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Collage of Oxbow photos with various reptiles

Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center

Welcome to Oxbow Meadows

Opened in 1995 as a collaboration among Columbus State University, Columbus Water Works, and the City of Columbus, Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center provides exhibits, natural history displays, nature trails, and also offers formal and informal educational programs about the ecology and natural history of the region.

Inside the center, visitors can view a variety of snakes, both venomous and non-venomous, turtles, tortoises, fish, alligators, invertebrates, and lots more. Visitors can take a walk down our trails to catch a glimpse of native wildlife, view our wetlands and ponds, or to explore our educational and fun Discovery Trail.

Our Canopy Tree Top Trail is currently closed for the summer, due to recent storm damage.  

Upcoming Events


Garden Party

Oxbow is throwing a garden party and YOU are invited!  During the FREE event, you will assist Oxbow as we plant our new pollinator garden.

>>Learn More


The Chattahoochee Valley Beekeeper Association will host a beginners course on how to BEE a beekeeper September 19 from 1pm-4pm.  

>>Learn More

Bird of Prey

Oxbow and EarthQuest are bringing back the birds of prey!  Each show is designed to give you and your family with a unique experience.  Watch birds fly overhead in this program.  Mark your calendars for September 19 for a 11am and 2pm show.  Admission is $5 per person

>>Download program flyer 

Run for the Valley

Columbus Water Works and TSYS will hold the 7th Annual 'Run for the Valley, Run United' 10K, 5K Run & 1 Mile Tot Trot to raise money for United Way. This year the race will start and finish at 14th St. Pedestrian Bridge (traveling along the Riverwalk) on September 19, 2015.

>>Learn More

What's New

Oxbow Meadows strives to provide fun and education programs for schools, families, groups, and corporations.  Check out the links below to see what's new!

>>NEW Field Trips for 2015-2016 (Registration is OPEN)

Exotic August

For the month of August, exotic reptiles will be on display!  Stop by today and visit a bearded dragon, an anaconda, and pythons!

Visitor Information


Suggested $5 donation for admission

Oxbow Meadows spends over $60,000 each year on the care, feeding, and expansion of our animal collections. All donations will assist animal care and the continuation and growth of our education programs.


Hours of Operation:

Monday-Friday | 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Saturday | 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Sunday | CLOSED

Gates will open and close the at same times. Please note that hours are subject to change, please visit our Calendar of Events to view scheduled closings.


Rules and Regulations:

  • Please keep pets leashed at all times while on our trails
  • No dogs, with the exception of service dogs, are allowed in the building
  • Fishing, hunting, and trapping are not permitted on the property
  • Please do not disturb the native plants and wildlife found on our property
  • Please do not feed any wildlife on our property
  • Picnics are allowed in the designated areas
  • No alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, and/or fireworks are permitted on the property
  • Oxbow Meadows and Columbus State University are smoke free property; no smoking allowed

Please report ALL accidents. In case of an emergency, please call 911.

Ways to give

Oxbow Meadows is fortunate to have so many individuals, families, corporations, and partners that strive to support Oxbow Meadow's mission in education and sustainability. We rely on donations and contributions to keep our door admission free and to continue developing new and exciting exhibits for all to enjoy.

What are the programs that you help support:

  • Feeding and caring for our animal collection
  • Expanding exhibits for education
  • Providing educational experiences for students
  • Development and maintenance of trails and gardens

If you would like to learn more about giving to Oxbow Meadows, here is more information on the different ways to contribute:


>>The Ethan Palmer Memorial Fund


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I bring wild or injured animals to Oxbow Meadows?

Unfortunately, Oxbow Meadows is not a licensed wildlife rehabilitation center, please do not bring wildlife to Oxbow Meadows.


Where can I take an injured animal?

Please use the following list to find a local wildlife rehabbers and their animal specialty.

>>List of local Wildlife Rehabbers