Translating Children’s Art

Elachee Nature Science Center introduces multi-lingual signage to its children’s pollinator art exhibit.

June 22, 2022 (Gainesville, Ga.) – Elachee Nature Science Center announces the metamorphosis of its children’s pollinator art exhibit with the addition of multi-lingual interpretive signage. English, French and Spanish verbiage is on each of The Art of Pollination exhibit signs. Visitors will find the exhibit on the Nature Center’s outdoor patio level. This transformation is phase one of a broader, multi-lingual exhibit signage update initiative, made possible thanks to a grant award from Cargill, Inc.

Mid-2021, the Elachee organization sought public input for a ‘post-Covid 19 reboot,’ prior to resuming environmental education and conservation programming. Enhancing the visitor experience rose to the top. When offered the opportunity to request funding from Cargill, Elachee presented several projects associated with that premise. The Gainesville-Cargill Cares Council chose the project that would add multi-lingual signage for existing outdoor interpretive exhibits because it best aligned with the organization’s ‘protecting our planet’ focus area.

“We are incredibly fortunate to live in such a diverse community, and our dream is to continue to provide environmental education to people from all cultures and walks of life,” shares Sarah Bell, Elachee President and CEO. “Ensuring that information is accessible is one step in fulfilling that dream. We want people to feel welcomed, and our future vision is to create more opportunities for people to enjoy exhibits of this type. We are so grateful for Cargill’s support for this idea, as we want to ensure that as many people as possible have access to our exhibits.”

“Elachee has a great indoor and outdoor environment that offers families a great learning experience while visiting the facility,” comments Tiffany Hudgins, Cargill, Inc. administrative assistant and co-leader for Cargill Cares. “The organization is currently working on updating all their facility signs that give details about the images, or in some cases, live animals you are looking at. Each sign will offer three different languages to reach a broader audience. Cargill is looking forward to working with Elachee to get remaining signs completed and displayed.”

Maranda McGaha, Elachee’s Director of School and Public Programs explains, “Making our incredible natural resources and programs available to as many people in our community as possible and meeting them ‘where they are’ by adding multi-lingual exhibits, we are creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all by stripping away the barrier of language. I am proud of our steps toward making nature accessible and inclusive for our diverse community.”

This spring, Elachee recast elements of its Georgia Pollinator Art Collaboration exhibit that was installed at Elachee in early 2019. These painted panels, which students from Pre-Kindergarten through high school imagined and created, are from 29 Gainesville City and Hall County schools, along with two from Elachee Nature Academy. Elachee has grouped 13 of these 8-by-4-foot murals for The Art of Pollination multi-lingual exhibit on its patio. The other whimsical masterpieces now hang along the Nature Center balcony and in the Live Animal Exhibit, accessible from the patio.

Community partners made the 2019 art collaboration possible, enabling Elachee to provide the participating schools’ art and science programs with materials, paint and project parameters. These partners include Willis Investment Counsel, Gainesville Paint, and Gainesville area Builders First Source, Home Depot and Lowes stores. In addition, many of these murals have been ‘adopted’ by Elachee patrons whose generous donations help the Nature Center keep the outdoor art panels in good condition. Cargill deserves credit for helping metamorphose this artwork for a broader purpose.

This summer, Elachee welcomes public visitors Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and for the monthly Discovery Saturday programming. Check hours and program schedules online at

Bell states, “We are so grateful for Cargill’s support for this idea, as we want to ensure that as many people as possible have access to our exhibits.”

“Making nature accessible to everyone in our community is something that Elachee has been striving for and we are so appreciative to Cargill for helping us make steps toward reaching this goal,” adds McGaha.

Discover, Learn, Play

Promoting environmental understanding through education and conservation, Elachee Nature Science Center welcomes visitors year-round to delight in quality nature experiences. These range from K-12 children’s programs, Camp Elachee summer day camps, seasonal public nature encounters and events, adult learning programs and self-guided interpretive ecology and live animal exhibits.

A robust volunteer corps partners with Elachee in conservation initiatives. These efforts support and maintain the 12.24-mile hiking trail system in the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve, enjoyed by hikers from around north Georgia. This 1,440-acre woodland is one of Georgia’s largest protected and most ecologically diverse green spaces and ‘The Emerald Jewel of Hall County.’

The Nature Center campus is also home to Elachee Nature Academy, an accredited and licensed school managed by Elachee, offering Preschool, Kindergarten and 1st-2nd Grade programs.

Elachee relies on earned income, and support from donations, grants, corporate partnerships and sponsorships, and the annual Flights of Fancy event to fund operations and to offer quality nature programs and ecology events on campus and in the Nature Preserve.

Learn more at or call 770-535-1976.