Environmental Learning Center

Environmental Learning Center

October Message from Executive Director, Barb Schlitt Ford


Click to read the full October Newsletter here

Time marches on – that is what the changing seasons remind me. Regardless of where we are in the country, October makes most of us think of pumpkins, owls, bats… we hope for some cooler, crisper weather (that in Florida we will generally have to wait a while longer to enjoy while we enter “Hotumn”). We start to think, oh my, it’s almost Thanksgiving, and that means Christmas/Hanukkah etc. (and for us at ELC magical night time canoe rides, bonfires and holiday performances) are right around the corner, and then we will already be in another calendar year once again. Social calendars will fill up as we have to make choices to do this or that, or try to squeeze it all in, and the slightly slower pace of summer will become memory. Another year will soon be gone and what will we have to show for it?

Hopefully you have some treasured experiences so far in 2023 and have made progress on some of your goals. Your goal might be to become more financially stable in order to provide for yourself or your loved ones, or it might be to use some of your extra financial resources or talents to help improve the lives of others. You might want to make healthier choices, make time for those special trips, or knock some big projects off your to do list. You could feel like you’re operating on autopilot, wondering how the time slips away? Or you might just be trying to hang on every day, through a medical or emotional challenge that seems so overwhelming. Let’s admit we often don’t have a clue what each other may be going through. My brother’s bumper sticker on his car says: “Be Nice.” I just love that. It’s something we can all choose to do any chance we get to make this world a better place.

Please know that wherever you are on your journey, this simple, peaceful 64-acre campus that rests in the heart of the Indian River Lagoon, is here for you – in good times and in bad, to celebrate or comfort, to educate or entertain, this special place exists for each of us and often morphs to fit one’s need on any given day. A place you can volunteer to feel the power your individual contribution can make. A place you can come to connect with nature (and yourself) via our trails, pontoon boat, kayaks or paddleboards, or wellness offerings. A place that makes adults feel like kids again.

During your visit, you are likely to see one of our many education programs taking place – from our school field trips to Little Wonders toddler group, our Nature Explorers, Lagoon Academy or Youth Environmental Leaders Corps, we have opportunities for every age child and adult. There is a place for you at the Environmental Learning Center. We love being here for you for the ups and downs of life, through the changes of seasons and circumstances. Our passionate and committed staff and volunteers are honored to serve you. We are focused every day on how we can better educate, inspire and empower people to be active stewards of the environment and their own well-being. It’s all connected.

Thank you for the things that you do (volunteer, sponsor, donate, participate) that make the ELC sustainable for our community. We deeply value and appreciate the support.

Yours in gratitude and service,