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LEC plans nature hikes, programs

Posted On: November 19, 2019

LEC plans nature hikes, programs

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.   

December’s programs include:

Baby, it’s cold outside: 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1. Make a sweater themed tree decoration and gift tags. Wear your favorite tacky holiday sweater to be entered into a prize drawing. The Friends of Lyonia Environmental Center will play holiday tunes and serve non-alcoholic cider.

Spring vegetable gardening: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 7. Joe Sewards, urban horticulture agent and master gardener coordinator for the University of Florida/Volusia County Extension, will explain how to grow vegetables using hydroponics and containers. This “Nature of Things” program is appropriate for adults and teens.

Tiny trekkers: 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. Children ages 2 to 5 can take a short hike, make a take-home craft, and listen to the book “Sleep Black Bear, Sleep.”

Popcorn and a movie: 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. Bring the family to watch “Christmas in Yellowstone,” which focuses on the park’s animals as they make their way through the most challenging season of the year. Free popcorn will be served, and drinks will be available for purchase.

Sunset over Lyonia hike: 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12. Hike into the preserve to enjoy a picture-perfect sunset.   

Brunch and learn: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. Learn about the importance of scrub habitat while strolling through the diverse landscape of Lyonia Preserve. Keep an eye out for scrub jays, gopher tortoises and other wildlife. After the hike, learn about a native animal while enjoying the brunch provided by the Friends of Lyonia Environmental Center.

Homemade for the holidays: 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. Children can craft seasonal creations perfect for gift giving. The Friends of Lyonia Environmental Center will serve hot chocolate, coffee and popcorn.

“Frosty fun” upcycled ornaments: 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15. Create a snowman ornament from upcycled materials. Sip hot cocoa and play snowman bingo.

Critter corner: 11 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 19. Why do snakes shed their skin? How can you tell the difference between alligators and crocodiles? An animal care volunteer will provide the answers to these questions and share facts about the center’s resident animals. This program is recommended for all ages.

Tiny trekkers: 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 21. Children ages 2 to 5 can take a short hike, make a take-home craft, and listen to the book “Grumpy Badger’s Christmas.”

Popcorn and a movie: 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21. Enjoy “The Polar Express,” which follows a doubting young boy as he takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole. Free popcorn will be served, and drinks will be available for purchase.

All about mistletoe: 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22. Many ancient cultures valued mistletoe for its healing properties. Today, kissing under the mistletoe is a popular holiday tradition. Join LEC education staff to learn more about this hemi-parasitic plant and its uses throughout history. Create a mistletoe inspired greeting card to give to someone special.

Jay walking: 9:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 28. This program spotlights the threatened Florida scrub jay. Learn their calls and interesting facts about their lifestyle, then take a guided stroll into Lyonia Preserve to immerse yourself into their habitat and look for the charismatic birds. Bring binoculars and a camera if you have them.

Winter by the wetland hike: 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28. Join this hike into Lyonia Preserve’s large ephemeral wetland, learn about the plant and animal species that are dependent on it, and look for signs of winter. Plan on hiking through tall grasses.

Wind down winter hike: 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 29. Let the sounds of nature calm your spirit during this 1.5-mile hike through Lyonia Preserve.

Scrub strolls: 9 to 10 a.m. every Monday and Friday in December. 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.

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

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