Environmental Education

Programs and Happenings

Learn with Elachee

The First and Only SACS/Cognia-accredited Nature Center in the Southeastern United States

Concepts

Come to Life at Elachee

 

Field Trips and Outreach

Elachee is a trusted partner offering supplemental instruction that supports educators’ work in the classroom.

STEAM-based environmental experiences enable children and youth to interact with the natural world, while supporting social-emotional learning and the needs of the whole child.

Elachee reinforces GSE expectations with curricula to address life, earth and physical science, lake ecology and English language arts.

Exposure to Greenspace

Promotes Healthy Lifestyles

During an Elachee field trip, students will explore and learn about the plants, animals and natural systems of the 1,440-acre Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve.

Most field trips to Elachee Nature Science Center have two elements. We combine a classroom presentation with an interpretive hike in the Chicopee Woods, or other complementary outdoor activities. However, some programs are entirely outdoors.

Environmental Education Improves Academic Achievement

Cognitive Benefits, Student Engagement and STEAM Career Interest

Lake Lanier Aquatic Learning Center Program

Climb aboard the Lake Lanier Aquatic Learning Center (LLALC) floating classroom, Chota Princess II. Elachee instructors will guide students in a hands-on exploration of the history, ecology and challenges facing Lake Sidney Lanier. On shore, Elachee instructors engage students in related watershed activities.

  • PROGRAM LOCATION: River Forks Park, 3500 Keith Bridge Road, Gainesville, GA 30504
  • PROGRAM PARTNERSHIP: Elachee Nature Science Center conducts the LLALC program in partnership with Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and the Hall County Parks and Leisure Services.
  • PROGRAM ASSISTANCE: Title I schools are eligible for financial aid consideration for the LLALC program courtesy of Elachee’s program partner Chattahoochee River Keeper. Call Elachee for details, 770-535-1976.

Outreach

Elachee in Your Classroom

 

Invite Elachee’s travel-tested instructors to bring exciting environmental education programming to you if a field trip to Elachee is not possible.

Transform your media center, gymnasium, classroom or an outdoor classroom with one of Elachee’s popular outreach programs.

Programming

Available Year-Round

 

An Elachee field trip is a must-do for:

Children’s Groups
  • After School or Community Youth Programs
  • Day Cares
  • Home Study Groups
  • Home School Associations
  • Public or Private School System Online Programs
Life-long Learning
  • Civic Associations
  • Garden Clubs
  • Groups: Adventure, Church, HOA, other
Home School Days: 3rd Thursday Programs

Home school students in PreK to 5th Grade may participate in a fee-based classroom lesson and guided hike with an Elachee teaching naturalist.

  • Offering two class sessions: 9-11am and Noon-2pm
  • Each class session has a 15-student maximum and 7-student minimum.
  • Per class pre-registration required by 4pm the Monday prior to the scheduled class date.
  • These programs are held at Elachee Nature Science Center.

Fall/Winter 2022 Monthly Course Schedule REGISTER

  • Aug. 18, 2022: Forest Forensics
  • Sep. 15, 2022: Habitats is Home
  • Oct. 20, 2022: Elachee after Dark
  • Nov. 17, 2022: Foraging through History
  • Dec. 15, 2022: Launch into Learning
Grades: PreK, K, 1

Earth and Space Science

  • Seeing Stars for Kindergarten
    Visit Starlab Planetarium, use a telescope and learn about the Solar System.
    GSE – SKE1, ELAKL4
    PROGRAM FORMATS: Elachee Field Trip, Elachee in Your Classroom Outreach

Life Science

  • A Sense of Wonder
    Discover how animals use their senses on this exploratory hike through the Chicopee Woods. GSE – SKL1, ELAKL4
    PROGRAM FORMAT: Elachee Field Trip
  • Green and Growing
    Chicopee Woods is the ideal place to study the needs, parts, life cycles and many uses of plants. GSE – SKL1, SKL2, S1L1, ELA1L4
    PROGRAM FORMATS: Elachee Field Trip, Elachee in Your Classroom
  • Wheel of Animals
    Learn remarkable facts about an array of unique Georgia animals while exploring their needs on a discovery-filled hike in the Chicopee Woods. GSE – SKL1, SKL2, S1L1, ELAKL4
    PROGRAM FORMATS: Elachee Field Trip, Elachee in Your Classroom, Interactive Distance Learning
Grades: 2 and 3

Earth and Space Science

  • Seeing Stars for 2nd Grade
    Visit Starlab Planetarium, use a telescope and learn about the Solar System and Constellations. GSE – S2E1, S2E2, ELA2L4
    PROGRAM FORMATS: Elachee Field Trip, Elachee in Your Classroom Outreach

Life Science

  • Elachee Rocks!
    Enjoy a jam-packed, hands-on investigation of the rocks and minerals of Georgia. GSE – S3E1, S3E2, ELA3L4
    PROGRAM FORMATS: Elachee Field Trip, Elachee in Your Classroom Outreach
  • Habitat is Home
    Delve into Georgia’s major habitats and the characteristics of the plants and animals that live in each. GSE – S3L1, S3L2, ELA3L4 PROGRAM FORMATS: Elachee Field Trip, Elachee in Your Classroom Outreach, Interactive Distance Learning
  • Life Cycles
    Explore the life cycles of frogs, honeybees, butterflies and other animals in the classroom and along the trails of the Chicopee Woods, and see how a variety of woodland plants go through seasonal changes.GSE – S2L1, ELA2L4
    PROGRAM FORMATS: Elachee Field Trip, Elachee in Your Classroom Outreach

Interdisciplinary

  • Lessons from the Cherokee
    Explore the culture, contributions and history of North Georgia’s most influential Native American tribe. GSE – SS2H2, SS2G1, SS2G2, ELA2L4, SS3H1, ELA3L4
    PROGRAM FORMATS: Elachee Field Trip, Elachee in Your Classroom Outreach, Interactive Distance Learning
Grades: 4 and 5

Aquatic Studies

  • Lake Lanier Aquatic Study
    During this Lake Lanier Aquatic Learning Center (LLALC) program, students will analyze and explore Georgia’s most important lake from the deck of the Chota Princess II floating classroom. GSE – S4L1, S5L4, S5P1, S5E1, ELA4L4, ELA5L4
    PROGRAM FORMATS: Lake Lanier Field Trip
  • We All Live Downstream
    This dynamic 2-part program that combines a community watershed exploration at your school with our popular Lake Lanier Aquatic Learning Center (LLALC) program. GSE – S4L1, S5L4, S5P1, S5E1, ELA4L4, ELA5L4
    PROGRAM FORMATS: Elachee in Your Classroom Outreach/Interactive Distance Learning AND Lake Lanier Field Trip

Earth and Space Science

  • Seeing Stars for 4th Grade
    Visit Starlab Planetarium, use a telescope and learn about the Solar System and Constellations. GSE – S4E1, S4E2, ELA4L4
    PROGRAM FORMATS: Elachee Field Trip, Elachee in Your Classroom Outreach

Life Science

  • Eat or Be Eaten
    Explore behaviors and adaptations of animals and plants that play essential roles as producers, consumers and decomposers in an ecosystem. Discover real world food chains and webs by seeing how energy flows through the Chicopee Woods. GSE – S4L1, ELA4L4 PROGRAM FORMATS: Elachee Field Trip, Elachee in Your Classroom Outreach, Interactive Distance Learning
  • Exploring the Animal Kingdom
    Classify vertebrate animals through activities in the classroom and along the trails of the Chicopee Woods. GSE – S5L1a, ELA5L4
    PROGRAM FORMATS: Elachee Field Trip, Elachee in Your Classroom Outreach
  • Stream Life
    Catch and classify aquatic vertebrate and invertebrate animals, then conduct chemical tests to evaluate the streams of the Chicopee Woods. GSE – S4E3, S4L1, S5E1, S5L1, S5P1 ELA4L4, ELA5L4
    PROGRAM FORMATS: Elachee Field Trip
Grades: 6, 7, 8

Aquatic Studies

  • Lake Lanier Aquatic Study
    During this Lake Lanier Aquatic Learning Center (LLALC) program, students will explore and analyze Georgia’s most important lake from the deck of the Chota Princess II floating classroom. GSE – S6E3, S6E6, S7L4, ELA6L4, ELA7L4, ELA8L4
    PROGRAM FORMATS: Lake Lanier Field Trip
  • We All Live Downstream
    This dynamic 2-part program combines a community watershed exploration at your school with our popular Lake Lanier Aquatic Learning Center (LLALC) program. GSE – S6E3, S6E6, S7L4, ELA6L4, ELA7LA, ELA8L4
    PROGRAM FORMATS: Elachee in Your Classroom Outreach/Interactive Distance Learning AND Lake Lanier Field Trip

Earth and Space Science

  • Astronomy for Middle Schoolers
    Visit Starlab Planetarium, use a telescope and learn about the Solar System and Constellations. GSE – S6E1, S6E2, ELA6L4
    PROGRAM FORMATS: Elachee Field Trip, Elachee in Your Classroom Outreach
  • Elachee Rocks!
    Study plate tectonics, the rock cycle, rock formations, fossils, erosion, deposition and more. GSE – S6E5, ELA6L4
    PROGRAM FORMATS: Elachee Field Trip, Elachee in Your Classroom Outreach
  • Telescopes to Go!
    Our expert astronomers will bring up to eight (8) telescopes to your school to conduct an unforgettable celestial tour of the evening sky. GSE – S6E1, S6E2, ELA6L4
    PROGRAM FORMATS: Elachee in Your Classroom Outreach

Life Science

  • Habitats and Adaptations
    Study the behavioral and structural ways plants and animals interact with their habitats. GSE – S7L4, ELA7LA
    PROGRAM FORMATS: Elachee Field Trip, Elachee in Your Classroom Outreach, Interactive Distance Learning
  • Stream Life
    Catch and classify aquatic vertebrate and invertebrate animals and then conduct chemical tests in order to evaluate the streams of the Chicopee Woods. GSE – S7L1, S7L4, ELA6L4, ELA7L4, ELA8L4
    PROGRAM FORMATS: Elachee Field Trip
  • TREE-mendous Trees
    Learn to use a dichotomous key to identify a variety of trees of the Chicopee Woods. GSE – S7L1, S7L4, ELA7L4
    PROGRAM FORMATS: Elachee Field Trip, Elachee in Your Classroom Outreach

Physical Science

  • All About Energy
    Hands-on explorations, solar ovens, calorie-counting and other irresistible activities help students understand and compare the different forms of energy. GSE – S8P2, ELA8L4
    PROGRAM FORMATS: Elachee Field Trip, Elachee in Your Classroom Outreach
Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Aquatic Studies

  • Lake Lanier Aquatic Study
    During this Lake Lanier Aquatic Learning Center (LLALC) program, students will explore and analyze Georgia’s most important lake from the deck of the Chota Princess II floating classroom. GSE – SEV1-5, ELA9-12L4
    PROGRAM FORMATS: Lake Lanier Field Trip

Life Science

  • Stream Life
    Catch and classify aquatic vertebrate and invertebrate animals and then conduct chemical tests in order to evaluate the streams of the Chicopee Woods. GSE – SEV1-5, ELA9-12L4
    PROGRAM FORMATS: Elachee Field Trip

Our Team Will Help

Plan Your Elachee Experience

Schedule an Elachee Program

  • Choose a Program Format:
    Elachee Field Trip or Outreach in Classroom
  • Pick a Grade-level Topic
  • Request Your Preferred Date

Covid-19 Preparedness Protocol

For the health of our community and to protect those most vulnerable in our lives, Elachee recommends that all visitors follow CDC guidance with regard to wearing masks.

If your group has additional COVID-19 requirements, please discuss with the registrar at the time of booking.

What’s Happening?

Seasonal Public Programs at Elachee

Master Naturalist

Semester Program Series

 

Explore local habitats and ecosystems in the Georgia Master Naturalist Program at Elachee Nature Science Center.

Each 10-session semester course (40 hours) combines indoor lectures with outdoor field experiences.

Participants receive valuable opportunities to interact with and ask questions of experts in various fields of Georgia ecology, as well as develop new relationships with peers who share the same interests.

Summer/Fall 2022: Course Areas of Discovery

Topics

  • Plant Ecology and Composting
  • Birding
  • Snakes of Georgia
  • Entomology/GaDNR Conservation
  • Trees
  • Geography/Geospatial Analysis
  • Amphibians
  • Field Trip: Gainesville Botanical Gardens
  • Insects and Spiders

The Summer/Fall 2022 Master Naturalist program will be in-person programming only. Due to the hands-on nature of the classes, there will be no online, recorded or virtual options offered for this course.

If you experience COVID-19 symptoms or are exposed, please do not attend the class until the appropriate quarantine period is satisfied. For the health of our community and to protect those most vulnerable in our lives, Elachee recommends that all visitors follow CDC guidance with regard to wearing masks.

Summer/Fall 2022: Course and Registration Details
Summer/Fall 2022 Semester
  • Semester Course is limited to 25 participants, by registration only, ages 16* and older.
  • The Summer/Fall 2022 course takes place 1-5 p.m., each Friday, from August 19 to October 21, 2022.

REGISTER NOW

*Minors must be accompanied by an adult who is also a registered participant in this course.

The Georgia Master Naturalist program, developed and overseen by The University of Georgia Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, is a series of classes focusing on various environmental topics, from basic ecology and hydrology to native plants.

This program is designed for individuals 16 and over. By creating positive and valuable adult learning experiences in a structured, but informal setting, Elachee strives for all participants in the course to learn more about their local environments, how to be better stewards of those environments, and then to share the knowledge gained with their families and communities.

There is no certification test at the end of the program, and no volunteer hours are required. Participants receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course, which connotes their participation.

Gain the skills and knowledge to become more engaged environmental stewards.

Science Nights

First Tuesday Each Month

 

Elachee welcomes regional experts to present on themed topics to engage the community in environmental education and discussion.

We offer either Liquid Learning sessions where we go to a host location in the community, as well as virtual sessions that reach interested participants from around the globe!

 

Back (for a Limited Time) by Popular Demand

VIDEO: Geology and Geochemistry of Chicopee Woods with guest presenters from The University of North Georgia

Summer/Fall 2022: Science Night Dates and Topics

Elachee’s 2022 Science Nights program series is presented by Northside Hospital, and sponsored by New Urban Forestry, David Eisner and Adrienne Lloyd.

Registration required for Virtual* programs to receive the online meeting login credentials.

August 2, 2022

Amphibian Research
Guest Speaker: The Amphibian Foundation Research Team
Host Location: Cork It! Wine & Charcuterie
Program Time: 6-7 p.m.

September 6, 2022*

Backyard Wildlife
Guest Speaker: Kathy Church, Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division
ZOOM Presentation: 7-8 p.m.

October 8, 2022

Fire Ecology
Guest Speaker: Nick DiLuzio, Georgia Forestry Foundation
Host Location: Left Nut Brewing Company
Program Time: 6-7 p.m.

November 1, 2022*

Growing Food Communities, not Islands
Guest Speaker: Andrew Linker, Georgia Mountains Farmers Network
ZOOM Presentation: 7-8 p.m.

December 6, 2022

Starlab and Telescopes
Elachee Teaching Naturalists
Host Location: Elachee Nature Science Center
Program Time: 6-8 p.m.

Monthly Nature Programs

Discovery Saturdays

Immersive Ecology Encounters

 

Each 2nd Saturday, Elachee hosts public education programs that reinforce monthly environmental focuses here at the Nature Center.

Also featured at Discovery Saturdays are the family-friendly Live Animal Showcases. Each session is 45 minutes. Showcases take place at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Visit the Elachee calendar for scheduled programming and any registration requirements.

View Events Calendar

Stars Over Elachee

Telescope Program

 

Learn to set up and use a telescope. Then, embark on a guided tour of the night sky to see the first quarter moon and bright seasonal stars.

This astronomy education program is most meaningful for adults and children ages 8 and older.

Program Location:

Chicopee Lake
2100 Calvary Church Road
Gainesville, GA 30507

Stars Over Elachee: Program and Registration Details

Reserve a Telescope/Program Fee: $30

  • Elachee has eight (8) telescopes available.
  • Maximum of five (5) individuals per telescope (from the same family or friend group).

NEW FOR 2022 Bring Your Own Telescope/Program Fee: $15

  • Maximum of five (5) individuals per telescope (from the same family or friend group).

NOTE: This program is weather-dependent. If skies are not clear enough for the telescope program, Elachee will instead conduct an indoor astronomy program in the STARLAB portable planetarium. Registered participants will be notified by email no later than noon, the Friday before the scheduled program.

Stars Over Elachee: Summer/Fall 2022 Schedule
UPCOMING PROGRAMS