Bog Turtles and Wildlife Preservation the Chattahoochee Nature Center

Rosie Walunas/U.S.  Fish and Wildlife Service

Did you know there is a turtle in Georgia measuring only 4.5 inches in length?

The bog turtle, the smallest turtle in the U.S., is facing extinction due to predators and unscrupulous wildlife collectors. If you are lucky enough to see a bog turtle out and about during your summer adventures, you might recognize them by their prominent orange, yellow, or red blotch on each side of the head behind their eye.

Sadly, their populations are continuing to dwindle and are now separated by 400 miles along the east coast into northern and southern populations, mainly inhabiting areas of New York and Georgia. In 1997, the bog turtle was placed on the Endangered Species list and has since then faced the illegal pet trade, as well as habitat loss of their wetlands.

Currently, there are estimated to be 2,500 to 10,000 bog turtles in the wild, and efforts are being made to protect and grow their populations.

The Chattahoochee Nature Center has been committed to preserving the habitat of bog turtles through work with community partners and environmental agencies. In 2005, staff from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division, Chattahoochee Nature Center, Tennessee Aquarium, U.S. Forest Service, Atlanta Botanical Garden, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service successfully released bog turtles into a restored mountain bog habitat in North Georgia. Today, they are still committed to preserving the habitats of bog turtles in our communities.

The Chattahoochee Nature Center’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center helps rehabilitate a variety of wildlife after these animals are unable to live in the wild. You can help preserve the habitats of bog turtles and other endangered and threatened species. Visit here to help make a difference in the lives of our Georgia wildlife.

Sundays on the River Concert Series

What better way to wrap up the weekend than an evening under the stars listening to live music with friends?  Live music fills the stage at CNC every second Sunday, 6-9:30pm from May through September. Bring a picnic and enjoy a cool evening on the lawn at CNC listening to great live music!

Come listen to the smooth jazz sounds of Bob Bakert and his six piece band on May 14, July 9 and September 10. This year look for a high energy show including songs from Sting, Stevie Wonder, Van Morrison, Buffalo Springfield, and even some favorites from the American Songbook.

The opening act is John Cable, a member of John McEuen’s String Wizards which is currently performing all across the country. Americana, country and folk influences in his songs.

 

On June 11, Billboard Smooth Jazz Artist Carol Albert will be Performing Selections from her New Album including current Smooth Jazz hits “Mas Que Nada” and “On My Way” with her band.  Keyboardist and Vocalist Carol Albert, an Atlanta native that has been featured on WCLK, SIRIUSXMWatercolors and National Smooth Jazz Radio Stations Worldwide.

Opening act, Cadyn Lexa is an 11-year-old pop, rock, & soul singer/songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia.  With a voice well-beyond her years, she has been performing professionally since she was 8 years old.  Cadyn also writes original compositions with her family and friends that she can’t wait to perform on the CNC stage!

On August 13, come listen to the American jazz sounds of Gwen Hughes &“Grit Hits!” Gwen & The Native Land Band put your favorite hit records in an exhilarating, funky setting that will make you dance and sing along. Gwen Hughes brings everything from the birth of the blues in Mississippi to the birth of jazz in New Orleans to country music in Virginia, the funk of Georgia and the Southern rock of Florida. In-between songs, Gwen leads the audience on a freewheeling and fun history lesson of why The South is such a breeding ground for iconic recording artists.

Tickets are on sale now and CNC members save 10%. Learn more here. Book your tickets now and plan a great evening with CNC this summer at the Sundays on the River Concert Series.

Green and Blue Trails – heart of the community

Did you know that green trails and blue trails can improve your outlook, benefit your health, give you access to recreational opportunities, all while increasing the real estate value of your home?  Imagine, all of these things can be done through your donations, as well as through tax dollars, by supporting park acquisition to improve the quality of life for all while making your region or city more desirable.

At the Chattahoochee Nature Center we work with the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (National Park Service NPS) and their friends group (CPC – the Chattahoochee Parks Conservancy); the Georgia River Network and Georgia Water Coalition as well as Park Pride and many other organizations.  The Georgia River Network in particular is working on Georgia Water trails.  The Georgia Conservancy and the Georgia Trust for Public Lands are two other groups involved in this work.  The Trust works to acquire property.  The primary focus of our collaborations is on the topic of preserving and conserving greenspaces while also helping our river.  That river, by the way, provides 70% of the metro region’s drinking water.  Without that precious resource, we could not develop, grow or support our growing population of humans, plants and animals that call this place home.

You’ve heard of the Atlanta Beltline by now, but did you know that the Chattahoochee River provides a network of trails that connect to many city owned trails and that these are now spreading throughout the metro region into an exciting ‘web’ that connects you, by bike or by your feet, to many beautiful places to enjoy yourself.

Did you know that the Chattahoochee River Water Trail was the first nationally designated River Trail in the country?   It travels through the entire Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) area; starting south of Buford Dam, and winding through multiple counties and cities, with almost 48 miles of river frontage.  The public green space it provides is 65% of the total in our region.  In fact, one in 5 acres along that stretch is park land!  The park and water trail contain at least 18 developed public access points that connect to our local city and county parks and the good news is, these are being further developed by local governments to provide a strategic network of connectivity.  The goal is to build this ribbon of green entwined with blue, which ultimately, will allow you to travel, without a car, from one end of the state to the other.

Trail building for recreational purposes, enhances our collective quality of life and increases an area’s economic vitality while creating exciting recreational opportunities for citizens. The benefit to real estate values and to tourism is significant.  Creating places for hiking, biking, or walking; providing access to our rivers for paddling in canoes or kayaking; for fishing or just gazing at beautiful scenery is a worthy pursuit that takes a lifetime of work and vision.  These trails, both greenways and blue trails, take work and cooperation between multiple jurisdictions.  Understanding how these trails all work together and properly ‘branding’ them so that people know where they are, what amenities are provided, what they will need to know before they go and where they can go is going to take some work too.

You can always visit the Chattahoochee Nature Center, where they provide easy woodland or river boardwalk hiking trails with native wildlife to view along with way.  The LEED Certified Discovery Center also serves as the interpretive Center for the entire Chattahoochee River Watershed Corridor.  Check out the River Gallery, visit the Nature Exchange – the only one in the SE – or see the film that orients you to the Chattahoochee River.

Just imagine this; in view of the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area’s economic impact alone, they reported over 3,168,137 visitors in 2015 who spent over $125,842,200 supporting over 1,775 Metro Atlanta jobs.  That competes with the Atlanta Braves for economic impact! Learn more about this amazing string of pearls that connects us all.

Recreation is essential for our health, what we do with our leisure time to refresh our minds, bodies and spirits and reconnect with each other and have fun is important to our region’s increasing population.  People value green space, connectivity, trails (both greenways and blue trails) and the beautiful places that connect them to each other.  That is a value that impacts real estate values daily, the essential ‘cool’ factor.  What trail do you live closest to?

 

 

Healthy pollinators begin in the garden

We’ve all heard the stories of bees dying out in large numbers. It’s a mysterious phenomenon, however our buzzing friends are not the only ones facing difficulties in populations.

Pollinators of all kinds – including bees and butterflies – are relied upon heavily in the plant world to, well, pollinate. The relationship between pollinators and flowers is one that most people understand.  Butterflies rely on nectar, the sweet liquid found hidden within flowers. As a butterfly lands and sips nectar, it does the flower a favor by moving its pollen around the garden and ensuring another generation of blooms. While a butterfly may visit a variety of flowers for nourishment, they look for specific plants – called “host plants” – on which to lay eggs. A caterpillar is choosy; it will not munch the leaves of just any plant.

One famous example is the milkweed species of plant. Monarch Butterflies, those bright orange and black butterflies, will only lay their eggs on milkweed, making it essential to their survival. However, if the milkweed is not present when the Monarchs make their annual migration to Mexico, they cannot breed. Likewise, the Tiger Swallowtail, Georgia’s state butterfly, looks for tulip poplar trees, on which to lay their eggs.

Henning von Schmeling, with the Chattahoochee Nature Center, said planning is needed to invite pollinators into a garden.

“Everybody always says that you have to plant flowers since adult butterflies eat nectar, but you won’t raise butterflies unless you have the specific host plants that each species of adult butterfly needs to lay their eggs on,” said von Schmeling.

Even if you live in a subdivision where there are covenants with strict landscaping guidelines, von Schmeling suggests locating a section in the back for a natural garden. Butterflies are repelled, and often endangered, by herbicides and pesticides. They prefer overgrown areas, especially with native plants and flowers of the host and nectar plants they prefer and where they can lay their eggs where the caterpillars will thrive.

Make Memories at Camp Kingfisher

Summer is almost here, and of course that means that kids will be out of school and looking for summer fun. Come experience Camp Kingfisher at CNC this summer, and see what a “True Outdoor Nature-Camp” looks like. Adventuring and learning in nature is what summer is all about. Campers get to enjoy CNC’s 127 incredible acres and activities include hiking, swimming, seeing wildlife, canoeing, arts and crafts, educational activities and experiments and more.

A little known fact about Camp Kingfisher is that not only do campers love it, but so do our counselors. We have a very high retention rate each summer with our LITs (High School Leadership Training Program) coming back to become Junior Counselors, Counselors and even Head Counselors. This has facilitated an environment with long-lasting relationships. Here is what many of our long-time camp counselors have to say about their favorite experiences at Camp Kingfisher.

Morgan Leslie of Canton, current Sophomore at Mercer University, says her favorite memory from Camp Kingfisher is:

“I vividly remember one of my campers from Week 4 last summer. She spent hours drawing me a picture at home to give as gift the next day for being her favorite.” 

Christina Boyd of East Cobb, a current Sophomore at Wafford College, says her most memorable experience at Camp Kingfisher is:

“During the power outage we had at the Nature Center one day, the kids managed to still have fun and smile through all the indoor activities we improvised. They didn’t care where we were, they just wanted to be with us and each other.”

Hudson Tsay of East Cobb is a marketing major at the University of Georgia. He started off as an LIT when he attended Walton High School and has worked his way up to Head Counselor at Camp Kingfisher. Here is what he said about the impact Camp Kingfisher has had on him:

“Camp Kingfisher has given me a huge platform for my own personal growth and development while getting direct interaction with the kids. As an LIT, I honed in my leadership and public speaking skills. Camp Kingfisher each summer has managed to challenge me in new ways and strengthen my capacity. In all honesty our Assistant Camp Director Alexander [has had a lasting impact on me]. I aspire to have half the wit he does daily. The campers [bring me back every year] by far. They give me life and make my drive here exciting in the mornings.” 

Elena Weigelt of Canton is a Freshman at the University of North Georgia. She worked as an LIT for three summers while she attended Creekview High School and she has worked her way up to Junior Camp Counselor here at Camp Kingfisher. Here is what she has to say about her experience at Camp Kingfisher.

“Each summer I have developed valuable leadership skills which I can apply to many other aspects of life. I have also made memories and relationships that will last a lifetime. Each year I return, Camp Kingfisher has facilitated my growth as an individual. My LIT coordinator and now my boss, Debbie Head has made a big impact on my life. I have always looked up to her and her great love for camp. I am always grateful for the opportunity she gives me each summer to come back and work at my favorite place. The kids [keep me] coming in every morning. I enjoy every moment when I am able to put a smile on their faces, as it gives me a feeling that is irreplaceable. The Nature Center has always been an amazing place and I call it my second home.”

Drew King of Easton Cobb is a current Sophomore at Kennesaw State University. He attended Camp Kingfisher as a camper for 9 years and 2 more years as part of the travel program, then he worked one year as Junior Counselor and an additional year as a Counselor, making that a total of 16 years here at Camp Kingfisher.

“Camp Kingfisher has helped me build my character to be kind to others. It also has helped me to make stable friends that I still have today. Amy, the Camp Director at the time [made an impact on me and] was my favorite person at Camp. She was always happy and full of energy, and that is who I strive to model. When I was a kid, I enjoyed every activity and always had a blast at camp. I come back as a counselor to pass on the joy that my counselors brought me. [My favorite memory was when] it was superhero day when I was a Barn Owl. I wore a pretty solid Nature Nerd costume and was excited to try and win the costume competition. I came down with a cold in the middle of the day so Amy said I won the competition and gave me a prize which made me feel so much better.”

Camp Kingfisher is truly an incredible place that encourages personal growth, teamwork, and environmental stewardship in campers. Learn more here and registration is open here. Contact camp@chattnaturecenter.org or call    770-992-2055 ext. 232 with any questions about Camp Kingfisher at CNC this summer!

On Fire for Interpretation

CNC Naturalist Christie shares insights from her trip to the Regional NAI conference in March, 2017

  

What happens when you bring together naturalists, park rangers and folks from cultural and history centers all over the Southeast for a conference about Interpretation? You get a lot of good stuff — that’s what!

I was fortunate to attend the National Association for Interpretation’s “Sunny Southeast” Conference, March 7 -10, 2017, in Shepherdsville, KY (near Louisville).  We had 3 ½ days and nights of seminars, networking and meals together to share ideas and the latest trends that are working well for us in our field. 

One session I attended was about hosting a 36-hour “Bio-blitz;” an event we have considered having cartier love bracelet at CNC. The bio-blitz was in a Pisgah National Forest park, called Cradle of Forestry Heritage Site, near Asheville NC. Can you imagine organizing an outdoor event for volunteers–school and community groups, to come in specified time slots over a nonstop 2-day event, to count every different species each group could find in a small designated area for 2-4 hour shifts? The event turned out to be amazing and revealing; including the staff being unprepared for a few things: groups cartier bracelet price in india
bracelets love who showed up at unexpected cartier bracelet times, cold and rainy weather conditions, not enough experts to cover each section to confirm species, and folks leaving before they reported all of the data.  

Overall though, it was an amazing and successful experience.  

 

Interpretation is a mission-based communication process that forges emotional and intellectual connections between the interests of the audience and the meanings inherent in the resource. – NAI 2000.

Christie Hill has been the Naturalist and Docent Coordinator at the Chattahoochee Nature Center for 10 years, and has been integral in the education and training of staff and volunteers, She has been a Certified Interpretive Trainer since 2009. 

 

 

Re-Discovering The Chattahoochee Nature Center

was submitted by Sophia, a local resident of the Roswell, GA area

About 10 years ago as a 7th grader, I visited the Chattahoochee Nature Center on a field trip. At the time, the nature center was much different than it is today. For example, the Discovery Center wasn’t even built yet. At the time it was just another field trip for me, I was excited to get out of school for at least part of the day and get outside. I wish I could remember more about that day, but I do recall walking some of the grounds and being struck by what an escape it was from the “city life” of the main Roswell area.

But sadly, for almost 10 years, I never came back, not even with my family, although we lived just minutes away. Luckily, that changed last summer when my sister got a job at the nature center this past summer. Because my family wanted to support my sister, we started coming out more frequently to visit. I could not believe I had forgotten what a relaxing escape the nature center was. There are multiple trails you can take, even one along the Chattahoochee River. It is also a great place for families of all ages to learn more about wildlife in the Roswell, GA area. Since my family and I knew we’d be coming back, we decided to join as members to take full advantage of the events going on all year at the nature center.

In the last year, the nature center has quickly become one of my favorite places in the North Atlanta area. Here are four reasons why I think the nature center is a great place to visit:

1. Variety of daily activities

Fairy Houses can be found cartier bracelet price in india
 in the forest!

Fairy Houses can be found in the forest!

Whether you are interested in walking/hiking or spending time learning more about the wildlife on the property, or both, you will be pleasantly happy! What I also like is the manageable size of the property, so you can easily make a day of it if you want, but if you only have a few hours you will still be able to take in a great experience

2. Summers at the nature center

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Canoe on the Chattahoochee River!

Summer in Georgia bracelet replica cartier can be hot, but it is worth braving the heat to come to the nature center! Plus there is so much to do! Some of my favorites are the Butterfly Encounter and Sunset Sips! But I am also looking forward to checking out the canoe trips, with the first one being April 22nd!

3. The Harvest on the Hooch

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Yum yum! Harvest on the Hooch is tasty.

One of the largest events the nature center has all year, this is the event to be at in the Fall. Come cartier nail bracelet
hungry because there are multiple restaurants to sample food from, as well as music and activities. And you are supporting North Fulton Community Charities, a local charity in the area.

4. The Beaver Exhibit

Beavers enjoy swimming and playing.

Beavers enjoy swimming and playing.

In late 2016, the nature center received two young beavers, and they are worth a visit replica cartier love bracelets to check out! It has been fun to see them interact with their environment, as well as learn a thing or two about beavers. I often enjoy spending time watching (and taking pictures of them).

Ready to take a trip out to the nature center? Learn more and plan your visit today!

What’s that Cloud up there?

Mark Gialanella, Community Programs Coordinator

Clouds come in all shapes in sizes. Do you remember looking up into the sky and pretending that you could see all sorts of different shapes in the clouds? There was the cloud that looked like a ship, the one that looked like a dog and the cloud that didn’t look like anything at all. Those clouds have different names and serve a specific purpose. Clouds are formed by a continuous cycle of evaporation and condensation. Tiny drops of water and ice each about .02mm in size cartier bracelet price in india
join together cartier bracelets in this cartier bracelets process to form
clouds.

clouds

Let’s learn about the four main types of clouds – cirrus, cumulus, stratus and nimbus. Cirrus clouds can be found the highest in the atmosphere and are entirely made of frozen water vapor. Cumulus clouds are the fluffy clouds we think of when we picture a cloud. Depending on the season, they can be a sign of good or rainy weather. Stratus clouds are the lowest to the surface of the earth. They are the dark looming clouds you see covering the entire sky before a torrential downpour. Nimbus clouds are the ones that bring our thunderstorms. The nimbus cloud is further classified based on where it is in the atmosphere; nimbostratus clouds are lower cartier love bracelets for men
in the atmosphere and bring lighter precipitation, while cumulonimbus clouds bring heavy precipitation and thunderstorms. Next cartier love necklace time you look up in the air, try to figure out what type of clouds you are seeing and what they are telling you about the weather.

The Earth Has Music for Those Who Listen

Twitter is a popular way to communicate using social media, but birds do it naturally by “tweeting” songs and talking with each other with specific sounds that can be used to identify them. The Earth has music for those who listen, with sounds surrounding us. For instance, the deathwatch beetle (Xestobium rufovillosum) has had a strange impact on humanity. It lives in wood and, when searching for a mate, it bangs its head against the wood, making a “tick tick tick” noise, like replica cartier ring that of a watch. People would hear these ticks when the house was quiet, notably when someone is on their deathbed. So the beetle’s ticking was interpreted as a symbol of impending death. While most of nature doesn’t have quite so morbid of an impact on us, the noises created by plants, trees and animals are all around us, all the time. Nature can be very loud, if we just listen.

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Deathwatch Beetle (Xestobium rufovillosum)

The music made in nature was an influence for classical composers, such as Bach, Beethoven and others. They may have made music using precise keys on a harpsichord or strings on a violin, to mimic animals in nature. Musicologists have identified the ways that birds have influenced human music, since the earliest composers used various birdsongs to inspire their classical compositions. Some composers intentionally imitate bird song in a composition. Each animal has its own language of sounds and makes its own music. Frogs like to sing for different reasons and in different ways, especially in the evening. The sound of tree frogs singing is one of nature’s soothing sounds. Some frogs have vocal pouches that are different sizes which stretch out and serve as a resonating chamber. Others make noises without any such chamber or sac. Large frogs make low, deep sounds, which means they call at a low audio frequency; small frogs use high frequency by singing with high chirping noises. Just like the frogs, when we sing, we make a noise. This noise comes from the sound waves we create in our mouths moving the air around us, just like throwing a pebble into a pool – the waves travel out, away from us. We can use these sounds to communicate with each other, and animals are no different.

songbird

In fact, they can use other methods as well. Sound is part of the spectrum of electromagnetic cartier love bracelets for men
waves that includes the light cartier bracelet price in india
spectrum. Radio waves, microwaves, visible rays such as infrared and ultraviolet, soft and hard x-rays and gamma rays are all part of this spectrum and they resonate around you, even if you can’t see or hear them. You can think of sound as the different frequencies that can be heard. Sound is part of the spectrum of electromagnetic waves that includes the light spectrum. Radio waves, microwaves, visible rays such as infrared and ultraviolet, soft and hard x-rays and gamma rays are all part of this spectrum and they resonate around you, even if you can’t see or hear them. You can think of sound as the different frequencies that can be heard by different ‘receptors.’ Dogs can hear a dog whistle, but humans can’t. It is a higher frequency of sign that is outside the ‘hearing range’ of humans. Human’s hearing ranges vary according to age with younger humans having a wider cartier love bracelet range on the audio spectrum. Frogs croak, birds chirp, hawks cry and dogs bark, all to tell other animals “hello” or “beware.”

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Not all animals are the same, however, in their communication. Bats are a little different. They can use sound waves to navigate, using a process called “echolocation.” Humans cannot hear these noises – “ultrasound” – but bats can: they use it for echolocation when hunting insects. Bats are able to “see” the world around them – and their prey – using sound waves, listening for those ripples in the pond. They chirp and chitter, using their large ears to listen intently to those ripples as they bounce off objects around them. Just like bats in the air, a similar thing happens under water – animals make noises in their mouths and the sound travels through the water! This is how whales make their long, loud calls that can be heard dozens of miles away and is also used for echolocation.

Franjestaart; Natterer's bat; Myotis nattereri

We humans have been able to replicate this for guiding submarines under water and allowing ships to see what is underneath the waves. We call it SONAR (Sound Navigation and Ranging). Animals also make use of the world around them to make noises. Woodpeckers rap on trees for food. Beavers slap their tails on water to warn other beavers of danger. Chipmunks cartier love bangle and squirrels play in the trees and the undergrowth, making noises all around us with their chasing.

You just have to stop and listen. Maybe you can even “Tweet” it.

Listen for the Songs of Nature

by Christie Hill, Naturalist cartier bracelet Coordinator

April showers bring May flowers, but also they bring out amphibians. The Southeast is home bracelets love to more than 140 species of frogs, toads and salamanders, and is the center of amphibian biodiversity in our nation. As we all know in Georgia, insects provide the white noise of life by day, but the night belongs to the amphibians. I roll down my windows when driving along the Chattahoochee River, an auditorium for frog’s symphonic choruses. And this wonderful music is super-affordable as concerts go. The sounds are good reminders of how many other living things share cartier bracelet price in india
www.cartierlovebracelet.co our space.

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Walking in the forest (or wetlands) is a part of almost all of our programs at CNC. Frogs not only sound good, but also play a central cartier love bracelets for men
role in our ecosystem. They eat many of the insects we consider pests and are food themselves for countless other animals. One of the most important roles that frogs fill for humans is warning us of important changes in the environment. Frogs breathe and take in toxins through their sensitive skin. We know something is amiss out there when they start getting sick or we begin to lose numbers of them. Scientists now track amphibian health carefully. The sounds we find in nature are comforting these days. In our time of technology and networking we can learn from the simplest of creatures. Frogs have always known how to find and communicate with each other more effectively than we still do. You can learn and help. Check out the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program at this site.