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

Nearby Nature Banner

Back By Popular Demand
Beat the Heat
Summer Stargazing
Do You Have An Eye For Science?
Detective Work
Saddle Up
Advisory Board Notice
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

Back By Popular Demand

The annual Sea Turtles and Their Babies program at the Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood doesn’t get under way until July, but if you wait until then to try to reserve a spot you’ll probably be out of luck – the long-running program regularly sells out well in advance. This year’s installment will run on Wednesdays and Fridays from Friday, July 5 through Friday, August 30, starting at 8 p.m.

This educational series on some of South Florida’s most endangered species covers a variety of topics related to the beleaguered marine reptiles and their plight. Following an hourlong video presentation and lecture, participants will accompany a naturalist on a hatchling release to see what these tiny creatures face during their first crucial minutes of life. You’ll also learn to identify the species of sea turtles found in South Florida, their habitat, breeding and nesting, identification of crawls and nests, conservation efforts, past exploitation, and current management problems now facing sea turtles.

Space is limited and no walk-ins are accepted. The fee is $8 per person, and prepayment is required. Participants should also bring quarters for metered parking at the release site. The program is also subject to rescheduling or cancellation if weather conditions are not favorable.

For more information or to preregister, call the nature center at 954-357-5161. Anne Kolb is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #12.

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 June 15 and 29) will be at Highlands Scrub Natural Area in Pompano Beach, 8 to 9 a.m. Sunday hikes (this month on June 2, 16, and 30) will consist of two morning hikes – one 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., and another at Hillsboro Pineland Natural Area from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

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 Stargazing

This month Broward County Parks offers seven free opportunities to find out more about what’s in the South Florida night sky, weather permitting. From roughly dusk to midnight on Saturdays, June 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, the South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association (SFAAA) opens the Fox Observatory at Markham Park in Sunrise.

This nonprofit organization, which has been around since the mid-1960s, has a variety of telescopic equipment at its disposal, and its members will teach you the ropes. The group also meets at the Fox at 7:30 p.m. on the first Thursday, which this month falls on June 6. Markham Park is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #23.

The SFAAA also hosts quarterly gatherings called An Evening With the Stars at Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek. This quarter the event is on Friday, June 21, starting at 7 p.m. For more information, call the nature center at 954-357-5198. Fern Forest is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #31 and #42.

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 June 17-21, June 24-28, July 8-12, 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, or visit

Detective Work

For years Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek has been stimulating young minds with Nature Detectives, a weeklong summer day camp for ages 8 to 11. This summer the popular program has sessions running from 9 a.m. to noon daily June 17-21 and July 15-19. Each day will focus 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. starting on June 10 and ending on August 15. (There is no camp July 1-4.)

This year the program introduces four levels of camp. The Buckaroos Day Camp consists of one-day sessions, each including riding instruction, riding time, grooming, and saddling. The fee is $75 per day plus sales tax, and the camp is limited to 12 campers per session. This camp is offered on June 10, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, and 20.

The Trotters Mini-Camp is offered by two-day session, on June 24-25 and 26-27, and July 8-9 and 10-11. Activities include the above, 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.

Advisory Board Notice

The public is invited to the next meeting of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, which is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. on Friday, June 7. The meeting will take place at Fern Forest Nature Center, 201 Lyons Rd. South, Coconut Creek 33063; 954-357-5198.

YouTube Spotlight – Butterfly Island at Secret Woods Nature Center

Broward County Parks now has its own YouTube Channel at 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 five of our parks including Secret Woods Nature Center (@SecretWoodsNC) in Dania Beach. 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

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


Deerfield Island Park

1720 Deerfield Island Park

Deerfield Beach


Fern Forest Nature Center

201 Lyons Rd. South Coconut Creek


Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center

3501 S.W. 130th Ave.



Secret Woods Nature Center

2701 W. State Rd. 84 Dania Beach



For more nature activities, please go to

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


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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Parks and Recreation is a service of the Broward County Board of County Commissioners.