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Outdoor Education

Education is a vital part of the Natural Resource Management Unit. Environmental/nature education and public awareness programs are imperative to the overall management strategies of the unit. School programs are designed to meet the Georgia Performance Standards and the standards set by the Cobb County School Board for Science curriculum. Elementary through high school and scout programs are offered with the goal to educate about the world around us, what lives there and the essential task of protecting that world. 

School Programs

Nature Demonstration Group

Nature education programs for pre-K to middle school grades are offered year round. Let our naturalists lead your class on a walk through the wetlands at Heritage Park and learn about the diverse ecosystems. Choose to visit the Wright Environmental Education Center, Cato Park or Stout Park to study the urban forest or invite us into your classroom to share one of our mobile programs such as our “habitat box” where children learn the basic needs of living and non-living things and the common needs between plants and animals. A variety of programs are available and all our programs meet the Georgia Performance Standards.

Our programs take a “hands on” approach and attempt to make the outdoor experience both fun and educational for the students. Preference is placed on field studies encouraging the students to visit our environmental education facilities or wetland trails. If dates are available, mobile programs may also be offered in the schools. Mobile programs are also offered in the schools. Students participating in the programs can expect to explore the outdoors via nature hikes focusing on the natural world around them. These hikes are accompanied by classroom activities to tie together all phases of the learning experience. Several learning curricula are used including Project Wet, Project Wild, Project Learning Tree and programs created by staff. 

Call Kevin Hill at (770) 528-8829 to book your school today. 

Natural Resources Staff

Title Name Phone Number
Recreation Program Manager Charlie Monroe (770) 528-8840
Recreation Coordinator John Purcell (770) 528-8825
Recreation Coordinator Kevin Hill (770) 528-8829
Outdoor Recreation Specialist Candace Cook (770) 528-8843
Outdoor Recreation Specialist Holden Robertson (770) 528-8803

Environmental Education Centers & Parks

Cato Environmental Education Center

5286 Austell Road
Austell, GA 30106

This piece of property consists of twelve acres of mostly woodland, a one acre pond and a house. The house has been converted into classrooms for teaching. The pond is suitable for fishing and serves as the host for pond studies as well as amphibian monitoring. There are easy walking trails throughout the site. Visitors can expect a leisurely walk along the trails in mostly shade, areas with benches for quietly enjoying the fishing and tranquility.

This property is opened only for scheduled programs and is not opened for daily public access. Programs are scheduled through the Natural Resources Management Unit. For information regarding this park or to set up a program, contact Kevin Hill at (770) 528-8829.

Child fishing

Wright Environmental Education Center

2661 Johnson Ferry Road
Marietta, GA 30062

Parking and main entrance is on Post Oak Tritt Road next to Chestnut Ridge Christian Church.

At the Jean & Elwood Wright Environmental Education Center, located in east Cobb, you will find nineteen acres of protected land, with a wide selection of plants native to Georgia. Walking trails throughout the property allows many opportunities to study diverse flora and fauna. It also offers tremendous potential for groups to schedule learning sessions focused on the environment.

The property belonged to the Wright family since the mid 1940's. The family house was renovated into classrooms, a small kitchen and restrooms. Environment education classes are taught to school, scouts and other groups. The trail system meanders through the entire property passing through old growth and new growth. Many plants native to Georgia thrive in the park, some listed as unusual by the state.

Visitors can expect a relatively short, easy walk through the plants. The trails are natural surface and 1% - 2% grade. Some areas are conducive to sitting in swings or chairs while some areas are good for viewing songbirds. Due to the amount of flora, visitors must remain on the trails.

The center is located at 2661 Johnson Ferry Road in Marietta. Parking is on Post Oak Tritt Road next to Chestnut Ridge Christian Church.

This property is opened only for scheduled programs and is not opened for daily public access. For more information, contact John Purcell at (770) 528-8825.

nature demonstration

Hyde Farm Park

726 Hyde Road
Marietta, GA  30068

The Hyde Farm Park, located just off of Lower Roswell Road in East Cobb, is 42 acres of green space and a  renovated/updated  farm established in the 1830's. The land, farm, and buildings have been preserved as an educational and recreational facility. Named “one of the great treasures of Cobb County” by Cobb County Commissioner Bob Ott. “The drive down scenic Hyde Road cannot prepare you for your journey back in time. As you walk along the terrace gardens past the old farmhouse, or drink from the working well, it is hard to imagine that just a short distance away is East Cobb. It is hard to imagine long ago when all of East Cobb was like Hyde.”

Programs Offered

  • Nature programs
  • Fishing pond
  • Trails
  • Community Gardens
  • Tours

Hyde Farm Tours
Tours are held every 2nd Saturday of the Month
Enjoy a leisure tour as you walk back in time and explore the property that has been farmed since 1840.  The 135 acres that make up the original Hyde Farm consist of numerous cultural resources. Natural feature consist of the Chattahoochee River, the forests that are found in both the low lands adjacent to the river and the uplands near the home site. Man made features consist of the terraced agricultural fields, low land pastures/old fields, the orchard, the home site, the meadows and the farm outbuilding sites.

Enjoy the pond that was built on Mulberry Creek in the 1980's. Featuring geese, ducks, herons, turtles, beaver, and stocked with catfish and bass.

hyde farm fishing


"Ag is Big in Cobb." Interested in participating in our Community Gardening Program? Awesome!

Cobb Parks is here to help you grow.  Our Community Gardening Program is design help promote citizen engagement with their natural environment, staff and one another. The food (harvest) is a great bi-product however the primary purpose is to promote citizen engagement and healthy living. For more information about our Community Gardening Program please contact the Parks office of Natural Resources.

Community Garden