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Smithgall Woods Regional Education Center

General Information

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 Georgia through a gift-purchase from Charles Smithgall, Jr., a noted conservationist and entrepreneur. Dedicated as a Heritage Preserve and managed as a conservation area by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GADNR), the park is open to the public. Activities include hiking, biking, fishing, picnicking, wildlife observation, hunting, group camping, upscale lodging and special events.

SWREC offers both onsite and outreach programs for students of all ages in cooperation with GADNR Wildlife Resources Division, GADNR 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 while earning PLU credit.

All programs are site-specific and are grounded on biologically-sound principles. GADNR professionals from Parks, Game Management, Fisheries Management and Law Enforcement collaborate to share their personal experiences and expertise on a wide variety of topics. All programs correlate to the Georgia 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 onsite 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.

For more information, view the web pages (links found to the right of this page), or the Smithgall Woods Program Brochure or contact interpretive ranger Kathy Church:

Smithgall Woods Regional Education Center
61 Tsalaki Trail
Helen, GA 30545
(706) 878-3087
(706) 878-0301 (fax)

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