January 2014 Nearby Nature
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Seven Signs Your Holiday Tree Has Been Up Too Long
Holiday Hours
Fun for the Little Ones
Lecture Circuit
From Macro to Micro
Manatees, Oh My!
For the Birds
You’re Invited
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 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 regional parks, nature centers, natural areas, and neighborhood parks will be open on Tuesday, December 31, as well as Wednesday, January 1 (New Year’s Day), and Monday, January 20 (Martin Luther King Day). The exception is Deerfield Island Park,which will be closed. The schedule for special attractions (Butterfly World, AllGolf, Ski Rixen USA, etc.) varies; contact the individual attraction for additional information. The regional parks’ regular holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect on January 1 and 20.

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 January 9, at Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek, on January 21, at West Lake Park in Hollywood, and on January 23, 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 second Thursday at Fern Forest, the third Tuesday at West Lake Park, and on the fourth Thursday at Secret Woods Nature Center.

Long Key Natural Area and Nature Center also hosts Preschool Play ‘n’ Learn on January 9, from 10 to 11 a.m. This program, open to participants ages 3 to 5, may include games, hands-on activities, crafts, storytelling, songs, and a nature walk or animal encounter. This month’s theme is “Ladybug Landing.” The fee for this program is $5 per child and preregistration is required.

For more information on a program or to preregister, call Fern Forest at 954-357-5198, West Lake at 954-357-5161, Secret Woods at 954-357-8884, or Long Key at 954-357-8797. Fern Forest is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #31 and #42. West Lake is accessible via Route #12. Secret Woods is accessible via Route #6.

Lecture Circuit

The Anne Kolb Nature Center launches its latest Lunch-and-Learn Nature Series this month with the theme “Florida’s Big Dig: The Intracoastal Waterway From Jacksonville to Miami.” The lecture will be presented from noon to 2 p.m. on Friday, January 24 and will feature William G. Crawford, Esq, an author and expert on Florida’s famous waterway.

Future installments in the series will be “Pollinator Gardening” on February 21 and “E-X-P-A-N-D-I-N-G Your Plant Palette: Flowering Trees and Shrubs of South Florida” on March 21. A donation of $7 per person is requested to benefit the Friends of Anne Kolb volunteer group, and preregistration is required. For more information, call the park at 954-357-5161. Anne Kolb is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #12.

Also in January, Secret Woods Nature Center continues its Discovering the New River Lecture Series, from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, January 18. The topic will be “Honeybees and Pollinators,” presented by Aaron J. Mullins, senior biological scientist with the Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida-Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Future installments in this series will be “Early Life Along the New River” on February 15, “Invasive Pests in South Florida” on March 15, and “Plant Ecology of Secret Woods” on April 19. The lectures are free. For more information, call the park at 954-357-8884. Secret Woods is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #6.

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 program’s final event will take place on Saturday, January 4, at Crystal Lake Sand Pine Scrub 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 WebTrac.Broward.org.

Manatees, Oh My!

Learn about manatees and their habitat at the Manatees, Oh My! event on Sunday, January 12, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach. This free program, which is open to all ages, will begin with a presentation and crafts to introduce participants to these majestic animals and the waterways they call home. Following the presentation and craft session, we’ll take a stroll to see if any of the gentle giants can be spotted along the nature center’s New River Trail.

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

For the Birds

Two very different parks offer Bird Walks this month. Starting at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 4, Deerfield Island Park in Deerfield Beach will host a program focusing on the island park’s distinctive resident and migratory birds. Space is limited and preregistration is required. Sturdy shoes and binoculars are recommended, and you must be at the dock at Sullivan Park by 8:15 a.m. to catch the boat shuttle to the island. The fee is $3 per person. To sign up, call Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach at 954-357-5100.

Then on Saturday, January 18, also at 8:30 a.m., there will be another walk at Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium in Lauderhill, a park better known for its athletic facilities. But the park is also home to burrowing owls and other species, as you’ll learn at this free guided program. The park’s regular weekend gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect.

You’re Invited

Find out more about one of our key partners – the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), which works closely with the Parks Extension Education Section – this month when the agencies host an Open House. The event will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 25, at our Extension Education complex in Davie.

Exhibits at this free event include:

· Native vs. exotic reptiles in Florida

· Honey bees and landscape plants

· Insects for biological control vs. termites that can destroy your home

· Plant sale to benefit Broward County 4-H clubs

· Alligators as indicators of Everglades health

· Exotic Pet Amnesty Day

Food trucks will be on site with a variety of food and beverages available for purchase. For more information about this annual event, call Extension Education at 954-357-5270.

YouTube Spotlight – Airboat Rides at Everglades Holiday Park

Broward County Parks has its own YouTube Channel at www.YouTube.com/BrowardCountyParks. Ride through the river of grass at Everglades Holiday ParkWatch our videoand 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., Davie


Secret Woods Nature Center

2701 W. State Rd. 84, Dania Beach


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

Special Attractions

Airboat Rides (Everglades Holiday Park)Batting Cages (AllGolf at C.B. Smith Park) – Butterfly World (Tradewinds Park & Stables) – Bike America (Quiet Waters Park) –  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. 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) – Multipurpose Athletic Fields (Brian Piccolo Park & Velodrome, Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium, 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. 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 nearly 6,500 acres, encompassing 19 regional parks and nature centers, six neighborhood parks, and 21 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 www.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 five (5) 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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