Education and Outreach
Broward County Students Develop Carbon (Re)cycle Ideas
On May 10, 2011, the Broward County Board of County Commissioners recognized the winners of the 2011 “Carbon (Re)Cycle” Air Quality Awareness Month Poster Contest.
As part of the poster contest, students creatively illustrated Carbon (Re)cycle ideas while considering how to reduce their carbon footprint and help mitigate the impacts associated with climate change. The winning posters will be used to create the 2012 Clean Air Calendar.
Winning posters are posted on the Environmental Kids Club web site.
Green Thursdays Encourage Use of Public Transit
In June 2008, Broward County Transit (BCT) launched "Green Thursdays" to encourage employees and the public to use transit one day a week. BCT issued “Eco-Passes,” printed on recycled paper, good for one free all day ride on BCT during the three-month promotion. BCT’s Web site, Broward.org/bct, offered riders an opportunity to blog about their Green Thursday experiences. The division hosted a Transit Fair at the Governmental Center to promote Green Thursdays to County employees.
Go Green with BCT
Broward County Transit (BCT) has developed a web page which highlights the benefits of riding BCT and features quick facts, Go Green video and tips on how to “go green” on the road. More…
Courses for Professionals Promote Conservation Techniques
Parks and Recreation Division's Extension Education offers courses and lecture series promoting conservation, including Best Practice Management for control of moxius insect and plant pests, Tree Trimming, “Sustainable Landscaping for Conserving Water, Soil and Vegetation Resources: Florida Friendly Yards, Cities and County.” for more information, visit Broward.org/parks and click EXTENSION EDUCATION.
Broward County and School Board Partner to Support Environmental Education
The Broward County Environmental Protection & Growth Management Department believes that educating school age children about the environment and their role in preserving and protecting natural resources for the future instills environmental stewardship at an early age. To further environmental education, the department partners with Broward County Public Schools, the sixth largest school district in the nation with 262 schools, more than 300 properties, and over 260,000 students enrolled this year. Since 2001, the partnership has resulted in educational programs and air quality monitoring support. New programs have been added including the Clean School Bus and anti-idling educational program, NatureScape Broward, and Water Matters.
Trained Master Gardener Volunteers Help Residents
There are more than 150 Master Gardeners in Broward County, volunteers trained by the Extension Education Section of Broward’s Parks and Recreation Division to respond to resident inquiries on pest management, sustainable landscaping, and water and soil conservation. The number of clients served by Master Gardeners represents more than 8,300 phone calls, 7,200 emails and nearly 3,700 walk-ins, as well as more than 27,000 people who took part in 495 educational programs. Master Gardeners donated nearly 12,500 volunteer hours, equivalent to the effort of six full-time staff members. For information visit MASTER GARDENER PROGRAM under Extension Education.
Education Outreach Programs Promote Conservation Practices
The Broward County Natural Resources Planning and Management Division offers an extensive program of community education and outreach focused on water resources protection and conservation issues. “Water Matters” and “Know the Flow” programs provide education in landscape best management practices and integrated storm water management to reduce water demands and pollution. Contact Asif Ali at 954-519-1222 for a schedule of upcoming “Know the Flow” programs.
NatureScape Broward” is a Broward County initiative designed to help residents, municipalities, businesses and schools create and maintain sustainable landscapes that conserve water, protect water quality and provide habitats for native and migratory wildlife. Broward County is home to the only Certificated Community Wildlife Habitat in Florida and has over 2,000 certified yards! NatureScape Broward hosts annual Habitat Steward training and to date has trained over 100 Habitat Stewards who participate in community education and landscape improvements and certifications. By adopting landscape best management practices best suited for our South Florida environment, we can reduce our water needs, improve water quality, minimize the need for fertilizers and chemical applications, and improve the sustainability of our environment. For information, contact Diana Guidry at 954-519-0317.
Environmental Education Incorporated in School Board’s Character Education Program
Broward County’s Air Quality Program incorporates character education into its outreach efforts. Character Education is a tool used by the School Board of Broward County to educate children about good character. Each month, Broward County teachers focus on a different character trait and incorporate that trait into their daily classroom activities. In keeping with this theme, Air Quality staff produce newsletters that relates these core values to environmental protection. For more information visit Broward.org/kids and click on “Character Education.”
Air Quality Calendars Feature Young Environmentalists Artistry
The Air Quality program develops calendars in partnership with the School Board of Broward County to increase public awareness educate residents on methods of lessening our impacts on the environment and our natural resources. Students are encouraged to creatively illustrate green actions to reduce their impact on the environment in categories including carbon footprints, going green, recycling and green shopping. the calendars include artwork of winning designs from the air quality poster contest along with practical environmental facts.
Water Matters Day Event Educates Residents on Conservation
Water Matters Day is an important part of Broward County's effort to educate residents about water conservation. This fun, activity-filled event held each March helps residents make a connection between their daily activities and the impact those activities have on our environment. The annual event includes booths and exhibits on water conservation techniques, landscape best practices, landscaping to attract native wildlife, local water management, Everglades restoration, and Broward's canal system. In addition, small group workshops are held throughout the day, taught by water conservation, landscaping and gardening experts. For more information, contact Robert Rudolph at 954-519-0328.
Students Tour County's first LEED-Certified Building
Pollution Prevention, Remediation and Air Quality Division, in collaboration with the Energy and Building automation Section and the Libraries Division, coordinated an education field trip to the South Regional /Broward College Library for students from Sheridan Park Elementary School. The program included educational sessions on energy basics, renewable energy and green buildings. Highlights included a scavenger hunt for sustainable items throughout the library.
County Supports Electric Vehicle Competition in Schools
The Pollution Prevention, Remediation and Air Quality Division provides technical support and assistance to the "EV Challange," the country's premier electric vehicle competition at Miramar High School, where students design and manufacture an electric vehicle as part of a inter-disciplinary educational program. In addition, the County assists in a similar program at South Plantation High School, where students built an eco-friendly solar-powered car for their senior project.
Water Bills Promote Green Initiatives
Water and Wastewater Services provides water to 230,000 residents. Customer water bills include messages reminding families to GoGreen through water conservation awareness. Newsletters, special events and phone hold messages offer tips on residential, commercial and personal water conservation.
Get Green: $200 Credit to Replace Toilets
Water and Wastewater Services offers up to a $200 credit ($100 per toilet) for customers who replace old, high flow toilets with new, USEPA WaterSense® low flow toilets. Toilets are a source of potable water use in the home and a common source of water wasted due to leaks. Water-efficient toilets may save up to $90 per year in lower water utility bills and $2,000 over the lifetime of the toilet. For more information on this program please visit Broward.org/waterservices.
Fun And Interactive Environmental Activities For Kids
The Environmental Kids Club is a fun Web site that uses interactive tools and games to teach kids about environmental protection! It is designed for children ages 6–12 and features online video games about air pollution, educational information about water conservation, plants and animals, and much more. Visit Broward.org/kids to start the fun!
County Employees Are Involved In Community Events
Broward County staff frequently participates in community events designed to protect and preserve our natural resources. Examples include:
- The County provides a boat and participates in regularly scheduled cleanups of waterway parks such as Deerfield Island, West Lake/North Beach, Secret Woods Nature Center and Reverend Samuel Delevoe Park.
- Twenty-five bold cypress trees were planted at Reverend Samuel Delevoe Park during the park’s Earth Day Celebration.
- During summer recreation programs at Reverend Samuel Delevoe Park, lectures are presented about sea turtles and wildlife. Bird feeders and decorative name plates are created with recycled materials.
- In conjunction with the South Florida Water Management District and partner agencies, staff completed a bank stabilization project and cleanup on the North Fork of New River to improve the scenic waterway near Chisom Park.
- A natural green space has been completed at the west end of Roosevelt Gardens Park, which features native shade tree species. Broward County Waste and Recycling Services Division has placed recycling bins in the park and the park serves as an annual distribution site for neighborhood recycling bins.
NatureScape Teaches "Florida-Friendly" Practices
In partnership with the School Board of Broward County, the NatureScape Broward program, developed “Florida friendly” native landscapes at school facilities and provided lessons on water conservation, native landscaping and landscaping best management practices to students, teachers and school maintenance personnel. The School Board is one of the larger landowners in Broward County, and this partnership presents an opportunity to both positively impact a large amount of land and provide training to our future environmental stewards. For more information, contact Victor Suarez at 954-519-1239.