What is there to do at the ELC?
First, take a look at the EcoVentures CALENDAR and THE ELC CAMPUS pages of this website. In addition to those:
- The ELC has an elevated boardwalk system meandering through a mangrove forest
- A Discovery Station with loads of touchable exhibits, aquariums with marine life, and a touch tank
- Native plant gardens (many plants are identified) and picnic pavilions.
- To have the best educational experience, be sure to purchase a field guide in the Entry Pavilion. This will guide you through the entire campus explaining what you will see along the way. Several guides are available based on the age range of your group.
- New to the ELC experience! An audio tour. Bring your cell phone. Call the designated phone number and you'll hear about what you are seeing. Thirteen stops on campus.
How long does a visit to the ELC take?
It depends on the person’s interests: 30 minutes to an 1 ½ hours.
What animals will I see?
We cannot guarantee any sightings in the wild, but you will see animals from the Indian River Lagoon in our Discovery Station (fish and crabs). Possible wild animal sightings might include: otters, gopher tortoise, crabs, birds, manatees, dolphin, opossum, raccoons, armadillo, butterflies, bats, fish, and bobcats.
How do I get there?
Click on the DIRECTIONS page of this website.
What is there to do for preschoolers?
Young Explorer’s Nature Hour is for organized preschool groups. Contact Rosemary Badger, Naturalist at the ELC, at 772-589-5050 or rosemary@DiscoverELC.org for information. Also, see the ECOVENTURES CALENDAR page of this website for programs that are offered periodically for preschool children.
Are there concession stands or snack machines?
No, so it is best to bring your own food and drinks. Water fountains are available. Please remember to be a good conservationist by using reusable containers and always recycle. Look for our RRR Corral (reduce, reuse, recycle) located by Mardie’s Hut to recycle your items.
Does the ELC offer group tours for adults?
Yes, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Nancy Puglio, at 772-589-5050 or Nancy@DiscoverELC.org to arrange for a Nature Guide and/or to let us know how many visitors to expect.
May a teacher bring his/her class to the ELC to participate in our education programs?
Yes, but our formal education programs fill up very quickly. We suggest that the teacher contact our Education Coordinator, Heather Stapleton, at 772-589-5050 or Heather@DiscoverELC.org for more information.
What kind of things are in your gift shop?
Adult and children’s gifts are available. Everything from books, cookbooks, and field guides, to hostess gifts, hats and solar lights.
Do I need to make reservations for a field excursion?
Yes, and most will require payment at the time of reservation. Please visit the ECOVENTURES CALENDAR page of this website for a complete schedule. Call 772-589-5050 to make a reservation.
I have a young child. May he/she attend a field excursion?
Give us a call at 772-589-5050 to find out the age requirements for our excursions and other programs.
May I use my own kayak on the kayaking trips?
Yes, let us know you are bringing your own when you call to reserve and you will receive a discounted rate.
Where can I rent a kayak?
Please see the phone book for an outfitter near you. We do not rent kayaks or canoes.
Are there any other places that have kayak excursions?
Please see the phone book for an outfitter near you.
Do you have boating excursions?
Yes, see the ECOVENTURES CALENDAR page of our website for our schedule of field excursions.
Are there any other places that have boating excursions?
Please see the phone book for an outfitter near you.
Do you accept youth volunteers?
Yes depending on the time of year and the specific projects available. Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Nancy Puglio, at 589-5050 ext. 107 or Nancy@DiscoverELC.org
Do you allow dogs at the ELC?
As much as we’d like to say yes, we have experienced difficulties with dogs. Some visitors are afraid of them. Some dogs will harass the wild animals sometimes found on campus. Some dog’s owners do not leash or pick up after their dog. Therefore, we ask that you keep your dog at home during your visit to the ELC.
Is there someone at the ELC who can identify a live/dead animal?
Unfortunately, our education staff members are busy teaching programs most of their day. You are welcome to visit our resource library in the Administrative Office open Tuesday-Friday 9am-5pm. Please do not bring in live or dead animals. The best thing to do is take a photograph.
May I donate a live/dead specimen to the ELC?
There are strict federal and state rules regarding the collection of animals, whether alive or deceased. It is best to call the US Fish & Wildlife at 772-778-5094 to ask for their advice.
Where do I take sick or injured animals?
Treasure Coast Wildlife at 772-286-6200 or www.tcwh.org
Busch Wildlife Sanctuary at 561-575-3399 or www.buschwildlife.com
Florida Wildlife Hospital 4560 North US 1 in Melbourne at 321-254-8843
Arnold’s Wildlife Rehab Center in Okeechobee at 863-763-4630
For marine wildlife – Florida Marine Patrol at 1-800-342-5367
Who do I report a dead manatee, dolphin, or sea turtle to?
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-888-404-3922
For animal control questions such as: What do I do if there is a gopher tortoise digging up my backyard? How do I get rid of raccoons?
Call Animal Control for Indian River County at 772-567-8000 ext. 446
Animal Control for Vero Beach at 772-978-4600
Florida Fish & Wildlife at 772-778-5094
Where should I go to view manatees?
Indian River County
The Vero Beach Municipal Power Plan on Indian River Boulevard just north of 17th Street
The C-54 spill way at the St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park (phone: 321-954-5300) in the northwest part of the county
Round Island Park West at the south county line off A-1-A
St. Lucie County
The Manatee Observation & Education Center in Fort Pierce (phone: 772-460-6445) or www.manateecenter.com
Goode Park on Turkey Creek in Palm Bay (Phone: 321-952-3446)
Where should I go to view sea turtles nesting?
See our ECOVENTURES CALENDAR page during the months of June and July. You may also call the Sebastian Inlet at 321-724-5424 or the Sea Turtle Preservation Society in Melbourne Beach at 321-676-1701.