One of the least popular parts of living in a modern city is the concrete jungles they have become. These days, finding trees, let alone animals, can be challenging. But for those who come to visit Maryville, TN to get away from it all and grab some fresh Smoky Mountain air, there is one place you simply cannot afford to miss. The Pistol Creek Wetland Center is a peaceful haven filled with local flora, fauna, and wildlife designed to be enjoyed by schools, civic organizations, families, and just about anyone who wants to get back in touch with Mother Nature.
Where It All Began
In the late 1990s the city of Maryville, TN purchased a section of the old Delozier farm on Montvale Station Rd. In 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency awarded the City of Maryville a grant that covered the entire cost of the project, leaving the city with no bills to pay.
Under the watchful eye of Dr. Ben Cash and Dr. Mark O’Gorman, students from Maryville College participated in the initial study along with post-construction activities at the Center. Once the initial construction of the Center was finished, the area grew into a sapling grove filled with invasive species.
And On to Today
Today, the Center offers visitors a chance to stroll along walkways that offer informational signs filled with educational details about the many different types of plants, native birds, and animals that have chosen to call the Center home. The entire area has been turned into a learning center. The signs also share information about the wetlands and how important they are to our environment.
Students from Maryville College continue to contribute by working with the many different school classes that come to the Center each year. They share a wealth of knowledge with the kids, covering many of the local wildlife, and often introducing them to living members of various species. This is a golden opportunity to teach today’s kids what it’s like to get in touch with nature.
The Legacy Will Continue
Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Maryville College students, Dr. Matt Gray – a professor who teaches Wetlands Ecology and Management at UT – and a task team, the long-term outlook for the park is excellent.
Before You Go
If you are considering taking a civic group or school class to the facility, you should contact the Center at (865) 273-3401 to make a reservation. Book early as availability is limited and on a first come, first served basis. We recommend that schools send only one class at a time to ensure the best possible experience for the students. There is plenty of parking for busses and no charge for you to bring your kids to the center.
The Pistol Creek Wetland Center is the perfect place for kids and adults of all ages to get back in touch with nature and enjoy an incredible array of local plants and animals. Come back several times a year to see how the scenery changes with each season.
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