Alligators, snakes and other reptiles get a new home in Columbus - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Alligators, snakes and other reptiles get a new home in Columbus

By Curtis McCloud -   bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Three years and $2.38 million later, a newly renovated Oxbow Meadows will open its doors Saturday morning.

For Kiera Karlin, the completion of the center couldn't have come soon enough.

"The king snakes are beautiful and I like the tree frogs," Karlin said.

Snakes and frogs aren't the only thing that peak Kiera's interest. She says she loves fish too.

"I have a fish tank in my room but it broke so dad's going to fix it and then I'm getting a few beta fish too," Karlin said.

Luckily, for Kiera her dad, Jody Karlin, knows a thing or two about fish tanks. Karlin designed the tanks and animal habitats inside the environmental center at oxbow meadows.

"Designing the place is the most fun for me, building is actually work," Karlin said.

Columbus State University Presiden,t Tim Mescon, says that work will be beneficial for students across the Chattahoochee Valley.

"It's just stunning how important this is going to be for science and environmental education in this region," Mescon said.

Lisa Randolph, Director at Oxbow Meadows, says the new building and additions will get people in the community to come to the center.

"We have classrooms that are fully equipped with smart boards and all the technologies that college professors, or teachers or Boy Scout leader would need if they wanted to come to the space," Randolph said.

Oxbow Meadows has a new indoor animal center that focuses on reptiles and amphibians native to Georgia. There is also a turtle pond and an enclosure that houses alligators that can't be released back into the wild.

The facility is described as one of the best in the state, an outdoor classroom for chilidren and adults. 

Copyright 2011 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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