Spring is here! If you have lived here long enough, you start to know the subtleties of the season.
For me, my garden goes to seed and the rest of my yard begins to bloom. It also is a time when Broward County celebrates everyone’s efforts in conserving water,
creating NatureScapes and promoting the planting of native species with
Water Matters Day.
On this day we give out our Emerald Awards to members of the community who have gone above and beyond in using native species to create habitats for local wildlife.
This month I would like to share a few of the ways that we have been keeping Broward County green, as well as some of the actions you can take to get involved.
Also, I hope everyone had a Happy Easter.
Water Matters Day
Commissioner Beam Furr at Water Matters Day at Tree Tops Park in Davie
Saturday, March 12th was Broward County’s 14th Annual Water Matters Day. Thousands of people came out to learn more about our most precious natural resource, water. Exhibitors from various Broward County Departments, our Cities, the Drainage Districts, and local non-profits brought out fun and educational material. The big “get” for participants was the tree giveaway, where visitors could take home a native tree species to plant at home after visiting all the different exhibits.
Commissioner Beam Furr with the Emerald Award Winners of the Veterans Garden Project at the William “Bill” King VA Clinic in Sunrise
I had the privilege of announcing this year’s Emerald Award winners at Water Matters Day. Emerald Awards are given to those persons or groups who have made an outstanding achievement with a NatureScape project or a similar green initiative in the Community. This year’s winners included
The Veterans Garden Project at the William “Bill“ Kling VA Clinic in Sunrise, which was established in 2014 by Veterans Brendan Doyle, Errol Simmons, and Michael Thomas who are also Broward County Master Gardeners. This project engages veterans in therapeutic gardening activities, encouraging them to participate in maintenance and monthly horticulture classes.
NatureScape Broward – Are You on the Map?
Commissioner Furr in his Certified Wildlife Habitat
NatureScape Broward is an effort to create Florida-friendly landscapes that conserve water, protect water quality, and create wildlife habitat. There are many reasons to want to develop your own NatureScape, personally, I got my own yard certified because I wanted to get Code Enforcement off my back… just kidding. Actually, I wanted my yard to be the kind of place where I could regularly see local birds and butterflies. Creating a NatureScape in your yard can help you accomplish this too.
Sometimes we forget that the cheapest and brightest looking plants on the shelves of the big box stores are grown in climates far different from ours. The flowers that look best on the shelves may need much more water, much cooler temperatures, and much less direct sunlight than they’re likely to get down here in South Florida. Instead, when we focus on planting reliable native species, as opposed to exotic or potentially invasive species, we aren’t simply getting a garden or a yard that looks nice. When we plant native species, we’re building a habitat. We’re building a habitat that is going to be more sustainable, one that will require less water, less fertilizer, and less maintenance.
As I look at the Countywide map of certified NatureScapes, I notice that the more dense clusters are outside of District 6. I would like to encourage each of you, who may be thinking about what more you can do with your own green space, to look first to the NatureScape
Broward program. You can find more resources at
broward.org/NaturalResources/NatureScape and for those of you who may be thinking that this is a nice idea, but you don’t have the space for this kind of project. Here is something you may want to look into.
Uber Launches UberPOOL in Broward County
Commissioner Furr speaks with WPLG10 and CBS4 about taking the first UberPOOL in South Florida
On Tuesday March 29th, Uber South Florida launched
UberPOOL. UberPOOL takes the idea of carpooling and merges it with Uber’s ridesharing technology. I had the honor of taking the first UberPOOL in this market, and I think that this has tremendous potential to connect the residents of Broward County to the many fixed route options for mass transit.
Commissioner Furr’s UberPOOL made a quick stop along the route to pick up Flose Boursiquot
The reason is that UberPOOL helps to find more riders along your route that can join you, which both brings down the overall price of the ride, and helps to ease the congestion on our roadways. If fewer cars can help more people, everybody wins.
Victor, our Uber driver, picked up Commissioner Furr, and then picked up Flose Boursiquot, bringing them both to the Hollywood Tri-Rail Station in South Florida’s first UberPOOL
What’s more, I know many people throughout South Florida are desperate to leave their cars at home. Yet, when we ask them why they don’t take advantage of services like Tri-Rail or BCT fixed bus routes, they bring up the complicated logistics of driving to the station, or the stop, then finding a place to park, then having to navigate from their last stop to their destination.
UberPOOL can be one of the ways that our residents can make it easy and affordable to leave their door and go straight to mass transit, with the knowledge that they can also make it the last mile to whatever their destination may be. As your County Commissioner I want to find more ways to make it easier for you to get around Broward County, and beyond. We know we can’t keep adding more cars to our roads, but as we continue to grow, we need to be open to new ideas for transit and transportation.
Climate Change Website
Broward County now has a section of our website devoted exclusively to Climate Change, and related issues that affect our region. Please visit
Broward.org/Climate and add it to your bookmarks/favorites. We intend to use this page as a regular source of new information on how climate change is affecting us, and what we can do to help to both fight against the causes, and adapt to these changes.
Beach Management Update
Last month, Broward County, The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and the Cities of Hollywood, Hallandale Beach and Dania Beach held a Segment III Beach Management Meeting. The main presentation was done by the consultants Olsen and Associates. Olsen and Associates summarized their study of the full slate of Beach Management options that could work for Segment III –
Hollywood, Dania Beach and Hallandale Beach.
Segment III is the Section of Broward County’s Beach that runs south from Port Everglades to the Miami-Dade County Line – Encompassing Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Dania Beach
The big takeaways from this meeting were that Broward County is ready to begin the process for a full renourishment project to bring the shoreline in Segment III back to where it was in 2007, after the completion of the last beach renourishment project. Plus, the
Sand Bypass Project, which will collect sand at the north side of the Port Everglades entrance, in order to replenish the sand that erodes more quickly at John U Lloyd State Park, is in its final phase of permitting.
This means, that it is likely that the Sand Bypass project can optimistically begin construction in the
summer of 2017. The sand trap of the sand bypass project will then collect sand for three years at which time it can be brought south to regularly replenish the sand lost at John U Lloyd, and the hotspots of Segment III. This will create a mostly permanent solution to the ongoing sand deficit of Segment III. Also, if the permitting for the full renourishment project continues on schedule,
we can expect to see new sand on our beaches in 2020.
You can also read the full document that Olsen and Associates prepared for Broward County
Talking Trash with the Northwest Council of Elected Officials
I want to thank the Northwest Council of Elected Officials for inviting me to talk about
Solid Waste Disposal at their last meeting in North Lauderdale. As many of you may recall, I have been dubbed by my colleagues on the County Commission as the
"King of Garbage". In this capacity, I have been working on possible ways that we can reunite the Cities and the County in an Interlocal Agreement for Solid Waste Disposal.
The Northwest Council of Elected Officials, which has representatives from Parkland, Coral Springs, Tamarac, Sunrise, Coconut Creek, Margate, North Lauderdale, Lauderhill and Lauderdale Lakes offered me time to discuss this idea at their meeting March 14th.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Hollywood
Thank you to all the residents who came out to the City of Hollywood’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday, March 13th. There must have been thousands of people dressed in green up and down Hollywood Blvd and Harrison Street downtown. This is a great event, and I’ve watched the celebration grow each and every year.
Childcare Licensing Public Hearing on April 12th
As many of you know, one of my priorities is doing all I can to encourage quality in early learning for all of Broward’s children. In March, I brought my colleagues on the Commission a proposal to amend our County’s Child Care Licensing Ordinance so that all applications for new (and renewal of) licenses include the identity of every person working at that facility as well as their educational credentials. The Commission unanimously supported my proposal and directed the County attorney to draft a revised ordinance.
On April 12th, the Broward County Commission will hold a public hearing to approve the amended version of the ordinance. This will be an important step toward directing resources where they are most needed and where they will bring the greatest benefit to our children.
Leadership Hollywood XL Comes to Broward County
Leadership Hollywood Class XL with Mayor Marty Kiar, County Administrator Bertha Henry, and BSO Lt. Col. James Polan
The Greater Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Leadership Hollywood Class XL, (Class 40 for those who no longer use Roman Numerals everyday) came to visit the Broward Government Center on Tuesday March 22nd. The class got to hear from Mayor Kiar, County Administrator Bertha Henry, as well as representatives from the Broward Sheriff’s Office and the Property Appraiser’s Office.
Leadership Hollywood XL Tours the Creation Station at Main Library
This year, our office arranged a tour of Broward County’s Main Library, where the Leadership fellows got to see our Creation Station, the Talking Books Collection, our NASA Apollo exhibit, and the Broward County Historical Archives.
The Creation Station has state of the art Oculus Virtual Reality Games as well as 3D Printers and Music Making Software free to the public
Congratulations to Commissioners Jay Schwartz and Iris Siple on their Reelection to the Pembroke Pines City Commission!
On March 15th the voters of Pembroke Pines reelected Commissioners Jay Schwartz and
Iris Siple to the Pembroke Pines City Commission. I want to congratulate each of them, as well as Mayor Frank Ortis, who was reelected without opposition. As a former City Commissioner myself, I know that no office is closer to the people, and I want to thank Jay and Iris for all the hard work they do in the community.
If anyone would like to attend the swearing in ceremony, it will be Wednesday, April 6th at 5PM in Pembroke Pines City Hall - 10100 Pines Blvd, Pembroke Pines, FL 33026.
The City of Hallandale Beach is Hosting a Greenfest and TRASHion Show on Saturday April 16th
City of Hallandale Beach is hosting a their 7th Annual Greenfest at City Hall
on April 16th from 10 AM to 2 PM. This year will feature a TRASHion show competition for teams from Gulfstream Middle School. Yes, a TRASHion show. I’m told that fashions tend to get recycled every few years, but this year, all of the fashions at the TRASHion show will be made from recycled materials. We hope to see everyone there at 1 PM April 16th at the Hallandale Beach Cultural Community Center Auditorium - 410 SE 3rd St, Hallandale Beach, FL 33009 - right next to City Hall.
Tax Day – Property Taxes in Broward County are due on March 31st
Property Taxes are due, and though everyone loves paying taxes, going to the dentist, and airport security in equal measures. We thought it would be useful to break down how we, the County, use each general fund dollar.
Our district office is conveniently located in the lobby of the Hollywood Branch of the Broward County Public Library at 2600 Hollywood Blvd,
next to Hollywood City Hall. This office is open for your convenience Monday through Friday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
If you would like to schedule an appointment, or you have a great idea, suggestion or an issue that needs my attention,
feel free to call me at 954-357-7006/7790 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.