The Fernbank Museum of Natural History is a not-for-profit organization located within the boundaries of District 2. It has been called one of the most popular and iconic cultural attractions in Atlanta and is one of the largest assemblages of urban Piedmont forest in the United States. Although the museum officially opened its doors in 1992, its history starts much earlier than that. Sometime in the late 1800s, a naturalist by the name of Emily Harrison led efforts to preserve 65 acres of natural forest in the Atlanta area. By 1939 she had partnered with an Emory University professor to purchase the land and after decades of planning, ground was at last broken in 1989. Harrison’s vision to create a “school in the woods” was at last realized when construction on what was to become the Fernbank museum began.
Today, Fernbank is working to further expand its available experiences to the great outdoors with 75-acres of nature education and science adventures that will all be included with museum admission. Throughout its history, Fernbank Museum has won many awards, including Best Museum in Atlanta, Top 10 Museum for Dinosaurs in the World, Best Family Attraction, Best School Field Trip, and more.
The nearby Science Center and planetarium was completed in 1967 and has captured the imaginations of visitors both young and old since its opening. The center is part of the DeKalb County School System and offers resources not only for teachers and students, but the public as well. Along with its spectacular planetarium shows featuring its digital immersive projection ststem, the Science Center offers an array of science-related events and exhibits. Some of these include but are not limited to: birdwatching