Smithgall Woods Regional Education Center (SWREC) was established at the Smithgall Woods—Dukes Creek Conservation Area in 1997 in response to the growing demand for hands-on environmental education. Smithgall Woods is situated on 5,600 acres, most of which was acquired by the state of GA through a gift-purchase from Charles Smithgall, Jr., a noted conservationist and entrepreneur.
SWREC offers programs for students of all ages in cooperation with the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, State Parks and Historic Sites Division, and Pioneer RESA. Teacher workshops are held to help teachers learn more about North Georgia’s ecosystems and the unique opportunities available at Smithgall Woods.
All programs are site-specific and are grounded on biologically-sound principles. GA DNR professionals from Parks, Game Management, and community volunteers collaborate to share their personal experiences and expertise on a wide variety of topics. All programs correlate to Georgia’s Performance Standards (Available upon request).
Two or three hour-long programs can be combined for a half-day field trip experience, or single programs can provide an in-depth study addressing specific educational objectives. Teachers, parents and chaperones are encouraged to participate or even to lead an on-site activity. A variety of habitat types—pond, stream, field, and forest—as well as an informative, self-interpretive Discovery Room allow for unlimited educational opportunities.
Educational Programs & Outreach
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Make a reservation online, call Kathy Church at 706-878-3087, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations. On-site field trips are recommended for fall (August–November) and spring (March–May). Outreach programs may be scheduled anytime staff is available. On-site group size is typically limited to 60 students. Please be ready to provide the following information:
- Teacher's name and contact information
- Name and mailing address of school or organization
- Choice(s) of dates and programs
- Number and grade-level of students
- Identify any "special needs"
- On-Site: A $5 per student fee is charged for on-site programming. On-Site fees may vary for very large groups with multiple programs, or for programs that require extra supplies.
- Outreach: Outreach programs within the 16-county WRD Region 2 area is $65 per program. Outreach programs conducted outside of the WRD Region 2 area are $75 per program, with an additional, one-time $40 mileage fee.
Teachers and chaperones are expected to participate and to assist with student discipline and safety. You may bring food/drinks to eat lunch on-site. There is a drink machine at the Visitor Center, and restroom facilities are available at, or near, all programming sites. Weather appropriate clothing (layered) is recommended, as are insect repellent, water, and sunscreen. Bus or van drivers are expected to remain with the group.
- Project Wet, WILD, & Learning Tree workshops expand teachers’ understanding of ecological principles and provide them with two multidisciplinary curriculum guides.
- Smithgall Woods Trainer of Trainer workshops are designed to help teachers make the most of student field-trips to Smithgall Woods and to familiarize them with this unique 5,600 acre resource in their own backyard.
- Adopt-a-Stream workshops allow teachers to learn water quality testing procedures, and aid their community with available monitoring opportunities.