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November Message from Executive Director, Barb Schlitt Ford

November is a perfect time to remind you how thankful we are for each of you! We simply could not fulfill our mission of educating, inspiring and empowering stewards of the environment (and in the process improving our own well-being!) without our community of supporters. If you are a member, volunteer, program participant, visitor, donor, venue renter, or simply out there telling folks about the ELC, we are grateful!

So many great things on the horizon for you!

School Break Camps for all ages - Reserve your spots today for our hands-on/feet-wet youth camps to keep the kiddos engaged over the Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks! Two in November, one in December and one in January. Call 772-589-5050 if questions.

WinterGreen Night Lights - We are gearing up for our big WinterGreen Night Lights holiday festival that is so loved by everyone. Mark your calendars for Dec 7, 8, 9, 14, 15 and 16th so that you can come out one night and get in the festive spirit with our colorfully decorated campus, the magical lighted mangrove tunnel canoe rides (we paddle for you!), enjoy a food truck dinner followed by a toasty bonfire and yummy s'mores, our sustainable holiday market, aquariums and touch tank, and plus knock out a chunk of your holiday shopping at our nature nook (including gift memberships and gift certificates for pontoon trips, camps or kayak/paddle board rentals). Canoe spots generally sell out so it is strongly suggested that you reserve your spot in advance. WinterGreen Night Lights | Discoverelc

Reserve the ELC Campus for your Holiday Gathering - The beautifully decorated ELC campus and event rooms are the perfect place to host your family, work or neighborhood holiday gathering! Your guests will thank you for creating this special memory together and will be talking about it for a long time! Give the gift of this special venue for your next special event.Venue Rentals | Discoverelc

Mangroves, Moonlight and Mambo - Our big annual fundraiser Mangroves and Moonlight is 2/3/24 and this year we are treating your senses with a festive Cuban theme with a full band from Miami, dancers, and a family style Cuban dinner by Wild Thyme and open bar. Get your sponsorship level tickets now! Mangroves & Moonlight | Discoverelc General admission tickets will go on sale 12/15.

Art - Come enjoy the wonderful Magic of Trees Art Exhibit and accompanying offerings

Youth Programs - From Little Wonders for toddlers, to Nature Explorers for 4-6 year olds, Lagoon Academy for 7-15 year olds, archery, Teen group (Y-ELC) for middle and high schoolers, to volunteer opps for age 15+, we have something of interest for most everyone! And if you have an idea for some thing you’d love for us to offer, let us know at

Volunteer Opportunities - We have endless volunteer needs from Welcome Center concierge to fundraising, membership support to distribution of marketing materials, campus landscape and decorating, to pontoon boat tour and touch tank guiding, to helping with our info tables and during our events. Email or call 772-589-5050 Tues-Sat and ask for Karen. We’d love to get you plugged in here at your ELC. So much to do!

I hope that you each are able to take this month to focus on the things that you are grateful for - family, friends, travel, our comforts, and this spectacular natural world that we live in. We have an incredibly philanthropic community and I am very proud of the caring this stems from. Despite the seemingly increasing divisiveness in our country and in our world, I continue to believe that nature is a masterful unifier. It brings us back to our core selves and our purpose. Immersion in nature serves to clarify vision and the interconnectedness of everything, including all humanity. So remember to take frequent doses of Vitamin N for your well-being.

Happy November and we hope to see you out at the ELC this month!

In gratitude,

Barbara Schlitt Ford

Executive Director

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