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July 2023 Message from Executive Director, Barbara Schlitt Ford


Barbara's headshot in front of ELC buildings
ELC Executive Director, Barbara Schlitt Ford

Greetings ELC Supporters,


Welcome to July! Human/Nature Connections are our specialty here at your ELC, and boy are we ever busy fostering those connections this summer!


Our weekly campers ages 6-13 are busy digging, observing, splashing, swinging, running, paddling, laughing, climbing, catching, sharing and literally growing each and every day they spend with us.


We do have a few Camp spots and up to 100% scholarships remaining so reach out to info@discoverelc.org to get in on the fun.


Our middle and high schoolers 13-18 are busy volunteering as junior counselors, working as Interns or attending our teen STEAM camps! We have weekly STEAM days with Youth Guidance and the Boys and Girls Club middle school girls. We also have a free/grant funded STEAM mini-camp for middle and high school boys and girls first week in August. https://elc.donorshops.com/product/STEAMimmersionprogramAug2023/steam-immersion-program-august-1st-3rd-2023-900-am-to-100-pm


I love walking around campus and seeing kids building a fort, a mud pie or ROV, touching a sea star, reading a book, canoeing, chasing a butterfly, making a snake out of homemade clay, or flying a drone.


At the same time that all of these kids are having an amazing time outdoors, our indoor conference space is being utilized by businesses, service clubs, HOA‘s, nonprofits, social and educational groups and government entities for their team meetings and planning sessions. After their work is done, they will book their group choice of adult activities including edible plant walks, guided kayaking, or a pontoon trip to Pelican Island Wildlife Refuge.


We strive to immerse our guests in the wonders of nature, deepening their commitment to the preservation of our natural world, and in the process enhancing their own personal balance and wellness. Thank you for being a part of this journey and supporting the ELC. Our fiscal year ends today and I’d you haven’t had a chance to donate yet please consider doing so now Click here to support ELC


Be sure to save the date for our magical WinterGreen Night Lights festival the first two weekends in December, and plan on joining us for a very special Mangroves and Moonlight outdoor extravaganza on the night of February 3, 2024. Sponsorships available soon.


We are seeking additional volunteers for fundraising, touch tank, pontoon guide, canoe paddlers and landscape maintenance. Be an ELC Volunteer


Please come visit us this summer. We will only be closed July 4 but otherwise here 7 days a week for a stroll, aquaria experience, quick gift shop or gift certificate purchases, booking your ecotours, meeting space, birthday party or group program.


Please reach out to me if you have any feedback. If you are traveling this summer, enjoy and be safe. It’s a wild world out there and I hope you savor it every step of the way.


In service,

Barbara Schlitt Ford, Executive Director








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