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LEC plans nature hikes, programs

Posted On: July 9, 2018

Discover Volusia County’s native plants and wildlife during indoor programs and outdoor hikes at Lyonia Environmental Center (LEC), 2150 Eustace Ave., Deltona.

The free programs will begin in the center’s classroom. Reservations are required; call 386-789-7207, ext. 21028.            

August’s programs include:

Tiny trekkers: 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 4. Children ages 2 to 5 can take a short hike, make a take-home craft, and listen to the book “Froggy Learns to Swim.”

Nature film: 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5. Using the latest in camera technology, bird trainers Lloyd and Rose Buck and their family of owls provide a rare opportunity to learn more about these unique birds. “Owl Power” gives viewers a look at owls – how they hunt, how their vision and hearing works, and how they fly so silently.

Critter corner: 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 11. Meet the LEC’s resident animal ambassadors. Staff will handle the animals and answer questions.

T-shirt to tote bag: 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12. Millions of plastic bags are used each year in the United States, and many end up in our landfills or waterways. Using reusable bags is one small thing we can all do to be more earth friendly. Do you have a T-shirt you don’t need, doesn’t fit or that you don’t like anymore? Bring it to the LEC where staff will guide you as you transform it into a fun, reusable tote bag.

Brunch and learn: 8 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 18. Learn about the importance of scrub habitat and keep an eye out for scrub jays, gopher tortoises and other wildlife during a stroll through Lyonia Preserve. Afterward, meet and learn about a native animal while enjoying brunch, which will be provided by the Friends of Lyonia Environmental Center.

Youth recycling 101: 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18. Children in grades 2-5 are invited to this classroom program on the basics of recycling. Amanda Kinzey, author of “Summer Cleanup,” will explain the differences between recyclables and trash items. She will also discuss recycling at home and in school and cover alternative uses for everyday items such as bags, water bottles and schools supplies. After her presentation, she will guide participants on how to repurpose a water bottle into a wind chime.   

Scrub jay scavenger hunt: 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19. Learn about the Florida scrub jay while searching for Simon, a cartoon scrub jay. Kids of all ages will enjoy this indoor scavenger hunt through Lyonia Environmental Center. LEC’s scrub jay mascot, Rusty, will be on site for photo opportunities.

Junior nature explorers: 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 25.  Children ages 5 to 8 will learn what is involved in taking care of some of the LEC’s resident animal ambassadors, including bearded dragons and a blue tongue skink. Staff will also discuss some of the ways people are working to make the world a better place for animals and wildlife. Afterward, participants will make “thank you” cards that will be delivered to wildlife rehabilitation facilities.

Attract pollinators to your yard: 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25. Dr. Katie Tripp, a supervisor with the Volusia Soil and Water Conservation District, will offer tips to attract birds and butterflies to your yard. Dr. Tripp is an avid organic gardener who is passionate about protecting pollinators and supporting efforts to promote locally sourced, sustainable food crops.

Dog day afternoon: 2:30 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26. Make artistic dog themed greeting cards using recycled materials in honor of National Dog Day. Participants may bring a photo of their favorite pooch and share why they are so special. The LEC will host a pet food drive August to help local animal shelters. Program participants who bring a dog food donation will receive a prize.

If you will be walking through Lyonia Preserve, wear closed-toe shoes, bring water and be prepared to hike on sugar-sand trails.

Lyonia Environmental Center offers insights into Volusia County’s fragile ecosystems through hands-on displays and educational programs. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.

Learn what’s happening at the LEC at www.lyoniapreserve.com.