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Focus on Plantation Heritage Park
Holiday Fun
May Is Water Safety Awareness Month
Find Swim Lessons – At Three Broward County Parks
Kid Stuff
Find Ongoing Excitement – At a Water Park Near You
Think Greenery
Find Your Getaway
Aloha
Find Nature’s Paradise
BYOK (Bring Your Own Kayak)
Saddle Up
Additional Summer Camps
Quote of the Month
Special Attractions
Mission Statement
Your Opinion Counts!
SWIM Central
Broward County Board of County Commissioners

Focus on Plantation Heritage Park

The history of this 88.5-acre site dates back to the early 1930s, when Frederick C. Peters, the son of a Missouri shoe manufacturer, moved to South Florida and purchased a plot of land in what is now the City of Plantation. The Peters family later leased the property to the state, which established the University of Florida USDA Plantation Experiment Station for conducting research on the spread of the citrus blackfly.

Using a grant from the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, the county and city jointly acquired the land in 1977. By the time the property, then known as the Peters Tract, opened as a park in December 1984, it had been renamed Plantation Heritage Park at the city’s request. (The family name lives on in Peters Road, which runs along the southern edge of the park.)

Fittingly, given the park’s earlier use as an agricultural experiment station, there are abundant tropical flowering trees and palms throughout the site, and the Broward County Audubon Society’s Anne Kolb Memorial Trail, named for a County Commissioner active in environmental causes, winds through re-created representative plant communities. A tropical fruit grove includes rows of rare fruit trees representing the continents of Africa, Asia, and South America, as well as the Caribbean. (Picking of fruit is prohibited, and removal of ground fruit is by permit only.)

Among the park’s amenities are picnic areas, playgrounds, nature trails, and a fitness trail. The 2,000-square-foot Fountain Room (capacity 125), which opened in March 1994, can be rented for meetings, parties, and other special events, and there are three large (capacity 100), five medium (50), and four small (30) picnic shelters, all of which have water and electricity. In the park’s extension on the south side of Peters Road, there is a historic gazebo overlooking a small duck pond with a waterfall; the gazebo, which was dedicated in October 1992, is especially popular for weddings and can accommodate 30 people. Two of the park’s shelters are located in this area, along with restrooms and a horseshoe pit.

The park’s centerpiece is a large lake with a fountain. Paddleboats are available for rental, and fishing is permitted from the shore (licenses required for ages 16 and up).

For more information, call Plantation Heritage at 954-357-5135. The park has a gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) in effect on weekends and holidays. Plantation Heritage is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #30.

Holiday Fun

Two major holidays this month provide opportunities for a fun outing in a park: Mother’s Day, on Sunday, May 12, and Memorial Day, on Monday, May 27. All Broward County Parks will be open their regularly scheduled hours (except Deerfield Island Park and the Markham Target Range, both of which are normally closed on Mondays).

Shelters and indoor facilities of all sizes are offered for rent. Reservations are required, however, so call now to check availability. All shelters have picnic tables, most have grills, and many also have water, electricity, and restrooms. Amenities at indoor facilities vary. Freestanding picnic tables are also available on a first-come, first-served basis throughout most of our parks. For more information, visit our Website. Enjoy your holiday in the park!

May Is Water Safety Awareness Month

It’s also the month SWIM Central marks a significant milestone – 2.5 million water-safety lessons taught since the program was established in 1999. More than 400,000 children have participated in this nationally recognized water-safety program, which has long been identified as “Broward County Commission’s Primary Resource and Referral Service for Available Swim Programs in Cooperation With Various Cities and Nonprofit Organizations.”

Drowning is the number-one killer of children under the age of 4 throughout the United States. Since its inception, SWIM Central has aimed to reduce the number of drowning incidents in Broward County. The solution has been to provide up to 10 water-safety education lessons per year to children who are enrolled in public schools, day-care centers, and preschools throughout Broward County.

As it has grown, SWIM Central has evolved into more than water-safety education classes for schoolchildren. With the introduction of program mascot Sandy Pelican, SWIM Central has become more active in community events that promote drowning prevention, sending representatives to provide on-site water-safety presentations at schools and day-care centers. This expands the program’s reach beyond those 30,000 children who annually receive in-water instruction.

This summer, with support from its partner the S.W.I.M.S. Foundation – other funding partners include the Children’s Services Council of Broward County and the School Board of Broward County – SWIM Central will launch the SWIMS Summer Program in several pools throughout the county, providing additional water-safety, CPR, first aid, and swimming instruction for children ages 7 to 13.

For more information, call SWIM Central at 954-357-7946.

Find Swim Lessons – At Three Broward County Parks

The Learn To Swim program returns to C.B. Smith, Central Broward Regional, and T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) parks next month, with the first of five regular sessions starting on June 10 and the final session ending on August 15. These classes will meet for a total of eight 30-minute lessons, Mondays through Thursdays. This year Central Broward Regional will also offer two weekend sessions that meet for a total of six 45-minute lessons.

Classes will be offered only if minimum enrollment is met. 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 4. The fee is $50 per 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.

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 2013 Big Cardio 5K, Fitness & Fun Day, to be held on Saturday, May 4 at Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium.

The event, now in its sixth 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 fees and further information, call the sponsor at 954-979-7911, email joycef@4kidsofsfl.org, or visit 4kidsofsfl.org

Find Ongoing Excitement – At a Water Park Near You

Our four aquatics facilities continue their season. From Thursday, May 2, through Friday, May 31, the following water parks will be open Thursday through Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:20 p.m.: Paradise Cove at C.B. Smith Park; Tropical Splash at Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium; Splash Adventure at Quiet Waters Park; and Castaway Island at T.Y.(Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park. The water parks will also be open on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27. Sessions will be in effect on Saturdays and Sundays at Splash Adventure and Tropical Splash. Details on the schedule from June through September (October at Paradise Cove) are available on our water park Web page, where you’ll also find information on our seasonal aquatics passes for individuals and families.

For daily water park fees and additional information, call C.B. Smith at 954-357-5170, Central Broward Regional at 954-357-5400, Quiet Waters at 954-357-5100, 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; Quiet Waters via Routes #14 and #48; and T.Y. via Routes #3, #12, and #17.

Think Greenery

Looking for some plants to spruce up your home landscape? Look no further than the Broward County Plant Affair. The popular event – co-sponsored by the Plantation Historical Society and the GFWC Plantation Woman’s Club – takes place the weekend of May 4 and 5 at Plantation Heritage Park, where you’ll find a plant show and sale with up to 30 vendors. Among the offerings: native plants, bonsai, orchids, cyclamens, bougainvillea, and bromeliads, as well as gardening supplies and porch and patio items. Food and beverages will also be available for purchase. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. For more information, call Betty Cobb at 954-797-2722 or 954-581-6464, or the park at 954-357-5135, ext. 0. Plantation Heritage is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #30.

For a greater emphasis on indigenous plants, there’s the Go Native in Broward County Plant Sale, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, at Secret Woods Nature Center. Native plant nurseries and vendors will display and sell plants native to South Florida, as well as plants conducive to butterfly and wildlife gardening. For more information, call the nature center at 954-357-8884. Secret Woods is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #6.

Find Your Getaway

Looking to get away without going far away? For a fun, affordable getaway close to home, look no farther than Easterlin Park or Quiet Waters Park. The two parks will offer a pair of summer camping specials from June 1 through September 30. (Florida sales tax applies.)

The Family Fun Package offers a two-night stay (Fridays and Saturdays only) for up to four campers for $50/site; two more campers can be added at only $3 each.

The Escape Special, which runs from Sundays through Thursdays, offers a stay of one or more nights for up to four campers for $20/site per night; two additional campers can join you for just $3 each per night.

Easterlin has 55 sites total, with 10 of those set aside for tent camping and the remainder for RV camping. At Quiet Waters, there are 25 Rent-a-Tent sites and two tepee sites, all featuring a canvas platform tent or tepee already set up for you. All campsites come with water and electricity, as well as a grill, a picnic table, and a fire ring.

Campers at Quiet Waters are also eligible for specials throughout the park: $7 all-day admission to Splash Adventure water park, 50 percent off boat rentals at Lakeview Marina, 20 percent off bike rentals and 10 percent off all merchandise (excluding food) at Bike America, and 20 percent off group lessons on Saturday or Sunday at Ski Rixen USA cable water-skiing.

For more information, call Easterlin at 954-357-5190 or Quiet Waters at 954-357-5100.

Aloha

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 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 17, and preregistration is required by May 10. For more information or to register, call the Parks Special Populations Section at 954-357-8170 or email SpecialPopulations@broward.org. Anne Kolb is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #12.

Find Nature’s Paradise

Learn how to navigate Broward County’s remaining pockets of nature – many of them located in our parks – when the Anne Kolb Nature Center offers a new program called Become an Expert Explorer. Participants in the program, which runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, will learn tools and tips for discovering nature’s treasures. The fee is $2/person. For more information, call the park at 954-357-5161. Anne Kolb is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #12.

BYOK (Bring Your Own Kayak)

Wanted: Kayakers to help clean up the shoreline of Deerfield Island Park, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 4. 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.

Saddle Up

Put your horse sense to good use when Tradewinds Park offers its popular annual Equestrian Summer Camps. The program, for ages 9 through 16, runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting on June 10 and ending on August 15. (There is no camp July 1-4.)

This year the program introduces four levels of camp. The Buckaroos Day Camp consists of one-day sessions, each including riding instruction, riding time, grooming, and saddling. The fee is $75 per day plus sales tax, and the camp is limited to 12 campers per session. This camp is offered on June 10, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, and 20.

The Trotters Mini-Camp is offered by two-day session, on June 24-25 and 26-27, and July 8-9 and 10-11. Activities include the above, plus games and horse care/maintenance. The fee is $150 plus sales tax for each two-day session, and camps are limited to 12 campers.

Trailblazers Week Camp adds intermediate riding instruction and tack/equipment to the list of activities and costs $300 plus sales tax per four-day sessions. Sessions run July 15-18, July 22-25, and July 29-August 1. There is a limit of 10 campers/session.

English riding and advanced riding instruction are added to the above-listed activities for Horsemasters Advanced Camp, which takes place in four-day sessions August 5-8 and August 12-15. The fee is $400 plus sales tax per session; sessions are limited to eight campers; and the Trailblazers Week Camp is a prerequisite.

Class size is limited and early registration is recommended. Fees must be paid and a release and waiver of liability signed at registration. 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.

Additional Summer Camps

These camps don’t begin until June, but space is limited and preregistration is required, so check on available spots now. Florida sales tax may apply; confirm with the camp of your choice.

· Fern Forest Nature Detectives – Fern Forest Nature Center – Weekdays, June 24-28; July 15-19 – 9 a.m.-noon – For ages 8-11 – $75/child – 954-357-5198

· Science Eye Safari Camp – Long Key Nature Center – Weekdays, June 17-21, 24-28; July 8-12; July 29-Aug. 2 – 9 a.m.-4 p.m. – For ages 7-12 – $300/child – 954-680-7977

· Summer Sports Camp – Tennis Center at C.B. Smith Park – Weekdays, June 10-14, 17-21, 24-28; July 1-5, 8-12, 15-19, 22-26; July 29-Aug. 2; Aug. 5-9, 12-16 – Full days (8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) or mornings only (8:30 a.m.-noon), on both a daily and weekly basis – For ages 6-14 – $35-$140 depending on option – 954-868-6100

Quote of the Month

“A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.” – American computer scientist and U.S. Navy admiral Grace Murray Hopper (1906-1992)

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. 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.

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 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, visit 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
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.