2125 Elachee Drive
Gainesville, GA 30504
Elachee's mission is to promote environmental understanding through education and conservation.
Elachee is one of the premier environmental education centers in Georgia serving 35,000 students from more than 22 school systems and an additional 30,000 visitors to the museum and Preserve each year.Located in the 1,500-acre Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve in North Georgia, Elachee is celebrating more than 30 years of building environmental literacy for Georgians through quality educational experiences, museum exhibitions, special programs, and resources for schools and the general public. Elachee's curriculum is designed to develop a healthy ecological consciousness and includes preschool. elementary, and secondary education programs paralleling the Georgia Performance Standards. Other offerings include teacher education, summer day camp, special public programs, scout and home school programs, children's birthday parties, and facility rentals.
Elachee is a private not-for-profit 501(c)(3) institution supported by program fees, memberships, fundraising events, museum admissions, and donations from corporations, foundations, and individuals like you.
Our Taxpayer ID# is 58-164368
Please take a few minutes to complete our Stakeholders Survey. Your input, suggestions and constructive criticism will help us formulate our strategic plan and help determine our future direction. Thanks for your support.
Elachee's Conservation Projects work to protect the ecosystem and promote environmental stewardship. The Nature Preserve is being restored and maintained as a healthy forest with a variety of native wildlife habitats and native plant communities. Streams in the Chicopee Woods are being restored with natural design principles, and managed to provide clean water and biodiversity.
In 1978 Elachee Nature Science Center was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization. In 1980 The Johnson and Johnson Corporation donated 2,500 acres of land in Gainesville, GA to be used as a public park overseen by the Chicopee Woods Area Park Commission. Approximately 1,500 acres of this land was set aside as a nature preserve and eventually leased to Elachee, who built the museum and classroom complex in 1990 with the assistance of a local sales tax option.
In 1999 Elachee Nature Science Center gained accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Currently, Elachee is the only nature center in the southeast with this prestigious status.
In 2001, a conservation easement legally protected the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve from development, and named Elachee as trustee. Also in 2001, the Preserve was recognized by The National Audubon Society as an Important Bird Area (IBA), an area essential to nesting and migrating birds.
Our main Visitor Center off Atlanta Highway includes a museum, administrative building, classroom, outdoor classrooms, teaching pavilions, native gardens, rain garden, compost demonstration site, and access to hiking trails.
The Dunlap/Armstrong Museum Building houses interactive discovery areas investigating astronomy, native wildlife, and local archaeological history, a live animal display, educational classrooms and a Nature Shop. In addition to hosting public museum visitors, these areas are used for educational programs for school students, scouts, and the public, children's day camps, children's birthday parties, community events, and Elachee fundraisers.
The Chicopee Woods Aquatic Studies Center and Chicopee Lake are situated across the Preserve and directly accessed from Calvary Church Road. The Aquatic Studies Center is several miles from the Nature Center, requiring a 2.5 mile hike through the preserve or a 10 minute car ride around the perimeter of the preserve. This site is home to Chicopee Lake, a lake boardwalk, and covered teaching pavilion. Used for pond and wetland studies, this area is also a favorite site for birders.
When not in use for our educational programming, our facilities are available to rent for weddings, receptions, business meetings, retreats and family events.
Elachee employs 7 full-time and 25 part-time staff members with diverse degrees and backgrounds in education, environmental education, science, astronomy, forestry, gardening and nature studies. The staff is comprised of full time professionals supported by part-time naturalist and administrative staff. All staff are subject to background checks to ensure the safety of visiting students and campers.
Educating for Today... Preserving for Tomorrow. Through our environmental education programs we strive to instill an appreciation, understanding, and concern for the natural world, fostering an interest in personal commitment to preserving our natural resources and the environment for future generations to enjoy.
Elachee collects information provided by you on forms for the purpose of registration, billing, and delivery of products. We do not share your information with anyone.