HighLights eNewsletter
Broward County > Parks and Recreation > Highlights eNews
​July 2015
Recreation. Preservation. Education.
​"...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 height in Broward County. This year the park will be open on Saturday, July 4 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 if you leave and want to come back later. 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 after 7:30 p.m.
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.


​Independence Day Hours
​Broward County will observe Independence Day on Friday, July 3, with all applicable Broward County regional parks charging the holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) on that day. All regional parks and nature centers, neighborhood parks, and natural areas will also be open on Saturday, July 4, with the weekend gate fee in effect at applicable parks. Deerfield Island Park will be closed on July 3 but open on July 4.

​July Is Parks and Recreation Month!

​In 1985 the National Recreation and Park Association started a tradition that continues to this day, with July designated as Parks and Recreation Month annually. The Florida Recreation and Park Association supports the initiative.

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 Broward.org/Parks.  

​Moth Magic
​Butterflies may get most of the attention in the scientific order Lepidoptera, but moths can be just as fascinating, as you’ll readily learn when Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center in Davie celebrates the fourth annual National Moth Week by hosting Moth Day. It runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 25, and the emphasis will be on the importance of moths to the planet’s ecosystems. Activities will include presentations on moth life cycles, moth diversity, and moth gardening; plant giveaways; and pointers on how to view the moths you can find in your own back yard. From 8 to 10 p.m., naturalists will set up lights to attract moths for up-close viewing.
Bella moth.jpg
Moth Day activities are free, but there will also be a fee-based program ($5/child) called Magical Moths for Kids, on both Saturday and Sunday, July 25 and 26. Activities (including games, storytelling, crafts, and more) will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Long Key’s Discovery Room. For more info or to preregister, call the park at 954-357-8797.

​Better Homes and Gardens

​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 lecture 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.

Topics and presenters are as follows:

For more information, contact the nature center at 954-357-8884. Secret Woods is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #6.

​Water Fun for Everyone
  • Superhero Splash Bashes– Fri., July 10 and 24, 6-10 p.m. – Splash Adventure at Quiet Waters Park (954-357-5100); $6/person (+ sales tax), includes splash time, games, a bounce house, prizes, and a movie. Refreshments available for purchase. Advance ticket purchase required. Contact the park office or use the Reserve Online button on our Website.

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; call the park of your choice for additional information. C.B. Smith is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #3, #7, #16, #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.

​Keeping Critters Cool

​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. For particularly sensitive animals, consult a vet about possibly prescribing tranquilizers.

cat and dog.jpg

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.
And 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.


​Enjoy Healthy Meals This Summer

University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Broward Extension’s Family Nutrition Program (FNP) reminds you that, as a general rule, the more colors on your plate, the healthier your diet. Brighten your summer meals with colorful seasonal fruits and vegetables in reds, oranges, dark greens, purples, yellows, and blues. You’ll help reduce your risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and other chronic ailments.
1. Let USDA's MyPlate Be Your Guide (ChooseMyPlate.gov)

  • Fruits: Add low-fat yogurt, granola, and nuts to fresh fruit to create a parfait. Eat fresh fruit daily.
  • Vegetables: Have a salad as a side to dinner, or make half your plate fruits and vegetables like steamed carrots, and cabbage. Vary the veggies you eat weekly. 
  • Grains: Eat fiber-rich whole-grain rather than white bread; opt for brown rather than white rice.
  • Protein: Choose lean turkey, roast beef, or ham. Remove skin from chicken and bake or broil rather than frying.  
  • Dairy: Include fat-free or low-fat milk at breakfast and other meals. Try calcium-rich low-fat yogurt and cheeses, too. 

2. What’s for Lunch?

  • A fresh turkey sandwich on whole-grain bread with mustard, tomato, lettuce, and low- or nonfat cheese.
  • A green salad with grilled chicken and fresh seasonal vegetables like tomatoes, red cabbage, carrots, and onions, or fruits like sliced strawberries, grapes, or tangerine segments.
  • Vegetable, beef, or chicken soup with fiber-rich, nutrient-dense vegetables like green peas and diced sweet potatoes.

soup and salad.jpg

3. Make Healthier Menu Choices When Dining Out

  • Cut back on calories by ordering an appetizer for your main dish, or splitting an entree.   
  • Choose baked, grilled, or broiled entrees and steamed rather than fried vegetables.
  • Order sauces, dressings, and condiments on the side.
  • Drink water, unsweetened tea, or low-fat or fat-free milk instead of sugar-laden beverages.
  • Ask for half of large portions to take home with you. 

4. Keep Food Safe

  • Always wash your hands before preparing food and/or sitting down to a meal. 
  • Cook food thoroughly when dining in. When dining out, make sure food is cooked to your satisfaction – if not, send it back.
  • Check expiration dates when cooking at home – when in doubt, throw it out.
  • Refrigerate leftover food within two hours from the time it was originally served.

For more information, contact the FNP program coordinator at 954-357-5270 or 954-577-6410.

​Wake Up!
​Still looking for a summer camp for your youngster(s) ages 7 to 15? Wake Camp 2015 continues at Ski Rixen USA at Quiet Waters Park with daily and weekly (Monday-Friday) sessions available in July and August. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the fees are $95 per day or $295 per week. Activities include wakeboarding, wake surfing, and water-ski instruction; StandUp Paddle adventures; classes in environmental education and wakeboarding fundamentals; and fun games like dodgeball, air raid, and water-gun fight. Fridays are reserved for a barbecue picnic party and a kids’ performance show. Camps are offered the weeks of July 6-10, 13-17, and 20-24, and August 3-7 and 10-14. For more information, visit SkiRixenUSA.com or call 954-429-0215.

​Don't Forget These Other Summer Camps

Age groups and registration requirements vary. Fees may apply. Contact the number(s) listed for additional information.

​SWIM Central

​As Broward County's coordinating agency for water-safety instruction and awareness, SWIM Central maintains the most comprehensive database in Florida for swimming pools and water-safety programs in the County. It is one of the only programs of its type in the country. For more information, call 954-357-SWIM (7946).



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Quote of the Month
​"If you want to be free, there is but one way; it is to guarantee an equally full measure of liberty to all your neighbors. There is no other." - German-born American statesman Carl Schurz (1829-1906)