Treasure Coast Essay
7:20 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Environment’s friend to retire

  It’s hard to imagine the Environmental Learning Center near Vero Beach without Holly Dill in charge.  Dill was hired as executive director in 1989 – a year after the ELC was formed and three years before it opened its 64-acre spread on the Indian River Lagoon at the west end of the Wabasso Bridge.  After 25 years, Dill, 60, decided it was time to retire.  She will stay until a successor is found.  She is a hands-on administrator.  Always smiling.  She makes sure the ELC offers programs for all ages and abilities.  Pontoon-boat rides and kayak excursions.  Nature walks and a large touch tank.  What was her greatest accomplishment?  She told me it was building a team -- board members, a staff of nine and 180 volunteers -- dedicated to preserving this area’s fabulous natural environment.  A low point must have been in 2008 when fire caused by lightning destroyed two buildings.  Greener replacements were constructed with money raised locally.  How will she spend her time?  Gardening at her home on the St. Sebastian River and watching gators, manatees and other wildlife.  Holly Dill is retiring from the Environmental Learning Center but not from the environment.  For 88.9 FM, this is Paul Janensch.