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Nature Trail Overview

Nature Trail

The Nature Trail was the first component of the outdoor classroom to be developed since the three acre mixed hardwood and pine forest area on the east side of the campus already had a wealth of diverse plant and animal life. 

The northeastern area is used by the FFA as a demonstration plot.  The west end of the nature trail was opened in April 1996 and was certified as a Schoolyard Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation in the fall of 1996. In May 1997, a wooden dock and landing, partially funded by the Georgia Outdoor Classroom Grant program, was constructed on the small vernal pond in the trail area. The trail has a tracking box, squirrel and bird feeders, and nesting boxes. Trees are identified with “tree cookie” signs.

Nature Trek

Perhaps the most unique use of the Nature Trail is the annual Nature Trek.  Established in 1998 as a result of a discussion between DNR Ranger Harold Hill and teacher Mary Beth Cary. It has become a much anticipated event and a unique way to celebrate Earth Day.

Dennis Haralson at one of hte first Nature Treks.

As many as 15 area employees of the Department of Natural Resources, the Georgia Forestry Commission, and other volunteers set up 12 learning stations throughout the trail and spend the whole day teaching about their area of expertise.  Every kindergarten, first, and second grade student in the school goes to the trail to learn from the experts at four grade appropriate stations.  As students spend three years in the school, they will see something new each year.

GA Forester Chief Ranger Lester Green, WCPS teacher Mary Beth Cary, and GADNR Cpl. Robbie Griner at the 2015 NatureTrek.