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LEC plans nature hikes, programs

Posted On: October 10, 2018

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

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

With the exception of the pumpkin planter craft, all programs are free.  

November’s programs include:

Tiny trekkers: 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 3. Children ages 2 to 5 can take a short hike, make a take-home craft, and listen to the book “I’m a Turkey!”

“A walk through time” hike: 2:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3. Learn about Lyonia Preserve’s history during a two-mile guided hike. Participants will walk on unpaved sugar sand trails and visit the preserve’s large wetland.

Popcorn and a movie: 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4. Watch sharks hunt along the volcanic reefs of Cocos Island in the documentary “Shark Mountain.” Free popcorn will be served. Drinks and snacks will be available for purchase.

Super sharks: 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4. Learn about the importance of sharks and how we can help protect these fierce apex predators of the sea. Afterwards, participants will take part in hands-on activities and make a craft. Bring a camera to capture some fun photos in the shark photo booth. This program is appropriate for ages 6 to adult.

When it rains, it stores: 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 10. LEC staff will describe various methods of rainwater storage, such as rain barrels, rain gardens and cisterns. Participants will learn how to size their systems to meet their needs, what they’ll need to get started, and ways the water can be used.

Miniature pumpkin planters: 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10. Using cuttings and other natural materials, LEC staff will guide participants through the steps to create a succulent garden on top of a miniature pumpkin. Staff will also explain how the succulents take on a life of their own and how to keep the garden thriving after the holiday season ends. The fee is $5 per pumpkin.

Turkey talk: 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11. Did you know turkeys can swim and their calls can be heard from a mile away? Learn more about local turkeys during a classroom presentation by naturalist Ed Northey.  Participants can make a Thanksgiving card using recycled materials.

Critter corner: 11 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 15. Meet the LEC’s resident animal ambassadors. Staff will handle the animals and answer questions.

“Sunset over Lyonia” hike: 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15. Take a guided hike into Lyonia Preserve, where you can enjoy an autumn sunset.  Bring a flashlight.

Brunch and learn: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17. Learn about the importance of scrub habitat and keep an eye out for scrub jays, gopher tortoises and other wildlife during an eco-buggy ride 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.

Fall upcycled creations: 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17. Create several unique take-home crafts using recycled and reused items.

Nature film: 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18. Watch “Life,” a documentary that presents incredible stories from the natural world. Free popcorn will be served. Drinks and snacks will be available for purchase.

Jay walking: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 24. Learn about Florida scrub jays and practice their calls in the LEC classroom. Afterward, the group will walk through Lyonia Preserve to look for the charismatic birds. Bring binoculars and a camera if you have them.

Creature feature: 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24. An animal care volunteer will describe the lifestyles of sea urchins, sea stars and sea cucumbers.

The missing piece: 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25.  Learn how to upcycle old jigsaw puzzle pieces into holiday ornaments.

Scrub strolls: 9 to 10 a.m. every Monday and Friday except Nov. 23. Environmental specialists lead these exploratory hikes through Lyonia Preserve.

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.