Sandy Creek Nature Center, Inc. Funded Projects
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.
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.
Brick Factory Project
Our newest project will uncover a forgotten part of our community’s history as we dig into the factory ruins of the Georgia Brick Com-pany that operated on the Nature Center property in the early 1900s. This is a little-known tale of
history, industry and human and natural resources that helped shape how Athens grew into the city it is today. Your donation to Sandy Creek Nature Center, Inc.
through Georgia Gives will help us conduct an archaeological survey to protect the factory grounds, improve trails at the site and create exhibits about the factory.
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.
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.