On April 1, I celebrate my fifth anniversary leading this important and dynamic organization! 

What a lot we have accomplished together! Our attendance has more than doubled from 12,000 annually to nearly 30,000 per year. 

Click Here to Read Barb's Full Message

We are so thankful for each one of you, our ELC family members. We are excited about the future and believe ELC will continue to be considered a significant driving force for improved quality of life in Indian River County. 

We need more support to keep pace with all of the additional offerings for you, our community. 

If you can be more involved, please connect with me so we can make that happen. Participate, join, volunteer, donate, share - there is a way for everyone to be part of this exciting and rewarding work. Barb@DiscoverELC.org

We hope to see you soon at your ELC. 

Be well, 

Executive Director

Please note: ELC will be closed on Sunday, March 31 for the Easter holiday.


Bee an ELC Pollinator!

As our community grows, so does the need for impactful education initiatives, and we are grateful for partners like you who help "pollinate" our programs with the necessary funding to make a difference. 

Your continued (or new!) commitment is more crucial than ever as we approach the end of our fiscal year on June 30th. Please give to further our efforts and provide essential funding for our educational programs and native habitat campus.

From the mighty monarch to the tiny honey bee, all our "ELC Pollinators" are important and allow us to grow alongside our community!

Donate now!


Summer Camp begins June 3rd

Register now for the best camping experience on the Treasure Coast! Our immersive hands-on, feet-wet camps offer canoe excursions, boat trips, STEAM activities, scavenger hunts, island exploration, seine netting, field trips, nature hikes, crafts, touch tank, and more! Campers will explore ecosystems, habitats and how animals and plants uniquely adapt in order to thrive.

All camps are 5 days from 8:30AM to 3:00PM with after care offered on select days. Camps are for children entering grades 1-8. For more information and to register, visit DiscoverELC.org/summercamps or call us at 772-589-5050


Reflections of Nature

presented by Orchid Island Art Club

View paintings and photographs on exhibit until the end of May. All art is for sale with a portion of the proceeds donated to the ELC. Artists in the show are Diana Bickford, Muci Clemens, Cornelia Gundlach, Jackie Harding-Chernoff, Lou Lower, Nancy Ofstie, Ruth Martin, Reggie McCormack, Judy Stach, Ann Starkey, and Mary Stewart. 


Field Trips for All Ages!

Bring your group, neighborhood, book club, or family reunion to the ELC for a few hours or an all-day adventure.

Contact Bookings@DiscoverELC.org or call 772-589-5050

Little Wonders for

18 months to 4 years ~ FREE

Sign up for one of the FREE monthly classes and enjoy a nature learning experience with your toddler.

Learn more and register here

Lagoon Academy for Homeschoolers

Grades 6-12

Lagoon Academy focuses on specific science topics in four monthly sessions. Students explore different aspects of ELC’s island lagoon campus through environmental programming incorporating hands-on, science-based activities. 

Learn more and register here

Y-ELC Grades 6-12 ~ FREE

Youth Environmental Leaders Corps

April 7 from 3-5 PM ~ Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge Sea Turtle Seminar

April 14 from 3-5 PM ~ Kayaking the IRL and Campus Clean-up

Learn more and register here


Wild About Wellness

Saturday, April 6 from 8:30-11:00 AM ~ FREE

Join Travis Bass and Samantha Simigran of TBLB Fitness to energize and revitalize with a morning of wellness surrounded by nature. Get a Body Scan, Full Body Workout, and then relax with Yoga. Visit the Swag Bag Station and explore the ELC campus.

Reserve your spot here

Ethnobotany Walk

Friday, April 19 & Tuesday, April 30, 9:30-11:00 AM

Join our Native Plant Specialist, Marc Spiess, for a walking tour showcasing the diverse use of native and introduced plants, from culinary delights to medicinal wonders. Unearth the fascinating connections between people and plants.

Learn more and register here

Forest Therapy Walk

Friday, April 19 & Wednesday, April 24, from 2-4 PM

Join Senior Environmental Educator, Sara Piotter, as she leads you on a walk through campus. Immerse yourself in nature to boost your immune system, improve heart and lung health, and reduce stress and depression through the healing power of forest therapy.

Learn more and register here

Collaborative Wellness Series "Earth"

Monday, April 22 from 4-5PM ~ FREE

Celebrate with a walking meditation, grounding practice, and reflecting on your connection to the earth. We will explore grounding themes through this nature-inspired yoga practice and experience the stability and support the earth provides.

Reserve your spot here

Brown Bag Lunch & Learn Series ~

$10 Admission/Members are FREE

"Enchanting Encounters with Marine Mammals" with Shanen Cox

Thursday, May 2 at noon

Learn more and register here

"Manatees" with Sharon Tyson

Thursday, May 29 at Noon

Learn more and register here

Wellness Activities

Tai Chi ~ Mondays at 9:00 AM

Walking Meditation ~ Tuesdays at 1:00 PM

Chair Yoga ~ Wednesdays at 1:30 PM

Yoga ~ Fridays at 1:00 PM

Learn more and register here

Paddle Excursions

Experience an ELC guided paddle excursion in April.

Sunrise and Morning trips available.

Canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards are also available to rent seven days a week.

Learn more and register here

Volunteer Orientation

April 26

2-3PM ~ General Training

3-4PM ~ Touch Tank & Boat Guide Training

Share your time and knowledge as an ELC volunteer and join our caring network of nature enthusiasts! Learn about what we do and how you can make a difference with us. Call 772-589-5050 or Email Volunteer@DiscoverELC.org

Click here for printable Events & Programs calendar


Thomas R. Schidel’s Celebration of Life was held at the ELC's Education and Event Pavilion named in 2022 in his honor. He lived his life with gusto and his creative, industrious, genuine nature was evident as beloved family and friends shared stories during the gathering. He was a self-made business leader and family man who loved to travel, connect with people, and explore ecosystems. Mr. Schidel passed away on February 4 at the age of 96. He was an intelligent, caring, and generous person and all of us at the ELC were honored to know him. 

Thomas R. Schidel Celebrating Life!

Private boat trip for Schidel's family and friends

Mr. Schidel's

construction hat

Luau Luncheon

Family and Friend Tributes

The ELC campus was the host site for Envirothon 2024. Indian River Lagoon Council coordinated partners and volunteers and over 130 middle and high school students for the competition. It was great to witness students being earth scientists and productive teammates, and equally great to see all the professionals supporting the next generation of change-makers. Congratulations to Heather Stapleton and IRL National Estuary Program for the successful event and best wishes to the students chosen to compete at the state-level competition.


Little Wonders Program

Free Toddler Nature Class

Y-ELC field trip to McLarty Museum

ELC hosted IRL National Scenic Byway meeting

Teddy Roosevelt greeting guests at the PICS Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge 121st Anniversary at ELC

Unstructured outdoor play at Imagination Station

Summer Volunteers Needed

Looking for a rewarding way to share your time and knowledge? Volunteer with the ELC and be part of our caring network of nature enthusiasts. Let us know if you are interested in Touch Tank, Pontoon Boat Guide, Summer Camps, Plant Care, Hospitality and Outreach.

Fill Out A Volunteer Form

Admission is FREE for Members

$10 adults 12 and up

$5 children 2-11

Children under age 2 FREE

Business Hours

Monday - Friday 8 AM-5 PM

Saturday and Sunday 8 AM-4 PM

ELC is seeking unpaid high school internships. Click here for more information.

We are Hiring! Click here for more information.


We Appreciate ELC's Funding Partners!

Donate to Support the ELC Mission 

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Environmental Learning Center

255 Live Oak Drive, Vero Beach, Florida 32963

DiscoverELC.org 772-589-5050