New osprey platforms installed on ELC’s campus

news release

The Environmental Learning Center (ELC) had several osprey nest on the platforms on campus which our members, staff, volunteers and guests took delight in watching. After season, the platforms started falling apart.

new osprey platform photo taken by Ray Weatherdon

Teamwork between the ELC, Florida Aquatic Preserves, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Friends of the Spoil Islands, Florida Fish and Wildlife, volunteers and a generous donor resulted in a new home for the ospreys.

The project had to be reschedule many times due to rain, flooding and high winds (not to mention the difficulty of scheduling this many busy people) and the team is excited to finally have these two platform rebuilds completed.

The ELC’s fearless facilities manager, Ray Weatherdon, worked diligently with his team of community partners that were steadying the ladder and assisting from below while he secured the platform. A few osprey were even flying around and checking it out while the team was working. Ray said, “A lot of time and hard work went into the installation of these new osprey platforms. I find it rewarding to see the ospreys use them already.”

Helen and Keith Drewett graciously donated the money for the osprey platform materials. Helen said, “Keith and I have observed these remarkable birds from our boat as we pass their nests on the marker buoys. We are delighted to be able to bring this fascinating experience to ELC visitors.”

The completed work was gratifying for all, and the platforms are ready in time for the upcoming nesting season. Now the platforms with perches will invite our osprey families for seasons to come. A special thanks to all who donated their time, talent and treasure to come together.

Now on the radar for the ELC is an osprey camera to monitor the nest live at all times. Please email if interested in learning more about the osprey camera project or would like to support it in any way. The Environmental Learning Center is a 64-acre 501(c)(3) not-for-profit environmental education and nature center. Our mission is to educate, inspire and empower all people to be active stewards of the environment and their own well-being. The ELC is located in Vero Beach at the western base of the Wabasso Bridge and is open seven days a week to serve the community through field trips, camps, year-round programs for youth and adults, nature art displays and more. ELC’s campus includes a 1,500 gallon aquarium and touch tank, butterfly garden, native plant garden, children’s play areas, miles of boardwalks & trails, as well as watersports and pontoon boat eco-ventures that help increase access to nature for people of all ages

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