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Wetlands Edge Environmental Center

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Visitor FAQ

FAQs . . . asked by parents, students, teachers, and the public . . . 

Parents

Parents/guardians should receive a Field Trip General Information sheet and two (2) permission/release forms from their child's teacher prior to the child's visit to WEEC. Additional questions may be also be answered by clicking on Visitors' Guide.

  • If I forget to sign the permission and release forms can my child still participate in the field trip?   No.
  • Will my child have to pay to take a Field Trip to WEEC? Students from Decatur City Schools will not be charged to visit WEEC because Decatur City Schools is a financial partner with IVXP in the operation of the Center. Classes from out-of-district public school will be charged a fee of $5 per student.

    • Will my child be safe when s/he visits WEEC?  Every effort has been and will continue to be made to ensure the safety of every person who visits WEEC.  WEEC staff members have First Aid training and also carry radios with which emergency personnel can be called.  Very strict safety procedures have been developed and implemented.  WEEC is a designated Shelter-in-Place, and the doors of the Center have card access entry to authorized personnel only. Good behavior and cooperation by each student with WEEC staff, the student's teacher(s) and chaperones is also necessary and expected.



Students

  • Are snakes tame?Snakes have no ability to show or return emotion like mammal pets do, so you won't get a "warm, fuzzy feeling" if you snuggle with a snake!  They can only become more accustomed to being handled in captivity.
  • What kinds of animals live out at WEEC? Deer, quail, ducks, snakes, turtles, frogs, fish, raptors, songbirds, insects, and lots more!
  • Where do the animals kept in the Center come from? They come from live capture, donations, and by purchasing them.
  • Do you have any poisonous animals? None that can bite you!  We do have a marine toad that has poison in its skin if it is bitten by a predator.  This helps the toad defend himself. Recently, the Tennessee Aquarium donated beautiful Indo-Pacific Lionfish to the Center, but they are in an enclosed tank.
  • Are snakes slimy? Not at all--even snakes that live in water are not slimy. Snakes are coldblooded reptiles that feel cool and dry to the touch.


    Teachers
    Many 'teacher' questions often asked about field trips to WEEC can be answered by viewing Pre-Planning Materials and the Visitors' Guide
  • If one of my students forgets his signed permission/release forms the day of the field trip, can s/he still come on the trip? No.  Without permission/release forms signed by his/her parent/guardian, students will not be allowed to participate in the field trip. 
  • Can I only bring students to WEEC once a year? Due to staff reductions, teachers are limited to one field trip per school calendar year.  
  • What if I have to cancel my field trip? If you must cancel your field trip, please notify WEEC by phone at 256-301-1559 or email molly.ferrell@dcs.edu as soon as possible. We will work with you to reschedule your visit.
  • Will WEEC ever have to cancel a field trip?  The possibility of cancellation always exists due to circumstances beyond our control such as a tank leak, etc., but it is not likely. We will make every effort to ensure that we do not cancel a visit, but if that happens we will notify teachers immediately and reschedule as soon as possible.


    Visitors
  • Are there programs for public visitors to WEEC? Programs at Wetlands Edge Environmental Center ONLY serve school groups, except for occasional public offerings which will be posted on the calendar found on this website
  • Can public visitors use the wildlife habitat and its trails? Individuals and/or public groups such as garden clubs, scout troops, birders, etc. who wish to use the trails withinIVXP's wildlife habitat are asked to contact Keith Hightower at 340-5431. The availability of IVXP's Wildlife Habitat for use by the public is subject to the current alert level designated by America's Office of Homeland Security.   At this time the habitat trails are closed to the public.
  • How long are the trails? The gravel trails total about 2.3 miles. IVXPrespectfully requests that visitors stay on the main trails so as to impact the environment in the least negative way.
  • Can I ride a horse or a 4-Wheeler on the trails? Horses and motorized vehicles of any kind are not allowed on the trails or anywhere within the habitat.  Both tear up the trails and disturb the resident wildlife.
  • Where do I park? Parking is available by the environmental center at 839 Finley Island Road, Decatur, AL.

    • Are there places to rest along the trails?There are benches located along the trails and picnic tables on the southwest side of the pond.  In keeping with our goal of "vanishing without a trace," visitors are requested to properly dispose of trash if the picnic tables are used.