December 2013 Nearby Nature
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Seven Signs Your Holiday Tree Has Been Up Too Long
Holiday Hours
Everyday Green Expo
Fun for the Little Ones
Discover the New River
Go Fish
Find Your Artistic Side
From Macro to Micro
Photo Finish
Find Stocking Stuffers
Star Light, Star Bright
Advisory Board Meeting
YouTube Spotlight – Airboat Rides at Everglades Holiday Park
Your Opinion Counts!
Nature Centers of the Broward County Parks and Recreation Division
Special Attractions
Mission Statement
Broward County Board of County Commissioners

Seven Signs Your Holiday Tree Has Been Up Too Long

1. You’ve taken to using it as a coat rack.

2. The bird that got into your house stayed – and nested.

3. Visitors ask how you’ll be decorating it for the spring holiday.

4. It’s sprouted roots and started growing again.

5. Squirrels gather at your window and look in longingly at it.

6. You can no longer see the carpet through the layers of dried needles.

7. You’ve decided just to go ahead and leave it up for next year.

Few things are as sad as a holiday tree that’s still standing around in someone’s living room well into the new year. If the holidays are long gone but your tree isn’t, it’s time to chip in and donate your used evergreen to our annual Chip-a-Tree initiative. Last year Broward County Parks recycled more than 9,000 trees, representing more than a hundred tons of material that would otherwise have gone to landfills, and this year your tree can join those recyclable thousands.

The free program encourages Broward County residents to remove all decorations from their holiday trees (no decorated trees will be accepted), then bring the trees to a participating park, where they are chipped and used for landscaping throughout the county park system. There is a limit of two trees per vehicle, artificial trees are not accepted, and no commercial vehicles or garbage trucks are allowed.

This season’s program runs from Thursday, December 26, 2013, through Monday, January 20, 2014, giving you plenty of time to take advantage of those after-the-holidays sales before hauling your tree to a park. And remember, the regular weekend and holiday gate entrance fee will not be in effect for recyclers, so there’s no excuse not to do the right thing. Hours vary; call the park of your choice for details.

· Brian Piccolo Park & Velodrome, 9501 Sheridan St., Cooper City 33024; 954-357-5150

· C. B. Smith Park, 900 N. Flamingo Rd., Pembroke Pines 33028; 954-357-5170

· Easterlin Park, 1000 N.W. 38th St., Oakland Park 33309; 954-357-5190

· Fern Forest Nature Center, 201 Lyons Rd. South, Coconut Creek 33063; 954-357-5198

· Markham Park & Target Range, 16001 W. State Rd. 84, Sunrise 33326; 954-357-8868

· Plantation Heritage Park, 1100 S. Fig Tree Lane, Plantation 33317; 954-357-5135

· Quiet Waters Park, 401 S. Powerline Rd., Deerfield Beach 33441; 954-357-5100

· Reverend Samuel Delevoe Park, 2520 N.W. Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale 33311; 954-357-8801

· Snake Warrior’s Island Natural Area, 3600 S.W. 62nd Ave., Miramar, FL 33023; 954-357-8776

· Tradewinds Park & Stables, 3600 W. Sample Rd., Coconut Creek 33073; 954-357-8870

· Tree Tops Park, 3900 S.W. 100th Ave., Davie 33328; 954-357-5130

· T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park, 3300 N. Park Rd., Hollywood 33021; 954-357-8811

· Vista View Park, 4001 S.W. 142nd Ave., Davie 33330; 954-357-8898

· West Lake Park, 751 Sheridan St., Hollywood 33019; 954-357-5161

Holiday Hours

All Broward County regional parks (except Deerfield Island Park) and nature centers, neighborhood parks, and natural areas will be open their regular hours on Tuesdays, December 24 and 31, and Wednesday, January 1 (New Year’s Day). All parks, nature centers, and natural areas will be closed on Christmas Day, Wednesday, December 25. The parks’ regular holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect on New Year’s Day.

Everyday Green Expo

Learn more about environmentally friendly living from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 7, when Quiet Waters Park introduces the Everyday Green Expo. The first-time event will feature exhibitors, educational demonstrations, raffles and giveaways, a recycling drop-off, trash-to-treasure demos, and Florida-friendly planting demos. Food trucks will be on site.

The event is open free, although the park’s regular weekend gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect. For more information, call the park at 954-357-5100. Quiet Waters is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #14 and #48.

Fun for the Little Ones

It’s no secret that Nature Tots has been teaching tykes to appreciate the great outdoors for years. The program was the brainchild of a park naturalist in 2003.

The one-hour programs, for ages 2 to 4 accompanied by an adult, focus on a different theme each month, with each site’s naturalist free to embellish on it according to his/her style. A typical program might start with stories, songs, or arts and crafts and end with a short nature walk.        

This month’s events will be on December 17, at West Lake Park in Hollywood and on December 26, at Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach.

The monthly program runs from 10 to 11 a.m. The fee is $5 per child, and preregistration is required. Programs are on the third Tuesday at West Lake Park and on the fourth Thursday at Secret Woods Nature Center.

For more information on a  program or to preregister, call West Lake at 954-357-5161. West Lake is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #12. Secret Woods is accessible via Route #6.

Discover the New River

Learn about the impact of one of Broward County’s most vital and well-known waterways at the Discovering the New River Lecture Series at Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach. This month’s lecture will take place on Saturday, December 21, from 2 to 4 p.m. and will feature a lecture entitled “Watery Crossroads: Secret Woods Aquatic Life” by Jay Petalio, Extension Program Assistant.

The lecture is open and free to the public ages 12 and up. For more information, contact the nature center at 954-357-8884. Secret Woods is accessible Broward County Transit via Route #6.

Go Fish

Registration opened back in November for the latest installment – the 16th annual one – of the Junior Bass Tournament Trail, a series of four tournaments that culminate with a young fishing enthusiast being named Junior Bass Angler of the Year. This year, however, you can register all the way up through December 20.

The tournaments are on Sunday mornings, January 19 (Quiet Waters Park), February 23 (Tradewinds Park), March 23 (Tradewinds), and April 27 (Quiet Waters), with fishing starting at “first light” and going till 1 p.m. Trophies and prizes will be awarded at the end of each tournament, and the angler compiling the most points over the four events wins the title as well as a special prize package. Participants must be aged 12 to 17 and accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age. The $80 (plus sales tax) fee covers both participants and all four tournaments. Registration is required by mail (T.Y. Park, 3300 N. Park Rd., Hollywood, FL 33021, Attn: Bob Newland) or in person at the park. For more information, contact Newland at 954-357-8816 or

Find Your Artistic Side

Create nature-themed artwork at the Family Fun Nature Series: Art & Nature on Sunday, December 8 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the      Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood. Four artists will be stationed in the Mangrove Hall and will feature a different art project at each location. Families can participate in block printing, fish printing, art with natural items, and papier-mâché.

Participants are asked to make a $2/person donation to the Friends of Anne Kolb Nature Center. Preregistration is required. To preregister or for more information, call the nature center at 954-357-5161. Anne Kolb is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #12.

From Macro to Micro

Discover all that South Florida’s natural wonders have to offer by taking part in the From Macro to Micro: Focusing on Nature Series. This nature hike and lecture series will focus on species of all sizes, and will alternate topics from the birds that call the Florida Scrub and Coastal Communities home, to the flowering plants throughout the Florida Scrub and Pineland habitats, and finally to the rarely viewed insects within various Florida Habitats.

This series features guided tours on various Saturdays through January 2014, and the tour at each location will include an in-depth discussion and a comparison of species between habitat types along the way. If you love the outdoors and are wishing to learn more, this is the series for you!

This month’s first event will take place on Saturday, December 14, at Hillsboro Pineland Natural Area from 9 to 10 a.m. and will consist of an in-depth look into the flowering plants throughout the Florida Scrub and Pineland habitats.  This month’s second event will take place on Saturday, December 28, at Woodmont Natural Area from 9 to 10 a.m. and will consist of an in-depth look into the rarely viewed insects within various Florida Habitats.  Participation in each single event is $5 per person ages 10 and up. Preregistration and prepayment are required for all events.

Participants are encouraged to wear sunscreen, sturdy closed-toe shoes, long sleeves/pants, and bring drinking water and binoculars. For more information, call Quiet Waters Park at 954-357-5100. To preregister or prepay, call the park at 954-357-5100 or visit

Photo Finish

Photographers of all levels of skill and experience are invited to Fern Forest Nature Center for the Family/Team Shutterbug Photo Hunt on Sunday, December 15, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Participants will get a quick guide to basic photography as well as learn about the nature center’s varied flora and fauna as they explore its trails in search of subject matter. A naturalist will be on hand to share the park’s natural history and will provide I.D. cards for many of the plants and animals found at Fern Forest.

Participants can choose their own level – easy, intermediate, or advanced – and enter their photos in the park’s “Best of…” contest. Participants should also bring their own digital cameras that accept standard SD cards. The park will provide the SD cards but will retain them after the hunt. Please bring a flash drive if you want to take copies of your photos home with you.

Keep in mind that the nature center has a variety of trail types, from wheelchair- and stroller-accessible boardwalks to more rugged terrain. Sturdy boots are recommended.

The cost for this program is $10 per team/family unit. Preregistration required. To preregister or for more information, call the nature center at 954-357-5198. Fern Forest is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #31 and #42.

Find Stocking Stuffers

Looking for that perfect gift this holiday season? Purchase our Parks Passports for fun, affordable gifts.

· Family Parks Passport (good for up to six people) – $60 + sales tax = $63.60

· Individual Parks Passport – $25 + sales tax = $26.50

With a Parks Passport, you never have to worry about paying the $1.50/person gate entrance fee (children 5 and under free) that’s in effect on weekends and county holidays at most of our regional parks; the credit card-style passports are good for one year from the date of purchase.

Parks Passports are also now available online. And while it’s the off-season for our water parks (until the middle of March 2014), Seasonal Aquatics Passes are also available online.

Star Light, Star Bright

Just because there’s an overabundance of ambient nighttime light in Broward County doesn’t mean you can’t go stargazing. It just means that exploring the heavens is best done with the aid of telescopes. That’s where the South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association (SFAAA) comes in. On a quarterly basis, the nonprofit group hosts An Evening With the Stars at Fern Forest Nature Center. The next such program will be offered starting at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, December 13, and it’s free. Participants will get a glimpse of what’s going on in the South Florida sky this season, and speakers will cover basic telescope techniques and general astronomy information.

The SFAAA also opens the Fox Observatory at Markham Park every Saturday evening, weather permitting, from dusk to midnight.

For more information, call Fern Forest at 954-357-5198 or the SFAAA at 954-384-0442, or email The nature center is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #31 and #42.

Advisory Board Meeting

The next meeting of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. on Friday, December 6. The meeting will take place at Franklin Park, 2501 Franklin Dr., Fort Lauderdale 33311; 954-357-7080. While the public is invited to attend, participation in the meeting is limited to the advisory board and staff.

YouTube Spotlight – Airboat Rides at Everglades Holiday Park

Broward County Parks has its own YouTube Channel at Ride through the river of grass at Everglades Holiday ParkWatch our video and see what could be waiting for you next time you visit.

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,

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations in order to participate in programs, services, and activities must contact the Special Populations Section at 954-357-8170 or TTY 954-537-2844 at least five (5) business days prior to the scheduled meeting or event.

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.