Guided Programs

Educational opportunities are available year-round for all ages. Groups visiting Newman Wetlands Center will be led by a knowledgeable member of the conservation staff while experiencing the sights and sounds of a restored wetland habitat. Visitors typically see various species of song and wading birds, turtles, snakes, frogs, and deer. Some lucky visitors also spot beavers, otters, and other elusive species.

Our goal is to utilize our wetland habitat to enhance understanding and to foster connections between community members and the natural world, encouraging them to become passionate, informed citizens. At the request of educators or group leaders, NWC staff can incorporate different topics and hands-on activities that complement classroom learning, particularly in science, math, and art. We can modify the programming to fit your objective for the day. Our programming is aligned with Georgia Standards for Excellence.

Students learn about macroinvertebrates while exploring leaf packs


Interpretive Programs

Our interpretive programs include a guided tour, storytelling, and discussions on wetlands, local wildlife, and conservation. Students will join a staff conservationist for approximately 1.5 hours exploring the Learning Center and Wetland Center trails. Guides generally focus on wetland ecology and the natural and human histories of the area; however, this can be adjusted to complement a group's learning objectives. 

Georgia Standards for Excellence: S1L1a & b, S3L1 a&b, S3L2, S4L1, S7L4a, or SEV2c & d


Child with local homeschool group paints a wetlands scene

Experiential Programs

We offer a variety of opportunities for experiential learning based on a group’s objectives. All of these programs include an introduction to wetlands and a guided tour. The programs we conduct most often include:

Wetlands Art Program –Our art program consists of a guided interpretive tour of the Boardwalk Trail and approximately an hour of time dedicated to creating wetlands art on canvas. Students will be given brushes, sponges, paint, and other materials to put on canvas what they experienced or learned during the tour. This program may vary depending on a group's learning objectives. ($5.00/person)

Turtle Catch and Release – Staff will set live turtle traps two days prior to the group’s visit. Children can assist in removing traps from the water, identifying, and releasing wild turtles. This activity allows students to learn some of the native turtle species in Georgia through the use of field guides and a dichotomous key. Some groups choose not to assist with trap removal. ($1.00/person)

Georgia Standards for Excellence: S1L1b, S2L1a, S3L1b, or S5L1a

Leaf Packs – Staff will fill leaf packs with leaf litter and leave them submerged in the wetlands for a month. Upon arrival, students will remove the leaf packs and sort through them to find live macroinvertebrates, amphibians, and/or fish. This activity allows students to learn about aquatic food webs, water quality, and how to use a dichotomous key. This activity can also be used to discuss animal life cycles and adaptations. This activity requires the visit be scheduled a minimum of one month in advance to ensure the leaf packs are successful. ($1.00/person)

Georgia Standards for Excellence: S2L1a, S3L2a, S3L1a & b, SEV1e, or SEV4

Bird Watching – Participants will be introduced to birds as a taxonomic group, shown examples of bird adaptations (bills, feet, etc.), and be given the opportunity to experience the taxidermy birds in the Learning Center. Participants will be loaned a pair of binoculars and given instructions on how to use them on a bird watching adventure around the Wetlands Center trails. This program is great for winter visits when leaf packs & turtle traps are not an option. ($1.00/person)

Georgia Standards for Excellence: S1L1b, S2L1a, S3L1b, or S5L1a

Service-learning – Groups looking for volunteer hours or to participate in conservation efforts are welcome to schedule a volunteer day. Groups will receive a shortened guided tour, learn about invasive plant species, and then spend time helping staff remove species such as Chinese privet, autumn olive, and Japanese honeysuckle. This activity uses experiential education to give participants an opportunity to give back and teaches a skill that could be used at home or in future careers. Other volunteer activities could be arranged instead of invasive species removal. This is FREE!

Georgia Standards for Excellence: SEV2d

Large Group ProgramsLovejoy Middle School students explore the Boardwalk Trail

Due to a small staff at NWC, it can be difficult for us to accommodate groups of more than 45 students. However, we fully believe the more people we can teach, the better so we also offer opportunities to larger groups. With the help of educators, parents, or volunteers, we can create learning stations based on the group’s objectives. Participants may start with a tour of the Boardwalk Trail with one of our conservationists and then move to a learning activity where they act out the parts of a water cycle or make a human food web. Other stations may include wetlands-inspired art, investigating our Wetlands Enviroscape model, etc. Our Senior Conservationist will plan large group programs on a case-by-case basis.

Please let us know if you use a particular teaching strategy such as project-based learning or place-based learning so we can incorporate that into our program.


Self-guided Programs

Educators and leaders of civic groups are welcome to utilize our site without taking a guided tour. We offer a picnic pavilion and an outdoor classroom that can be utilized for educational visits as long as they are not reserved for a scheduled group. Even if you do not plan to take a guided tour, please call and discuss your visit with our staff to ensure the availability of our picnic area, Learning Center, and outdoor classroom as they may be reserved for a scheduled guided tour group on the day you intend to visit.


Guided Program Policies

  • The general guided program price is $1.00/person, with a minimum group size of 10 people. We only accept cash and check as payment. 
  • We currently offer programs Tuesday through Friday. No dates are guaranteed until a Group Confirmation Form is completed and returned to NWC staff. Please call or email to request a form. 
  • Since we have a small staff, some large groups will either have to choose our Large Group option or come over multiple days. Details can be discussed to find the best options for your student group.
  • Cancellations must be given two weeks in advance. Please see the Group Confirmation page for more details concerning this policy. 
  • To request a guided program, contact:

Danielle Bunch,  Senior Conservation Specialist

770-210-1332 or

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