TOUR > The wetlands
to the wet and wild tour
twenty acre tract between Georgia Highlands College and the Floyd County Industrial Park has
been set aside as a protected natural wetland ecosystem in effort to preserve
valuable biodiversity, improve water quality through natural means, and encourage
public interest and education in environmental science (continues, right).
Through cooperative efforts among public and private agencies, a 1200-foot
boardwalk, including two observation platforms, has been built through previously
inaccessible willow swampland. There's much more about the wetlands below, so
please click "continue".
Designed and built by Georgia Highlands College plant operations personnel and funded
from various public and private sources, the boardwalk was dedicated in 1996.
Since then, student groups of all ages have participated in field trips, water
quality studies, and species inventory.
boardwalk also provides an extension to the popular recreational perimeter trail
around Georgia Highlands College's Paris Lake, available to the public. We invite you to stroll
among the wonders of wetness and discover the bounty of wildlife secluded within.
But what are wetlands? To find out, read the column on the right.
Wetlands are basically wet lands fed from two main water sources, surface
water and ground water. Often thought of as wastelands, wetlands are important
to us in many ways:
Wetlands keep our environment in balance by
providing habitat for many species of wildlife, including most of Georgia's threatened
and endangered species.
Wetland plant life filters and captures sedimentary particles, thereby purifying
and enhancing water quality.
Wetlands are the most productive ecosystem in Georgia, producing about
three times the biomass of any terrestrial ecosystem. (Click "continue"
is unique about the preserve?
It has several distinct habitats adjacent to each other and easily
accessible for study.
It sets aside and protects about twenty
undisturbed wetland acres, allowing natural growth and change without interference
from the adjoining industrial park on one side and college campus on the other.
It is supported by several government agencies at local, state, and
federal levels as well as private industry and educational institutions, thus
demonstrating a successful coalition for education in wetland ecology.
is the preserve for? To find out, read the column on the right.
is the purpose of the preserve?
To bring together private, local, state and federal assets to educate
the general public on the importance of wetlands as an environmental resource
To allow organized student access and study of the delicate ecosystem
to foster better public understanding of environmental science.
To allow public access for education and enjoyment
Habitats can you see?
Willow swamp (Palustrine shrub-scrub)
Deepwater stream habitat
Without a boat or waders, you would get wet if you went into a wetlands area.
The Georgia Highlands College Wetland has a raised 1200 foot boardwalk so you can go deep
into the wetlands and stay dry.
you can take a virtual tour... Read the column on the right to find out how.
the virtual wetlands tour
Along the real boardwalk there are 12 viewing areas from which you can see
features of particular interest.
can take a "virtual" tour of the wetlands from the cyberswamp site,
and view some of what you'd see if you were on each of the 12 viewing areas along
the real boardwalk, by using the TOUR menu.
begin your virtual wetlands tour, first click "TOP" to go back to the
top of this page, and then click the word "swampmap"
on the dark green TOUR menu on the right. The swampmap shows where the