Chattahoochee Nature Center nature center names new CEO

The Chattahoochee Nature Center, a nonprofit nature preserve and education center that sits on 127 acres of woodlands, has hired a new CEO.

Natasha Rice, who currently serves as chief administrative officer for the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta, was recently named new president and CEO, a statement from the Center said.

Rice will focus on the center’s fundraising campaign, the statement said.

The campaign to raise $8.3 million was stalled a year ago by the pandemic. But $6.1 million has been raised so far, according to the Center.

Some of the funds will be used to replace a 3,000-foot boardwalk with a walkway over the Center’s entrance on Willeo Road and a pedestrian bridge over the street.

The Chattahoochee Nature Center opened in Roswell in 1976 along the Chattahoochee River. The Center offers education programs for adults such as the Georgia Master Naturalist program on the local ecosystem, and has classes for all grade levels on wildlife, plants, trees and the environment. Before the pandemic, the center had about 140,000 visitors annually.

“It is a great honor to lead one of the largest, most prestigious nature centers in the country,” Rice, said in the statement. “While I thoroughly cherished my time at Boys & Girls Club and those we positively impacted, I am looking forward to connecting people of all ages to nature and educating them about the river’s importance. Our team of widely respected environmental experts, administrators and volunteers serve as our strongest assets and position us well for continued growth.”

Rice starts her new role in June. She replaces CEO Chris Nelson, who announced he was stepping down from the position earlier this year to take care of family in south Georgia.