Why Support Trout Lake Nature Center’s Capital Building Campaign?

 

Trout Lake Nature Center is a 230-acre environmental classroom for preschoolers, grade-schoolers and beyond,

providing a living, breathing Central Florida native habitat.

Lake County school students participate in a strategically designed program that incorporates state-of-the-art education theory, meeting and exceeding state standards, and continuously evolving to ensure excellence. Private-school students, home-schoolers, boy and girl scouts and others also receive ongoing, hands-on environmental education.

Nature Sprouts (pre-schoolers) have fun and receive an early introduction to the natural world here.

A sampling of the many thank-you notes we’ve received from this most important constituency:

“ . . . the funnest part was going to the museum. Another fun activity was seeing the water scorpions under the microscope.”

“The two museums were a blast. I can NOT believe I held a snake! The trail was awesome as well.”

“. . . I loved Stripes the snake . . he loved me too!”

“Science is my favorite subject and I love anhingas!”

“some of the butterflies I’d never seen so that was pretty cool.”

“The turtles were cool too!”

 

 

PROVIDING Continuing Education for Adults

Trout Lake Nature Center nurtures relationships between nature and adults, and introduces many new visitors to the wonders of our natural world. We provide a resource for nature enthusiasts, whether the focus be birds, mammals, native plants, reptiles or other species.

Monthly programs draw TLNC members, neighbors, newcomers and visitors to Central Florida from other regions. The programs cover topics ranging from gardening to attract butterflies; the plight of endangered and threatened species, most recently the Florida Panther and the Eastern Indigo snake; and threats to our environment caused by pollution and habitat destruction.

Teacher workshops advance environmental education for educators, providing strategies for introducing nature into classroom learning … thus allowing TLNC to reach many more people.

40-hour Florida Master Naturalist Programs provide training for those interested in learning more about Florida ecosystems. Other educational and entertaining social events, such as dawn and dusk visits to the waterfront – accompanied by accomplished birders — to witness water birds as they depart from, and return to, the nearby rookery nurture adults’ interest in the natural world.

And many come just to enjoy a peaceful walk along the trails, or to relax at the waterfront and watch shorebirds; some return to the museum and the library to assist with identification and learn more about the species they encountered.

 

“TLNC is a great, educational nature center that participates fully with local schools, has great displays of local wildlife, and is a wonderful, relaxing place to take a walk in the woods and down to the lake!”

CREATING a Welcoming Community Gathering Place

The Oklawaha Valley Chapter of the National Audubon Society meets here, as does the Florida Native Plant Society, scout troops, a group of racing pigeon enthusiasts and a weekly gathering of yoga enthusiasts. Lovers of folk music gather for potluck dinners and music fests. Many other organizations schedule meetings and programs, all of which introduce members of the community to a well-loved resource.

Local residents of all ages find respite in the trails traversing our 230 acres of upland and wetland habitat. Many bring out-of-state visitors to introduce them to the natural world, Central Florida style.

Seasonal events – many with themes celebrating Halloween, Christmas and other holidays – provide opportunities for families to learn and to enjoy exploring the outdoors together.

Our visitors often become friends, and our friends become volunteers. And our volunteers are the heart of TLNC, supporting TLNC’s extensive education programs, working to maintain and improve exhibits, assisting with programs, and maintaining the trails, boardwalks, deck and buildings.

Their commitment enables TLNC to operate on a shoe-string budget, with only two full-time paid employees.

We have been going there since we moved to the area 12 years ago and try to attend all of their fabulous activities.

We Need Your Support!!!

Our success has stretched our physical resources! With 11,700 visitors over the past year, 7,300 students participating in our education program, 26,400 contacts made through our outreach programs and growing demand, we are at a crossroads. We need to take extreme steps to accommodate our future — and our future generations. We need to ensure that we will be there for them.

Our board of directors, our volunteer leadership, asked the question: Do we allow our physical limitations to dictate our future, or do we choose to take bold steps to ensure that we continue to educate our children — and the adults who influence them — to value and preserve the natural world.

We chose the latter option, guided by the words of one elementary-school program participant:

“. . . can’t wait to come back one day,

and maybe one day take MY kids.”

Will you please join us?  Every dollar makes a difference.