Snake Day 2020 Cancelled
July 15, 2020 (Gainesville, Ga.) – Elachee Nature Science Center will not hold its annual Snake Day festival this fall. Elachee’s public education team has determined that due to recommended constraints specific to preventing the spread of COVID-19, the objectives and benefits of the planned September 12, 2020 seasonal public program would be compromised.
“We are sorry to announce the cancellation of our most popular nature program, Snake Day,” confirms Andrea Timpone, Elachee President and CEO. “We made this very difficult decision with the safety of our exhibitors, visitors and staff in mind. The Elachee family looks forward to healthier times ahead when we will be able to again share our unique learning experiences with visitors,” through public events such as Snake Day and Raptor Fest.
Understandably disappointed that for the first time in nearly 30 years he will not be mixing and mingling with area herpetologists and avid reptile enthusiasts, Elachee Director of Education Peter Gordon shares that “extensive planning by our staff and several discussions with many of our long-term exhibitors led us to the difficult and prudent decision to cancel our most popular community event for 2020.” Snake Day will return to the Nature Center on Saturday, September 11, 2021.
In the meantime, the Elachee education team is making its resident animals available for visitors to meet. The Elachee Visitor Center, with its natural history, ecology and live animal exhibits, is open for admission from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each Thursday, Friday and Saturday. With paid admission, an Elachee Naturalist will treat guests to short nature education programs, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. each Saturday. These live animal demonstrations offer visitors the chance to learn more about a species’ lifestyle, habitat, diet and to ask questions.
Since reopening in July, Elachee visitors must wear face coverings when inside the Nature Center and follow posted instructions for navigating through the exhibits. The 8-mile hiking system in Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve has remained open daily, without interruption.
Elachee is moving forward with other planned programming. The Nature Center’s popular lifelong learning program series, Elachee Science Nights, will resume for the fall semester as virtual programs offered the first Tuesday of each month August through December. Additionally, Elachee’s 10th Annual Trillium Trek Trail Run and Walk has been rescheduled from April to Saturday morning, October 3, 2020.
Children’s programming has resumed at Elachee. Turning out to the be the highlight of many youngsters’ summer activities, Camp Elachee 2020 began its abbreviated season June 29 and continues through July 31. Looking to August, Elachee Nature Academy Preschool and Kindergarten-1st Grade students report to school for in-person instruction starting August 10. Elachee’s education team is intensively preparing for the 2020-2021 school year, rolling out the line-up of PreK-12 programming available as school field trips, Elachee in Your Classroom outreach and in the new Interactive Distance Learning format offering area teachers a selection of Elachee’s most popular classes.
Of note, some half-dozen hikers have already crossed the finish line for the Hiking for Health 150-Mile Chicopee Challenge, presented by Elachee 2020 Presenting Annual Platinum Sponsor. Each has obliterated the 12-month goal and continues to log their treks through this urban woodland in south Hall County. The hiking trail system has seen a surge in hikers since early spring. All Chicopee Woods Conservation Area restrictions remain in place, including the no-dog policy Monday though Friday, and physically leashed dogs allowed Saturday and Sunday.
To learn more about Elachee Nature Science Center, visit www.elachee.org.