Size: At approximately 13 acres, the Helene Klein Pineland Preserve in Coconut Creek is one of the smallest sites in Broward County Parks and Recreation’s natural-areas system but also one of the most diverse.
Wildlife: Up to 55 species of wildlife have been observed in the preserve, including giant swallowtail butterflies, Florida brown snakes, spotted skunks, blue-gray gnatcatchers, and pileated woodpeckers.
Vegetation: While the site, which opened to the public on February 1, 2008, boasts an abundance of its namesake slash pines, it also includes a combination of cypress swamp and two small marl prairies. Scattered throughout the open canopy of the flatwoods community are tall slash pines intermixed with a thick understory of saw palmetto, as well as outcroppings of surface limestone.
Amenities: Seating areas, a covered information kiosk, a covered picnic table, interpretive signage, a covered overlook, and 2,250 feet of nature trails, including a boardwalk, are the available amenities at the site. Wildlife observation is encouraged, although bicycles, inline skates, skateboards, and motorized vehicles are prohibited on the trails. As with all natural area sites, pets are not allowed.
EcoAction Days (October through May): Volunteer workdays help keep our natural areas clear of garbage and invasive plants. They're held on the fourth Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to noon. Closed-toe shoes are required, and long pants and long sleeves are suggested. Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own gloves, hats, sunscreen, insect repellent, and drinking water. Ages 13 to 17 must have a parent or guardian's signature on the registration form prior to participating. Volunteers under the age of 13 may participate, but only if accompanied by a parent or guardian. High school students can use the hours from these workdays toward their required community service hours. Check the volunteer Web page for the latest workday registration form. Preregister by calling Quiet Waters Park at 954-357-5100.
Environmental and Scouting Programs: Getting people of all ages involved in the appreciation of nature is the focus of many of the programs at Helene Klein Pineland Preserve. Opportunities include activities for boy and girl scouts, children's programs, school field trips, private group tours, and more. Call Katherine Hendrickson at 954-357-5113 for more details and to make reservations.
A Little History: The property, previously designated as Site 19, was acquired in 2002 through the 2000 Safe Parks and Land Preservation Bond program and a Florida Communities Trust grant, at a total cost of $3.4 million. The site, which is surrounded by development – including a self-storage facility, a church, and shopping centers – was itself saved from development when the county purchased the land and, on October 18, 2002, dedicated it to Helene Klein, a local environmental activist who died in July 2001. Klein’s efforts on behalf of the project had included collecting petitions and lobbying the Broward County Commission for the preservation of public lands.
The natural area is accessible from Broward County Transit Routes #14, #31, and #48.
Helene Klein Pineland Preserve
4071 W. Hillsboro Blvd., Coconut Creek, FL 33073