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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.
► Public Programs and Summer Camps ► Scout Merit Badge 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.
You can see the full program guide online.
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
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.
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 the bottomland forest at Reedy Creek Nature Preserve of invasive Japanese Stilt Grass.In total, the students removed 627 lbs of Japanese Stilt Grass.
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.
2900 Rocky River Rd.Charlotte, NC 28215(980) 314-1119