Elachee Ecosystem


In Action


Elachee promotes environmental understanding through education and conservation by getting children outside, by creating bridges between people and nature, and by caring for Chicopee Woods so that it is accessible to our community now and into the future.

Elachee History

Founded in 1978 by five Gainesville women, the not-for-profit Elachee Nature Science Center has been instrumental in building environmental literacy for Georgians of all ages.

Elachee Through the Years

Vision for Sustainability

Elachee seeks to instill an appreciation, understanding and concern for the natural world by fostering an interest in personal commitment to preserving our natural resources and the environment for future generations to enjoy.

Elachee will become a national, model environmental education center of excellence building an environmentally literate society capable of sustaining a healthy world for all living things by:

  • Integrating environmental education into all learning,
  • Offering substantive programs and exhibits,
  • Reaching larger, diverse audiences, and
  • Managing the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve.

Our Team

Executive Leadership

Sarah Bell
Elachee President/CEO

Elachee Board of Trustees
  • Rick Boyd, Chair, Board of Trustees
  • Bill Rhoads, Vice-Chair, Board of Trustees
  • Scott Collison, Treasurer, Board of Trustees
  • Brian Whalen, Secretary, Board of Trustees
  • Jason Everett, Immediate Past Chair, Board of Trust
  • Brad Abernathy, Trustee
  • Phil Bonelli, Trustee
  • Anna Hester, Trustee
  • Sheetal Mangalat, Trustee
  • Chris Romberg, Trustee
  • Steven Smith, Trustee
  • Dixie Truelove, Trustee
  • Kelvin Whisenhunt, Trustee
  • Mandi Whiting, Trustee
  • Trey Wood, Trustee

Trustees Emeritus

  • Steve Gilliam, Trustee Emeritus
  • John Girardeau, Trustee Emeritus
  • Jock Hornor, Trustee Emeritus
  • Gale McKibbon, Trustee Emeritus
  • R.K. Whitehead, Trustee Emeritus
  • Amy Bradford, Director of Operations
  • Darrell Dollar, Facilities Manager
  • Samantha Fricks, Programs & Events Manager
  • Kristin Love, Director of Natural Resources & Conservation
  • Kim Marks, Director of Development
  • Maranda Martin, Director of School & Public Programs
  • Alison Thompson, Field Trips & Custom Programs Manager
  • Katie Wiese, Environmental Educator
  • Hameed Abdullah, Naturalist
  • Margaret Bray, Naturalist
  • Paula Burzotta, Naturalist
  • Gretchen Cox, Naturalist
  • Deb DeRoche, Naturalist
  • Nicole Echols, Naturalist
  • Graham Gilley, Naturalist
  • Kim Grennan, Naturalist
  • Abigail Hightower, Naturalist
  • Emily Jennings, Naturalist
  • Lauren Kelley, Naturalist
  • Don Lane, Naturalist
  • Laurin Peacock, Naturalist
  • Elizabeth Phillips, Naturalist
  • Norma Rainwater, Naturalist
  • Amanda Reding, Naturalist
  • Eugene Redmon, Naturalist
  • Valarie Shoulta, Naturalist
  • Kathy Walters, Naturalist
  • Robert Webb, Naturalist
  • Erin Woodsmall, Naturalist
Elachee Nature Academy (ENA)
  • Leslie Rae Carswell, ENA Educator
  • Angie Pelletier, ENA Educator
  • Katie Skelton, ENA Educator

Elachee Membership

Join Us

As a Member


Enjoy access to nature through public environmental education programming and Elachee attractions.

Become an Elachee Member

Membership Levels and Benefits


$75 = Individual Explorer (1 Adult)

  • 1 Year Membership* Fee
  • FREE General Admission to Elachee
  • DISCOUNTED Program Fees/Admission on Select Elachee Happenings
  • Member-only Advance Notifications
  • 1 Annual Parking Pass
    Issued by the Chicopee Woods Area Park Commission
  • Free or Discounted Admission to ANCA Member Nature Centers

$125 = Dual Explorer (2 Adults or 1 Adult + 1 Child)

  • 2 Annual Parking Passes
  • PLUS all other Individual Explorer Membership Benefits (see above)

$200 = Family Adventurer (2 Adults and up to 4 Children)

  • Camp Elachee Member-only Early Registration
  • Camp Elachee 10% Registration Discount
  • 4 Single-use Guest Passes for Free Admission to Elachee and select Elachee Happenings
  • PLUS all other Dual Explorer Membership Benefits (see above)

$500 = Elachee Patron (2 Adults and up to 4 Children)

  • 8 Single-use Guest Passes for Free Admission to Elachee and select Elachee Happenings
  • PLUS all other Family Adventurer Membership Benefits (see above)

*Memberships are non-transferable, non-refundable and valid only for the individuals listed on the Membership Card.

**The amount of a contribution that is deductible for Federal income tax purposes is limited to the excess of the amount paid reduced by the value of any goods and services provided in return by Elachee Nature Science Center a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, TAX ID #58-1643768. Refer to IRS Publication 526 or consult your tax advisor for assistance determining what, if any portion of your payment may be tax deductible.


Volunteers are a vital part of Elachee’s rich history and daily operations.


Who Volunteer


What skills, talents and fresh ideas would you like to share with Elachee?

We offer many ways for individuals to get involved.

Or for businesses and groups seeking community service opportunities, let us identify projects that can be done in a day or less.

CONTACT US for a Volunteer Application.

Volunteer Eligibility
    Elachee volunteers must be age 18 or older.
    For scheduled volunteer groups with participants under age 18, Elachee requires one (1) adult aged 21 or older for every seven (7) minors. When a minor volunteers for an Elachee seasonal public program event, the adult accompaniment may be waived in lieu of a completed Parental/Legal Guardian consent form.
    Individuals who have been convicted of misdemeanor crimes and who are actively participating in court-approved probation with out sentencing, work release or alternative sentencing programs, may serve as a volunteer at the discretion of Elachee Nature Science Center. Prohibited from any Elachee volunteer program are persons convicted of a felony including a violent crime, a crime against persons or a crime involving use of a weapon.

Elachee Careers

Elachee is accepting inquiries for the following:



Elachee is seeking enthusiastic individuals to serve as Naturalists for our school and public programs for the 2024-2025 school year. This position will provide quality environmental education and recreation programs for visitors. The successful candidate will demonstrate exceptional customer service skills, a commitment to promoting enjoyment of the outdoors, and an ability to provide programming in a variety of settings. 

Naturalist: Position Details

Basic Information 

  • Part-time up to 30 hours a week, beginning in August 2024 
  • Schedule: Primarily Monday-Friday 7:30-1:30, with some evening or weekend work (must be available at least three days per week) 
  • Pay: $13.25-$17.25 per hour 

 Typical Duties: 

  • Support student learning in our 1440-acre Nature Preserve. 
  • Provide environmental education or recreation programming to the visiting public. 

Requirements / Eligibility 

  • Some college attendance or equivalent experience required. 
  • College degree in education, science or a related field is preferred. 
  • Experience working with children. 
  • Ability to hike each day up to 1 to 2 miles in a variety of outdoor conditions. 
  • Ability to facilitate hands-on experiential instruction. 
  • Ability to meet background check requirements. 

For consideration, please submit the following to alison@elachee.org with the Subject Line Naturalist Position: 

  • Cover letter 
  • Resume 
  • Names of Three (3) Professional References 


*Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and the position is open until filled. 

Elachee Nature Science Center is an equal opportunity employer and prohibits any discrimination on the basis of race, sex, creed, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, age, disability, marital status, family responsibilities or sexual orientation.