Take a hike and learn a little about this beautiful, diverse, and ecologically authentic place. It's diverse because it ranges from hammock (high ground) through salt marshes (sometimes underwater) to mangrove forest (with its feet in the water).
It's ecologically authentic because before we built our pavilions, we cut down all the exotic invasive trees like the Brazilian peppers and the Australian pines and replaced them with indigenous (native) species such as live oaks, cabbage or sabal palms, coontie, and wax myrtle.
It's beautiful because, well, just look around. But beauty is not just skin deep here. Our surroundings are especially beautiful because they provide a natural habitat for birds, fish, crustaceans, and mammals of many kinds. In fact the Indian River Lagoon, the big body of water that nearly surrounds us, is home to more than 4,000 different species, 36 of which are endangered or rare. It's such a diverse estuary (the most diverse in North America) that the Environmental Protection Agency has named it an Estuary of National Significance.
Try to be quiet during your walk about so that the birds and small animals will show themselves. With luck you'll see an otter. Or down by the canoe dock, a dolphin or manatee. Look up, look down; there's a lot to see. Follow the signs posted near the paths and boardwalk. You can't get lost and you can find out a lot.
Then, come inside our buildings...Chill in our Entry Pavilion and learn about our history and what's to do here. Look into our Nature Nook, a nature-oriented gift shop where profits help our educational mission.
Our newly opened Discovery station is home to the largest brackish water aquarium in Indian River County, a touch tank where you can get up close and personal with some of the critters that occupy our Indian River Lagoon, 3 other aquariums, dioramas with lift panels, touchable exhibits and a life sized replica of a manatee's head where you can experience how a manatee eats sea grass from the lagoon floor.
A sweet, little exhibit area for pre-school children can be found in the Upland room. Relax. Play. Stay as long as you like.
Venture out. Encounter our boardwalks into mangrove swamps. See our Ospreys. Our sunshine, and our unique island habitats. It’s all yours for a visit! Admission Fee: $5/person with children 12 and under FREE and ELC Members FREE. Also, 1st Saturday of every month is FREE visitation to everyone!
Open: Tuesday - Friday 10am - 4pm, Saturday 9am - 12pm (extended to 4pm during winter season) and Sunday 1pm - 4pm.
(Click for a full page printable copy of the ELC Campus Map)