ECHO ANNOUNCES COMMUNITY LAUNCH OF “ECHO’S OPEN DOOR”
For Immediate Release
Contact: Steven Leibman
802-864-1848 ext. 125
(Burlington, VT) ECHO at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain
announces the community launch of ECHO’s Open Door — a wide
spectrum of community-funded programs providing free or
discounted access to Vermont’s Lake Aquarium and Science Center.
ECHO is coordinating these Vermont and upstate New York programs
with 99 social service agencies, over 600 schools, and 315
libraries. The launch of ECHO’s Open Door is made possible
through individual donations, corporations, and community access
grants. ECHO is in the process of seeking additional funding to
fulfill its commitment of broadening the project’s reach,
deepening access programs, and generating long-term
Phelan Fretz, ECHO’s Executive Director said, “ECHO’s Open Door
is much more than reducing the cost of admission. This extensive
outreach program explores the potential of creating a network of
partners across the Basin to eliminate the cultural, geographic,
and financial barriers to learning about, protecting, and
celebrating the extraordinary natural and human resources that
surround us all. ECHO is tremendously excited about the journey
before us. Together, with our library, school and social service
agency partners, we aim to cultivate a Basin-wide dialogue about
everyone’s role in Lake stewardship. We can only begin to
imagine what the potential might be.”
— more —
“ECHO’S OPEN DOOR” PROGRAMS (in alphabetical order):
- Annual Pass Matching Gift
A free Annual Pass will be given to a low-income neighbor
for every Annual Pass purchased or renewed through December
- ECHO After School
Two dollars per child in after school programs that support
at least 50% low-income families. This program engages
supervised children — 4-12 years old — in ECHO Encounters:
games, crafts, science experiments, and interactive ECHO
Treks. Program runs through June, 2006.
- Hannaford ECHO Basin Backyard Explorer Program
Discounted admission to Vermont and New York schools, and
free classes. 4,000 students are projected to participate in
the academic year 2005-2006 program, culminating in the ECHO
Earth Week Fair, featuring student projects, performances,
presentations, and a Voices for the Lake youth forum.
- Library ECHO Pass
Two dollar admission to Lake Champlain Basin Vermont and New
York library patrons, when they borrow the Pass from their
local library, through October 31, 2006. The Pass will be
distributed to 315 libraries serving over 500,000 residents.
- MOBIUS Mentoring, Inc.
Free admission for up to 300 children who participate in the
MOBIUS Mentoring Movement, when accompanied by their mentor
at the standard admission. This program runs for one year.
- Social Service Agency Vouchers
Two dollar admission vouchers will be distributed by 99
regional social service agency partners to 5,500 youth,
senior citizens, people with disabilities, and economically
disadvantaged families. Vouchers are valid through December
- Teacher and Teacher Ambassador Programs
Free daily admission to Vermont and New York educators.
Teachers who serve as a Teacher Ambassador — the liaison
between ECHO and their school — will receive a free Family
Annual Pass, with benefits of three free guests, and free
admission to over 280 science museums.
- Vermont and New York Resident Discount
Two dollars off admission will be offered to everyone in a
party that includes a resident of Vermont or New York. This
program is funded through March 31, 2006.
ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center at the Leahy Center
for Lake Champlain is Vermont’s world-class Lake Aquarium
and Science Center, on the beautiful Burlington Waterfront.
ECHO features over 60 species of live fish, amphibians and
reptiles, with more than 100 hands-on exhibits, and hosts
traveling exhibits several times a year. The site also
highlights the Lake Champlain Navy Memorial and heroic “Lone
Sailor” statue. For more information on ECHO, visit our
website at www.echovermont.org, call Toll-Free
1-877-ECHOFUN, or write to ECHO, One College Street,
Burlington, VT 05401.