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Nearby Nature July 2012
Broward County > Parks > The Latest > Nearby Nature July 2012
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July Is Parks and Recreation Month!
Independence Day Hours
We’re Still Listening
Fridays = Fun at Long Key
Growth Potential
When the Sun Goes Down…
Walk On “The Wild Side”
Fun For the Little Ones
YouTube Spotlight – Lake Observation Trail at Anne Kolb Nature Center
Follow Us – On Twitter
Nature To Go
Your Opinion Counts!
Nature Centers of the Broward County Parks and Recreation Division
Special Attractions
Mission Statement
Broward County Board of County Commissioners

July Is Parks and Recreation Month!

So says the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), which 27 years ago started a tradition that continues to this day. The Florida Recreation and Park Association (FRPA) supports the initiative and recently promoted Governor Rick Scott’s proclamation.

Among the benefits of parks and recreation:

· Parks and recreation programs enhance our quality of life by contributing to a healthy lifestyle, increasing communication skills, building self-esteem, teaching life skills, and providing places for enjoyment.

· Parks and recreation programs boost the economy, enhance property values, attract new business, increase tourism, and reduce crime.

· Recreation builds family unity, strengthens neighborhood involvement, offers opportunity for social interaction, enhances education, develops creativity, and promotes cultural diversity.

· Our parks and trails ensure ecological beauty, provide space to enjoy nature, help maintain clean air and water, and preserve plant and animal wildlife.

· Recreation, therapeutic recreation and leisure education are essential to the rehabilitation of individuals who have been ill or disabled.

In other words, “Find It All – At a Broward County Park.” Get out and enjoy. For more information on Broward County Parks, visit

Independence Day Hours

All Broward County regional parks and nature centers, neighborhood parks, and natural areas, as well as water parks and campgrounds, will be open on Wednesday, July 4 (with the exception of Deerfield Island Park, which will be closed). The holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect at applicable parks. The Parks and Recreation Division administrative offices will be closed.

We’re Still Listening

Back in late April we invited the public to provide input at a series of focus groups designed to assess customer satisfaction with our county park system and identify potential partnership opportunities and strategic planning issues, as well as to supply feedback about the community’s recreational needs.

Tomorrow, June 29 is the last day to complete the online version of the Broward County Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment Survey. In appreciation for completing the survey you can enter to win an Individual Seasonal Water Park Pass (Find It All Card) to the water park of your choice or a Family Parks Passport.

Also, the Broward County Parks and Recreation Division, in conjunction with the consulting firm GreenPlay, is ready to report back on the initial findings from those focus groups and begin to shape our vision for the future in two more public forums. These Findings/Visioning Workshops will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 18, at Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium in Lauderhill, and from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday, July 19, at Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek. You are welcome to attend.

Central Broward Regional is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #18, #36, #40, and #81. Fern Forest is accessible via Routes #31 and #42.

Fridays = Fun at Long Key

One of Broward County’s best-kept secrets, Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center in Davie, is the place for fun on three Fridays this month. On July 6, 13, and 27, Fun Friday Nature invites ages 3 to 10 to drop by the park’s Discovery Room for nature-themed games, crafts projects, and storytelling. The program runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the fee is $5 per person per program. For more information, call Long Key at 954-357-8797.

Growth Potential

Time for another round of Propagation Classes at Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach. The popular program runs for three sessions, each focusing on a different hands-on technique for propagating plants. On Sunday, July 8, the focus will be on “Seeds.” Session two, on Sunday, August 12, covers “Cuttings.” And the final class, on Sunday, September 9, is all about “Grafting.” The series is designed for ages 12 and up and runs from 2 to 3 p.m. The fee is $5/person per class. For more information or to preregister, call the nature center at 954-357-8884. Secret Woods is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #6.

When the Sun Goes Down…

…the fun is just beginning at two nature programs this month at Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center in Davie. From 8 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 14, the park invites you to join a naturalist and explore the nature trails after dark on a Nature at Night Hike. The program is $3 per person, and preregistration is required by the day before the hike.

Then, on Friday, July 20, and Saturday, July 21, also from 8 to 9 p.m., spend the darkest nights of the month hiking the park’s nature trails on a New Moon Hike. The fee is $5 per person, and again, preregistration is required by the day before the program.

For more information on either hike, call Long Key at 954-357-8797.

Walk On “The Wild Side”

The exhibit hall at the Anne Kolb Nature Center at West Lake Park hosts a free Gallery Exhibit. The show runs from Tuesday, July 3 through Saturday, July 28. The theme is “The Wild Side.” The works in the show are by photographers Linda and Kevan Sunderland. There will also be an Opening Reception, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 7.

The Sunderlands, who have a background in biology, have been photographing Florida wildlife for more than 30 years. Their work is widely collected and has appeared in such magazines as Florida Wildlife, Wisconsin Wildlife, Wild Bird, Audubon, and Nature’s Best Photography, as well as in publications produced by Everglades National Park and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Linda also works as Aquatic and Wetland Resources Manager for Broward County, while Kevan is a 29-year veteran of the Sunrise Fire Department.

The nature center’s exhibit hall is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is no charge to view the art exhibit, although there is a per-person fee of $1 to tour the exhibit hall.

For more information on the exhibit, call the nature center at 954-357-5161. Anne Kolb is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #12.

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.        

The theme for July is “Shells,” with a program on July 12 at Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek and one on July 26 at Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach.

Programs run 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 Nature Center in Coconut Creek and the fourth Thursday at Secret Woods.

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

YouTube Spotlight – Lake Observation Trail at Anne Kolb Nature Center

Broward County Parks now has its own YouTube Channel at If you’ve never gone visited at Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood, you’ll get a glimpse of this urban oasis. Watch our video and be transported to the tranquil mangroves and calm waters that surround the park and see what could be waiting for you next time you visit.

Follow Us – On Twitter

Broward County Parks in now on Twitter! Follow us at @BrowardParks and keep up to date with important information, events, programs, and other happenings. Twitter accounts have also been created for five of our parks including Secret Woods Nature Center (@SecretWoodsNC) in Dania Beach. Visit the Broward County Government Stay Connected Webpage to follow your favorite park.

Nature To Go

You can now take a little bit of Broward County nature home with you – thanks to a series of nature posters produced and sold by Broward County Parks. The six posters, all photographed in the county’s parks, nature centers, and natural areas, feature American white waterlilies, burrowing owls, a gray fox, live oak trees, a prairie iris, and a queen butterfly. The posters look great either framed or unframed, and they’re a distinctive way to bring a taste of nature into your home or office. They also make excellent gifts.

The offices at seven facilities have the posters available for purchase: the Anne Kolb Nature Center at West Lake Park in Hollywood, Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek, Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center in Davie, Markham Park in Sunrise, Plantation Heritage Park in Plantation, Tree Tops Park in Davie, and T.Y. Park in Hollywood.

The high-quality posters, which measure 18 inches by 24 inches, retail for $10, including Florida sales tax. You can also purchase posters by mail from Broward County Parks and Recreation, 950 N.W. 38th St., Oakland Park, FL 33309. Mail-order posters are $15 (includes Florida sales tax, shipping, and handling), with checks/money orders payable to Broward County Parks and Recreation. For more information, e-mail

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

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) – Softball/Baseball Fields (Brian Piccolo Park, Sunview Park, Tradewinds Park) – Observatory (Markham Park) – Riding Stables (Tradewinds Park, Tree Tops Park) – Skate Parks/Tracks (Brian Piccolo Park, Quiet Waters 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.

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 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, skate parks, 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


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.