By Bianca Roa/ECHO Valentine's Day may have come and gone, but the  marketing team thought, "why should there be an end to ...

A Love Letter to ECHO & Lake Champlain


By Bianca Roa/ECHO

Valentine's Day may have come and gone, but the marketing team thought, "why should there be an end to the celebration of love?" We want the whole world know why we love what we do! Graphic Communications intern Brendon and I took to the streets (and by streets I mean hallways) and asked the wonderful volunteers and interns of ECHO what makes this place so special.

First and foremost, there is a lot of love for the animals. From the red eye tree frog to the spiny soft shell turtles, there is clearly a deep appreciation for the animals that live both here at ECHO and in the wild. Our volunteers really enjoy being able to interact with these creatures. Judy, an education volunteer of two-and-a-half years, has the pleasure of being able to handle the animals. She told us, "I’ll get to take out Vermont’s state reptile today, the painted turtle, and go around the top floor with him, and that’s very cool!”

Photo: Brendon Johnson
Animal care volunteers get more one-on-one time with our animals and newer volunteers like Kelsie are already developing favorites: “My favorite memory of working here is definitely feeding the sturgeon and the catfish downstairs because they all have their own personalities."

Like Kelsie said each animal has its own personality, especially the turtles. The most loved among the animal care volunteers is Henry. The box turtle is a crowd favorite because the slow moving fella likes to plop right into the mud, and when he sleeps, he sprawls out his limbs.

Photo: Brendon Johnson
Other volunteers are all about the interaction with the the people at ECHO. David has been here for more than a decade and he really enjoys working here because of the staff. "To be honest with you," he said, "I find them to be the most dedicated people I’ve ever dealt with."

He isn't the only one who loves the people who enter the doors everyday. Former teacher Rachel has been here for three years, and what she loves about ECHO is "being able to explain to people, children especially, the beautiful natural resources we have here, whether it's the weather or the animals. Just to see their faces light up, and be excited about all these different exhibits that we have."

Photo: Bianca Roa

To top it all off, the volunteers and interns love being in such a beautiful place. For Greg the Burlington waterfront is his favorite place on all of Lake Champlain. He said, "Its really great seeing a lot of people enjoying the beautiful space and being able to enjoy it myself."

One of our education volunteers, Brendan loves the way the lake changes the most. "The day to day, month to month, season to season change of the lake is my favorite," he said. "There are so many different views, whether it's the early morning and the fog on the lake at times all the way to the sunset. There are beautiful and various sunsets.”

Photo: Jessie Forand

We couldn't agree more and its volunteers like Brendan and all the others that really make ECHO special. We asked Amanda, our staff resource manager, why she loves the people that work here and she sums it up well: 

"Our volunteers and interns and the e-team here at ECHO are the heart and soul of this place. We have a small staff and everyday we have individuals from all walks of life, backgrounds, educations, cultures, interests with one underlying principle which is they really believe in service and they also believe in the lake and our mission. We couldn’t do it without them!"

So thank you volunteers and thank you ECHO for making it so easy to love you!

Watch the accompanying video made by Brendon below!

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