ECHO launched an exciting new expansion campaign at our Raise the Roof opening on January 14, 2011. The "Get Closer to the Lake" ...

A volunteer gets closer to the lake

ECHO launched an exciting new expansion campaign at our Raise the Roof opening on January 14, 2011. The "Get Closer to the Lake" campaign is the result of an extensive strategic planning process started in 2008 to address the needs for additional program enhancements and capital investments. If you missed the event (like me), and want to learn more, ECHO has been holding a series of information breakfasts this spring to introduce the community to our plans for expansion and improvement.

Last week I participated in an information breakfast to get closer to the lake
with Executive Director Phelan Fretz and Director of Development Kate Villa. As a newer volunteer, it was an eye-opener to important aspects of the history and vision of ECHO, as well as the plan for the future. We toured the facility, stopping at key locations in the building to understand the changes that will be made to the spaces, and how those changes will benefit ECHO visitors.

Three key areas that will be developed are:
The Lakeside Pavilion:
Extending the west side of the building and reaching towards the water, this development will utilize an additional 5,900 square feet of space, and provide a flexible venue for events and programming. Are you as excited as I am about an expanded space for Café Scientifique? For visiting exhibits, conferences, and presentations? Yes!
New Discovery Place:
The discovery place will move and double in size, incorporating the water play area and expanding the theme of Native American connections to Lake Champlain. ECHO knows that pre-school aged children
and their caregivers are some of our most important and frequent visitors, and we want to highlight our commitment to them. As an education volunteer, it will be a pleasure to bring the activities and storytime programs for our youngest learners to a wonderful new space.
The Lake Science Lab:
The Discovery Place move will open up the southwest corner of the top floor of ECHO, providing a lab and presentation space for science researchers. Who are the researchers?
The visitors! ECHO is always looking for ways to expand programming for adults and teens, and the lab will be outfitted for hands on science involving laboratory equipment to help you get even more involved in the issues affecting Lake Champlain.

Pick up a "Get Closer to the Lake packet" and learn more.
ECHO will continue to hold breakfasts in April, so look forward to the posting of those dates
If you would like to join in on one of these events and learn more about ECHO’s plans, please contact Kate Villa, Director of Development, at

Syverine Abrahamson
Education Volunteer


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