Introducing Discovery Saturdays at Elachee

Elachee Nature Science Center will extend Discovery Saturdays’ programming through the summer.

March 26, 2021 (Gainesville, Ga.) – Elachee Nature Science Center’s exhibits and visitor center will be open to the public for general admission each Saturday through July 2021. Through Discovery Saturdays at Elachee, families and nature lovers may enjoy self-guided activities and independent exploration among numerous interpretive exhibits, as well as participate in naturalist-led programming and special activities.

“After being closed for public programming for much of 2020 due to the pandemic, it’s been a joy seeing people out and about at the Nature Center again,” shares Maranda McGaha, Elachee Camp and Programs Manager. “Since January 2021 we have been offering Discovery Saturday programs and it is clear to me that Elachee provides the local community with a safe, fun place to bring friends and family. I am looking forward to warmer weather, the emergence of spring wildflowers, and seeing even more visitors of all ages at our upcoming programs!”

Discovery Saturdays at Elachee programming is a public-friendly solution the Nature Center team put in place during the Covid19 pandemic. Giving public visitation and family-centric nature programming priority focus each Saturday enables Elachee educators to concentrate their efforts on scheduled weekday PreK-12 environmental education programming, which is a year-round endeavor. Find each Saturday schedule at www.elachee.org/calendar.

Although the pandemic has necessitated stringent visitation guidelines and procedures, Elachee continues to welcome school children from around the region for scheduled field trips, as well as deploying teaching naturalists to visit schools for Elachee in Your Classroom outreach programs. Since August 2020, Elachee Nature Academy has held a regular, in-person classes for Preschool, Kindergarten and 1st Grade students. Looking ahead to summer, Camp Elachee weekly day camps will bring scores of children to the Nature Center to enjoy outdoor school break adventures throughout June and July.

Discovery Saturdays at Elachee

Discovery Saturdays are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Elachee members pay no admission. General admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 2 to 12. Paid guests and Elachee members receive access to the Visitor Center and exhibits, normally closed to the public during the week. The Discovery Saturdays’ line-up includes multiple Live Animal Showcases featuring interaction with a teaching naturalist and resident animal ambassadors, followed by a guided tour of Elachee’s live animal exhibits. Guests may witness demonstration beehives with pollinators hard at work, then meet a Great Horned Owl, along with dozens of other Georgia native creatures who call their curated habitats home.

Many Saturdays each month, Elachee also offers in-person nature programs for adult learners and nature lovers requiring pre-registration, such as guided hikes in the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve, the Stars Over Elachee telescope program, morning meadow yoga and more. Depending upon the program, Elachee may discount fees for members.

Of note, the 8-mile hiking system in the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve has remained open daily to the public without interruption throughout 2020 and into 2021. The Chicopee Woods Conservation Area is open from 7 a.m. to sunset. Visitors should plan to Pack It In, Pack It Out, and Leave No Trace. All vehicles are subject to the Chicopee Woods Area Park Commission parking fee. Dogs, pets, bicycles and motorized vehicles are prohibited on the pedestrian-only Chicopee Woods Hiking Trails.

Visit www.elachee.org/visit to learn more.