Broward County > Parks > The Latest > July 2013 Nearby Nature

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Reserve Online
Find It All Magazine
Independence Day Hours
July is Parks and Recreation Month
Beat the Heat
Summer Home Landscape Series
Do You Have An Eye For Science?
Take a Nature Break
Detective Work
Saddle Up
YouTube Spotlight – Butterfly Island at Secret Woods Nature Center
Follow Us – On Twitter
Nature To Go
Your Opinion Counts!
Nature Centers of the Broward County Parks and Recreation Division
Special Attractions
Mission Statement
Broward County Board of County Commissioners

Reserve Online

When the Parks and Recreation Division takes its new WebTrac system live on July 1, park patrons will be able to do something they’ve never done before – reserve our more than 110 picnic shelters and corporate pavilions online. They’ll also be able to purchase annual gate passes, skate park passes, and seasonal aquatic passes, as well as rent Funbrellas at select parks, register for specific programs and activities, and check the availability of indoor venues for meetings, weddings, and other special events.

The WebTrac system will be expanded later to include the Division’s 300-plus campsites, along with other facilities and programming.

WebTrac is a product of Vermont Systems, which has provided recreation management tracking software primarily for county and city governments since 1989. Palm Beach County currently uses WebTrac, as well as such tricounty municipalities as Aventura, Boca Raton, Coconut Creek, Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Parkland, Plantation, Sunrise, Tamarac, Wellington, and West Palm Beach. Once the Broward County Parks system is up and running, it will be the largest and most comprehensive WebTrac operation in South Florida.

Check out the new system by visiting our Website at broward.org/parks, where you’ll find a RESERVE ONLINE button on the right side of the page.

Find It All Magazine

Watch for your copy of the new “Find It All” magazine on Sunday, July 7, which will be distributed with the Sun-Sentinel. Learn about the exceptional recreational opportunities available in Broward County parks, as well as find valuable discount coupons for some of your favorite park excursions!

Independence Day Hours

All Broward County regional parks and nature centers, neighborhood parks, and natural areas, as well as water parks and campgrounds, will be open on Thursday, July 4 (with the exception of Deerfield Island Park). The holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect at applicable parks. The Parks and Recreation Division administrative offices will be closed.

July is Parks and Recreation Month

So says the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), which started a tradition in 1985 that continues to this day. The Florida Recreation and Park Association (FRPA) supports the initiative and recently promoted Governor Rick Scott’s proclamation.

Among the benefits of parks and recreation:

· Parks and recreation programs enhance our quality of life by contributing to a healthy lifestyle, increasing communication skills, building self esteem, teaching life skills, and providing places for enjoyment.

· Parks and recreation programs boost the economy, enhance property values, attract new business, increase tourism, and reduce crime.

· Recreation builds family unity, strengthens neighborhood involvement, offers opportunity for social interaction, enhances education, develops creativity, and promotes cultural diversity.

· Our parks and trails ensure ecological beauty, provide space to enjoy nature, help maintain clean air and water, and preserve plant and animal wildlife.

· Recreation, therapeutic recreation and leisure education are essential to the rehabilitation of individuals who have been ill or disabled.

In other words, “Find It All – At a Broward County Park.” Get out and enjoy. For more information on Broward County Parks, visit broward.org/parks.

Beat the Heat

Summer’s almost here, according to the calendar. But as you’ve probably noticed, subtropical heat and humidity are already here. That’s no reason to stay cooped up indoors – not when you can take refuge in our North Broward Natural Areas, some of which will host Beat the Heat Hikes, every other weekend starting on June 2 and running through September. These hourlong naturalist-led hikes will take you through scrub, pine flatwood, and cypress habitats as you learn about how plants and animals adapt to summer heat.

Saturday hikes (this month on July 13 and 27) will be at Highlands Scrub Natural Area in Pompano Beach, 8 to 9 a.m. Sunday hikes will consist of three morning hikes – two at Helene Klein Pineland Preserve in Coconut Creek (which also includes a side trip to nearby West Creek Pineland Natural Area), from 8 to 9 a.m. on July 14 and 28, and another at Hillsboro Pineland Natural Area from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on July 14.

Participants are encouraged to wear sunscreen and bring drinking water. Please note that restrooms are available only at Hillsboro Pineland. The hikes are free, although preregistration is required by calling Quiet Waters Park at 954-357-5100.

Summer Home Landscape Series

Are you an average homeowner who would like to add to the beauty of your home through landscaping? Then Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach has just the ticket for you: the Summer Home Landscape Series, which consists of eight free lectures. The popular program runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on consecutive Thursdays, starting on July 11 and ending August 29.

Participants will learn ways to save money on their cooling and water bills, attract wildlife, and preserve native vegetation; they’ll improve the appearance of their yards and neighborhoods as well as increase property values.

Topics and presenters are as follows:

· July 11 – “Tools for Serious Gardeners” (horticulturist and landscape designer David McLean)

· July 18 – “Orchid Basics” (orchid curators Sandi Jones and Tom Wells of Bonnet House Museum and Gardens)

· July 25 – “Plants With a Purpose” (parks naturalist Molly Taylor of Secret Woods)

· Aug. 1 – “Tree Trimming and Pruning” (commercial horticulture agent Michael Orfanedes of UF-IFAS/Broward County Extension Education)

· Aug. 8 – “Tomato Gardening in South Florida” (vegetable gardening expert Elaine Farquharson)

· Aug. 15 – “Create a Quiet Getaway” (outreach coordinator Diana Guidry of NatureScape Broward)

· Aug. 22 – “Backyard Beekeeping” (senior biological scientist Aaron J. Mullins of UF-IFAS Department of Entomology and Nematology)

· Aug. 29 – “Fungi in the Garden and Yard” (parks naturalist Scott Bryan of Secret Woods)

For more information, contact the nature center at 954-357-8884. Secret Woods is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #6.

Do You Have An Eye For Science?

A love of science doesn’t equal geekdom, as your kids will learn if you sign them up for Science Eye Safari Camp at Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center in Davie. Campers are immersed in the roles of a scientist making observations, conducting experiments, engaging in field studies, and more. By participating in fun, interactive, hands-on projects, they’ll learn to explore the world around them to gain new insights and become aware of why it’s important to take care of the environment.

Each day is a new adventure at this day camp for ages 7 to 12, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily the weeks of July 8-12, July 15-19, and July 29-August 2. The fee is $300 per child per week, with after-care from 4 to 5 p.m. available for an additional fee.

For more information, call 954-680-7977, email camp@scienceeye.com, or visit scienceeye.com.

Take a Nature Break

School’s out and nature’s in! Participate in the Take a Nature Break Program at Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood. The program takes place every Wednesday in July (July 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31) from 2 to 3 p.m. Each week will have a different theme and activity focused on nature and is open for children ages 6 to 12 with an adult. This program costs $3 per person per session.

For more information, call the park at 954-357-5161. Anne Kolb is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #12.

Detective Work

Last month the weeklong Nature Detectives summer day camp stimulated young minds at Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek. This month there’s another such camp, from 9 a.m. to noon daily, July 15-19. Each day the camp, for ages 8 to 11, focuses on a different theme, as participants explore the nature center’s habitats through hands-on experiences, crafts, and other activities.

The fee is $75 per camper for the week, and preregistration is required. For more information, call Fern Forest at 954-357-5198. The nature center is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #31 and #42.

Saddle Up

Put your horse sense to good use when Tradewinds Park offers its popular annual Equestrian Summer Camps. The program, for ages 9 through 16, runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Trotters Mini-Camp is offered by two-day session, on July 8-9 and 10-11. Activities include riding instruction, riding time, grooming, and saddling, plus games and horse care/maintenance. The fee is $150 plus sales tax for each two-day session, and camps are limited to 12 campers.

Trailblazers Week Camp adds intermediate riding instruction and tack/equipment to the list of activities and costs $300 plus sales tax per four-day sessions. Sessions run July 15-18, July 22-25, and July 29-August 1. There is a limit of10 campers/session.

English riding and advanced riding instruction are added to the above-listed activities for Horsemasters Advanced Camp, which takes place in four-day sessions August 5-8 and August 12-15. The fee is $400 plus sales tax per session; sessions are limited to eight campers; and the Trailblazers Week Camp is a prerequisite.

Class size is limited and early registration is recommended. Fees must be paid and a release and waiver of liability signed at registration. Children must provide their own lunches and refreshments. Long pants and closed-toe shoes are required. Participants should also bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a towel.

For more information, call the stables at 954-357-8720. Tradewinds is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #34.

YouTube Spotlight – Butterfly Island at Secret Woods Nature Center

Broward County Parks now has its own YouTube Channel at www.YouTube.com/BrowardCountyParks. Stroll through a tranquil butterfly garden at Butterfly Island at Secret Woods Nature CenterWatch our video and see what could be waiting for you next time you visit.

Follow Us – On Twitter

Broward County Parks is now on Twitter! Follow us at @BrowardParks and keep up to date with important information, events, programs, and other happenings. Twitter accounts have also been created for several of our parks. Visit the Broward County Government Stay Connected Web page to follow your favorite park.

Nature To Go

You can now take a little bit of Broward County nature home with you – thanks to a series of nature posters produced and sold by Broward County Parks. The six posters, all photographed in the county’s parks, nature centers, and natural areas, feature American white waterlilies, burrowing owls, a gray fox, live oak trees, a prairie iris, and a queen butterfly. The posters look great either framed or unframed, and they’re a distinctive way to bring a taste of nature into your home or office. They also make excellent gifts.

The offices at seven facilities have the posters available for purchase: the Anne Kolb Nature Center at West Lake Park in Hollywood, Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek, Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center in Davie, Markham Park in Sunrise, Plantation Heritage Park in Plantation, Tree Tops Park in Davie, and T.Y. Park in Hollywood.

The high-quality posters, which measure 18 inches by 24 inches, retail for $10, including Florida sales tax. You can also purchase posters by mail from Broward County Parks and Recreation, 950 N.W. 38th St., Oakland Park, FL 33309. Mail-order posters are $15 (includes Florida sales tax, shipping, and handling), with checks/money orders payable to Broward County Parks and Recreation. For more information, e-mail ParksMarketing@broward.org.

Your Opinion Counts!

We’d like to know what you think about our programs and facilities. Please take a moment to tell us how we’re doing by filling out this survey.

Nature Centers of the Broward County Parks and Recreation Division

Anne Kolb Nature Center

751 Sheridan St., Hollywood

954-357-5161

Deerfield Island Park

1720 Deerfield Island Park

Deerfield Beach

954-357-5100

Fern Forest Nature Center

201 Lyons Rd. South Coconut Creek

954-357-5198

Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center

3501 S.W. 130th Ave.

Davie

954-357-8797

Secret Woods Nature Center

2701 W. State Rd. 84 Dania Beach

954-357-8884

 

For more nature activities, please go to broward.org/parks.

Special Attractions

Airboat Rides (Everglades Holiday Park) – Batting Cages (AllGolf at C.B. Smith Park) – Bike America (Quiet Waters Park) Butterfly World (Tradewinds Park & Stables) – Cable Water-Skiing (Ski Rixen USA at Quiet Waters Park) – Campgrounds (C.B. Smith Park, Easterlin Park, Markham Park & Target Range, Quiet Waters Park, T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park) – Dog Park (Barkham at Markham Park & Target Range) – Educational Farm (Tradewinds Park & Stables) – Exhibit Halls (Anne Kolb Nature Center at West Lake Park, Fern Forest Nature Center, Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center, Secret Woods Nature Center) – Golf Facilities (AllGolf at C.B. Smith Park) – Softball/Baseball Fields (Brian Piccolo Park & Velodrome, Sunview Park, Tradewinds Park & Stables) – Observatory (Markham Park & Target Range) – Riding Stables (Tradewinds Park & Stables, Tree Tops Park) – Skate Park/Track (Brian Piccolo Park & Velodrome) – Target Range (Markham Park & Target Range) – Tennis Centers (Brian Piccolo Park & Velodrome, C.B. Smith Park) – Velodrome (Brian Piccolo Park & Velodrome) – Water Playgrounds/ Waterslides/Swimming (C.B. Smith Park, Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium, Quiet Waters Park, T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park)

Mission Statement

The Parks and Recreation Division is dedicated to providing a countywide park system with diverse facilities and recreation opportunities, along with natural area conservation and research-based educational outreach, to enhance the well-being of residents, businesses, and visitors.

Founded in February 1956 and accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies, Broward County Parks and Recreation Division manages almost 6,500 acres, encompassing nearly 50 regional parks and nature centers, neighborhood parks, and natural areas at various stages of development. Facilities include water parks, campgrounds, a target range, a stadium, a skate park, an observatory, mountain bike trails, an educational farm with stables, and a velodrome and other sports facilities. Hours and fees vary by location. For more information, visit broward.org/parks.

 

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations in order to participate in County programs, services, and activities must contact the Special Populations Section at 954-357-8170 or TTY 954-537-2844 at least 10 business days prior to the scheduled meeting or event to request an accommodation.

Broward County Board of County Commissioners

Sue Gunzburger
Dale V.C. Holness
Kristin Jacobs
Martin David Kiar
Chip LaMarca
Stacy Ritter
Tim Ryan
Barbara Sharief
Lois Wexler

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