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Address

Office Location:

Mecklenburg County
Park and Recreation
5841 Brookshire Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28216

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Contact

Programs
980-314-1000

Environmental Education & Nature Programs

Discover local biodiversity and natural heritage through hands-on experiences in the natural world.  Our programs allow people of all ages to experience the environment in the environment.  

St. Marks Catholic students await their weigh-in totals while participating in a Weed Warriors service learning experience at Latta Plantation Nature Center. The 6th grade students removed 567 lbs of Japanese Stilt Grass during their visit.

Public Programs and Summer Camps 
Scout Merit Badge Programs

Group Programs

Reedy Creek, McDowell, Quest, and Stevens Creek Nature Centers offer environmental education and nature study programs to students of all ages.  You can see our program guide overview here.

Click here to see the full program guide.

For information on programs for high school students or scout troops, or if you do not see a program description that meets your needs, please contact us about scheduling a custom program.  Other programs are available upon request.

Programs should be scheduled with the Environmental Educators at their respective centers.

Quest Nature Center (980) 314-1129

McDowell Nature Center (980) 314-1128

Reedy Creek Nature Center (980) 314-1119

Stevens Creek Nature Center (980) 314-2526


Service Learning Opportunities

The Division of Natural Resources provides opportunities for schools, scout troops, and other organized youth groups to participate in community service projects benefiting local biodiversity and natural areas.  These experiences combine an actual work project with educational activities and lessons.  Service learning experiences are working projects, actively involving all participants - they are not field trips.

  St. Marks Catholic students and the 567 lbs of Japanese Stilt Grass they removed from Latta Plantation Nature Preserve.
 St. Marks Catholic students and the 567 lbs of Japanese Stilt Grass they removed from Latta Nature Preserve.
Weed Warriors Service Learning Program


Our newest opportunity, Weed Warriors Service Learning Program, is designed to allow students to learn first-hand about one of the most pressing problems for our natural communities today – exotic invasive plants. Exotic invasive plants, or Green Invaders, are alien plants that grow out of control, spread rapidly, and damage the environment. An alien, or exotic, plant is a plant that has been introduced either intentionally or accidentally into an area that is not part of its native range. Not all alien plants become destructive. In fact, most plants that come here from other countries never escape into the wild and form free-living communities.   Of those that do escape and become naturalized, only about one percent become Green Invaders. However, these Green Invaders become a HUGE problem for our native ecosystems because they reproduce and spread rapidly, overwhelming and displacing native plants, destroying native habitats and reducing biodiversity by creating one-species stands of the alien plant. Green Invaders are considered by many leading scientists to be one of the top two causes of environmental damage.

Mecklenburg County has several nature preserves, greenways, and other natural areas that are in danger of being overtaken by Green Invaders. Students involved in the Weed Warriors program will have the opportunity to learn about Invaders specific to our area in their classrooms, schoolyards and nature preserves around the county. They will then help remove Green Invaders from specific areas in Mecklenburg County's nature preserves or greenways that are in trouble.

For more information on the Weed Warriors program or to schedule an experience for your group, contact the nature center nearest you (see right column of page).   

Piedmont Open Middle School students prepare to clear an area at Reedy Creek Nature Preserve of invasive Japanese Stilt Grass  Piedmont Open Middle School students after their project. In total, the students removed 627 lbs of Japanese Stilt Grass from a Reedy Creek Nature Preserve bottomland forest.

Piedmont Open Middle School students prepare to clear the bottomland forest at Reedy Creek Nature Preserve of invasive Japanese Stilt Grass.In total, the students removed 627 lbs of Japanese Stilt Grass.


Birthday Parties 

Give your child a unique birthday party that is both fun AND educational! Join our nature center staff in throwing a party that is sure to be a blast. 

Who: Your 4-12 year-old child and up to 15 friends.

What: A unique twist on birthday parties! You'll get an exciting nature program that includes hands-on learning and exploration as well as a project children can take home. See program topics below.

Where:  Latta, McDowell, Reedy Creek and Stevens Creek Nature Centers

Cost: Fee includes a one hour program and the use of a facility for 2 additional hours before or after the program.

For more information or to schedule a party, contact the nature center of your choice.  

McDowell Nature Center
15222 York Road
Charlotte, NC 28278
(980) 314-1128
Latta Nature Center
6211 Sample Road
Huntersville, NC 28078
(980) 314-1129
Reedy Creek Nature Center

2900 Rocky River Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28215
(980) 314-1119

Stevens Creek Nature Center
15700 Thompson Road
Mint Hill, NC 28227
(980) 314-2526


Address

Office Location:

Mecklenburg County
Park and Recreation
5841 Brookshire Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28216

MAP

Contact

Programs
980-314-1000