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 are up on the website!

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.

Christmas Lights Recycling

November 18th - January 31st

Christmas Lights Recycling

We are excited to share that we are once again partnering with Schupan to recycle unwanted or broken holiday lights this season! 
 
If you have lights, scrap wire, or extension cords to recycle, simply drop them in the collection bin outside of our Visitor’s Cabin (located at 1717 E Lusher Ave in Elkhart) by the end of January – it’s that easy!
 
Thank you for helping us recycle this holiday season!

Winter Birding

Saturday, December 10th: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Winter Birding

Come out to the EEC on Saturday, December 10th from 10 AM – 12 PM for our Winter Birding program! The morning will kick off with a birding hike around the EEC to look for feathered friends that stick around our area in winter. Afterwards, attendees can warm up with hot chocolate inside the Visitor’s Cabin while learning about winter adaptations in birds and making bird-friendly edible ornaments!

Tickets for this program are $1 per person. Pre-registration is required and limited. Get tickets HERE

Nature Story Hour for Littles

Wednesdays in January & February: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Nature Story Hour for Littles

Bring your little ones out to the Elkhart Environmental Center this winter season for our new Nature Story Hour series! Every Wednesday in January and February, kids can learn about a different environmental topic by listening to a short story and participating in a related craft or activity to become familiar with the natural world around them!

Sessions will be held at the EEC’s Visitor’s Cabin every Wednesday between January 4th and February 22nd from 10 AM to 11 AM. Program cost is $1 per child per session. Please register in advance for each session HERE

Recommended ages: 3-6

Package-Free Pretzel Workshop

Friday, January 6th: 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Package-Free Pretzel Workshop

Learn how to make soft pretzels at home without visiting the store or bothering with wasteful packaging that comes along with store-bought goodies! Join us at this fun and hands-on workshop on Friday, January 6th at 6 PM to create this classic snack using ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. While you enjoy your snack, get tips on how to make other changes to your shopping list to save money and cut down on waste.

All ages are welcome at this family-friendly workshop! Tickets are $3 per person. Pre-registration is required and limited. Register HERE

Foaming Hand Soap Tablet Workshop

Friday, January 13th: 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Foaming Hand Soap Tablet Workshop

Interested in saving money on personal care and reducing the amount of packaging you toss in the garbage? Skip the countless plastic bottles from hand soap and make your own DIY tablets instead! Learn how to whip up these easy-to-make (and use!) tablets at our workshop on Friday, January 13th at 6 PM. Participants will leave with a few of their own tablets to test out at home and tips on how to save money and reduce waste in other areas of personal and household cleaning.

Pre-registration is required and limited to those 12 years & older. Tickets are $5 per person and can be reserved HERE

DIY Lip Balm Workshop

Friday, January 20th: 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

DIY Lip Balm Workshop

Why spend money on tubes of lip balm at the store when you can make your own with just a few simple ingredients? Come to our DIY Lip Balm Workshop at the EEC on Friday, January 20th at 6 PM to learn how to do just that! Participants will be able to make and personalize their own balm using natural ingredients and leave with a reusable container for future homemade batches!

Pre-registration is required and limited to those 12 & older. Tickets are $3 per person and can be reserved HERE

Worm Bin Workshop

Friday, January 27th: 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Worm Bin Workshop

Tired of hauling your garbage to the curb all the time? Learn how to compost and reduce your household waste output by up to 30%! Participants at our DIY Worm Bin Workshop on Friday, January 27th will learn all about the simple process of vermicomposting and leave with their own composting bin. All materials for the bin construction will be provided. Worms will not be included, but a list of suppliers will be available.

All ages are welcome at this family-friendly workshop! Tickets are $1 per person and worm bin kits are $5 each (limit one per family/group). Pre-registration is required and limited. Register HERE

River Clean Up

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?