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.

Reservations are required; call 386-789-7207, ext. #21028.   

Here’s July’s lineup:

Tiny trekkers: 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, July 1. Children ages 2 to 7 will listen to the book “If You Were a Penguin,” take a short hike and make a take-home craft.

Critter corner: 2:30 to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 1. Meet the center’s resident animal ambassadors and learn fun facts about them. Trained staff will handle the animals, and participants may ask questions. This program is designed for children and adults of all ages.

Clean waterways and you: 10 to 11 a.m. Sunday, July 2. Learn how you can help keep local waterways clean. Staff will discuss a variety of volunteer opportunities and actions you can do without leaving your house. Participants will receive a low flow showerhead.

Saltwater tank feeding: 2:30 to 3 p.m. Sunday, July 2. Join staff at the saltwater aquarium for a feeding demonstration of the center’s marine animal ambassadors. Menu items include krill, seaweed and shrimp. Discover which critters enjoy that menu, their unique eating methods and the important role each plays in the ecosystem.

Lyonia Photography Club: 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, July 8. Lyonia Preserve has unlimited opportunities for photographing birds, reptiles and plants. Join volunteers from West Volusia Audubon Society for this monthly program series, which includes in-class instruction and field opportunities to hone your skills. All skill levels are welcome.

Solar art: 2:30 to 3 p.m. Sunday, July 9. Families with kids of all ages can harness the sun to make a unique print with provided objects from nature.

Sidewalk chalk art: 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, July 15. Celebrate World Snake Day by drawing pictures of these important reptiles while cooling off with lemonade and cookies provided by the Friends of Lyonia Environmental Center. Afterward, participants can meet one of the center’s snake ambassadors. This program is recommended for all ages.

Summer Science Sunday: 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, July 16. Staff will conduct and guide participants through some fun science experiments during this interactive workshop. This program is recommended for ages 5 and older.

Backyard butterflies: 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, July 22. LEC staff will discuss the most common butterflies found in Volusia County and Lyonia Preserve, what their larvae look like, and what their host plants are. Afterward, the group will walk around the native plant garden to look for these pollinators in action.

Nature film: 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 22. Round out Shark Week by watching the PBS Nature film “Shark Mountain” in the LEC classroom. The film follows a team of expert and intrepid divers as they enter the ultimate domain of sharks. Popcorn will be provided by the Friends of Lyonia Environmental Center.

Sunday fun day: 2 to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, July 23. Children ages 5 and older and their families can celebrate National Moth Week by creating a take-home luna moth craft and learning fun facts about these insects.

Scrub jeopardy: 10:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, July 29. Join host “Smalex Fleabek” for this (not so) famous game show where children and adults ages 8 and up will challenge their knowledge of scrub habitat and its native plants, animals and birds. Individuals and teams welcome.

Nature film: 2 to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, July 30. The Floridan aquifer is the principal source of fresh water in central Florida. Explore the aquifer’s massive hidden underground rivers, caverns and waterways as you watch “Clear water, clean water?” The documentary includes discussions with farmers and researchers about a sustainable future. Participants will learn how we must all work together to keep the aquifer safe.

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 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Learn what’s happening at the LEC at www.lyoniapreserve.com.

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