Celebrate Environmental Learning Center’s reopening May 1

WABASSO ISLAND – An interesting and educational experience awaits all family members at the Grand Re-Opening Celebration of the new buildings at the Environmental Learning Center (ELC) from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 1.

The new buildings replace those destroyed by a lightning strike almost two years ago. With generous support from ELC Members, private individuals, foundations, school groups, and the local business community, funds were raised, and a new Discovery Station and “Green” buildings have been built.

“It has been a wonderful experience to watch our beautiful new buildings rise from the ashes,” ELC Board Chairperson, Eileen Connelly said. “We are all eagerly anticipating the Grand Re-Opening on May 1. It marks a very special day in the history of the ELC and we are all looking forward to sharing it with the community we serve.”

The Grand Re-Opening Celebration of the new buildings is free and open to everyone in the community.

Food and drinks will be available from the Indian River County Firefighters and Paramedics who will be setting up their cooking grill offering hamburgers, hotdogs, and pulled pork sandwiches.

The festivities will include many exhibits and activities for the whole family. There are four aquariums, including the largest brackish water aquarium in Indian River County, a Touch Tank to explore marine critters, Dioramas with lift panels, touchable exhibits, and a life-sized replica of a manatee’s head.

Environmental Ambassadors, who are 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students, will explain the many green aspects of the construction, including the new state-of-the-art photovoltaic and thermal solar powered systems.

Additional activities available at the celebration include dip netting in the pond, a native plant sale, activity booths, storytelling, face painting, and painting en plein air.

Author Debra Frasier is making a guest appearance to sign her award winning “On the Day You Were Born” children’s picture book from noon to 12:30 p.m.

Free parking is available on the ELC Campus or in the Wabasso Causeway Parking areas. Free shuttles will run from the Wabasso Causeway Parking Lots to and from the ELC from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Environmental Learning Center is located north of Vero Beach off County Road 510 at the end of the Wabasso Bridge. Its 64-acre campus includes exhibit areas, native plant gardens, picnic facilities, gift shop, and visitor center.

A list of its many field excursions, including hikes, boat excursions, nature walks, and bird watching can be found at www.DiscoverELC.org.

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