September Greetings from the ELC Executive Director
Greetings fellow earth lovers!

August and September are keeping us busy with campus enhancement projects. We are super excited about our Discovery Station interactive ecosystem flooring which is about 3/4 complete. We are also in the process of much needed replacements of three very worn roofs on the welcome center, the administration building, and our Waterside Pavilion. Our new Sustainability Walk around the pond is ready for your strolling and edification pleasure as well.

We hope that you will join us on September 22 for a “Covid-safe” celebration of these spectacular campus upgrades and the opportunity to meet with our five featured artists, while enjoying refreshments and some awesome live music by Michael O'Brien.

Our Thomas R. Schidel Education and Event Pavilion and... [read more]
Barbara Schlitt Ford
Executive Director
Our campus is buzzing with activity and excitement!
September 2021 Lagoon Academy
Tuesdays & Thursdays | 10:00 - 11:30 AM | Ages 7 - 12
$60 for 1 month (pre-registration required)

Get out and about on ELC's Campus and study movement throughout the month of September. We'll explore how shape and adaptations influence animals locomotion, discover what motivates an animal to migrate, and test our own navigation skills.
Saturday, September 4. 10 am to 2 pm. #Shoplocal and support a group of dynamic and inspiring youth who create a wide variety of super cool products.

Shop from homemade baked goods, granola, tree seedlings, arts and crafts, jewelry, heating bags, and much more!
Little Wonders Program
Wednesday, September 15.
10 - 11:30 AM | 12 - 1:30 PM

A free nature enrichment and early literacy program for children 18 months to 4 years old and their parents, grandparents, and guardians.

Limited space. To register or learn more, click the button below.
Thank you Sunrise Rotary Club of Vero Beach for your support of this program!
International Coastal Cleanup Day 2021
Saturday, September 18.
9 AM - 11 AM at Riverside Park

Join Coastal Connections, ELC, ORCA and Keep Indian River Beautiful to celebrate international coastal cleanup day!

Register to be a part of the international movement by emailing our volunteer coordinator, Nancy Puglio at
Full Moon Forest Therapy
Monday, September 20
8 PM - 10 PM

Join us for a moonlight forest therapy walk on ELC's Wabasso Island Campus located in the heart of the Indian River Lagoon in Vero Beach! This slow-paced and easy walk will help you unwind and tap into all of your senses for a truly immersive nature experience.
ELC Members-Only Walk at Toni Robinson Waterfront Trail
Wednesday, September 22.
8 AM - 10 AM
Enjoy a half-mile walk through an open canopy scrub habitat and oak forest to the mangroves and a half-mile loop walk on an impoundment trail including a boardwalk through the mangroves.

To sign up or learn more, click the button below.
Maximum 20 people
Pre-registration encouraged by September 20
Artist Series Open House +
ELC Enhancements Unveiling
Wednesday, September 22.
4:30 - 6:30 PM

Join us for a night celebrating ELC's resident artists with an outdoor cocktail reception. Enjoy two galleries featuring nature art on our 64-acre lagoon island campus in Wabasso along with live music from Michael O'Brien.

Please RSVP to
$5 suggested donation
Join us on the 22nd to also be a part of our
Discovery Station Immersive Flooring Renovation Unveiling
Meet the artist and her team of Unicorn Epoxy who transformed our space into something truly unique!
Wellness in the Wild at The Environmental Learning Center
Saturday, September 25.
1:00 - 2:30 PM

Be Restored: The Difference Between Achieving & Actualizing in Nature

Be Restored will help you move from an achievement-based agenda to an actualizing presence that establishes a deeply healing and transformative relationship with the natural world that you can access anytime, anywhere.
Sunday, September 26.
11 AM - Noon
If our daily lives are about 'going to' or 'coming from' a walking meditation is simply about being here, happy to be alive!

We'll attune to nature through our five senses in the embrace of the Butterfly Garden. To learn more or to register, click the button.

3 person minimum to hold class.
Pre-registration required by September 25th
Morning Nature Walk - Environmental Learning Center

Wednesday, September 29
7:00 AM

Joint Pelican Island Audubon Society/Environmental Learning Center event - Learn all about Florida native species and their role in a healthy ecosystem as we tour ELC’s mangrove island campus. ELC’s educators will help point out local wildlife (including our resident gopher tortoises) and chat about ELC’s mission and work in the community. Please plan to dress comfortably for hot weather. We recommend you bring bug repellant, sunscreen, and a reusable water bottle. Trails are mostly level and we’ll adventure on boardwalks and earthen surfaces. - Limited to 20 people. Registration required.
Remember that the ELC is open for you to drop in anytime
7 days a week M-F 8 am - 5 pm, Sat. and Sun 8 am - 4pm.

Pumpkin Patch at ELC
Presented by VeroX
Starting October 1st

Stop by our pumpkin patch beginning October 1st! A portion of all proceeds will support the ELC mission.

Stay tuned for more information in our October Newsletter!
Hook Kids on Fishing with Anglers for Conservation and ELC
Saturday, October 16
9 AM - 11 AM

In partnership with the Environmental Learning Center, Anglers for Conservation (AFC) is coordinating AFC’s Hook Kids on Fishing (HKOF) program on Saturday, September 25th from 9am-11am.

Kids ages 5 to 15 are welcome and registration is $5.00. This program is limited to 40 kids that will receive a free rod/reel and tackle box thanks to the Fish Florida Tag Foundation.
A Stellar Night
The ELC welcomed over 200 guests for the Perseid Meteor Shower & Star Party this month. It was an out-of-this-world event featuring children's activities, space talks, star gazing through high-powered telescopes, and more! Thank you to everyone who came out and enjoyed with us!
What a life saver!

A big shout out and thank you to Captain John and Captain Amy of Sea Tow Sebastian and to the Sea Tow Foundation for their generous donation of 18 brand new life jackets to the ELC.
Take A Walk

Our ELC Members, Volunteers and Staff enjoyed a Guided Nature Walk at Ansin Conservation Area this month. These walks take place around Indian River County on the 4th Wednesday of each month!
Go Native!
Create habitat and support our wildlife with native plants from the ELC’s new Plant Nook. Orange Milkweed, Marsh Fleabane, Canna Lily, Firebush and more are available at the Entry Pavilion.
Our goal is to raise money to promote the use of native plants in landscape to help reduce pesticides, fertilizer and irrigation.
Orange Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) is the larval host plant for the Queen and Monarch butterfly, which is just another candidate for listing as an endangered species and in serious decline! Support this butterfly and other pollinators with pesticide free native plants from the Environmental Learning Center. 
Our roofs are coming along!
Autumn Equinox
More than just the first day of Fall...

Written by Sara Piotter | Senior Environmental Educator
As summer vacations wind down and the kids head back to school, take time to settle into your new routine. September is a time to embrace transition. Those endless summer days begin to wane as we approach the fall, or autumnal, equinox on September 22nd. Our two equinox events, vernal and autumnal, mark the transition to a state of balance, the balance of light and dark. During these events, the length of daylight roughly equals the darkness of night. In fact, the word equinox is derived from the Latin aequi, meaning equal, and nox meaning night. 
So, what causes this change of light and season? A relationship - specifically, the relationship between the sun and Earth’s tilt, or obliquity. As we orbit around the sun, rays of light strike the planet at different orientations because of the Earth’s obliquity. The planet is either tilted toward, or away from the sun for most of the year. However, during an equinox event, the Earth’s tilt aligns the planet perpendicularly to the sun’s rays. At this point, the Northern and Southern Hemispheres experience days and nights that are equal in length due to this positioning. In contrast, a solstice event is quite opposite of an equinox. During solstice, our orbit positions the equator either the closest or farthest it will be from the sun, resulting in the longest and shortest days of the year.
Following an equinox event, the Earth’s obliquity in orbit once again begins to shift hemispheres. Here in the Northern Hemisphere we begin to point away from the sun after the autumnal equinox and therefore, we’ll notice shorter and shorter days. Consider this, if Earth had a 0 degree of obliquity and was perfectly aligned in orbit around the sun, light would always shine down on Earth in a perpendicular relationship to the equator. We would forever experience equal amounts of day and night, warmth and cold. The Earth’s tilt of 23.5 degrees, is the entire reason we experience seasons. 

The upcoming equinox is a great reminder for us all to make time for self-care and reflection. Leading up to the equinox, etch out a few moments to unplug and connect. What do you notice about the changing of light? Both outside and within? How does the timing of the season change relate to your relationship between balance and discord? 

Looking to expand your personal reflection? Sign up to join ELC’s Full Moon Forest Therapy walk on September 20th from 8:00-10:00pm. We’ll spend the evening bathing in the moon’s light as we explore our connection to ourselves, each other, and the more-than-human world. 
Contribute $1,000 or more toward our Roof Match Campaign and get a custom plank along our boardwalk!

Call 772-589-5050 or email
Check out the latest news, activities and volunteering opportunities.
One of over 50 gopher tortoises that call the ELC Campus home came out to say hello!

Keep an eye out for these shelled ambassadors when you walk the grounds!
Team Registration - Due by September 10th - Complete online or at Walking Tree
Ready, Set, RACE, Recycle!
Mark Your Calendars because the Recycle Derby is less than 1 month away!

September 25th
Come watch the races!

Race Sign-in 12pm
The Races Are Off - 1-3pm
Awards - 3:30pm
Vendors and Raffle - 12-4pm
8th Annual Lines in the Lagoon
Junior Fishing Tournament
Saturday, September 25
(Rain Date: Sunday, October 3, 2021)

Tournament Registration Dates:
Early Registration: April 1, 2021-August 15, 2021 Fee: $20.00
Regular Registration: August 16, 2021-September 22, 2021 Fee $30.00
Our mission is to educate, inspire and empower all people to be active stewards of the environment and their own well-being.

Thank you for the many ways you support our critical mission.
We simply couldn’t do it without you!

The ELC is sponsored by:
Archie S. Wingfield Jr. Charitable Trust
Susan Kasten
Richard and Laura McDermott
William and Laurie Stewart
Jim and Virginia Sourbeer
Alice and Ronald Hall
Dale Sorensen Real Estate
Hair by Talia
Robert and Margaret Martin
Mr. Robin Dunlap
Bob and Joan Peirce
Donald and Pamela Barr
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