Georgia Wildlife Resources Division
2070 U.S. Hwy. 278, SE, Social Circle, GA 30025
When was the last time you had the chance to learn about nature and yourself, all at 50 feet up in a tree and for as little as $15?
You have that chance now! Welcome to Tree Top Excursions, a program at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center near Mansfield. Jody Rice, who heads up the program at Charlie Elliott, has led rope-assisted tree climbs since 2003.
Customers of this and similar programs at other facilities have varied from scientists collecting seeds in the rain forest canopy to teenagers with learning disabilities building confidence 15 feet off the ground.
Registration is now being accepted for an Introduction to Tree Climbing course. Two sessions will be offered on Oct. 12, 2013: Session One is from 1-2 p.m. with Session Two from 3-4 p.m.
Fees for this course are $15 a person. Preregistration is required. Participants should be 8 or older.
The tree climbing program at Charlie Elliott is part of Canopy-Adventure-Research-Educational Technical Tree Climbing, or CARE TTC. Participants outfitted with helmets and harnesses pull themselves up on ropes attached to the limbs of a large tree. (At Charlie Elliott, the “tame” tree is a 90-foot-tall willow oak nicknamed Charlie).
Tree Top Excursions at Charlie Elliott are currently open to groups and individuals. Participants with special needs, such as people in wheelchairs, can be accommodated.
Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, named for the first director of what is now the Wildlife Resources Division, offers outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, shooting and birding along with educational programs and a conference center, banquet hall and hotel-styled lodging, all within an hour’s drive of Atlanta. The 6,400 acres include Marben Public Fishing Area and Clybel Wildlife Management Area.
Learn more online:
Tree Top Excursions, www.georgiawildlife.com/TreeClimbing 
Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, www.georgiawildlife.com/CharlieElliott 
Photos: Melissa Cummings (Melissa.email@example.com  ).
“Georgia Hidden Treasures” video of a climb at Panola Mountain State Park led by Jody Rice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9GX-vg_y2k