Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center

At the southern end of the Columbus RiverWalk, the Center offers opportunities for the public and students at Columbus State University to engage with environmental issues of importance to our region and observe species representative of the area's rich biodiversity. Opened in 1995 as a collaboration among Columbus Water Works and Columbus State University, 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 also seeks to engage students with opportunities for research designed to stimulate creative thinking and collaboration.

The Center includes an 86-seat auditorium, stream habitat supporting various plants and animals, bog garden of carnivorous plants, observational and working bee hives, a pollinator garden, environmental monitoring equipment, environmental art, an outdoor Discovery Forest with hands-on opportunities for learning, and displays of native and non-native reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates.

Mission & Core Values

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

Our values are GREEN:

  • 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 opportunities for active engagement in learning experiences designed to instill curiosity, interest and motivation about science and the environment.
  • Nature: Dedicated to providing unique nature-based learning experiences.