Elkhart Environmental Center

Elkhart Environmental
Center

The Elkhart Environmental Center has been opened to
the public since 1992! This environmental
education facility offers environmental educational
programs, events, and volunteer opportunities for all
citizens as well as a lovely natural area to visit. The EEC has multiple outdoor settings including hiking trails, a boat launch, a variety of ecosystems (such as wetlands, prairies, and forest areas), the Learning Garden, Reflection Grove, boat launch, and more!

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574-293-5070

EEC Visitor's Cabin

 

Staff Hours: Monday – Friday 8 AM – 5 PM

Trail/Grounds Hours: Open Dawn – Dusk everyday

Elkhart Environmental 
Center

The Elkhart Environmental Center has been opened to the public since 1992! This environmental education facility offers environmental educational
programs, events, and volunteer opportunities for all citizens as well as a lovely natural area to visit. The EEC has multiple outdoor settings including hiking trails, a boat launch, a variety of ecosystems (such as wetlands, prairies, and forest areas), the Learning Garden, Reflection Grove, boat launch, and more!

1717 E. Lusher Ave. Elkhart, IN 46516

(574) 293-5070

EECmail@coei..org

 

Resources

EEC Programs & Events Calendar

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Special Events

 

EnviroFest

Third Saturday of August

EnviroFest

The EEC’s biggest event of the year! Celebrating the 25th Annual EnviroFest in 2022! Past events have include food vendors, booths, raffle & silent auction, live music, kids’ area and entertainment, beer & wine garden, and more!

Details for 2022 coming soon!

VIEW MORE

Earth Day

Last Saturday of April

Earth Day

Free, family-friendly event celebrating our natural, local environment. Includes engaging, environmental educational activities for the whole family and provides free trees for citizens to plant at home and increase our urban canopy.

VIEW MORE

Volunteer Appreciation

Volunteer Appreciation

Our favorite event of the year: celebrating our volunteers and all they’ve done to help us have another successful year serving and educating the community. Stay tuned for details or email EECmail@coei.org to be added to our volunteer email list!

Waggin' in the Woods

Our new annual family- and pet-friendly event! Our first Waggin’ in the Woods event took place in 2021 and saw over 260 visitors!

This event will take place in September. More details can be found on our Facebook event page and updates will be posted as they come in.

VIEW MORE

Upcoming Programs & Events

EnviroFest Planning

First Monday of the Month (January - August)

EnviroFest Planning

  • Help us make the 25th EnviroFest the best one yet! We’re looking for ideas of what YOU’D like to see at the event.
  • Open to the public–join us for free snacks and bring your ideas for a fun event! New-comers welcome!
  • For more info, email EECmail@coei.org. Virtual option available.

Earth Month Programs

Throughout April

Earth Month Programs

Celebrate Earth Day all month long wtih:

  • Earth Day Trivia Night April 5
  • National Walking Day April 6
  • Natural Egg Dyeing April 9
  • Environmetnal Book Exchange April 23

Check out our Earth Day page for details.

Nature Play Days

June & July

Nature Play Days

Bring the kids out to the EEC this summer for a whole season of fun nature play! Beginning June 21st, we will be hosting a play day once a week to encourage kids to get outside and spend time in nature. Activities will be mostly self-guided but staff will be available to answer questions and assist with guided activities and crafts. Each play day will be from 10:00 AM until 11:30 AM on the following dates:

Tuesday, June 21st

Tuesday, June 28th

Tuesday, July 5th

Tuesday, July 12th

Thursday, July 21st

Thursday, July 28th

These family-friendly play days are FREE to attend, but please register in advance to let us know you will be attending! Registration can be completed HERE

Recommended for ages 2 – 12

Plastic Free July Party

July 9th: 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Plastic Free July Party

Visit the EEC on Saturday, July 9th to celebrate Plastic Free July! Learn how to reduce your plastic use, discover alternatives to single-use plastics, participate in kids’ activities, and make an upcycled t-shirt tote bag! Bring a blanket and plastic-free picnic lunch to enjoy onsite after you explore the different stations and activities.

The cost of this program is $1 per person. Please register HERE

Bat House Workshop & Hike

July 15th: 7:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Bat House Workshop & Hike

Come out to the EEC on Friday, July 15th for a family-friendly evening of bat appreciation! Build your very own bat house to install at home, learn about the bats that live in our area and the benefits they provide, and take part in a twilight hike around our site to look for these amazing flying creatures.

The cost of each bat house kit is $5; limit of one kit per group/family please. When registering, please be sure to reserve a kit and indicate the number of people in your group by selecting one ticket per person. Supplies are limited, so reserve your spot now!

***As of 6/10/2022, this program has sold out***

EEC Open House

July 23rd: 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

EEC Open House

Curious about what the EEC has to offer? Want to explore our trails and get up close and personal with the nature at our site? Come to our Open House event on July 23rd! Visitors will be able to tour our Cabin and trails, engage in some fun activities, and offer suggestions about what programs they would like to see offered to the public.

This event is free and open to the public. Please register in advance HERE

River Clean Up

September

River Clean Up

If you would like to receive email updates about our River Clean Up events, please email EECmail@coei.org.
What is a River Clean Up
How Can I Become Involved?

Volunteer Opportunities

We offer a variety of volunteer opportunities that are suitable for businesses, organizations, groups, and individuals. As part of our environmental education goals, all of our volunteer opportunities are also offered with optional training — interested in learning about a plant or tree ID, environmental management, event planning, or more? Volunteer!

Looking for something specific? Click on our categories to find what you’re looking for, or call (574) 293-5070 or email EECmail@coei.org with any questions.

You can also find details about and sign up for upcoming volunteer opportunities on our SignUp page.

All volunteers are required to fill out and return a volunteer waiver. Copies are available online here or in the Visitor’s Cabin. Waivers for volunteers under the age of 18 must be signed by a parent/guardian. Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian while volunteering.

Volunteer Opportunities

We offer a variety of volunteer opportunities that are suitable for businesses, organizations, groups, and individuals. As part of our environmental education goals, all of our volunteer opportunities are also offered with optional training — interested in learning about a plant or tree ID, environmental management, event planning, or more? Volunteer!

Looking for something specific? Click on our categories to find what you’re looking for, or call (574) 293-5070 or email EECmail@coei.org with any questions.

You can also find details about and sign up for upcoming volunteer opportunities on our SignUp page.

All volunteers are required to fill out and return a volunteer waiver. Copies are available online or in the Visitor’s Cabin. Waivers for volunteers under the age of 18 must be signed by a parent/guardian. Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian while volunteering.

Adopt-A-Garden

Adopt-A-Garden

Garden adopters help take care of our various gardens onsite. A great activity for individuals AND groups!
Learn More

Adopt-A-Plot

Adopt-A-Plot

Adopt a plot in our Learning Garden to grow your own fruits, vegetables, flowers! Seeds are available upon request.
Learn More

Adopt-A-Trail

Adopt-A-Trail

Love walking our trails? Adopt one! Help us keep trails in good condition for visitors and wildlife. Great for groups and individuals!

Learn More

Quilt Garden

Quilt Garden

Summer (End of May – Mid September)

Help plant and maintain our lovely Quilt Garden once a week. Schedules are flexible, tools provided during staff hours (M – F 8 AM – 5 PM). Interested in learning more? Contact EEC staff at EECmail@coei.org.

EnviroFest Committee Meeting

EnviroFest Committee Meeting

UPDATE: Meetings are held at the EEC
This is our biggest event of the year AND the biggest EnviroFest yet: help us plan our 25th EnviroFest for 2022! 
Help develop: the Raffle & Silent Auction, the theme and entertainment for the Kids’ Area, educational speakers, zero waste initiatives, and more. Join us for snacks and a monthly meeting on how to make this community event the best it has ever been!
Email EECmail@coei.org for more info.

Dates & Times:

  • 1st Monday of the month (January – August) at 6 PM

Specialty Projects

Specialty Projects

Special legacy projects are great for volunteers or volunteer groups that have the skills/experience to make them happen! If you have ideas a project, we would love to hear from you! Please contact us at EECmail@coei.org or call (574) 293-5070 or stop by and visit us!

Company Volunteer Day/Project
Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts Project
Special Recognition

Anytime

Anytime

If you are interested in bringing a group out to the EEC for a volunteer day, we are happy to schedule this outside of our regular business hours (M-F 8 AM – 5 PM). Please contact EEC staff at EECmail@coei.org or (574) 293-5070.

Learning Garden

Invasive Species Removal

Trail Management

Home/Government/Elkhart Environmental Center

Education

Field Trips

Field Trips

The Elkhart Environmental Center (EEC) offers a variety of environmental education programming and placed-based learning throughout the year. If you are looking for something specific, we do offer a boutique experience and are happy to cater our programming to your needs. Please contact staff for more information at 574-293-5070 or EECmail@coei.org.

Presentations

Presentations

The Elkhart Environmental Center hosts presentations and speakers throughout the year. If you are interested in presenting a program, we also serve as a host site. Contact EEC staff at 574-293-5070 or EECmail@coei.org.

Stay tuned for updates on any upcoming presentations.

Classroom

Classroom

The EEC offers a variety of environmental education programming–both here at the EEC and wherever we’re needed! Interested in having EEC staff bring an environmental program into your classroom? Contact staff at 574-293-5070 or EECmail@coei.org

Environmental Moment

Environmental Moment

The EEC, sponsored by Borden Waste-Away, presented weekly environmental moment segments on Froggy 102.7. Each segment focused on a single environmental/sustainable topic. Further information and resources about these topics will be returning to our website shortly. If you have any question, please contact EEC staff at 574-293-5070 or EECmail@coei.org.

ElkhartWood

ElkhartWood

What is ElkhartWood?

How can I become involved?

What’s Available?

Why Choose ElkhartWood?

Adopt-A-Garden

Adopt-A-Garden

Garden adopters help take care of our various gardens onsite. A great activity for individuals AND groups!
Learn More

Adopt-A-Plot

Adopt-A-Plot

Adopt a plot in our Learning Garden to grow your own fruits, vegetables, flowers! Seeds are available upon request.
Learn More

Adopt-A-Trail

Adopt-A-Trail

Love walking our trails? Adopt one! Help us keep trails in good condition for visitors and wildlife. Great for groups and individuals!
Learn More

Quilt Garden

Quilt Garden

Summer (End of May – Mid September)

Help plant and maintain our lovely Quilt Garden once a week. Schedules are flexible, tools provided during staff hours (M – F 8 AM – 5 PM). Interested in learning more? Contact EEC staff at EECmail@coei.org.

EnviroFest Committee Meeting

EnviroFest Committee Meeting

UPDATE: Meetings are held at the EEC
This is our biggest event of the year AND the biggest EnviroFest yet: help us plan our 25th EnviroFest for 2022! The goal of EnviroFest is to engage and educate the community on environmental and sustainable initiatives and we want this event to go above and beyond for the 25th anniversary.
Help develop the Raffle & Silent Auction, the theme and entertainment for the Kids’ Area, educational speakers, zero waste initiatives, and more. Join us for snacks and a monthly meeting on how to make this community event the best it has ever been!
Contact EEC staff at EECmail@coei.org for questions.

Dates & Times:

  • 1st Monday of the month (December – August) at 6 PM

Specialty Projects

Specialty Projects

Special legacy projects are great for volunteers or volunteer groups that have the skills/experience to make them happen! If you have ideas a project, we would love to hear from you! Please contact us at EECmail@coei.org or call (574) 293-5070 or stop by and visit us!

Company Volunteer Day/Project
Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts Project
Special Recognition

Anytime

Anytime

If you are interested in bringing a group out to the EEC for a volunteer day, we are happy to schedule this outside of our regular business hours (M-F 8 AM – 5 PM). Please contact EEC staff at EECmail@coei.org or (574) 293-5070.

Learning Garden

Invasive Species Removal

Trail Management

Home/Government/Elkhart Environmental Center

Education

Field Trips

Field Trips

The Elkhart Environmental Center (EEC) offers a variety of environmental education programming and placed-based learning throughout the year. If you are looking for something specific, we do offer a boutique experience and are happy to cater our programming to your needs. Please contact staff for more information at 574-293-5070 or EECmail@coei.org.

Presentations

Presentations

The Elkhart Environmental Center hosts presentations and speakers throughout the year. If you are interested in presenting a program, we also serve as a host site. Contact EEC staff at 574-293-5070 or EECmail@coei.org.

Stay tuned for updates on any upcoming presentations.

Classroom

Classroom

The EEC offers a variety of environmental education programming–both here at the EEC and wherever we’re needed! Interested in having EEC staff bring an environmental program into your classroom? Contact staff at 574-293-5070 or EECmail@coei.org

Environmental Moment

Environmental Moment

The EEC, sponsored by Borden Waste-Away, presented weekly environmental moment segments on Froggy 102.7. Each segment focused on a single environmental/sustainable topic. Further information and resources about these topics will be returning to our website shortly. If you have any question, please contact EEC staff at 574-293-5070 or EECmail@coei.org.

ElkhartWood

ElkhartWood

What is ElkhartWood?

How can I become involved?

What’s Available?

Why Choose ElkhartWood?