Sandy Creek Nature Center

Are you ready for a road trip???  

If so, join the Water Conservation Office as we travel around Athens-Clarke County in search of buildings, businesses, and organizations that demonstrate cool water conservation methods!  Every month we will visit a new place and learn about how they conserve water.  We will share with you what we have learned and give tips on how to conserve water in your own home or business!  So buckle up and let the journey begin…

Stop 1. Sandy Creek Nature Center

Sandy Creek Nature Center (SCNC) is known for being home to over 4 miles of trails that go through the woodlands and wetlands of Georgia’s Piedmont.  Live reptiles, amphibians, marine and freshwater fishes also call SCNC home.  SCNC has recently expanded and includes various interactive exhibits on everything from composting to water conservation (our favorite part).  Now you might know all of that, but there is one thing that you might not know about Sandy Creek Nature Center…

Sandy Creek Nature Center is the proud home of two 500 gallon rain barrels!  A rain barrel collects and stores rainwater from a downspout.  This collected rainwater can be used on lawns, gardens, and even for washing cars and windows.

The first rain barrel is located in the front of the nature center as you walk in.

The sign in front of the rain barrel informs readers that this is a rain water capture system that collects rain water runoff from the exhibit hall roof.  SCNC conserves water by using the collected rainwater to water plants instead of using tap water.  This system also reduces erosion and flooding by slowing down runoff from the roof and slowly releasing it to the ground.   

 The second rain barrel is located behind the nature center near the trail heads.  This rain barrel collects rainwater from the roof and condensate from the air conditioning system. SCNC uses this water for gardens around their property.

Some of the benefits of using rain barrels include:

~Providing an alternative to using tap water for outdoor watering,

~Reducing stormwater runoff that can cause floods,

~Slowing stormwater runoff so that it can replenish groundwater and soil moisture,

~Saving money on your water bill, and                            

~Rainwater is often softer than tap water, which is better for plants.

Most rain barrels around homes are 55 gallons.  You can find rain barrels at local garden centers or you can build your own.  Here is some more information on rain barrels from the Environmental Protection Agency and you can see how local artists have turned rain barrels into works of art at

Finally, visit Sandy Creek Nature Center and check out their awesome rain barrels and gardens!

Check in next month as we continue our journey around Athens-Clarke County!

Originally posted on, 1/22/13


One thought on “Sandy Creek Nature Center

  1. Pingback: Outdoor Water Conservation in Athens | Think at the Sink

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