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Who We Are

Our Story

Our Mission

The mission of the Trout Lake Nature Center is to conserve and protect the natural environment and educate the public about its importance. We conserve, protect and educate, helping people to connect to nature and understand the wonders of our natural systems and how as part of the system they can help make things better.

How Trout Lake Nature Center Began

Over three decades ago a group of Oklawaha Valley Audubon Society (also known as OVAS) members and Lake County citizens gathered together to dedicate the property now known as the Trout Lake Nature Center. Through yard sales and other fundraising activities, these pioneers put together the funds to purchase 130 acres around and including part of Trout Lake. That, along with a 100-acre conservation easement from the City of Eustis, created a peaceful oasis and the beginning of the nature center.  For a complete history of Trout Lake Nature Center, click here.

Dedicated volunteers built a boardwalk and dock on the lake and installed the trailer that became our museum. In 1994 we began school field trips, creating memories and an appreciation for nature across generations through experiential education. In 1997 the Education Building was built. A part-time naturalist was hired in 2001 and we now have two full-time and two part-time staff members. The introduction of environmentally-focused programs allowed the Trout Lake Nature Center to grow our reach within the community, a mission that continues to grow and prosper.

We have great hopes for the future, as evidenced by our plans to upgrade our facilities, build new classrooms, and renovate our natural history museum. Please visit us and follow our journey into the future.

The Learning Never Stops At Trout Lake Nature Center

The Trout Lake Nature Center strives to touch people’s hearts, kindle their imaginations and stimulate their minds. The many benefits of time in nature on brains, bodies and spirit has been deeply researched. Studies show that nature will speed the health recovery process, reduce blood pressure, increase focus and lower the risk of cancer as well as lift people’s spirits.

How long does it take to get a dose of nature high enough to improve health? 120 minutes or only 2 hours per week. It is not just nice to have but a must-have for physical health and cognitive function.

Nature centers bring the natural environment to people under the guidance of trained professionals and volunteers to experience and develop relationships with the natural world. In this era of isolation and disconnection from the land, a connection to nature is more important than ever.

Florida has many environmental concerns such as loss of habitat, environmental equity, water quality and quantity, invasive species, sea level rise and more. For the community and residents to make important decisions and become a positive part of the solution, it is essential that they understand how Florida’s natural systems function and interact. Environmental education is a key part of creating understanding and the ability to make good decisions. This is what we provide.

Our Sponsors and Partners

  • MDCT
  • City of Eustis
    City of Eustis
  • Lake County
  • LCWA logo
    LCWA logo
  • AdventHealth
  • SECO Energy
  • Duke Energy
  • USB Logo
    USB Logo
520 East CR 44
Eustis, FL 32736-2518