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Nearby Nature June 2012
Broward County > Parks > The Latest > Nearby Nature June 2012

Nearby Nature Banner

By Popular Demand
Detective Work
Gateway to the Everglades
Godzilla in Your Garden
Science Projects
Water Works
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

By Popular Demand

The annual Sea Turtles and Their Babies program at the Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood doesn’t get under way until July, but if you wait until then to try to reserve a spot you’ll probably be out of luck – the long-running program regularly sells out well in advance. This year’s installment will run on Wednesdays and Fridays from Friday, July 6 through Friday, August 31, starting at 8 p.m.

This educational series on some of South Florida’s most endangered species covers a variety of topics related to the beleaguered marine reptiles and their plight. Following an hourlong video presentation and lecture, participants will accompany a naturalist on a hatchling release to see what these tiny creatures face during their first crucial minutes of life. You’ll also learn to identify the species of sea turtles found in South Florida, their habitat, breeding and nesting, identification of crawls and nests, conservation efforts, past exploitation, and current management problems now facing sea turtles.

Space is limited and no walk-ins are accepted. The fee is $8 per person, and prepayment is required. Participants should also bring quarters for metered parking at the release site. The program is also subject to rescheduling or cancellation if weather conditions are not favorable.

This month the nature center will also host a sort of abbreviated sneak peek, a Sea Turtle Awareness Program, from 1 to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 17. No live animals will be used in this information-only presentation, which is $1 per person.

For more information on either program or to preregister for Sea Turtles and Their Babies, call the nature center at 954-357-5161. Anne Kolb is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #12.

Detective Work

For years Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek has been stimulating young minds with Nature Detectives, a weeklong summer day camp for ages 8 to 11. This summer the popular program has sessions running from 9 a.m. to noon daily June 25-29 and July 23-27. Each day will focus on a different theme, as participants explore the nature center’s habitats through hands-on experiences, crafts, and other activities.

The fee is $75 per camper per week, and preregistration is required. For more information, call Fern Forest at 954-357-5198. The nature center is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #31 and #42.

Gateway to the Everglades

Nearly half a century ago, in 1964, the property that now makes up Everglades Holiday Park was turned over to Broward County by Davie Farm Lands Inc., with the stipulation that the sole use of the land would be for “public recreation purposes.” The following year the county entered a long-term agreement to lease the site to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), which has since sublet the park’s concession services to private vendors, including, since 1992, Bridges LLC.

On June 3, the 29-acre park reverts to Broward County control, with Bridges under one-year contract to continue to provide existing on-site concession services such as airboat rides, bait and tackle, boat rentals, fishing and hunting license sales, and sundries. The Parks and Recreation Division is working closely with FWC to ensure a smooth transition and anticipates no interruption in service. At this time, store operating hours remain unchanged.

In the next several months, the Broward County Board of County Commissioners and Broward County Parks will seek to hire a company to operate one or several concessions on a longer-term basis beginning in June 2013. The county has already initiated several basic renovations to improve the facilities, including constructing and installing an accessible ramp to the concessions, upgrading the restrooms, and renovating the wood decks and floating dock. The Parks and Recreation Division is working hard to ensure that none of these repairs will significantly interrupt existing services. The county has also begun the initial design and permitting process to convert the existing one-lane bridge to allow for through traffic in both directions.

The campground will be closed temporarily until necessary renovations can be completed. A park manager and staff will be present on the site starting this month. Advance approval is required for all special events and activities.

Godzilla in Your Garden

Mycologists, or mushroom experts, call them Stropharia rugosoannulata, while regular  folk might know them variously as wine cap stropharia, garden giants, burgundy mushrooms, king stropharia, or even Godzilla mushrooms. Regardless of what you call them, they’re both delicious and easy to grow, as you’ll learn when Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach offers a King of the Garden Mushroom Class, for ages 16 and up, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 14.

Participants will learn the patch technique for cultivating these big beauties in a bucket and take home their own starter kits. A $20 donation to the Friends of Secret Woods volunteer group is requested to cover the cost of materials. Preregistration is required by calling the nature center at 954-357-8884. Secret Woods is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #6.

Science Projects

A love of science doesn’t equal geekdom, as your kids will learn if you sign them up for Science Eye Safari Camp at Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center in Davie. Each day is a new adventure at this day camp for ages 7 to 12, which covers astronomy, geology, marine biology, paleontology, physics, wildlife conservation, and more. The camp runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily the weeks of June 25-29, July 9-13, and August 6-10. The fee is $250 per child per week, with after-care from 4 to 5 p.m. available for an additional fee.

For more information, call 954-680-7977, e-mail, or visit

Water Works

World Oceans Day, the planet’s largest celebration of the oceans, falls on Friday, June 8 this year, with the theme “Youth: The Next Wave for Change.” You can continue the tribute the next day, however, when the Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood holds its The Oceans and Us Event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Crafts and other activities that showcase the ocean will be offered, and relevant information will be available. Admission is $1 per person. For more information, call the nature center at 954-357-5161. Anne Kolb is accessible from Broward County Transit Route #12.

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) – 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.