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About Us

a gray building surrounded by trees

At the southern end of the Columbus RiverWalk, the Center offers a view of the ecoregion of West Central Georgia and the Chattahoochee Valley and provides access to samples of the area’s rich communities of plants and animals. Opened in 1995 as a collaboration among Columbus Water Works, Columbus State University, and the City of Columbus, the Center provides exhibits, displays and nature trails, and also offers formal and informal programs about the ecology and natural history of the region. Interpretive and hands-on programming is provided by Columbus State University professional staff, contributing faculty, student assistants, and volunteers.

The Center includes one classroom-laboratory, an 86-seat auditorium, state-of-the-art instructional media, the Natural History Discovery Center, indoor and outdoor exhibits of living reptiles and fish, a stream habitat supporting various plants and animals, a pollinator garden, bee hives, and environmental art.


Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating, inspiring and empowering all people, including those with minimal access to nature, to engage actively with their environment for continued learning.

Mission Goals:

  • Provide high quality programs, interactive displays, live animal exhibits and outdoor learning opportunities.
  • Serve as an academic enrichment center for Columbus State University.
  • Provide learning opportunities to engage the public with environmental and sustainability issues.
  • Provide opportunities to observe animal and plant life, with an emphasis on species native to the Chattahoochee Valley.

Vision Statement

Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center strives to:

  • be a regional leader in environmental education;
  • represent a model of practical sustainability and conservation initiates;
  • be a center for applied environmental research on waters, wetland, biodiversity and sustainability;
  • accommodate learning opportunities for diverse individuals including those with special needs; and
  • develop as a leader in the integration of environmental issues into teacher education and the K-16 curriculum.

Enduring Valuesseveral children walking across a bridge


Grow: Growing an interest in the environment through visitor experiences that allow for exploration and engagement in a safe setting.

Relationships: Developing excellent relationships within the University and greater community through professionalism and creativity in our actions.

Education: Providing high quality experiences for all ages in science, environmental, STEM and outdoor education.

Engagement: Providing active engagement in learning experiences designed to instill curiosity, passing interest and motivation about science and the environment.

Nature: Dedicated to providing unique nature-based learning experiences.