Elachee Ecosystem

Stewardship in Action

Access to Nature

Elachee is a Community Resource

Elachee History

Founded in 1978 by five Gainesville women, the not-for-profit Elachee Nature Science Center has been instrumental in building environmental literacy for Georgians of all ages.

Elachee Through the Years

Vision for Sustainability

Elachee seeks to instill an appreciation, understanding and concern for the natural world by fostering an interest in personal commitment to preserving our natural resources and the environment for future generations to enjoy.

Elachee will become a national, model environmental education center of excellence building an environmentally literate society capable of sustaining a healthy world for all living things by:

  • Integrating environmental education into all learning,
  • Offering substantive programs and exhibits,
  • Reaching larger, diverse audiences, and
  • Managing the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve.

Our Team

Meet the Elachee Family
Executive Leadership

Sarah Bell
Elachee President/CEO

Elachee Board of Trustees
  • Jason Everett, Chair, Board of Trustees
  • Rick Boyd, Vice-Chair, Board of Trustees
  • Anna Guzman, Secretary, Board of Trustees
  • Nick Bruner, Treasurer, Board of Trustees
  • Brad Abernathy, Trustee
  • Emily Bagwell, Immediate Past Chair, Board of Trustees
  • Phil Bonelli, Trustee
  • Maria Calkins, Trustee
  • Lance Gardner, Trustee
  • Chris Romberg, Trustee
  • Steven Smith, Trustee
  • Al Trembley, Trustee
  • Dixie Truelove, Trustee
  • Kelvin Whisenhunt, Trustee
  • Mandi Whiting, Trustee
  • Trey Wood, Trustee

Trustees Emeritus

  • Steve Gilliam, Trustee Emeritus
  • John Girardeau, Trustee Emeritus
  • Jock Hornor, Trustee Emeritus
  • Gale McKibbon, Trustee Emeritus
  • R.K. Whitehead, Trustee Emeritus
Administrative Staff
  • Amy Bradford, Director of Operations
  • Leslie Rae Carswell, Environmental Educator
  • Darrell Dollar, Facilities Manager
  • Samantha Fricks, Programs & Events Manager
  • Rachelle Howie, Financial Operations Manager
  • Kristin Love, Director of Natural Resources & Conservation
  • Maranda McGaha, Director of School & Public Programs
  • Kim Marks, Director of Development & Communications
  • Melissa Reid, Elachee Nature Academy Director/Lead Teacher
  • Brooke Rogers, Visitor Engagement Coordinator
  • Alison Thompson, Field Trips & Custom Programs Manager
  • Katie Wiese, Environmental Educator
Teaching Naturalists
  • Cindy Andrews, Sr. Naturalist
  • Paula Burzotta, Naturalist
  • Gretchen Cox, Naturalist
  • Deb DeRoche, Sr. Naturalist and Animal Curator
  • Lauren Kelley, Naturalist
  • Don Lane, Naturalist
  • Nicole LaVigna, Naturalist
  • Andrew Lyons, Naturalist
  • Matt Nunez, Naturalist
  • Laurin Peacock, Naturalist and Animal Curator
  • Leslie Phillips, Naturalist
  • Norma Rainwater, Sr. Naturalist
  • Amanda Reding, Naturalist
  • Kathy Walters, Naturalist
  • Robert Webb, Sr. Naturalist
Elachee Nature Academy (ENA)
  • Rebecca Boone, ENA Educator
  • Jen Kennedy, ENA Educator
  • Angie Pelletier, ENA Educator
  • Melissa Reid, ENA Director/Lead Teacher
  • Brooke Rogers, ENA Educator

Elachee Membership

Make Nature a Priority


Join like-minded individuals who value quality of life in our community.

Your membership fee enables Elachee to provide access to nature through public environmental education programming and to offer Elachee attractions for all to enjoy.

Membership Levels and Benefits


Become a Member

$75 = Individual Explorer (1 Adult)

  • 1 Year Membership* Fee
  • FREE General Admission to Elachee
  • DISCOUNTED Program Fees/Admission on Select Elachee Happenings
  • Member-only Advance Notifications
  • 1 Annual Parking Pass
    Issued by the Chicopee Woods Area Park Commission
  • Free or Discounted Admission to ANCA Member Nature Centers

$125 = Dual Explorer (2 Adults or 1 Adult + 1 Child)

  • 2 Annual Parking Passes
  • PLUS all other Individual Explorer Membership Benefits (see above)

$200 = Family Adventurer (2 Adults and up to 4 Children)

  • Camp Elachee Member-only Early Registration
  • Camp Elachee 10% Registration Discount
  • 4 Single-use Guest Passes for Free Admission to Elachee and select Elachee Happenings
  • PLUS all other Dual Explorer Membership Benefits (see above)

$500 = Elachee Patron (2 Adults and up to 4 Children)

  • 8 Single-use Guest Passes for Free Admission to Elachee and select Elachee Happenings
  • PLUS all other Family Adventurer Membership Benefits (see above)

*Memberships are non-transferable, non-refundable and valid only for the individuals listed on the Membership Card.

**The amount of a contribution that is deductible for Federal income tax purposes is limited to the excess of the amount paid reduced by the value of any goods and services provided in return by Elachee Nature Science Center a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, TAX ID #58-1643768. Refer to IRS Publication 526 or consult your tax advisor for assistance determining what, if any portion of your payment may be tax deductible.


Join Our Efforts

Volunteers are a vital part of Elachee’s rich history and daily operations.


Who Volunteer


What skills, talents and fresh ideas would you like to share with Elachee?

We offer many ways for individuals to get involved.

Or for businesses and groups seeking community service opportunities, let us identify projects that can be done in a day or less.

EMAIL US for a Volunteer Application.

Volunteer Eligibility
    Elachee volunteers must be age 14 or older. Any volunteer under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult, age 21 or older. For scheduled volunteer groups with participants under age 18, Elachee requires one (1) adult for every seven (7) minors. When a minor volunteers for an Elachee seasonal public program event, the adult accompaniment may be waived in lieu of a completed Parental/Legal Guardian consent form.
    Individuals who have been convicted of misdemeanor crimes and who are actively participating in court-approved probation with out sentencing, work release or alternative sentencing programs, may serve as a volunteer at the discretion of Elachee Nature Science Center. Prohibited from any Elachee volunteer program are persons convicted of a felony including a violent crime, a crime against persons or a crime involving use of a weapon.
Current Volunteer Opportunities

Animal Room Crew: Animal Room Crew Tasks and Expectations


Weekly Trail Crew

Elachee’s dedicated volunteer Trail Crew works August through May maintaining the Chicopee Woods Hiking Trails. Physical jobs may include sawing fallen trees, lopping overgrown areas, painting trail blazes, digging out water bars to prevent erosion, and bridge building and maintenance.

Individuals interested in joining the Trail Crew should be able to regularly hike 1-4 miles per day in varying types of terrain, weather conditions and temperatures.


Seasonal Event Volunteers

Serve on a planning committee. For event day, help us as greeters, parking attendants and more!

Elachee Careers

Take the Leap with Us

Check back soon for Summer 2023 seasonal jobs.

Elachee is accepting inquiries for the following:


Teaching Naturalist

Help cultivate next generation Earth stewards!

Teaching Naturalist: Position Details

As a teaching naturalist you will lead environmental education programs for children and youth visiting on field trips. Responsibilities include on-site classroom teaching, experiential instruction on trail hikes and outreach programs.

Work Schedule/Pay

  • Average of 10- to 15-hours per week to conduct 3- to 4-hour programs. Elachee Naturalists are also asked to lead occasional evening or weekend programs.
  • Salary starts at $14.00 per hour.

Qualifications / Eligibility

  • A college degree in education, science or a related field is preferred, and some previous college attendance is required.
  • Experience in working with children is a must.
  • Applicants subject to a Background Check, Driving Record Check and Drug Screening.

Typical Duties / Requirements

  • Enthusiastically engage young minds in memorable and relevant nature encounters.
  • Teach supplemental PreK-12 STEAM-based environmental curriculum that aligns with grade level Georgia Standards for Excellence (GSE).
  • Ability to hike up to 1-2 miles in a variety of outdoor conditions.
  • Ability to perform physical tasks, including light lifting.
  • Current CPR/First Aid Certification preferred.

For consideration, please submit the following:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Three (3) References

Mail or Email Package

Mail Completed Package to:
Elachee Nature Science Center
RE: Naturalist Position
2125 Elachee Drive
Gainesville, GA 30504

Email Completed Package to:
Subject Line: Naturalist Position Inquiry

Elachee Nature Science Center is an equal opportunity employer and prohibits any discrimination on the basis of race, sex, creed, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, age, disability, marital status, family responsibilities or sexual orientation.