Aside from the great wineries and fishing, Elkton boasts several other gems. One of which is ECEC. This little non-profit organization is doing some incredible things for the community, and it is the perfect stop for families and curious minds. Here are a few of the attractions ECEC offers:
1. Butterfly Pavilion
Butterfly habitats have been diminishing in recent years and ECEC educates and informs visitors about the life cycle and survival chances of butterflies today. Walk in the gardens or in the protected flight room to see Painted Ladies, Monarchs, West Coast Ladies, Red Admirals and more!
2. Fort Umpqua
Fort Umpqua was the southernmost outpost of the Hudson Bay Company and represented the British claim on the Oregon territory during the time of western expansion. ECEC's recreated Fort Umpqua sits a bit downriver from the original site, and is the perfect venue for weddings and events. It's also open for tours during the summer months and during Fort Umpqua Days over Labor Day weekend.
3. Native Plant Park
Walk the trails through the seven different climate zones of Oregon, and note the marked, indigenous flora throughout the 4.5 acre park. In the heart of the native plant park, you'll find a beautiful amphitheater - perfect for gatherings, events and performances.
4. Market Garden
In the summer months, you can get phenomenal, fresh produce at really low prices. Plus, a significant portion of the produce from the ECEC Market Garden goes to local food banks and distribution centers.
ECEC hosts a number of events throughout the year, including community dinners, senior lunches, and other informal gatherings. Their 'bigger ticket' events include Blooms & Butterflies in June - including a 5k fun run in memory of our beloved John Bradley, and Fort Umpqua Days - a two-day festival including a small town parade, bass fishing tournament, food, music and entertainment over Labor Day weekend. It truly is the perfect destination for the whole family.
In addition to all those great features above, ECEC has a full library of books - something the community lacked previously, a cafe with fresh food and espresso, and ECEC employs local students every summer to serve as the expert tour guides and business operators. For a small non-profit, in a small town, ECEC really does big things. Come check it out next time you're in Elkton!