ECHO exhibits are designed to engage families in the joy of scientific discovery and wonder of nature

Our hands-on exhibits make sure each visit offers something new and memorable. From more than 70 species of animal ambassadors to interactive science exhibits,
ECHO has something for everyone. Visit our other pages to explore ECHO’s main exhibits:

Wildlife Kayak Adventure

Step right into the kayak and paddle your way down the river in one of our newest exhibits! You’ll journey through Vermont’s incredible Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge — 6,700 acres of protected wetland and wildlife habitat. The Refuge is home to several state-threatened and endangered species, including the black tern, spiny softshell turtle, and meadowlark. It is also an internationally important rest stop for migratory birds. What animals will you discover on your kayak adventure today? 

This project has been funded wholly or in part by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under Cooperative Agreement Award F20AC00247. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the author(s) and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Government. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Baby Turtles Exhibit

ECHO’s eastern spiny softshell neonate turtle exhibit features a live aquarium with our current headstart residents as well as signage that teaches about the life cycle and threats to this endangered species. 

With their pig-like snouts and leathery shells, spiny softshell turtles stand out among the turtle crowd. But spotting one of these unique turtles basking on a sandbar or galloping across a mudflat has become an increasingly rare delight. With a population estimated at fewer than 300 adults, the spiny softshell turtle is in danger of disappearing from Lake Champlain (home to the only population in New England). ECHO is partnering with Vermont Fish & Wildlife to take action.

Each fall, wildlife officials collect baby turtles after predators dig up their nests or they emerge too late in the fall to survive. These turtles, each about the size of an Oreo, are brought to ECHO to get a jump start on growing with the help of our expert animal care team. When released the following summer, ECHO’s headstart turtles are bigger and healthier than their wild yearling counterparts, who spend the winter hibernating.

Frog World

Frogs reside in climates ranging from the steamy tropics to the icy tundra and live on every continent except Antarctica. This biodiversity is reflected in over 7,400 species of frogs and toads — unfortunately more than a third of them are currently threatened with extinction. 

ECHO’s only exhibit of non-native animals showcases 7 different types of frogs from around the world. Visitors will get to see beautiful-but-deadly dart frogs; the flat-leaf-looking, often motionless Suriname toad; color-changing, stunning red-eyed treefrog; bumpy and moss-like Vietnamese mossy frog; and Australia’s climate-adapting White’s tree frog.

Immerse yourself in Frog World to learn about frog identification, evolution, living conditions, misconceptions, habitat loss and so much more!

WCAX Lake News

Welcome to the WCAX Lake News Studio — we are always looking for new reporters! When you arrive at the Studio, you’ll be immediately on location via green screen visual effects to report today’s Lake news. You’ll get to choose to report on beach re-openings, flood resilience, storm water runoff, and more! Once you record your report, you can visit the Edit Station to view and share your broadcast.

Check out the live lake weather with the WCAX sky watch webcam!

The State of the Lake

Did you know that Lake Champlain gets a check-up? These “check-ups” take place every three years. The results are published in the State of the Lake Report. To produce the report, the Lake Champlain Basin Program works with a team of scientists to track key indicators of lake health, such as pollution levels and fishery conditions. Resource managers then use the report to coordinate a plan to protect the Lake for people and wildlife. ECHO then displays the findings as The State of the Lake exhibit both inside and outside the Museum.

You can also visit lcbp.org or the Lake Champlain Basin Resource Room at ECHO to access the full report.

Land of Opportunity

From the alpine zone of the surrounding mountains to the sparkling shores of Lake Champlain, the Lake Champlain Basin provides a land of opportunity for plants and animals, including humans. The Land of Opportunity exhibit highlights some of the fascinating interactions between nature, plants, animals, and the resources that exist within the Basin. How do we all utilize these natural resources? How does nature foster or limit the opportunities that abound?

Energy Commons

Energy Commons invites people to explore our past, present, and future relationship to energy through interactive experiences and social connection. It is a waterfront destination and a means for improving a neighborhood, city, and region. More than an outdoor exhibit, it is a public space that strengthens the connection between people, place, and our shared energy future. Energy Commons bridges two primary needs essential to our community’s future—revitalization of a formerly industrial waterfront and reimaging of our relationship to energy. Located at a bustling intersection of bikes, trains, buses, and pedestrians, it is the gateway to the waterfront and a civic hub where vehicles, people, and ideas naturally flow.

Please check out our other exhibit pages for more information about our larger exhibits:

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