Announcing the Winners of the 2022-2023 Enchanted Woodland Trail

The Enchanted Woodland Trail is one of the most beloved exhibits at CNC. Visitors and Members are always so delighted to see the variety of homes we receive and are impressed to hear that this exhibit is created by volunteers.

The Fairy Houses and Gnome Homes this year have been some of the best so far since beginning the Enchanted Woodland Trail. The trail this year included some of the largest designs we have ever seen such as a large ship, a treasure chest, and a royal coronation!

The judging has been completed and the results are:

First place went to house number 2, made by four students: Ti’Ana D., Ariana G., Jaya M., and Michael V.


Second place went to house number 5, by Jackie Fine, CNC member


Third place went to house number 8, by Melissa Dorrell, CNC member

People’s Choice Award (voted on by CNC visitors during the month of December) went to house number 15, by William Helbig, CNC member

Honorable Mentions: CNC Staff that created houses: Rebekah, Amy, Nicole, Halimah

First place Winner: House 2, by Ti’Ana D., Ariana G., Jaya M., and Michael V.

“Four students, Ti’Ana D., Ariana G., Jaya M., and Michael V., worked together to design and build an A-frame style home with a Mid-Century Modern addition. These 4 students were grouped together for the “Architectural Residential Styles” class project as a part of their Architecture 1 class because the more modern styles appealed to them more than the historic styles that their classmates preferred. They used a variety of natural materials brought from home and materials found on the campus around the high school. The students are in the Architecture career pathway as a part of the College and Career Academy at Marietta High School.” – Candice, teacher of the four students

Second place: House 5, by Jackie Fine

“We have visited the fairy houses every year since we moved to Roswell in 2019, and it was one of the first outings with our daughter after she was born. This was our first year building a house and it was a family effort. My five-year-old drew up the design and the kids collected all of the materials from our yard. We all had a great time building (so much glue!) and imagined fairies and chipmunks might live there together.” – Jackie

Third place: House 8, by Melissa Dorrell

“I’d like to take a little different approach and present a River nymph. Since I’d like to create something more like a little woodsy cabin, I’m thinking she came down to Roswell to escape the snow from the GA mountains because she doesn’t like the cold. I think it will remind kids of geese flying south for the winter. She chose our little neck of the woods to be closer to the animals that remind her of her summer home. She lives on trails so she can surprise children by bringing attention to something like an animal or unique flower using tricks only a child can see or hear. I’d like to incorporate shiny items like Lorie beads and things to reflect light and small rocks for sound, so they can hear and see her through her things. I’m naming her scarlet sage like one of our native plants. To help pull her personality through her home, I plan to use reds to reject her name.” –Melissa

People’s Choice Award: House 15, William Helbig

When thinking about a house for gnomes or fairies, generally small is what pops into your mind. The huge fairy ship that has been delighting visitors this season took the prize for People’s Choice Award this year! This fairy ship was inspired by the Mayflower and is transporting fairies to CNC’s Enchanted Woodland Trail so that they can delight us this winter season and make our trail even more magical.

Honorable Mentions – CNC Staff Houses

This year CNC staff participated in the Enchanted Woodland Trail and created amazing houses that we’d love to highlight:

Nicole, House number 26

Nicole designed her house as a recreation of the Chattahoochee Nature Center but fairy style! If you look closely, you’ll notice all the areas and rooms in her house that represent real locations and landmarks at CNC, including the newly renovated River Boardwalk Trail! The next time you visit see how many of the CNC buildings and landmarks you can identify.

Just to give you a couple hints Nicole included the Discovery Center, Nature Exchange, the Admissions desk, Camp Kingfisher ga-ga pit, the canoe launch with mini canoes, and the Unity Garden to just name a few. There is more for you to explore when you next visit!

Rebekah, House Number 34

Rebekah used her natural artistic talent and love of plants in creating her gnome homestead. She planted real plants in the oversized pot to create a yard in front of the house. The house is made from pine needles, moss, and pieces of wood.

Rebekah wrote a lovely poem about her gnome home as well:

Deep within the winter wood,
There is a special neighborhood,
Of many tiny shops and homes.
Right here lives three little gnomes.

Their house is made of moss and leaves,
And mushrooms grow beneath the eaves.
The gnomes may be at home today,
But come the spring they’ll go away,

To dance beneath your garden plants,
To talk with butterflies and ants.
The gnomes will work their magic powers
To grow sweet grass and wildflowers.

You’ll see them sitting ‘neath a tree,
With the chipmunks sipping tea.
They’ll soar with birds away up high,
And make cloud sculptures in the sky.

Though their home may look superb,
In wintertime please don’t disturb!
The gnomes are here to get some rest,
So come the spring they’ll be at their best!

Amy, House number 33

Amy created her house using a thrifted small chest to serve as the beach destination for the fairies and gnomes. Amy’s design certainly stands out because of the beach theme, her fairies and gnomes are enjoying a much needed getaway from the cold weather. Unfortunately, the windy weather we had this winter was not kind to her house, but we have photographs to remember it and all the hard work Amy put into her home.

Halimah, House number 37

Halimah’s adorable Pixie Dust Mill is very detailed and you can see all the handmade work that went into it. From the waterwheel to the Mill body, Halimah put a lot of work into her beautiful creation! The extra special smaller details really make it stand out: the water edged with small rocks, the flower-shaped ornaments that adorn the mill, and the use of the tree cutouts for the base and the front step of the mill.