MELVIN L. NEWMAN WETLANDS CENTER
.. Promoting public awareness and conservation of wetlands and other natural environs,...
The Authority's Melvin L. Newman Wetlands Center is the focal point of the Clayton County Water Authority's community education efforts. Since its opening in 1995, the Wetlands Center has hosted more than 225,000 visitors, including students of all ages, to lessons & interpretive experiences of wetlands ecology, conservation and watershed protection.
The Newman Wetlands Center was created to demonstrate the importance of preserving wetlands environments and to provide public education in matters of natural resource conservation.
The CCWA has long been recognized as a leader in the water industry for our environmentally sound approach to wastewater treatment and resource management. Through innovative programs such as land application of treated wastewater, and the development of systems for producing marketable compost and fertilizer products from solid waste, we have set the standard in Georgia and the southeast for water provision and wastewater service.
As part of our continuing commitment to the community, we provide access to the Wetlands Center, so that our visitors here will understand the crucial role that wetlands play in the cycle of water.
"Newman Wetlands Center General Brochure"(PDF)
"Newman Wetlands Center General Brochure (Spanish)"(PDF)
The Wetlands Center
The Center is a 32-acre site that includes a wetlands trail and a 4,800 sq/ft building complex comprised of an exhibit/learning area, a 50-seat auditorium, offices, and a conference facility. There are picnic facilities on site as well, which may only be reserved for Wetlands Center group program participants. Other visitors may use them on a first arrival basis. Grills or open fires are not permitted. Visitors can view various exhibits presented throughout the year, watch informative wetlands videos, or hike the wetlands trail. The entire facility is handicapped accessible.
2755 Freeman Road
Hampton, Georgia 30228
(Click map for larger view)
"Directions to the Wetlands Center" (PDF)
"A Self-Guided Walk on the Wetlands Trail" (PDF)
Our wetlands trail is 1/2 mile long, a very easy walk on a surface alternating between crushed stone and boardwalk. It is very flat, with several benches, covered areas and a water fountain. We hope to eventually develop a system of primitive, more challenging upland trails for guided hikes.
Annual Wetlands and Watershed Festival
Every year the CCWA hosts the Wetlands and Watershed Festival to give visitors a chance to enjoy nature while learning about our environment in a fun way. The free festival is held on the first Saturday in October and is a great event for the entire family to see what the center has to offer.
The festival features a wealth of activities for all ages to enjoy, including environmental exhibits & activities, guided trail hikes, live animal exhibits, children’s nature crafts, wetlands scavenger hunt…and more. Many watershed and environmental groups from Georgia and the southeast also participate in the festival.
Guided Walks & Programs
Visitors are welcome to either wander through our wetlands on their own, or they may wish to be part of a larger group guided by our staff. Groups of 10 or more who wish to tour the Center with a guide (Monday-Friday) may reserve time by calling (770) 603-5606. Small groups may be accommodated Saturday afternoons, March through October.
School Groups (grades 1-12) desiring reservations for the spring or fall are urged to call well in advance to be assured of their data preference. During the summer months (June-August) daily guided walks are scheduled for visitors without reservations. Times for these walks are posted on the bulletin board at the trail entrance, as well as notices for special classes or events.
Wildlife of the Wetlands
As you walk through the wetlands trails, you might be fortunate enough to see some of the many wildlife species that either stop over during migration or take advantage of this habitat for nesting or permanent residence.
In addition to over 130 bird species, we have seen beaver, river otter, fox, raccoon, muskrat, deer, wild turkey, opossum, mink, and many species of reptiles, insects, and amphibians.
Please report any unusual or interesting sightings in the Wildlife Sightings Log located at the exhibit area.
The Atlanta Audubon Society holds Saturday morning birdwatching walks here throughout the year. A Checklist has been developed for the Water Authority properties based on documented observations by Wetlands Center staff naturalists, seasonal bird surveys and the observations of other experienced area birders. "Birding Checklist" (PDF)
Please report any sightings of interesting wildlife or bird species not included on the checklist to the Wetlands Center staff naturalist.
Dogs and other pets are not allowed at this facility.
Wildlife is best observed quietly and from a distance. Do not attempt to touch or catch any species while visiting the Wetlands Center, and do not pick any plant species on this property.
Field Trip Policy
Spring Calendar (March 15 – May 15):
Clayton Co. grade 3 students have priority field trip scheduling during the Spring for trips scheduled by February 1. After February 1 reservations for grades 3-4-5 students from any jurisdiction will be scheduled, including wait-listed classes who called prior to Feb. 1.
Reservations are limited to one grade per school, with grade 3 having preference (i.e., if a 3rd grade has scheduled field trips, another grade level from the same school will not be scheduled during the Spring, even if there are days available). This allows more schools to have exposure to the wetlands. It is also likely that these students have already been to the Wetlands Center in the 3rd grade.
Fall/Winter Calendar (Sept. 1-- March 14):
Grades 3-4-5 classes from any jurisdiction may schedule trips
Middle & high school classes must be small (25 students maximum) environmental studies or wetlands classes (no trips for entire grades of science classes); and will only be scheduled around the grades 3-4-5 schedule in the Fall and Winter.
Late Fall/Winter Calendar (October 15 – March 14):
Grades 1-2 (from any school system) may schedule trips
Field trips during the school year are scheduled Monday-Thursday. Programs for two classes (50 students maximum) are scheduled two days per week. Smaller groups (25 students maximum) are scheduled two days per week.
Reservations can be made for the following school year starting June 1
Program Fees: $1.00 per person, including all children and all adults; payable upon arrival on day of program. Cancellation without notice fee charged.
Groups bringing children on-site without a program reservation (self-guided):
These groups are limited to one class or a maximum of 20 children and 4 adults and are asked to call ahead to plan their visit around scheduled group activities (no fee).
||No reserved programs
||October 15 – March 14
||September 1 – May 15 (Spring priority scheduling for Clayton County schools until February 1)
||September 1 – March 14
|March 15 – May 15
||(subject to grade 3 priority scheduling)
||September 1 – March 14 (small classes only, by special request)
Hours of Operation:
Trail open daily:
March - October: 7am - 7pm
November - February: 7am - 5pm
Interpretive Building open 8:30am - 5:00pm:
September - May: Monday - Friday
June - August: Tuesday - Saturday
Melvin L. Newman Wetlands Center
2755 Freeman Road
Hampton, Georgia 30228
Sr. Conservation Specialist: Carol Lambert