Hays Nature Preserve is a very inspiring protected green space where you can relax and enjoy many activities including: fishing, picnicking, leisurely hikes taking in the sights and sounds or a vigorous run on the trails.
Things to enjoy at the Preserve on the Trails:
- Horseback Riding
- Mountain Biking on the Trails
Operation Green Team continues to offer a variety of events and activities at the Preserve, including: Yoga by the River in the fall and a variety of themed guided hikes. The popular Play Days at Hays educational series held in June and July on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 to 11 am is in its third season. Each Play Day explores a different topic --- all based on enjoying the great outdoors. Children will need to be accompanied by an adult. It's free and a fun way to enjoy being outside while learning. Learn more about the Nature Explore Classroom at Hays Nature Preserve.
The Terrame Natural Playground is a great place to explore and play under the tree canopy near the entrance off Hwy 431 S. The 1 ¼ acre playground became the first Arbor Day Foundation certified Nature Explore Classroom in Alabama in 2012. Operation Green Team offers the Nature Explorer Families Club monthly activities on the first Saturday of the month during September - May. Take a look at some of the playground features.
A few things to take note of:
Hunting is not allowed.
Dogs are allowed but must be leashed to protect the wildlife.
In the Preserve the greatest threat to habitat diversity is the invasion of privet (Ligustrum sinense). Volunteers have been a tremendous help in keeping the privet under control. During the past year the City's Landscape Management Department began an aggressive yet environmental approach to irradiating invasive plant species. We are seeing the forest understory opened up now with new trees and shrubs beginning to come in. Native trees, shrubs and wildflowers have also been planted in select places. A list of native trees and shrubs is available by contacting Operation Green Team.
The Education Center, officially opened in April 2013, is at the heart of the Preserve. The building and its grounds are an example of sustainability in design. Operation Green Team offers many educational programs utilizing the Education Center in combination with the Preserve's natural features.
If you wish to be added to our email list to be notified of upcoming events, please email Operation Green Team, join Green Team on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.