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The Graham Farm & Nature Center

The Graham Farm & Nature Center is a 491-acre educational farm nestled within the pristine Paint Rock Valley of Jackson County. The center serves as an educational outreach location for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

Experience the Beauty of Nature

The goal of the Graham Farm & Nature Center is to conduct workshops and other outreach events that allow people to enjoy the beauty of nature in north Alabama. The property features a floodplain, native grassland, mountains, rivers, and associated ecological transition zones. The property also rises to an elevation of more than 1,700 feet along the eastern face of Maxwell Mountain. Together, these qualities provide a multitude of outdoor opportunities for residents.

  • 8.5 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails
  • Kayaking
  • Canoeing
  • Birding
  • Fishing
  • Camping
  • Stargazing
  • Glamping
  • Self-guided farm tours
  • Historical home tours
  • And more!

The Graham Farm & Nature Center’s nonurban, rustic environment allow the center to offer some unique program opportunities. The center’s landscapes afford Alabama Extension the opportunity to offer a wide variety of educational opportunities for all age groups. Also, the center serves as a great location for companies and organizations to host a retreat or team-building opportunity.

Research and Demonstrations

The Graham Farm & Nature Center has an array of research and demonstration opportunities, both internally and externally. The center’s wetlands, pastures, and forests create an outdoor lab like no other.


Graham Farm and Nature CenterResearch performed at the center includes topic areas such as entomology, botany, and water quality. The center has worked with many partners to conduct research including local high schools and organizations, the Alabama A&M University School of Forestry, the Auburn University School Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture, and the Auburn University School of Industrial and Graphic Design.


Examples of on-site demonstrations include

  • A native grass field project conducted with the University of Tennessee.
  • Cross fencing for rotational livestock grazing in partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
  • The Wetland Reserve Program area, also known as a WRP Easement.
  • Fence line vegetation management
  • Old field restoration
  • Pollinator restoration


The Graham Farm & Nature Center is located on the family property of Nita Graham Head. Head and her husband Robert donated the farm to Alabama Extension via the Auburn Real Estate Foundation.

Nita was the youngest of four children and was born and raised in the house that is still on the property She attended the Princeton school as a little girl, and after graduating high school, she obtained a teaching degree from the Florence State Teachers College, known now as the University of North Alabama.

She intended for the farm to be used to teach youth and adults about natural resources conservation, animal science education, ecology, historical preservation, youth development, oral history, wildlife management, ornithology, aquatics and fruit and vegetable production.

Like and follow the Graham Farm & Nature Center on Facebook at ACES – Graham Farm & Nature Center.

Contact Us

The Graham Farm & Nature Center

420 County Road 27, Estillfork, Alabama 35745

Themika Sims, Graham Farm & Nature Center Director

  • (256) 599-6612
  • simsthe@aces.edu

Donna Sands, Graham Farm & Nature Center Program Coordinator

  • (256) 453-0716
  • djs0005@auburn.edu