School & Group Programs FAQs

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​​​​​​​​We will be arriving on a school bus. Where does the bus drop off/pick up? 

Buses arrive and pull to the front of the Tony Cope Education and Visitors Center​ where they can stop and unload students by the large sidewalk leading up to the building. After unloading students and lunches, they may park in the designated bus parking area. 

Our students will be bringing lunch. Is there some place where we can store our lunches? Where can we eat? 

Oatland Island may have lunch wagons available for your lunches and they will need to be stored in the Welcome Center until after your program. A picnic area will be assigned to your group the day of your program. Some areas are covered and some are not. 

Can we buy lunch at the Center? 

While we offer a drinks and assorted snacks in our Gift Shop, we do not have a full-service concession stand. 

We have parent chaperones who will not be arriving on the bus. Where can they park? Where should they meet us? 

For chaperones arriving separately, please have them notify the attendant at the ticket booth that they are a part of your scheduled program for the day. Chaperones may pay their admission at the ticket booth upon arrival. They should park in the visitors parking area. 

If chaperones arrive prior to your scheduled field trip time (before Oatland opens at 10am) please inform them to que up to the right of the main gate as to not block traffic to our neighborhood and that they do not follow staff members or volunteers arriving for work through the gate.

Where are the bathrooms? 

Bathrooms are located inside our Tony Cope Education and Visitors Center​ and near the Georgia Barnyard exhibit. 

What happens if it is raining on the day of our visit? 

Oatland Island teachers will be in contact with your group to evaluate what will happen if there is a possibility of severe weather. Indoor programs can occur for rainy days, however there are times where your program will have to be rescheduled. 

Will our students be able to touch any of the animals? 

The USDA of Georgia prohibits the touching of birds and most ​mammals in Georgia. There are times during Animal Encounters when students may touch reptiles, amphibians and the barnyard animals during some programs.

Can we choose the animals we will see/learn about? 

The animal selection students see depends on the program that they will be doing. During Animal Encounters, teachers can request certain animals upon availability.  

What can I do to prepare my students for the field trip? 

Read over the pre-trip materials with your students and share with them that Oatland Island is an education center and they are coming to learn about the natural world. About two weeks before your visit, we will email you all details for your chosen program and provide you with pre-trip information for your students. 

What if we hit traffic and are late for our program? 

If you are running late, please call Oatland Island at (912) 395-1500. We may not be able to extend your program, but will work with you as best we can within the available time frame to make sure your students have the best possible experience at the center. ​

Still have some questions we didn't answer? Email our School Program Coordinator here​.

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