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May 2012 Highlights
Broward County > Parks > The Latest > May 2012 Highlights

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Focus on Pine Island Ridge Natural Area
Find Swim Lessons – At Three Broward County Parks|
May Is Air Quality Awareness Month
Saddle Up
Legacy
Walk – It’s Good for You
Kid Stuff
Incredible Edibles
Mom’s the Word
Think Greenery
BYOK (Bring Your Own Kayak)
Winged Wonders
Aloha
Find Your Getaway
Quote of the Month
Special Attractions
Mission Statement
Your Opinion Counts!
SWIM Central
Broward County Board of County Commissioners

Focus on Pine Island Ridge Natural Area

This 102.2-acre natural area, located in the Town of Davie, was formerly owned by the Belcher family and is now surrounded by the Forest Ridge residential community. The overall site, which opened to the public in February 1990, can be described as a sandy ridge rising above former Everglades flatlands. At its highest elevation, 29 feet above sea level, it is also the highest natural point in Broward County.

The gently undulating topography of the ridge serves as a reminder that, although the Atlantic Ocean is now roughly 10 miles away, it once deposited fine sands and created dunes here 100,000 years ago. Sea levels fluctuated greatly during the most recent ice age, approximately 20,000 years ago, but eventually the Florida peninsula emerged and the ancient barrier island that is now Pine Island Ridge became a sandy inland ridge. That ridge became an island once again approximately 5,000 years ago when the Everglades formed – not an island at the edge of the ocean, but an island surrounded by an inland freshwater river of sawgrass.

Archaeological surveys have confirmed sites within Pine Island Ridge as the locations of hunting camps of the ancient Tequesta Indians. More recently, in the 1800s, as the historian Patsy West has written, “The Pine Island complex was probably one of the first permanent habitation sites occupied by the Seminole in southeastern Florida.”

West goes on: “During the Second Seminole War [1835-1842], Pine Island became known as the legendary refuge for the Seminole. The Island was in the uncharted Everglades where the military had never set foot, and appeared to be secure.” As West points out, Sam Jones, the Miccosukee war chief also known as Abiaka, was closely linked to the series of islands that included Pine Island Ridge and nearby Long Key. One of his primary residences was on Long Key, and Pine Island Ridge is where he was repeatedly besieged by U.S. government forces that wanted to corner and capture him. (The warrior is commemorated with a statue in Tree Tops Park, adjacent to Pine Island Ridge.) 

Today Pine Island Ridge is a high hammock forest dominated by live oaks and slash pines. Vegetation includes hackberry, red bay, marlberry, wild coffee, beautyberry, swamp fern, and giant sword fern. Wildlife includes gopher tortoises, great horned owls, migratory warblers, red-bellied and pileated woodpeckers, Cooper’s hawks, and atala butterflies. The site is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail, a series of nearly 500 sites throughout the state selected for their excellent bird-watching and bird-education opportunities.

Site amenities include interpretive signage throughout; a paved trail originating in Tree Tops Park and branching out to an interpretive shelter and to the Forest Ridge residential community; and equestrian trails that connect Tree Tops with Westridge, a Town of Davie park.

For more information on Pine Island Ridge, call Tree Tops Park at 954-357-5130.

Find Swim Lessons – At Three Broward County Parks

This year the Learn To Swim program returns to C.B. Smith, Central Broward Regional, and T.Y. parks, with the first of five sessions starting on June 11 and the final session ending on August 16. All classes will meet for a total of eight lessons, Mondays through Thursdays. The final session will be canceled if minimum enrollment is not met.

Classes are 30 minutes long. Rained-out classes will be made up on Fridays, and each two-week session is limited to two make-up lessons only. Six different courses are offered, designed for ages 2 and up, from preschool through age 10. Schedules and courses available will vary depending on the park. Preregistration is encouraged and begins on May 5. The fee is $50 per four-day session.

For additional information, call C.B. Smith at 954-357-5170, Central Broward Regional at 954-357-5400, or T.Y. at 954-357-8811. C.B. Smith is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #3, #5, #7, #23, and 95 Express; Central Broward Regional via Routes #18, #36, #40, and #81; and T.Y. via Routes #3, #12, and #17.

May Is Air Quality Awareness Month

May is Air Quality Awareness Month, and the Broward County Air Quality Program would like to provide tips on things you can do to conserve energy, improve air quality and your health, and reduce your carbon footprint. Here are easy changes everyone can make to help:

· Give your car a break. Take Tri-Rail or the bus, walk, bike, and/or carpool.

· Unplug unused electronics. When electronics are not being used, unplug them from the outlet or keep them plugged into a power strip and switch it off.

· Adjust your thermostat up two degrees.

· Take shorter showers. Showers account for two-thirds of all water heating costs.

· Use reusable cloth shopping bags.

· Reuse a mug or water bottle.

· Wash clothes in cold water.

· Use recycled paper and print on both sides.

If you take all of the above actions, you can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 2,500 pounds, which is equivalent to the emissions of 127 gallons of gasoline.

Also remember to check the Air Quality Index. This is especially important for children, the elderly, and those with respiratory ailments. Call 954-519-1280 for today’s Air Quality Index.

You can also sign up for Enviroflash, which will immediately notify subscribers, via e-mail or pager, when the Air Quality Index falls out of the “good” category. The e-mail provides information on what precautions should be taken. Visit www.broward.org/pollutionprevention to sign up.

Finally, “like” us on Facebook at Broward Environment for environmental updates and events.

Saddle Up

Put your horse sense to good use when Tradewinds Park in Coconut Creek offers its popular annual Summer Equestrian Camp. The program, for ages 9 through 16, runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays starting on June 11 and ending on August 16. (There is no camp July 2-5.)

Each four-day session includes daily riding instruction, weather permitting. Instruction also includes: breeds and colors; anatomy of the horse; appropriate riding equipment, tack, and general care of the horse in the show ring and on the trails; nutrition and feeding; and routine, preventive, and therapeutic maintenance. Other activities include videos, indoor/outdoor games, and farm activities.

Class size is limited and early registration is recommended. Fees must be paid and a release and waiver of liability signed at registration. The fee is $300 per session. 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.

Legacy

The name of the late environmentalist and County Commissioner Anne Kolb lives on not only in the county’s largest nature center, in Hollywood, but also in the Anne Kolb Memorial Trail, which traverses re-created plant communities at Plantation Heritage Park such as high and low hammocks, pinelands, a coastal strand forest, and a basin, along with a newly planted meadow/prairie.

The trail will be the subject of a Restoration Project on Saturday, May 5, when volunteers will work from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to hand-remove unwanted vegetation from the trail and replace it with native species. Participants should bring a hat, gloves, sunscreen, insect repellent, and drinking water. No equipment will be provided, so volunteers are also encouraged to bring such items as shovels. Parking is provided in the field east of the park’s main parking lot.

For more information, call the park at 954-357-5135. Plantation Heritage is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #30.

Walk – It’s Good for You

Charles Dickens was of the opinion that “If I could not walk far and fast, I think I should just explode and perish,” while the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche declared, “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” President Harry S Truman’s advice was to “Take a two-mile walk every morning before breakfast.”

And what better place to walk – or hike or stroll – than a park? Here are some group opportunities this month:

· Along the Intracoastal Hike – Sat., May 5, 1-2 p.m., Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood – Explore the eastern edge of the park, where the mangroves meet the Intracoastal Waterway. $3/person. Call 954-357-5161 for more info.

· Walk for Lupus Now – Sat., May 19, 8 a.m., T.Y. Park in Hollywood – A fundraiser for the Lupus Foundation of America’s Southeast Florida Chapter. Call the sponsor at 561-279-8606 for details.

· The Gopher Tortoise Landlords of Crystal Lake Sand Pine Scrub – Sat., May 19, 3-4 p.m. – A volunteer-led hike through this natural area in Pompano Beach. Free and for all ages. Call 954-357-8114 for reservations.

· Trail Stroll – Sun., May 20, 1-1:45 p.m., Anne Kolb Nature Center – Treat yourself to a free, guided introductory boardwalk stroll through the mangrove swamp. Call 954-357-5161 for further info.

· Slough Slog – Sun., May 27, 9:30 a.m.-noon, Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach – Explore one of the county’s last wild pond apple forests to look for rare wetland plants and animals. Closed-toe shoes, a walking stick, and drinking water are musts for this strenuous back-country tour. $6/person, for ages 9 and up. Call 954-357-8884 for additional information.

Solo walking is also popular at most of our parks. Visit  www.broward.org/parks for a complete list. Anne Kolb is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #12; T.Y. via Routes #3, #12, and #17; Crystal Lake via Route #20; and Secret Woods via Route #6.

Kid Stuff

For more than a dozen years 4KIDS of South Florida has been working toward its goal of providing a home for every child in crisis. The nonprofit organization depends on a partnership involving committed individuals, churches, corporations, and government agencies. One such effort is the 2012 Big Cardio Fitness & Fun Day, to be held on Saturday, May 5 at Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium in Lauderhill.

The event, now in its fifth year, gets under way with registration at 6 a.m., followed by a 5K run/walk at 7 a.m., fitness classes and tourneys at 8:30 a.m., and food, games, and other activities throughout the morning. For more information, call the sponsor at 954-979-7911, e-mail joycef@4kidsofsfl.org, or visit www.4kidsofsfl.orgCentral Broward Regional is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #18, #36, #40, and #81.

Incredible Edibles

Introduce your family to the wonderful world of growing your own herbs when Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach offers an Herbilicious Herb Class, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 10. Participants will learn about cultivating herbs and making tinctures, as well as other modern uses for herbs. They’ll also leave with their own starter herb gardens.

Preregistration is required by calling the nature center at 954-357-8884, and a $20 donation to the Friends of Secret Woods volunteer group is requested. Secret Woods is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #6.

Mom’s the Word

Three neighborhood parks in unincorporated Broward County pay tribute to mothers this month. Mother’s Day Celebrations will be held on Friday, May 11, from 3 to 4 p.m. at Lafayette Hart Park and from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Boulevard Gardens Community Center, and then from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 12, at Roosevelt Gardens Park. Activities will vary depending on the park but may include music, games, crafts, and refreshments. The Lafayette Hart and Boulevard Gardens events are for children who are already enrolled in the parks’ After-School Program.

For more information, call the park of your choice: Lafayette Hart, accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #11 and #40, is at 954-791-1041; Boulevard Gardens, accessible via Routes #9, #22, #40, and #81, is at 954-625-2988; and Roosevelt Gardens, accessible via Routes #11, #36, and #40, is at 954-327-3888.

The same weekend, Butterfly World at Tradewinds Park South hosts Bring Mom to Butterfly World, with free admission for mothers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call Butterfly World at 954-977-4400. The regular weekend and holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect for Tradewinds, which is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #34.

Think Greenery

Looking for some plants to spruce up your home landscape? Look no further than the Broward County Plant Affair. The popular annual event takes place the weekend of May 5 and 6 at Plantation Heritage Park in Plantation, where you’ll find a plant show and sale with up to 30 vendors. Food and beverages will also be available for purchase. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. both days. For more information, call the park at 954-357-5135. Plantation Heritage is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #30.

BYOK (Bring Your Own Kayak)

Wanted: Kayakers to help clean up the shoreline of Deerfield Island Park in Deerfield Beach, from 8:30 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 12. To make things interesting, pretend you’re on a Kayak Treasure Hunt, complete with “treasure-hunting supplies” you’ll retrieve when you arrive at the park’s marina. Prizes will be awarded for the most unusual finds. Treasure hunters ages 18 and up are encouraged to bring a hat, gloves, and plenty of drinking water. Preregistration is required by calling Quiet Waters Park at 954-357-5100. Deerfield Island is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #48 and #50.

Winged Wonders

Learn how to identify and attract local butterflies to your own back yard when Butterfly World at Tradewinds Park South in Coconut Creek holds a Butterfly Gardening Workshop. The workshop, which is free with paid admission to the internationally famous attraction, starts at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 19, and no reservations are required. A free photo guide to butterflies is included, and butterfly-gardening plants will be available for purchase in the garden center. For more information, call Butterfly World at 954-977-4400, or visit www.butterflyworld.com. Tradewinds Park’s regular weekend and holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect. The park is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #34.

If you can’t get enough of the colorful insects, head on over to Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach the next day at noon, when the park hosts Delightful Flight. The half-hour program, which costs $1.50 per person, provides an up-close look at some of Florida’s butterflies, as well as information on how to attract them to your garden. For more information, call the nature center at 954-357-8884. Secret Woods is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #6.

Aloha

People ages 13 to 21 with developmental disabilities are invited to enjoy deejay music, dancing, socializing, and refreshments this month when the Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood hosts a Hawaiian Luau Teen Social. Participants are encouraged to wear their favorite tropical-print shirt or even a grass skirt. The free event is from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, May 18, and preregistration is required by May 11. For more information or to register, call the Parks Special Populations Section at 954-357-8170 or e-mail SpecialPopulations@broward.org. Anne Kolb is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #12.

Find Your Getaway

Looking to get away without going far away? For a fun, affordable getaway close to home, look no farther than Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach, where the campground offers 25 Rent-a-Tent sites and two tepee sites. All sites feature a canvas platform tent or tepee already set up for you – all you have to do is move in. Each site comes with water and electricity, as well as a grill, a picnic table, and a fire ring. Tepee sites are similarly equipped.

Two camping specials run from June 1 through September 30, 2012. The Family Fun Package offers a two-night stay (Fridays and Saturdays only) for four campers for just $55; two more campers can be added at only $3 each.

The Escape Special, which runs from Sundays through Thursdays, offers a one-night stay for four campers for only $20 per night per site; two additional campers can join you for just $3 each.

For more information, call Quiet Waters at 954-357-5100.

Events Calendar

Quote of the Month

“The highest reward for man’s toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it.” - English writer John Ruskin (1819-1900)

Special Attractions

Batting Cages (AllGolf at C.B. Smith Park) – Butterfly World (Tradewinds Park) – Cable Water-Skiing (Ski Rixen USA at Quiet Waters Park) – Campgrounds (C.B. Smith Park, Easterlin Park, Markham Park, Quiet Waters Park, T.Y. Park) – Dog Park (Barkham at Markham Park) – Educational Farm (Tradewinds Park) – 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, Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium, Tradewinds Park) – Observatory (Markham Park) – Riding Stables (Tradewinds Park, Tree Tops Park) – Skate Park/Track (Brian Piccolo Park) – Target Range (Markham Park) – Tennis Centers (Brian Piccolo Park, C.B. Smith Park) – Velodrome (Brian Piccolo Park) – 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.

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.

SWIM Central

Broward County Commission's primary resource and referral service for available swim programs in cooperation with various cities and nonprofit organizations. Call 954-357-SWIM (7946).

Founded in February 1956 and accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies, Broward County Parks and Recreation manages nearly 6,500 acres, encompassing 18 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 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
Chip LaMarca
Ilene Lieberman
Stacy Ritter
John E. Rodstrom Jr.
Barbara Sharief
Lois Wexler

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