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Lake Erie Nature & Science Center Charity Profile
Dr. Elberta W. Fleming, the founder of Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, had a vision for the future. It was important to her that children learn from experiences and discovery, for the lessons they learned in science through nature were essential for their future.
As the neighborhood children brought injured animals to Elberta, she discovered the wildlife provided an effective teaching tool for people of all ages. To be able to see up close and sometimes touch a real living and breathing animal created a fun, hands-on, and powerful learning experience for the children. So, in 1945 she began Lake Erie Nature & Science Center with a meager display of bunnies in her backyard, mourning doves in her basement, turtles in her bathtub and nature specimens throughout her home. Hence, the “Bathtub Museum” was started.
Lake Erie Nature & Science Center was incorporated in 1950 by Dr. Fleming based on the principles that learning is fun and children learn best by doing. The charter states that this non-profit organization will connect people of all ages to nature in order to motivate natural curiosities and creative abilities, encourage an understanding of cultural diversity, and instill civic responsibilities by developing a desire to conserve our natural resources.
Dr. Fleming’s vision is thriving in the 21st Century. Today, Lake Erie Nature & Science Center attracts over 190,000 visitors per year from our surrounding Greater Cleveland and Greater Lorain communities, all 50 states and 13 countries to its 22,500 square foot facility. The number of programs offered per year has increased exponentially from 100 in 1987 to over 2,300 programs, involving more than 51,500 participants today.
Lake Erie Nature & Science Center provides free admission seven days a week and performs wildlife rehabilitation at no charge to the public. The Center offers quality nature, environmental and science experiences through school field trips, preschool, family, scouting and planetarium programs, nature hikes and a variety of wildlife exhibits, along with domestic and wildlife close encounters.
The non-profit Lake Erie Nature & Science Center educates and inspires each of us to understand, appreciate and take responsibility for our natural universe.
Lake Erie Nature & Science Center Volunteer Information
Share your time and talents with your community! You can team up with our staff as a volunteer in many ways! Our volunteers donate thousands of hours each year to the function of various programs and activities.
Whether you enjoy sharing your knowledge with others or just having fun while you work, we need you! Activities in our Education Department range from helping with our quarterly program to registration to assisting staff with programs for children, adults or both! Help students embrace their learning skills at our Wild Summer Reading Camp. Sharpen your star-gazing skills while helping out in our Schuele Planetarium. Roast hot dogs or lead participants as they make crafts at our Family Programs. Training may include handling our resident animals.
Lake Erie Nature & Science Center Donation Information
Your support helps to rehabilitate and care for an amazing array of animals and to educate and inspire people of all ages to appreciate nature.
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