For Hometown News
WABASSO ISLAND -- The Environmental Learning Center is observing Valentine's Day with a "Love Nature Celebration" on Feb. 14, a public school holiday.
This family event includes eco-activities providing a perfect opportunity for the entire family to get outside and appreciate nature together. The event is from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on ELC's 64-acre Wabasso Island campus off CR510 between Vero Beach and Sebastian. Admission is $5 per person. Children ages 12 and under are free. Members of the ELC are free.
Not so long ago, families sat on porches, attended neighborhood barbeques, and had gardens out back. Kids climbed trees, roamed yards, and played until the street lights came on. Nature was a big part of family life. "Today, many of us don't get enough time outdoors. There is even a term called 'nature deficit disorder.' This phrase is not meant to be a medical diagnosis, but it does make an important point that we are distancing ourselves from nature," said Heather Stapleton, ELC education director. "Americans spend more of their lives than ever, about eight-and-a half hours a day, with some kind of screen, watching television or using technology devices."
"Love Nature Day" at ELC will get families exploring the outdoors. A 30-minute storytelling for the young ones is at 10:30 a.m. The Touch Tank will be open 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2- 4p.m. A Dolphin Fun Fact talk runs from 1-2 p.m., and a guided Nature Walk starts in the Entry Pavilion at 2 p.m.
A 2-hour pontoon boat excursion to Pelican Island launches at 10 a.m. The fee for the boat excursion is $25 per adult, $10 per child. Geocaching, a scavenger hunt for techies using GPS receivers, is at 11 am. Reservations are necessary for both the boat and geocaching due to space limitations. They may be made by calling (772) 589-5050 ext. 114.
The ELC is a nonprofit nature center with exhibits about the Indian River Lagoon, picnic pavilions, and gift shop.
Details about ELC and "Love Nature Celebration" can be found at www.DiscovereELC.org.