ELC announces exciting expansion to EcoVentures programs

VERO BEACH — The Environmental Learning Center (ELC) recently announced that the popular “EcoVentures” series would be expanded to over 200 programs for the 2011-2012 season between December and April.

Programs include a variety of expanded and low-cost activities at the center and at various locations throughout the county such as boating and paddling excursions, master gardening, beach exploration, nature hikes, touch tank encounters, story-time and grandparent/grandchildren programs. Green Living workshops will highlight wine appreciation, organic spa products and organic dairy products among other topics.

“Based on demand, we’ve expanded the ELC’s programs to suit visitors of all ages and interests,” explained Holly Dill, Executive Director of the ELC. “We are particularly excited about taking the ELC on the road to various locations throughout the community so that we can encourage awareness and appreciation for the flora and fauna that surround us throughout Indian River County.”

All programs are offered to the public with discounts available as a benefit for ELC members. Additionally, members will receive printed monthly calendars, while the “EcoVentures Calendar” is available for anyone’s viewing online at DiscoverELC.org Reservations are required for most programs, so planning in advance is encouraged.

Highlighted in late December is the “Winter Beak Campout for Students.” On December 27-29, teens from 12-17 will experience three days and two nights that include paddling kayaks to an island in the Indian River Lagoon where they’ll set up camp for two nights. From base camp, the ELC’s Education Coordinator, Heather Stapleton, leads an exploration of other islands and winding mangrove trails. Activities include seine netting of marine life, wildlife observation, days of sun and fresh air, and nights under the stars. What a way to spend a break from school! This complete three-day package includes kayak rental, gear, tent, meals, snacks and drinks. Fees are $355 for each student with a $10 discount for ELC members.

The ELC also plans to open its doors on December 6, from 3-5 p.m., for the Annual Volunteer Open House. This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in volunteering at the ELC, but isn’t sure what the center has to offer. The open house will feature what positions are available, what the time commitment would require, what training is offered and how rewarding volunteering promises to be. Current volunteers will be on-hand so visitors can get a real scoop on being an ELC volunteer. No reservations are required and drop-ins are welcome at any time during the open house.

The Environmental Learning Center is located at 255 Live Oak Drive in Vero Beach, 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.

For more information about ELC membership benefits, and the EcoVentures Calendar visit DiscoverELC.org or call the ELC at 772-589-5050.


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