The term “dog days” has long been associated with the final days of summer – just the time for kids to hit Broward County Parks for a last recreational fling before heading back to school in late August.
Our four water parks – Paradise Cove at C.B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines, Tropical Splash at Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium in Lauderhill, Splash Adventure at Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach, and Castaway Island at T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park in Hollywood – are open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:20 p.m. based on the following schedule: daily through August 17; Thursdays through Sundays August 21-31; Monday, September 1 (Labor Day); and Saturdays and Sundays for the rest of September (through October at C.B. Smith).
For mountain bikers, there are roughly 10 miles of trails at Markham Park & Target Range in Sunrise, ranging from novice to intermediate to expert/pro. And Quiet Waters offers 7.1 miles of novice and intermediate trails. Helmets are always required, and only mountain bikes are permitted on the trails, which are for all ages, although riders under the age of 17 must have written consent from a parent/guardian. Membership is required for use of the trails.
And don’t forget our skate park, which is now a mixed-use facility. The 35,000-square-foot park at Brian Piccolo Park & Velodrome in Cooper City is open daily for in-line skaters, skateboarders, and BMX bikers.
For more information, visit or call the park of your choice: Brian Piccolo (954-357-5150), C.B. Smith (954-357-5170), Central Broward Regional (954-357-5400), Markham (954-357-8868), Quiet Waters (954-357-5100), or T.Y. (954-357-8811). The parks' regular gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) applies on weekends and holidays.
The Tradewinds & Atlantic Railroad club, which operates the Model Steam Train Rides
at Tradewinds, was formed in 1972 as the Southern Division of Florida Live Steamers, whose mission is to educate people about railroading and metalworking. This volunteer group began building a track on the north side of the park in 1987 and completed the 5,800-foot, standard 7.5-gauge track three years later, after many hours of hard labor.
On the third full weekend of each month (August 16 and 17 this month), passengers of all ages can ride the one-eighth-life-size trains. The fare is only $1.50 per person for all ages, along with the park’s regular weekend and holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50 per person (children 5 and under free); adults must accompany riders under the age of 10, and pregnant riders are not allowed. The railroad is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., weather permitting, and on average the trains haul about 1,500 visitors each operating weekend. Club members pay between $10 and $25 per year in dues, depending on membership level. For more information, call Tradewinds
at 954-357-8870, visit www.LiveSteamers.org
, or email Info@LiveSteamers.org
Secrets of Better Home Gardening
Add to the beauty of your home through landscaping with the help of the Summer Home Landscape Series at Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach. The free series is halfway through, with four sessions remaining. The program runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on consecutive Thursdays.
Participants will learn ways to save money on their cooling and water bills, attract wildlife, and preserve native vegetation; they’ll improve the appearance of their yards and neighborhoods as well as increase property values.
Remaining topics and presenters are as follows:
- Aug. 7 – Insects in the Yard: Pollinators & Pests – Aaron J. Mullins, Senior Biological Scientist, Department of Entomology & Nematology, UF-IFAS
- Aug. 14 – Landscape Design Basics – Kaylee Kildare
- Aug. 21 – Orchid Basics: What They Need To Grow and Pests You Should Know – Sandi Jones, Orchid Curator, Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, and Owner, Broward Orchid Supply
- Aug. 28 – Fungus Among Us – Scott L. Bryan, Parks Naturalist I, Secret Woods Nature Center
For more information, contact the nature center at 954-357-8884. Secret Woods is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #6.
Nature To Go for Those on the Go
In early June the Parks and Recreation Division premiered its new eNaturalist Program
with an introduction to the program presented by an in-person naturalist at Tall Cypress Natural Area
in Coral Springs. In July the program expanded to include Hillsboro Pineland
in Coconut Creek.
It works this way: Signs posted along trails through select natural areas feature QR (quick response) codes that provide enhanced information on the nature you’re experiencing, including relevant videos. Just use your cellphone or tablet (and a free application you can download) to scan the codes. The visually impaired can also participate, as Braille signs provide Web addresses that lead to audio descriptions of the natural area’s flora and fauna.
Next up: Woodmont Natural Area
in Tamarac, which will have its kickoff on Saturday, August 30, from 9 to 11 a.m.
Hikes are just one component of the program, which also includes Web pages and other resources. For more information, call North Broward Natural Areas at 954-357-5113.
Two more sessions remain in this year’s Summer Horse Camp
, at Tradewinds Park & Stables in Coconut Creek. The camp is for ages 9 through 16 and runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in four-day sessions, Mondays through Thursdays, August 4-7 and August 11-14.
Fee must be paid and a release and waiver of liability signed at registration. Children must provide their own lunches and snacks, and long pants and closed-toe shoes are required. Participants should also bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a towel. The fee is $400 per session.
For more information, call the park at 954-357-8870. Tradewinds
is accessible via Broward County Transit
Get Involved - Volunteer at a Broward County Park
The great humanitarian Albert Schweitzer once said: “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.” At Broward County Parks, we encourage service through volunteerism by way of our VIP Program
, which stands for Volunteers Improving Parks
The VIP Program offers short-term and long-term opportunities for individuals, families, students, and groups both large and small to share their time and talents with the community. Volunteer opportunities are available throughout the park system, and we can work with you to schedule dates and times that are convenient for you. No experience is required – we will provide the necessary training and assistance to accompany any opportunity you choose, along with any special equipment needed.
The first step is to find a project that’s in line with your talents and interests and the amount of time you’re willing to commit. Our Website’s volunteer section
includes links to lists that provide more information on our current volunteer opportunities. Potential volunteers may download the volunteer application
(PDF) and bring the completed forms to the park where you would like to volunteer. If you prefer, you may pick up an application at the park. Those who are volunteering for a special event or a workday should download and fill out the Workday Volunteer application
(PDF) prior to your arrival at the park. For volunteers under 18, parental signatures are required. You should also bring a photo I.D. to the park when you sign up to volunteer.
For additional information, contact the Parks and Recreation Division’s Volunteer Coordinator at 954-357-8153.
Eye patches, peg legs, and hand hooks are optional when Quiet Waters Park
in Deerfield Beach hosts the final Splash Ahoy
of the season this month on Friday, August 8. Fun, however, is mandatory, thanks to such activities as a bounce house, games, a movie, and splash time in the park’s Splash Adventure water playground. The event runs from 6 to 10 p.m. and costs $6 per person. Refreshments will also be available for purchase. Space is limited, and advance ticket purchase is required by calling the park at 954-357-5100. Quiet Waters is accessible via Broward County Transit
Routes #14 and #48.
Now in its eighth year, the King of the Hill 5K Run
at Vista View Park
in Davie bills itself as “the biggest, baddest, and toughest 5K in South Florida.” That’s thanks to the race course, which includes three inclines of 800 meters each. (The hill at Vista View is the highest man-made elevation in Broward County.)The timed 11:30 a.m. run will be immediately followed by an untimed color run, in which participants will be covered in colorful powdered dyes at five color stations along the route, and a 400-meter race for kids, with lengths varying according to age group. To register, visit www.Active.com
. The park’s regular weekend gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect. For additional information, contact the park at 954-357-8898.
The Parks and Recreation Division’s Special Populations Section invites ages 13 to 21 with developmental disabilities to celebrate the end of summer with a Teen Social: Back-to-School Dance
. The free event will feature deejay music, dancing, socializing, and refreshments. It’s from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, August 15, in the Grand Ballroom at the Sunrise Civic Center
, 10610 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Sunrise. Co-sponsored by the City of Sunrise Leisure Services Department
, in partnership with the Broward Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization.
Participants are encouraged to dress in accordance with the theme. Preregistration is required at least seven days before the event. And please note: Direct supervision of participants is not provided. For more information or to preregister, call 954-357-8170 or email SpecialPopulations@broward.org
Hurricane/Disaster Preparedness - Are You Ready?
The Atlantic hurricane season began June 1 and runs through November 30. The UF/IFAS Broward Extension Family Nutrition Program reminds all residents and visitors that although the past few seasons have been relatively quiet, we should guard against complacency through preparation. Develop a written plan and review it often with members of your household
Your emergency supply kit should include, as appropriate:
- List of all family members’ medications, including aspirin and non-aspirin pain relievers
- Equipment/supplies needed in connection with your medication, such as alcohol wipes, syringes, test equipment, and ice or other coolant for mediations that require lower temperatures
- Medicines such as antidiarrheal, antacids, laxatives, children’s medications, etc.
- List of make, style, and serial number for each medical device you use, such as pacemaker, pump, monitor, and accommodation device; pack extra batteries as needed
- First aid kit that includes bandages, gauze, safety pins, cleaning agent, latex gloves, sunscreen, scissors, sewing needle, adhesive tape, tweezers, moist towelettes, antiseptic, rubbing alcohol, thermometer, tongue depressors, petroleum jelly or other lubricant, medicine dropper, etc.
- Spare vision and hearing aids, such as eyeglasses and contact lenses (don’t forget cleaning solution), prescription and nonprescription sunglasses, and hearing aids (plus extra batteries); include even if they are not your latest prescription
- Medical documents such as doctor and pharmacy contact information, health insurance information (including policy and claim numbers), blood type and allergies, medical history and current conditions, copies of prescriptions for medications, and documents identifying disability or access and functional needs (documents can be scanned and saved on a thumb drive or in a small notebook, then stored in a waterproof bag or container)
Don’t forget food and beverage needs:
- Bottled water, sports drinks, instant ice tea and/or coffee, tea bags, 100& fruit juice
- Granola bars, pretzels, ready-to-eat cereal, graham crackers, saltines, bread
- Canned vegetables and soup, canned fruit in its own juice, dried fruit, trail mix, applesauce
- Nonfat milk (powdered, canned, or shelf-stable)
- Canned tuna, ham, salmon, sardines, chili, corned beef hash, ravioli, beans, peanut butter, packaged nuts
- Foods to meet any special dietary needs
(adapted from materials provided by UF/IFAS Broward Extension and Miami-Dade Extension)
|Quote of the
"When we seek for connection, we restore the world to wholeness. Our seemingly separate lives become meaningful as we discover how truly necessary we are to each other."
- American writer/management consultant Margaret Wheatley (1941- )