Monday, 19 March 2007 00:00
Charlotte Harbor Environmental CenterWritten by WGCU Newsroom
The Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center – or CHEC - is marking 20 years of service to the community with a special reception this evening for members and volunteers. CHEC is a popular field trip destination for Charlotte County students. And says Naturalist Rich Dorkin, it helps newcomers learn about the areas unique environment.
“most people new to the area – coming from other parts of the united states – there’s a tremendous increase and continuing pressure on natural resources – so we do a lot of programs helping – try to help newcomers about how things are in Florida”
When CHEC opened twenty years ago – it had one employee – now it has 9. Staff members at the three thousand acre preserve located off Burnt Store road also do environmental research and teach about preservation land management.
The Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center on Burnt Store Road celebrates its 20th anniversary this week.
The Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center – or CHEC – is an oasis of pristine habitat surrounded by increasingly dense development. Naturalist Rich Dorkin has been with CHEC for 11 years – back then cow pastures, farmers fields and orange groves flanked the center.
“we’re on a three thousand acre preserve – so that’s stayed largely the same – although there’s more visitors. but the traffic is astronomical especially since they opened up veterans – a lot of truck traffic – a lot more dead animals – and people coming in and out the center – it’s a bit more difficult turning in and out the center”
On the plus side, Dorkin says most the new developers in the area are making efforts to be environmentally responsible. Chec is a popular destination for school field trips. It also teaches area residents about their unique environment and how to protect and preserve it.