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LEC plans nature hikes, programs

Posted On: November 8, 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 kids’ holiday countdown, the programs are free.

December’s programs include:

Tiny trekkers: 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. Children ages 2 to 5 can take a short hike, make a take-home craft, and listen to the book “It’s Winter.”

Popcorn and a movie: 3 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. Watch the PBS documentary “Christmas in Yellowstone,” which shows how the national park’s animals make their way through the most challenging season of the year. Free popcorn will be served. Drinks and snacks will be available for purchase.

Holiday tunes and lanterns: 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2. Make a paper lantern out of household and upcycled items. The Friends of Lyonia Environmental Center will play holiday tunes and serve non-alcoholic cider.

Homemade holidays: 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. Make several unique gift tags and other upcycled homemade treasures.

Wind-down winter hike: 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. De-stress and enjoy nature during this guided hike of Lyonia Preserve.

Reindeer rendezvous: 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9. Families can create rustic reindeers from upcycled items and materials found in nature. The Friends of Lyonia Environmental Center will play holiday tunes and serve non-alcoholic cider.

Sunset over Lyonia hike: 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13. Enjoy a late-autumn sunset during this guided hike of Lyonia Preserve. Bring a flashlight.

Brunch and learn: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. Learn about the importance of scrub habitat while strolling through Lyonia Preserve and looking for scrub jays, gopher tortoises and other wildlife. Afterward, the group will meet and learn about a native animal while enjoying brunch, which will be provided.

Sea, touch and explore: 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. LEC staff and volunteers will share fun facts about sea stars, sea urchins and sea cucumbers. Afterward, participants can meet the center’s saltwater animal ambassadors.

Florida wonderland hike: 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16. Join staff on a 1.5-mile guided hike to look for Florida scrub jays and learn how scrub habitat benefits the wildlife that live there.

Critter corner: 11 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 20. Meet the LEC’s resident animal ambassadors. Staff will handle the animals and answer questions.

A reptile’s winter: 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 22. Learn what turtles, lizards, alligators and other native reptiles do to survive the colder months. Participants will meet the center’s reptilian animal ambassadors.

Popcorn and a movie: 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. Watch “Polar Express,” a modern-day classic about a boy who takes a train ride to the North Pole. Free popcorn and hot cocoa will be served. Drinks and snacks will be available for purchase.

Kids’ holiday countdown: 1 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 23. Parents can leave their children ages 5 to 12 at the LEC so they can do some last-minute shopping. The children will enjoy live animal encounters, games, popcorn and a movie. The cost is $10 for the first child and $5 for each additional child. Space is limited, and advance registration is required.

Jay walking: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 29. 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.

What’s on the menu? 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29. Meet the center’s animal ambassadors and learn how, who and what they eat, and how they avoid being eaten. The presentation will be followed by a live feeding demonstration.

Sunday “shell-abration”: 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 30. Learn how to identify some of the shells found on Volusia County’s beaches and uncover information about the mollusks that live in them.

Scrub strolls: 9 to 10 a.m. every Monday and Friday except Dec. 24 and 31. 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.