Coronavirus Worries? Free Nature Rx at the ELC!


The Environment Learning Center (ELC) is turning a challenging moment into a positive movement!

Across the county, events are being canceled with stunning rapidity. Disney and other tourist attractions are shutting down. Concern is growing, and people are avoiding contact with each other. Before long, we may be fighting cabin fever along with the coronavirus.

The climate is right for discovering the healing benefits of nature. Scientific evidence confirms that nature immersion, even for 30 minutes at a time, significantly reduces stress and anxiety, improves mood and boosts the immune system, while lending perspective and clarifying values.

Beginning Monday, March 16, the ELC will be giving the community the gift of the great outdoors! Walking in the sunlight, breathing deeply of the fresh air, under the magnificent open sky, in the company of the abundant native flora and fauna on our 64 acre lagoon island campus – what better antidote to the coronavirus blues?

We want to share this simple prescription, free of charge, so that each of you has a safe place to de-stress and restore balance during this unsettling time.

Our gates will be open to welcome visitors during daylight hours, seven days a week. It will be business as usual this weekend through 3/15 but starting Monday, all buildings will be closed including the entry pavilion, nature nook, discovery station, and our programs, events and tours will be suspended until it has been determined that it is safe for us to re-open and resume services for the public. The property will be monitored randomly (though we will not be interacting with guests other than a friendly hello and wave from afar). We will provide updates periodically via email, social media and our website. Refunds will be issued for any pre-paid programs or tours. We will not be conducting Spring Break camps.

Let us use this time of physical isolation to keep everyone safe, while maintaining contact and providing support in the many other ways available to us (phone text, email and in spirit).

We can use these weeks as an opportunity to slow down and focus on what really matters in our daily lives, the health and well-being of individuals and the planet.  While there will certainly be challenges in the near future, we have choices every moment how to react to these challenges. Let us respond with love and compassion, patience and forgiveness, open and upbeat attitudes. We will get through this trial, and when we come out on the other side wouldn’t it be nice to be even more connected than we were before being presented this obstacle? We each have gifts to provide the world. What gifts can you share with the community? Be safe, be well, be connected, and part of the solution!

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