On the event of its centenary celebration, the Government of Maharashtra had leased 33-acres of BNHS Nature Reserve. The CEC came into existence on this land in 1997.The Centre’s main objectives is to develop effective methodology in conservation education for formal and non-formal education sector. The Centre is fully equipped with the tools and education materials required to impart conservation education among its audience. The different arenas of the Centre; the Auditorium, Discovery Room, Display Room, Open Classroom, Butterfly Garden, Marine Aquarium, Pond Terrarium, Mammal and Dioramas offer its visitors an intermixture of learning experiences. The Centre offers a bouquet of programmes that bring you closer to nature. The programmes are conducted in English, Hindi and Marathi. Over the years, the Centre has exuded radiance unique among its own kind. Being one of the first centres to promote conservation education in Mumbai, CEC rose to fame with its unique formula of ‘edutainment’.
Summer, monsoon and winter bring with them changes that are unique to these seasons. Its proximity to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park is an added bonus, for much of the richness of plant and animal life flows into the Centre’s environs. Each season turns the forest into an artistic canvas.
In summer, occasionally, a leopard roams the terrain and sambar deer forage around CEC in late evenings, frequenting the water hole behind the building. The water hole acts as a swimming pool for most of the forest birds such bulbuls, doves, flycatchers….Troops of bonnet macaques and hanuman langurs assemble on the towering trees around the Centre.The "invisible" cicadas cacophony is at the peak during the day.
During the monsoon, the forest turns 'magical'. Gushing streams and babbling brooks bring the land to life. The 'desperate' dormant lilies sprout from the ground carpeting the forest floor. The tree frogs become active and start building their tree nests. Insect life booms with every new bloom in the forest. Beautiful and intricate mushrooms decorate the path ways.The forest is also home to some internationally acclaimed wildlife: the Atlas Moth (world’s largest) Painted Lady Butterfly (migrant butterfly) and the Pied Crested Cuckoo (migrant bird).
The main attractions for all CEC programmes are its enriching and enthralling nature trails. There are five diverse tracks that lead into the heart of the forest, offering a peek into the myriad wonders of the wilderness. So, for a rendezvous with nature, visit CEC for an adventure-filled day!