Sandy Creek Nature Center is a regional leader in environmental education, and the Education & Visitor Center's construction and maintenance have been guided by conservation principals. The building incorporates many energy-saving technologies to lower operational costs and decrease dependence on natural resources. Throughout the center, you can find information on the building's environmentally-friendly features and ways for all members of the community to reduce the costs of home and commercial construction projects.
Our exhibit hall is filled with things to touch, watch, hear, experience, and explore. The Interactive Learning Centers highlight the connections between nature and humans through five interactive environments: Coastal, Wetland, Urban, Agriculture, and Woodland.
The Coastal exhibit features four marine aquariums, including a 1,500-gallon tank recreation of Gray's Reef, and a diorama of a south Georgia beach. This display tracks the life cycle of the threatened Loggerhead Sea Turtle and the important role of sea turtles in the food chain. View a live Loggerhead sea turtle and other marine wildlife, and learn about the marine ecosystem.
The Wetland exhibit includes two large freshwater ponds and a replica beaver dam. See frogs, turtles, fish, and other animals that inhabit a wetland community. Learn about food webs, the water cycle, wetland succession and migration. Use microscopes to study specimens, and crawl into the beaver lodge to look through a "port hole" at underwater life.
In the Urban exhibit, discover how to save energy and create wildlife habitats in your own backyard. The Agriculture exhibit explores the importance of farming and food production in Georgia, featuring a model barn and larger-than-life soil cutaway. Crawl inside a giant sculpted water oak, and find out about our forests and which animals are parts of the Woodland ecosystem. Finally, curl up in the Sky Center's planetarium with a book from our resource collection.
Before hitting the trails, stop by the front lobby for information on our facility and other local recreation and environmental education opportunities. Check out binoculars or a Trail Pack filled with resources to enhance your hike. Grab a map, refill your water bottle, or just flip through a magazine while you cool off inside. Restrooms are also available
The classrooms in the Education & Visitor Center feature a cozy loft, puppet theater, live animals, and lots of natural artifacts. The dividing wall is retractable, allowing the two rooms to be transformed into a single large classroom. These spaces make extensive use of natural daylight and motion- and light-detecting sensors to save on energy costs. Even the carpet is made from 100% reclaimed materials.
Frog Pond Gift Shop
Our shop is filled with educational toys, locally-made craft items, apparel, and other great gifts for anyone with a love of nature. SCNC members get a 10% discount.
The gardens at SCNC feature native and drought-resistant plants. Informational displays can help you learn more about composting, growing food, and creating backyard habitats. Check out the frog pond and bog garden, or have a snack at the picnic tables. When you want to go inside, you can secure your canine companion in our dog hotel behind the building.
Americans with Disabilities Act Interpretive Trail
The boardwalk trail behind the Education and Visitor Center allows visitors of all ages and ability levels to experience the outdoors. Physically challenged volunteers can even share science and natural history knowledge from specially constructed learning centers along the trail.
The ADA Trail also connects with the Kingfisher Pond Trail and the Kestrel Trail, for visitors who would like a longer hike.