April Newsletter
Greetings from the Executive Director
Greetings from the Environmental Learning Center! For those of you I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet, I’m Barbara Schlitt Ford. April 1st was my one year anniversary as Executive Director of this amazing organization. I can hardly believe it’s been a year already! There hasn’t been a dull moment. We have been in high gear this past year, working to elevate our programming, campus, outreach efforts, and infrastructure in keeping with our vision of growing the ELC as a leader among environmental education and nature centers. I will be sharing our exciting plans with you, our ELC Family, as we progress. 

What we couldn’t have planned for is this pandemic and the way it has turned the world upside down. We hope that you and your loved ones remain healthy during this challenging time. We want to be a resource for you as we move through this together, so please let us know if there is anything we can do to help. The ELC staff has risen to the challenge and adapted to a changing environment in how we do our work and how we benefit our community. We are creating virtual programming that you can access for free without leaving your home through social media, the web and email. Click the link to check out the fabulous new content. We are also working with over 60 local non-profits to forge the best path forward, helping each other navigate an uncertain landscape so we all get through to the other side. Click HERE to learn more.

As a nature center, we understand the tremendous physical, emotional and psychological health benefits of nature immersion. We grappled with questions about our role in continuing to provide these important benefits to our community while protecting the public from the spread of this pandemic in the process. (Click here to learn more about the importance of connection with our natural environment). It has been heart-warming to see the many visitors strolling the boardwalks, frolicking in the pond, enjoying the butterfly and native plant gardens, utilizing the self-guided audio tour stations, enjoying the lagoon views from our docks, picnicking, playing games, laughing, reading, and practicing meditation and yoga. Our vision embodied occurring, in the midst of this seeming chaos! 

With the Governor’s Safer at Home Order that went into effect, we made the difficult decision to close the outdoor campus to the public as well, in keeping with the spirit of the Order. We do believe it is so important to still get outside, exercise and connect with nature. We believe the Order implied a desire that we do this in our own neighborhoods for the most part and we wanted to support this life saving measure. 

With no admission or programming fees coming in for a minimum of two months (and possibly four), we are alarmed about our budgetary needs. We have a $1.2 million annual budget (an average of about $3300 a day or $100,000 per month). We each have gifts to give during this challenging time. If financial support is a gift you have the ability to provide, we ask that you do so now. Might you become a member or renew your membership this year? Can you dig deep and give beyond your usual comfort level at this time?  I want to help.

This pandemic has been a tragic wake up call causing people all over the world to slow down, spend quality time with loved ones, appreciate the outdoors, discover a simpler way of life, and live in alignment with personal core values. Click HERE for a list of activities you can do while social distancing. We are realizing just how much we rely on each other and how badly we need thriving, connected societies to deal with huge and overwhelming global threats. And we’re seeing how much we need a healthy planet to help us get through the toughest times. None of us are promised any tomorrows, and this scary virus is really smacking us in the face with that reality. We need to make every day and action count. Can we count on you to be a force of nature ? Click here to give now.
Yours in Service,
Barbara Schlitt Ford
Executive Director
EcoFest Recap
1,250 earth loving individuals enjoyed an incredible, fun-filled day at EcoFest! This hands-on, feet-wet day included pond dip-netting, drumming, giant bubbles and interactive science exhibits. Thanks to our staff, volunteers, board, community partners and sponsors who made this day possible!

Thank you sponsors! Treasure Coast Golf Course Superintendents Association, Schlitt Gonzalez Real Estate Team, George E. Warren Corporation, Totally Turtles USA, Bob and Ellie McCabe and Ron and Evelyn  Blank.
Virtual Earth Day Birthday!
Celebrate Earth Day's 50th anniversary by posting a picture of you and your family or friends doing one of three challenges! #EarthDayELC

Enter for a chance to win YOUR birthday party at the ELC! Open to all ages.
Virtual Environmental Education
Unprecedented times don't have to mean unproductive days. We are here to help!

The ELC team is working hard to provide engaging content for you to enjoy from home and planning for our uncertain future. Read more to see what we are up to and contact us on how we can help make your days at home fun and fruitful.
Coming Soon - Bird Bingo!
See how many birds you can find on campus! From the red-bellied woodpecker to the white ibis, we want you to be on the lookout and spot as many as you can.

Bird Watch is sponsored by the Treasure Coast Golf Course Superintendents Association.
Coming Winter 2020
The Thomas R. Schidel Education and Event Pavilion is scheduled to be completed in Winter 2021.

View page six to learn more!

Education Newsletter
Want to learn more about our Education Programs? Check out activities you can do outside, internship opportunities, our GreenTeen! Program and more!
Helping Hand Sponsorship

Lend a helping hand! Sponsor the Environmental Learning Center for $1,000 and in return, receive one of five gifts!

Choose One:
  1. Private Pontoon Boat Tour for 16 People
  2. Private Two Hour Room Rental for up to 100 People
  3. Private Two Hour Guided See Through Canoe Tour for 12 People
  4. Private Two Hour Guided Kayak Tour for 12 People
  5. Private Two Hour Guided Nature Walks and Wellness Talks for up to 12 People

All offers have NO EXPIRATION DATE! We are here for you!

We can only imagine the decisions you and your company must have to make during this time of crisis. What can we do to help you? If there are opportunities for us to partner together now, we want to work with you as we have in the past. You can count on us!

Call (772) 589-5050 ext. 113 or email Give@DiscoverELC.org for more information or to become a sponsor.
The Barefoot Cafe Gives Back!
Make your life easier with The Barefoot Cafe's Heat & Eat Dinners! Mention "ELC" and we will receive 10%!

Dinners can be ordered Monday - Thursday and picked up or delivered on Friday. Call (772) 770-1733 or order on Facebook.
GuideStar - We're Platinum!
We are excited to announce that the Environmental Learning Center has reached a Platinum Seal of Transparency on GuideStar! GuideStar is an Independent Agency that collects information from the IRS and directly from charities and maintains a database for public access in order to promote transparency in the non-profit industry. They rate these organizations and award them different levels with the Platinum Level being the highest possible. 
Strategic Plan
We have created this plan to record where we are going and how we are going to get there. With the guidance of a professional facilitator, we held several collaborative sessions with staff, board members and volunteers. We assessed strengths and weaknesses and created priorities to collectively develop key goals that will steer our future. 
Case for Support
Please consider giving your time, attention and guidance on our new Case for Support.

Because everyone deserves a healthy planet.
Due to the recent state-wide order from Governor Ron DeSantis, the Environmental Learning Center will be closed until further notice.

We hope that you focus on your health and well-being at this time. Be safe, be well, be connected, and part of the solution! 
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