July Is Parks and Recreation Month!
So says the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), which started a tradition in 1985 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.
Or as we like to say, “Find It All – At a Broward County Park.” Get out and enjoy. For more information on Broward County Parks, visit Broward.org/Parks.
All Broward County regional parks and nature centers, neighborhood parks, and natural areas, as well as water parks and campgrounds, will be open on Friday, July 4 (with the exception of Deerfield Island Park). 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.
"...And the Rockets' Red Glare"
The Fourth of July equals fireworks, right? And what better place for Fireworks Viewing than one of the highest elevations in South Florida? That would be Vista View Park in Davie, where the hill ranks as the highest manmade elevation in Broward County. This year the park will be open till 10 p.m., and depending on weather conditions, visitors may be able to see the displays from Davie, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Sunrise, and possibly even Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood.
Most of these shows are scheduled to begin at 9 p.m., but you’re welcome to bring lawn chairs and/or blankets and come early to get a good spot – the park opens at 8 a.m., and the entry fee is good for admission all day; present your receipt for reentry. You are also invited to bring your own refreshments, although no hard liquor and no glass containers are allowed. Parking is on a first-come, first-served basis, and no fireworks (including sparklers) will be permitted in the park. The park’s playgrounds and shelters will be closed.
Admission before 7:30 p.m. will be the park’s regular weekend and holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free); admission will go to $2/person at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call Vista View at 954-357-8898.
Swim, Bike, and Run for Independence
If your idea of fun for the Fourth of July holiday involves swimming, biking, and running, you’re in luck: The 24th Annual Independence Day Duathlon & Triathlon event is scheduled for Tradewinds Park in Coconut Creek. The races begin at 7 a.m., followed by an awards ceremony at 9:15 a.m. Hundreds of athletes have already signed up for the event.
The duathlon consists of a 0.75-mile run, a 10-mile bike ride, and a three-mile run. The triathlon starts with a quarter-mile lake swim, moves on to a 10-mile bike ride, and concludes with a three-mile run. For registration and fee information, call 561-354-5941 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The park’s regular weekend and holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect. For more information about Tradewinds, call 954-357-8870. The park is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #34.
Food-Borne Illness Is No Picnic
Now that summer is here and picnicking is on the rise, Extension Education’s Family Nutrition Program reminds everyone to keep food at proper temperatures – both before you take it outside and after you’re dining al fresco. The key is never letting picnic food remain in the “danger zone” – between 40⁰ F and 140⁰ F – for more than two hours, or one hour if the outdoor temperature is above 90⁰. Otherwise, bacteria can multiply rapidly, resulting in food-borne illness.
Follow these simple food-safety rules:
· Never serve food reusing plates or utensils that have been in contact with raw meat (including poultry) or seafood. Wash the serving items first in hot, soapy water to avoid spreading bacteria from raw juices to cooked or ready-to-eat food. This is particularly important to remember when grilling.
· Cold perishable food should be kept in a refrigerator or cooler at 40⁰ F or below until serving time. Once presented for serving, such food should not sit out for longer than two hours (one hour if the outdoor temperature is above 90⁰ F). When in doubt, throw it out.
· Foods like chicken salad and desserts in individual serving dishes can be placed directly on ice or in a shallow container set in a deep pan filled with ice. Drain water as ice melts and replace ice frequently.
· Hot food should be kept at or above 140⁰ F. Wrap well and place in an insulated container until time to serve. Just as with cold food, hot food should not sit out for more than two hours, one hour if outdoor temperature is above 90⁰ F. Discard food if it is left out longer.
· Remember to wash your hands before preparing or serving foods. Proper hand washing is highly effective in stopping the spread of infection.
Summertime, and the living is easy, right? Just because you’re enjoying sun and surf, however, don’t neglect your pet’s summer needs. Did you know, for instance, that July 5 is the busiest day for animal shelters? That’s because many pet owners don’t take precautions to prevent Independence Day stress. The fireworks you and friends and family find exciting may provoke confusion and exhaustion in your pet. Dogs, especially, are sometimes upset enough to crash through windows, jump fences, or break chains to escape, and are found the next day miles from home, exhausted and disoriented.
If loud noises disturb your pet – its reactions to thunderstorms should provide a clue – consider leaving the animal behind while you go out for Fourth of July festivities. At home, have someone remain inside with your pet while fireworks go off outside. Your vet may provide tranquilizers for particularly sensitive animals.
Another summer hazard, especially in subtropical South Florida, is heat stress. Never take a pet with you in the car if it will be unattended for any length of time. An outdoor temperature of 85 degrees can translate to an interior temperature of 120 degrees in just 30 minutes.
Even at home, supply drinking water and shade if your pet is to be left outside on hot days. And if you “strut your mutt” in one of our parks, remember that early morning and after sundown are easier on the heat-sensitive pads of your dog’s paws.
Remember that well-behaved dogs on six-foot leashes are welcome in our regional and neighborhood parks but not in our nature centers and natural areas.
Better Homes and Gardens
If you’re an average homeowner who would like to add to the beauty of your home through landscaping, then Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach has just the ticket for you: the Summer Home Landscape Series, which consists of eight free lectures. The popular program runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on consecutive Thursdays, starting on July 10 and ending August 28.
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.
Topics and presenters are as follows:
· July 10 – Plants With a Purpose – Molly Taylor, Parks Naturalist II, Secret Woods Nature Center
· July 17 – Container-Grown Edibles – Murray Corman
· July 24 – Fertilizers – Michael Orfanedes, Commercial Horticulture Agent IV, UF-IFAS/Broward Extension Education
· July 31 – Urban Farming: Eating Broward – Michael Madfis
· 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
Track-cycling enthusiasts will want to be at Brian Piccolo Park & Velodrome the weekend of July 12 and 13, when the velodrome, in conjunction with the Florida Velodrome Association, will present the 2014 Florida State Masters Track Championships. The schedule is as follows: 200m Time Trial and Match Sprints starting at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday; Individual Pursuit and Scratch Race starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday; and Kilo/500m and Points Race starting at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday. Any rained-out session will be made up at 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Registration begins an hour before races start. A one-time entry fee of $25 enables riders to enter all scheduled events. The competition is open to all USAC-licensed Masters Category riders (no one-day USAC licenses allowed). Riders must race in the age group designated on their license: 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, 65-74, or 75-84. USA Cycling rules apply. State medals will be awarded to the top three Florida residents in each category and event.
The park’s regular weekend gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect. No glass containers permitted inside velodrome. For more information, call 941-544-6520 or 305-496-3033, or visit FlaVelo.org.
· Splash Ahoy! – Fri., July 11 and 25, 6-10 p.m. – Splash Adventure at Quiet Waters Park (954-357-5100); $6/person (+ sales tax), includes splash time, pirate games, a bounce house, and a movie. Refreshments available for purchase. Advance ticket purchase required.
And remember, all four of our water parks – Splash Adventure, along with Paradise Cove at C.B. Smith Park (954-357-5170), Tropical Splash at Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium (954-357-5400), and Castaway Island at T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park (954-357-8811) – are open daily in July. Fees vary, and seasonal aquatics passes are available; call the park of your choice for additional information. 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 Route #14; and T.Y. via Routes #12 and #16.
As of July 1 it has been one year since the Parks and Recreation Division introduced WebTrac. The new online reservation system enables park patrons to do something they had never done before – reserve our more than 110 picnic shelters and corporate pavilions online. Patrons are also now able to purchase annual gate passes, skate park passes, and seasonal aquatic passes, as well as rent Funbrellas at water parks, register for specific programs and activities, and check the availability of indoor venues for meetings, weddings, and other special events. As promised, the system has been expanded to include the Division’s more than 300 campsites, along with other facilities and programming. Now that it’s up and running, the system is the largest and most comprehensive WebTrac operation in South Florida.
Check out WebTrac by visiting our Website at Broward.org/Parks, where you’ll find a RESERVE ONLINE button on the right of the page.
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).
|Quote of the
"You can't do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth." - American humorist Evan Esar (1899-1995)