Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Almost in your backyard!

Where:  Dunwoody Nature Center 
5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody 30338 
MARTA Accessibility:  YES!  Rte 150 will take you to DNC and Rte 129 comes pretty close.  Check MARTA website for schedules/maps. 
Dog Friendly:  YES!   (Two obvious rules apply: dog must  be leashed and owner must “clean up”.) 
Hours:  7 days a week, 7am to sundown
For more info:  (770) 394-3322 or 

Their website sums it up nicely:  Dunwoody Park is beautiful in every season. Turn into our lane, walk through the woods, and enjoy Dunwoody's hidden treasure. So much is happening at Dunwoody Nature Center.”  Couldn’t have said it better myself!

The truth is, there’s no easier way to get close to nature.  This is an amazing and FREE spot to visit for Dunwoodians and all locals who enjoy exploring outdoors.  The park first “opened its doors” in the mid 70’s as a part of America’s Bicentennial celebration.  Thanks to numerous Dunwoody volunteers, DeKalb Parks & Recreation and the US Forestry Service, the Nature Center hosts 25,000 visitors and 8,000 program participants each year.  The Nature Center was incorporated in 1992 and relies solely on private funding and programs generated revenue.  Something to think about:  Dunwoody Nature Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.  Donations of $100 or more include membership. Any amount over $50 is tax deductible.

On any given day, the park is chock full of fellow nature lovers, helpful volunteers and other friends.  Expect, or at least hope, to meet a Barred Owl, a Red-Tailed Hawk, a Cooper’s Hawk, an Alligator Snapping Turtle, opossums, squirrels and other miscellaneous rabbits and birds.  Don’t forget to visit the gardens.  The Gateway Garden, The Rock Garden, The Native Plant Garden and Wet Meadow all offer something unique and beautiful.  *JINNY’S TIP* -  Bring the camera!  Take a couple minutes to learn more about composting and Vermicomposting (composting with worms & micro-organisms).  Don’t miss the Wetlands Boardwalk and the serene babbling of Wildcat Creek.
Summer programs currently being offered:
Summer Camp
A full day camp running June through August, M-F 9:30-3:30
Welcoming campers grades K-5th

Weekly Mini Camp
Daily camp running from 9:30-12:30
Welcoming little campers ages 3 and 4
Early AM and Late Afternoon Classes
Extending the outdoor fun for campers and non-campers alike.
The Nature Centers invites your little outdoor enthusiast to Breakfast with the Birds (8:15 – 9:15am) and Games of Strategy and Cooperative Team Building (3:45 – 5:00pm).  Check website for price and availability.

What other year-round programs does the park have to offer?  To name a few:  Nature classes, school field trips, scouting field trips (Many clinics meet badge requirements!), overnight and evening programs for scouts and other youth groups, adult classes, homeschooler classes, children’s birthday parties, nature hikes and much, much more. 

The Dunwoody Nature Center is a budget friendly, pet friendly, close to home, breath of fresh air outing no one should miss.  So log-off, grab some sunscreen and water and go see for yourself!  

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