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6 April 21 – May 4, 2012

City of Chandler Insider

Award-winning EEC offers abundant nature

Since the inception of Earth Day in

1969, environmental awareness has been encouraged in society as a way to inspire appreciation for the planet. In Chandler, the Environmental

Education Center (EEC) at Veterans Oasis Park provides a tranquil resource for lifelong environmental education. It is a green facility that promotes eco-friendly lifestyles through creative exhibits and programs, special events and guests and innovative classes and workshops for children and adults. To delight nature lovers, more than 150 different species of birds have been identified throughout the park.

Recently, EEC staff submitted an

application to a local chapter of the National Audubon Society for its Bird Habitat Recognition Program. The program was set up to increase awareness of the importance of providing suitable habitat for birds, particularly in the desert, and to publicly recognize those sites that do. Not only has the EEC been granted the

distinction of Bird Habitat Recognition, but is also the first municipally managed site in the Valley to receive such an award.

A manmade lake at EEC is a participant in the State’s Urban Fishing

CREATURE LOVE: Gilbert resident Lisa Limbert shares animals from her East Valley Wildlife sanctuary with children taking part in “Meet the Creature” at the Environmental Education Center. Submitted photo

Program and is stocked with fish species including catfish, trout, sunfish and bass every two weeks from mid-September through June. The EEC celebrated Earth Day this

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: The EEC at Veterans Oasis Park opened four years ago this month. Programs, exhibits and classes continue to grow at the Center, with dozens of offerings open to children and adults. Submitted photo

year in conjunction with the fourth anniversary of its opening Fri., April 20. Inside the Center at the Owl’s Nest Nature Store, Conrad Storad, award- winning author and Arizona’s most popular writer of science and nature books for children, was available for book signings. Also as part of this year’s festivities, there was a special tree planting to commemorate Arbor Day, as well as the grand opening of the new Desert Tortoise habitat. New this year, the EEC launched its

inaugural Nature Photo Competition that is now on display inside the Center. The competition garnered 42 entries. Winning entrants received ribbons. Starting May 5, registration begins for Summer Nature Camps. During the five- week camp, children ages 7 to 10 will explore the environment through games, activities, experiments, hikes and crafts. Complete details are available online. The EEC is at 4050 E. Chandler Heights Rd. just east of Lindsay and open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Friday; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. For more information call 480-782-2890 or visit

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