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LEC plans nature hikes, programs

Posted On: December 28, 2018

Discover Volusia County’s native plants and wildlife during outdoor hikes and indoor programs 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.            

January’s programs include:

Tiny trekkers: 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 5. Children ages 2 to 5 can take a short hike, make a take-home craft, and listen to the book “Who Has These Feet?”

Popcorn and a movie: 3 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5. Bring the family and watch “Snowbound: Animals of Winter.” Free popcorn will be served. Snacks and beverages will be available for purchase.

Ice, ice, baby: 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6. Kids and adults can learn about glaciers and conduct experiments using ice.

View the night sky: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10. Take a look at winter’s celestial objects, which include Orion the Hunter, Taurus the Bull and the brightest star, Sirius. The moon will be in the best phase for telescopic viewing, and Mars will be glowing red above the moon. Seth Mayo, curator of astronomy at the Museum of Arts & Sciences, will join LEC staff and volunteers in handling the telescopes and answering questions. This program is limited to 25 participants.

“In search of green” hike: 9 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 12. Hunt for pine needles, moss and other plant life during this guided hike through Lyonia Preserve.

Who flies there? 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12. Learn about migrating birds, what they eat, and how to identify them. Afterward, participants will create a bird treat to take home. 

Caw vs. croak: 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13. Ravens, crows and magpies are some of the most intelligent animals in the world; they can solve complex puzzles, use tools and even hold “funerals” for each other. LEC staff will share interesting facts and explain how to tell the difference between these clever corvids. Participants can make a take-home crow craft following the classroom presentation.

Winter wonders scrub hike: 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 19. Look for animals and tracks during this  exploratory hike into Lyonia Preserve.

What’s on the menu? 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19. Learn about the eating habits of the LEC’s resident animal ambassadors. Staff will explain how they eat, what they eat, and how they avoid being eaten. Afterward, staff will conduct a live feeding demonstration.  

Nature movie: 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20. Children and adults can watch “Magic of the Snowy Owl.” Free popcorn will be served. Snacks and beverages will be available for purchase.

Critter corner: 11 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 24. Children ages 2 to 8 can learn about alligators, why they shed their skin, and how they differ from crocodiles.  

Jay walking: 9:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 26. Meet in the LEC classroom to learn about the threatened Florida scrub jay and their calls. Afterward, participants will stroll through Lyonia Preserve, immerse themselves in the scrub habitat, and look for scrub jays. Bring binoculars and a camera if you have them.

Scales and tales: 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26. Learn the differences between venomous and non-venomous reptiles, various species of snakes, and other reptiles that live in Central Florida. Afterward, animal care volunteers will introduce the center’s reptile animal ambassadors.

Critter corner: 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27. Meet the LEC’s resident animal ambassadors. Staff will handle the animals and answer questions.

Scrub strolls: 9 to 10 a.m. every Monday and Friday in January except Jan. 21. 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. It’s part of the Deltona Regional Library complex at 2150 Eustace Ave., Deltona. 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.