Established in 1975 as the Bush Mountain Outdoor Activity Center (OAC), the mission of the OAC has been to involve children and adults in environmental issues through education about conservation, ecology and the natural environment. This 26-acre urban nature preserve includes about 2.0 miles of trails, as well as a team-building ropes course, and a children’s nature themed playground. Among the learning facilities are a tree house classroom, a 650-gallon freshwater aquarium, and a multi-purpose building. Adjacent to the facility is a community-run vegetable garden and a practice lot for the Atlanta Black Crackers, a former Negro League baseball team. The OAC is located approximately 5 miles from downtown Atlanta, at 1442 Richland Road, Atlanta, GA 30310.
The site has been integral to the Fulton County and Atlanta Public Schools Systems. In past years, elementary and middle schools had annual field trips to the facility. WAWA is trying to rebuild those connections to once again make the OAC a destination of choice for school science-based field trips that correlate to Georgia Performance Standards. The OAC has been an asset and amenity as urban forest and green-space within the largely single-family community of Richland Hills, a low-to-moderate income, environmentally stressed, and under-served area in southwest Atlanta. In 1999, approximately 20% of families and 23% of individuals in this area were living below the poverty line (US Census: 2000).
WAWA has signed an official Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City of Atlanta Department of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs to operate and maintain the Center. Through partnership with other organizations, WAWA seeks to make the center open and accessible to the surrounding community via community and school-based environmental education and civic engagement programming. Read more about our Environmental Education Programs below.
Environmental Education Programs at the Outdoor Activity Center
OAC’s environmental education programs engage local youth, ranging from elementary to college age in service learning activities and seek to impact the visitor’s attitudes and behaviors about nature through interpretive hikes along trails in our 26-acre old growth forest.
The programs complement in-classroom learning in the following academic disciplines: math, science, social studies, history and language arts through interactive, interdisciplinary activities, independent observation, exploration and free play. Programs are correlated to Georgia Performance Standards. Participants will learn about the importance of their role as stewards of a healthy and sustainable environment.
WAWA has open registration for the following three programming tracks:
Interpretive hikes - 45 minute hikes at the OAC in which participants will learn about local history, flora and fauna of our urban forest. The hikes can also incorporate requested topics.
Field Trips - 90 minute programs at the OAC in which participants will cycle through (3) 30-minute activities (a team building environmental ethics exercise, an interpretive hike, and a service project).
Outreach Programs - 45 minute programs at your school on a single topic (inquire for available topics).
Programs are typically scheduled during the morning 10:00 AM-11:30 am and during the afternoon from from approximately 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM. Feel free to enjoy your lunch on-site!
Reservations are needed for all programs.
Space is reserved in a first come, first serve basis.
The calendar fills up quickly!
Please contact Darryl Haddock or Evonne Blythers at (404) 752-5385 to schedule an Environmental Education Program.