Chattahoochee Nature Center | Roswell, Georgia
The Chattahoochee Nature Center (CNC) sits on 127 acres of river marsh, freshwater ponds and wooded uplands on the banks of the Chattahoochee River. It is a place where the entire family can have fun as well as a wonderful educational experience. Truly, nature comes alive at the Chattahoochee Nature Center.
The Discovery Center
The 10,000-square-foot, Discovery Center at the Chattahoochee Nature Center, is a wonderful place to spark your spirit of natural discovery. More than just a museum or science center, the Discovery Center serves as the interpretative center for the entire Chattahoochee River. It houses four distinct and separate areas that explain the intricate web of life that makes up the unique watershed of the Chattahoochee River.
In the "Explore Your Watershed Gallery," you can take a journey from river to wetland to forest. Walk under a beaver dam; get close and personal with native fish and turtles; peer into a frog’s home; make a splash in the “Rivers Flow” water game; meet snakes, opossums, owls and other creatures; and test your bird calls skills.
The "Nature Exchange," a unique nature trading post and learning environment and the only one like it in Georgia, is a hands-on experience where young collectors can bring in found natural items. Trained CNC Naturalists will initiate a discussion with the collector about the item and award points for it. The points can be redeemed to trade for other natural items.
The "Chattahoochee River Resource Gallery," serves as THE portal of information to the Chattahoochee River watershed. Housed in this unique, one-of-a-kind information gallery is everything a visitor needs to experience the watershed firsthand. Learn what a watershed is and where your drinking water comes from. You also will learn more about how you can enjoy, conserve, rethink and restore your watershed.
The roof of the Discovery Center is a unique "Rooftop Garden," designed to capture rain runoff. It is home to native plants found only on the rocky outcrops in the Piedmont region of Georgia.
The "Cowie" Weiss Theater in the Discovery Center hosts live performances, engaging films and informative programs.
The Discovery Center is Gold LEED-certified (Leader in Energy Efficient Design). More than 200 environmentally efficient and friendly practices and materials went into the construction of this unique building. The result is a building that used less energy while being constructed and, currently, operates with a lower long-term impact on the environment. Some of the environmentally friendly processes and materials used in the construction and operation of the Discovery Center include use of recycled building materials for countertops and stairwell beams; low VOC (volatile organic compounds) emitting materials for carpeting and paint; use of natural light to light the building; and the one-of-a-kind green roof.
Gardens and Hiking Trails
The gardens and trails are two star attractions at CNC! A stroll through the gardens or a hike down the trails is the perfect way to experience the wonders of nature. The lush gardens harbor beauty throughout the year and are prime viewing areas for native plants and butterflies. Step onto one of CNC's six woodland and wetland trails and you might just think you have been transported to a forest far from the city.
The Wildlife Department at the Chattahoochee Nature Center focuses on education and rehabilitation. The department receives more than 3,500 phone calls each year, with topics ranging from animal identification to habitat destruction. Additionally, the wildlife staff provides medical assistance to injured birds of prey, reptiles and amphibians in the hope of releasing them back into the wild. Sometimes, if the animal will be unable to survive on its own, it becomes a resident of the Chattahoochee Nature Center and is used in educational programs and exhibits to teach visitors about the importance of protecting native wildlife.
Classes at the CNC include pond study, wetland ecology and wildlife habitats, life on the Chattahoochee 300 years ago, and wetland hikes.
Six trails meander through the natural areas of the Chattahoochee Nature Center providing educational and relaxing hikes for all levels of hikers.
Learning about Georgia watersheds is the focus of the Explore Your Watershed Gallery at the new Chattahoochee Nature Center Discovery Center. The Chattahoochee watershed serves as a prototype for all other watersheds.