a safe, yet challenging landscape. This area will utilize existing natural features combined with learning areas made from natural materials. In addition, there will be a short trail.

Due to construction of the Nature Playscape the area behind the Education and Visitor Center is currently closed.  Restrooms and the ADA Trail remain open. Please check the Nature Center Facebook Page for the most up-to-date closures.

Sandy Creek Nature Center, Inc. is committed to preserving and protecting the Nature Center. One way we do so is by funding tangible projects that help our visitors enjoy and understand this unique area more fully while increasing recreational opportunities for all. Here is a sampling of our recent and current projects. Funding for these programs comes from memberships, donations, and gift shop proceeds.

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Current Restroom

New

Features

Restroom Renovations

A $68,000 grant from Riverview Foundation is funding much-needed improvements to the restroom located on the outside of the Education and Visitor Center near the Nature Playscape. The 20-year old-facility, the only public restroom on the North Oconee Rivers Greenway is open 24 hours and receives heavy use.

Renovations will include:

  • Expanding the existing space by moving a non-load bearing wall

  • Widening the entry door for better ADA access

  • Replacing current fixtures with an energy efficient toilet and sink with wall-mounted plumbing and water-saving fixtures

  • Adding energy efficient motion sensing lighting and new outdoor outlets

  • Installing a epoxy floor to allow easier cleaning, sealing the toilet, and adding durability

  • Adding a floor drain

  • Installing a metal changing table for families with small children

  • Upgrading the paper towel dispenser, trash receptacle and soap dispensers

  • Adding a permanent heating system to protect pipes from cold temperatures

  • Installing a time lock doorknob to prevent use after dusk and before dawn

  • Replacing the outdoor drinking fountain with a bottle filling and hand-washing station

Managed Forest Project

The goals of the 25-acre Managed Forest Project are to restore forest and early successional ecosystem services and functions, establish high quality wildlife habitat, promote a greater understanding of the workings of a healthy forest essential to a broader appreciation of the natural world and our place in it, demonstrate land management decisions and how they enhance forest ecosystems, and to highlight the need for ecosystem protection and sustainable forest management for goods and ecosystem services.

Visitors will walk a system of trails, experiencing and observing the changing forest and learning about the importance of these changes. Additionally, the significant increase in flora and fauna biodiversity will enhance the visitor experience and highlight healthy forest and ecosystem services. Instructor-led and interpretive displays will further enhance this learning experience.   

ADA Trail Addition

In 1997, Sandy Creek Nature Center built an ADA boardwalk stretching more than a quarter of a mile into the upland woods and intermittent wetlands near the Education & Visitor Center in order to provide mobility-impaired visitors with an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.

This original portion of the boardwalk trail met ADA standards when it was built, and until recently it extended about 800 feet into the woods behind the Education and Visitor Center as a linear trail that ended at a tributary of the Oconee River.

In early 2016, Sandy Creek Nature Center, Inc. donated $45,000 to complete this ADA Trail into a loop, providing additional recreational opportunities for the mobility impaired and families with young children.

How the Board of Directors

Supports the Nature Center

Since the Nature Center opened in 1973, the Board of Directors (Sandy Creek Nature Center, Inc.) has been tangibly supporting the nature center by funding projects, special programs, capital improvements and other focused needs. To the right is a chart of many of the contributions Sandy Creek Nature Center, Inc. has made since 2010.