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January Message from the Executive Director


Greetings to our ELC Nature Keepers! 


We have reached the end of a busy year full of nature learning and activities, and we are totally pumped up for a fabulous 2024. 


We have educational programs for toddlers (Little Wonders) to teens (Y-ELC), homeschoolers (Lagoon Academy) to school field trips (Field Trips), eco-tours (Pontoon, Kayak and Paddleboard), camps New Year’s Camp, art galleries (join us 12/29 and 1/5 4:30-6:30p  Art Events and venue rentals for all occasions (Venue Rental). We will be having a great lineup of speakers for adults this year beginning with Dr. Duane DeFreese giving an Indian River Lagoon (Love your Estuary) update February 28 at noon. 


Our big annual fundraiser Mangroves, Moonlight and Mambo is just around the corner on Saturday, February 3rd so be sure to buy your tickets today and enjoy our fun evening together with a Cuban flair. The festivities will feature a talented band from Miami, a full Cuban dinner served family style by Wild Thyme, and an open bar with signature drinks. Secure your spot here Mangroves, Moonlight and Mambo!. We rely on the funds raised at this event, our annual memberships Become a Member, and the funds from our end of year appeal  Support ELC, and many volunteers Volunteer to sustain ELC all year round. Thank you for supporting your ELC! 



We are the Nature Keepers


Our lagoon island whispers,

A symphony of sounds,

As mangroves sway and dance,

While sunlight sparkles all around. 


Faint echoes of laughter,

And whispers of delight,

Speak of dedicated stewards,

Who work with all their might.


To protect our oasis of wonder,

In this concrete world we roam,

Connecting us to nature,

And bringing our spirits home.


On the pontoon or canoes,

We glide through water so serene,

Admiring herons and egrets,

And dolphins in between.


From art gatherings to field trips,

All ages learn and grow,

Inspired by staff and volunteers,

Happily sharing what they know.


From our fishes to our reptiles,

Lively bees; seahorses too,

The center cares for all,

And gives folks a chance to view. 


Osprey and atala in flight, 

gopher tortoises on the grounds, 

The Environmental Learning Center,

Works to ensure they stay around.


We are all so very different, 

But our love of nature binds, 

All of us in unison, 

Heartfelt caring for all kinds. 


We strive tirelessly, together, 

Dedicated to the cause,

Of preserving and protecting,

Our natural world's true laws. 


We urge all to visit our island,

Where nature thrives and sings,

And join the Nature Keepers,

Restoring balance to all things. 


By Barbara Schlitt Ford 

(with some help from Artificial Intelligence) 



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