Learning center offers nature-friendly egg dye program
By Jessica Creagan
WABASSO -- This week at the Environmental Learning Center in Wabasso, a favorite Eastertime activity will have a more natural twist.
On March 28 at 2 p.m., kids ages 4 to 12 and their families are invited to come and learn how to dye hard-boiled eggs using nature's own colorful rainbow of dye-producing products, said Rosemary Badger, naturalist at the learning center.
What color will a dye from red cabbage turn out to be? What about a dye using turmeric? Environmental Learning Center volunteers have been experimenting with dye recipes and have come up with six colors for the event, staff said.
There is a program fee of $10 per family, $8 for families with Environmental Learning Center membership. Admission to the learning center is included in the program price.
Each participant should bring six hard-boiled eggs to decorate. Advance registration is required so that volunteers will bring enough dye for everyone to use, Ms. Badger said.
A second egg dyeing opportunity will held on April12 at 10:30 a.m.
This will be the third year consecutive year the egg dyeing program will be offered to the public, Ms. Badger said.
"Right around springtime and Easter there are a lot of things going on so we decided to have one a little bit early," she said.
Children and families will be able to decorate their eggs with stickers or crayons, and wrap them with rubber bands prior to placing them in the various dyes. After the program, the dyes will be packed up and sent with the families so the dyeing process and fun can continue at home, Ms. Badger said.
Some of the natural products used to make the dyes are onion skins, coffee, tea, cabbage, beets, grape juice and turmeric.
"The onion skins are fun. What they are are onion skins that have fallen to the bottom of the bin at grocery stores, and the stores just give them to us to use," Ms. Badger said.
"The longer the eggs stay in the dye, the more the color changes," she said.
The first year, boiling the eggs was part of the program, but should the families want to consume their dyed eggs, it is better for them to bring their own cooked food, Ms. Badger said.
The nature of the dyeing programs offered this spring fit in perfectly with the overall mission of the Environmental Learning Center because it encourages people to learn more about nature and to use nature in a new way, without harming nature, she said.
"I also think it's a great bonding experience for the kids and families. It's nice to see a family act like a family, doing things together that have nothing to do with technology," Ms. Badger said.
Children will also be invited to participate in a scavenger hunt on the learning center property as part of the program.
The Environmental Learning Center is located at 255 Live Oak Drive, Vero Beach. To sign up for any program or for more information, call (772) 589-5050 or visit www.discoverelc.org.