Scrub jay

The staff and animals of Lyonia Environmental Center (LEC) are ready to welcome visitors back to their neck of the woods. The center will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays beginning July 11. Residents can stroll through the center’s gallery and learn about the county’s fragile ecosystems through hands-on displays.

Staff will offer the following educational programs, which are limited to 10 persons each to allow for social distancing:

· Native plant hike: 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday, July 11. Look for native plants that thrive in scrub habitat during this guided hike through Lyonia Preserve.

· Sensational snakes: 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, July 11. World Snake Day is July 16, so help the LEC celebrate these important creatures. Learn about some of the most commonly encountered species during this classroom presentation, then meet the center’s resident reptile ambassadors.

· “Let’s hit the trails” hike: 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday, July 18. Lace up your hiking boots and explore the plant and animal species that call scrub habitat their home.

· Incredible insects hike: 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday, July 25. Beetles, two-striped walking sticks and several species of spiders inhabit Lyonia Preserve. Venture out with LEC staff to explore and learn about the common species that live in the preserve and represent the largest group of creatures in the world.

If you will be walking through Lyonia Preserve, wear closed-toe shoes, bring water, and be prepared to hike on sugar-sand trails.

The LEC is in the Deltona Regional Library complex at 2150 Eustace Ave., Deltona. Reservations are required; call 386-789-7207, ext. #21028. Participants should check in 10 minutes before each program starts.

Staff has established program procedures based on current guidelines. These procedures are subject to change based on guidance at the local, state and federal levels.Programs may be modified as needed.

Learn about other upcoming events at lyoniapreserve.com.

- Volusia County Community Information Specialist Pat Kuehn