Nestled between Vermont’s Green Mountains and New York’s Adirondacks is Lake Champlain, an almost 500-square-mile freshwater lake that hundreds of species, from the blue-spotted salamander and the soft-shelled turtle to Vermont’s state fish, the brook trout, call home.
Looking out from the lake’s Burlington waterfront is an impressive local hub for science education called ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain. In a world where exciting habitats often feel far away and exotic, ECHO— which stands for Ecology, Culture, History, and Opportunities — stands out for its focus on celebrating and preserving local ecology.
“People are increasingly removed from their backyard.” says Nina Ridhibhinyo, ECHO’s director of program and strategy, “just as Bengal tigers need to be protected, so do native species.”
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