Joe R. Adair Outdoor Education Center

Address: 110 Scout Creek Court, Laurens, SC 29360 Phone:(864) 984-5492 Tanya Towne, Director


a month ago

Joe R. Adair Outdoor Education Center 

The purpose of the Joe R. Adair Outdoor Education Center is to serve as a learning center for children and adults in Laurens County.  Instruction at the center focuses on the natural sciences and soil and water conservation. Located at 110 Scout Creek Court, The Joe R. Adair Outdoor Education Center opened on March 22, 1996.  Since that time, thousands of students and their teachers have experienced "hands on" education at the center. Nestled in a wooded area off  Parkview Drive behind Collyar Park in Laurens, the site for the Joe R. Adair Outdoor Education Center features 8.24 acres of mature hardwoods, colorful wild flora, and a winding creek.  American beech, yellow poplar, and a hodgepodge of other hardwood trees and vegetation flourish in this habitat, as Scout Creek meanders through a ridge of varying elevations to create a moist and fertile bottomland.  

The property, given to the Soil Conservation District in 1992 as a gift by retired Soil Conservation Service employee Joe Adair, also includes an office and classroom building, an amphitheater, nature trails, picnic area, and a Native American area.  In addition, an authentic Laurens County log cabin, which dates back to the 1800's, was donated and carefully relocated to the center property.  The log cabin site features a pioneer setting, including a garden. 

By Lisa Wilson

Michelin STEM Challenge December 2021

a month ago

The Michelin STEM Challenge will be held at Laurens District High School. Third and Fourth Grade will compete on December 9th. Fifth and Sixth Grade will compete on Friday, December 10th.

3rd Grade Rolling Vehicle Challenge

Students will work in teams to build a vehicle that fits into a 15 cm by 20 cm box. Each class will race to find a classroom winner that will compete with other third graders in both Laurens District 55 and Laurens District 56. Students will compete to find the fastest vehicle and the vehicle that will go the farthest. 

4th Grade Wind Powered Vehicle Challenge

LFourth grade students build a vehicle that is powered by wind. Teams build on what they learned last year about rolling vehicles. They use their imaginations to design a sail that will make their vehicle travel the fastest and the farthest. 

Team Ecology

a month ago

Team ecology 2022          March 28 -April 1


Team Ecology is a week long adventure 

for all of the public school third grade students in Laurens County. They learn about soils, vermicomposting, recycling, clean air, watersheds, landfills and how to protect our natural resources. 

Volunteers are our backbone!

You can be a part of a one of a kind environmental educational program in South Carolina, right here in Laurens County.

We would love to have you join us! If you are interested, click here to sign up. 

Rental Information

a month ago

The Joe R. Adair Outdoor Education Center may be rented for birthdays, meetings, training, non-profit community organization events, and other approved activities.  The center may not be used for private or corporate gain.   

For additional information or questions, please contact Tanya Towne via email at or by phone at 864-501-6983.  

Teacher Reservation Information

a month ago

Planning a Class Visit

The Joe R. Adair Outdoor Education Center is open to all public schools in Laurens County School District 55 and Laurens County School District 56. We have a classroom upstairs with several animals and a classroom downstairs with a turtle pond. We also have a picnic shelter and a cabin from the 1800's. 

Reservation Request

Teachers, please click here to request a classroom visit

You will receive a reservation confirmation via email if the requested date is available.  

Be sure to include the following information in your request: 

  • 2 or 3 possible dates of visit
  • school name
  • grade level(s)
  • number of students
  • number of teachers
  • standards you want to have covered during the visit

Please feel free to contact Ms. Towne by phone at 864-501-6983 should you have any questions.   

Joe R. Adair Foundation Board Meetings

a month ago

2020-2021 Board Meeting Dates

Oct. 6th Full

November 3rd Executive

December 1st Full

January 5th Executive

February 2nd Full

March 2nd Executive

April 6th Full

May 4th Executive

Map of Trails

a month ago

Scout creek arboretum trail system

Come take a walk through a native hardwood forest. Scout Creek runs through the property and if you are really quiet, you might see a deer getting something to drink. As you walk, keep your eyes open for signs of the animals that make this urban forest their home. Click the link below to learn more about our trails. 

Trail Maps

You can find laminated trail maps in a mailbox on the bridge. Please feel free to share any photos on our Facebook page! 

A few of our Lessons

a month ago

Each lesson is approximately one hour.

**If you let Ms. Towne know what standard you are working on, she will find lessons to suit your needs! 

1.  Animals of the Adair Center

Students will look at all the animals of the Adair Center.  We will talk about their basic needs for living for younger groups and the animal’s adaptations for older groups.  We will pet/hold/feed many of the animals. 

2.  Bird Beak Game

Students will be a bird for this game.  They will use 3 different types of beaks to “hunt” with.  Students will have 30-45 seconds each round and they must determine what type of beak works best for each type of food source.

3. Nature Trail Walk (No Paper)

A relaxing but educational walk on our Nature Trails.  We will stop and talk about plants and animals as we see them on the trails.

4. Nature Trail Walk (Scavenger Hunt)

Students will have their own scavenger hunt paper while on the trails.  They must look for different types of plants, animals, food sources, water sources, plant and animal defenses, and many more! 

5. Five Senses

Students will walk on the nature trails while writing what they see, smell, taste, hear, and feel while on the trails.

6. Owl Pellet ($2 Cost per Student)

Students will dissect an owl pellet.  Students will separate the bones of the prey animals of the owl onto a bone chart. 

7.  Closer Look at Rocks

Students will get a box of metamorphic, sedimentary, and igneous rocks to look at.  We will look at them up close with hand lens and describe their properties of each type. 

8.  Sand, Silt, Clay 

Students will look at premade jars of soil mixes.  We will shake the jars up and look at them in one hour and see how they settled.  In between looking at the jars, we will use soil sifters to separate sand, silt, and clay. 

9.  Quantitative vs Qualitative

From a tub of various items, students will be given items for which they will tell one quantitative and one qualitative statement for each.  Students will be asked to share their observations if time allows. Best done in small group setting. 

10.  Water Drops on a Penny

Students will experiment to determine how many drops of water will fit on a penny.  We then change from just normal water to water with soap in it and see if that changes our data.  It is a good experiment for teaching the scientific method.  Each student will be provided a penny and water dropper to use during experiment. 

11.  Science Tools

Various instruments used in science will be displayed (i.e., digital Scales, balance scales, triple beam balance, thermometers, hand lens, and others).  The students will have to make observations of the room, items, or other things using their science instruments.  Best done in small group setting. 

12.  Is it Magnetic?

Each student will use a magnet to move around the room testing various objects. 

13.  Using Magnets

Students will get a mixture of sand, bens, metal, and corn.  The students must use the materials provided to separate the mixture. 

14.  Playdoh Animals

 Students will make animals using Playdoh.  

15.  Cabin Tour

Students will tour the old pioneer cabin.  Students will look at the different tools used to build the cabin and different items in the cabin. 

16.  Making a Mold and Cast Fossil ($2 Cost per Student)

Students will make a mold and cast fossil using modeling clay and plaster.  They will need to take them home/back to school and let them dry for a day. 

17.  Natural Selection Game

Students will play a jumping game to show them how natural selection works in animal populations. 

18.  Ole Dear Game

Students will play a game to show how animals depend on food, water, shelter, and space and what happens if one or more resources run out.

19.  Marble Roller Coasters

Students will apply their understanding of those concepts as they construct and test their roller coaster. Through a cycle of building, testing, observing and revision, students will gain an experiential understanding of fundamental physics concepts and the basics of successful roller coaster construction. Students will also have an unstructured opportunity to hone teambuilding skills as they communicate with their peers during roller coaster construction.

(Used plan from )

20.  Rope Swing and Smores

If teacher wishes, we will go outside and make Smores and swing on our rope swing during our lunch hour.

By Tanya Towne

The Buzz About Bees!

a month ago

By Tanya Towne

Our honey bees!

This hive was donated to the center by the Laurens Beekeepers Association. The hive boxes were painted by students at Laurens Middle School. We are so excited to have these pollinators here! 

Bee information

Inside the hive

Honey bees are social insects, they live together in large organized groups. Bees create a comb that is a mass of hexagons. A hexagon is a 6 sided geometric shape. The queen lays eggs in these hexagons. Some of the hexagon cells contains honey which the bees make using the nectar they gather from flowers.  Click on the picture of the hive to watch a time lapsed video of an active hive. 

Video of hive

Volunteers Needed!

a month ago

By Tanya Towne

Volunteers are our backbone!

You can be a part of a one of a kind environmental educational program in South Carolina, right here in Laurens County.

Click on the feet to complete the volunteer sign up form.

Ms. Towne will contact you to confirm your volunteer training appointment. 

Thank you!
Volunteer Sign up