When a week’s worth of events proved popular with the public, the organizers of Bicycle Week opted to expand it to Bicycle Month in 2008. Bicycle Month 2014 now includes dozens of programs and events from March 1 through 31. The purposes of this special month are to promote bicycle safety and education; to provide leisure and recreational bicycling opportunities for all ages and abilities; and to offer competitive/challenging cycling opportunities throughout Broward County within both the public and the private sectors.
Bicycle Month 2014 is made possible by Broward County, along with Bike America, Broward B-cycle, the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization, CycleMobility, the Florida Department of Transportation, the Florida Velodrome Association, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, the Recyclable Bicycle Exchange, the South Florida Bicycle Coalition, and South Florida Commuter Services. Together these organizations have committed to hosting bicycle rodeos, recreational rides, bike-to-work challenges, nature bike hikes, lunchtime rides, bicycle scavenger hunts, and tandem rides for the visually impaired. Times, fees, locations, and registration requirements vary. Our Website features a calendar detailing the month’s activities.
The Parks and Recreation Division and the Health Foundation of South Florida (HFSF) will bring the free program Walk With Ease back to five park sites: Plantation Heritage, Reverend Samuel Delevoe, Roosevelt Gardens, T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee), and Vista View. The program, which was first held in County parks in 2012, will get under way again from 9 to 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 20 (the first day of spring). This evidence-based program encourages older adults to start walking for their health. Attendees at the kickoff will have an opportunity to register and learn more about the program, which this year takes the theme "Spring Into Good Health."
Through the foundation's five-year, $7.5 million initiative, the Healthy Aging Regional Collaborative, launched in 2008, the organization is helping older adults to achieve and maintain strength. Walk With Ease was created by the Arthritis Foundation and is designed to increase physical activity for those ages 55 and up, regardless of whether they have arthritis. Participants will meet with a trained leader three times a week during this six-week session and will also receive a guidebook with chapters on health education, stretching and strengthening exercises, and motivational strategies. At the completion of their session, walkers will receive a Walk With Ease T-shirt.
The Health Foundation of South Florida is a nonprofit grant-making organization dedicated to improving health in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe counties. By advancing health solutions, the foundation makes a measurable and sustainable impact in ensuring access to affordable, quality health services for all residents, especially the underserved. Since 1993, the foundation has awarded more than $95 million in grants and program support.
For more information on HFSF, call 305-374-7200 or visit www.HFSF.org. For more information on the Healthy Aging Regional Collaborative, visit www.HealthyAgingSF.org.
Last year the Parks and Recreation Division bestowed its first Community Partnership Award to the YMCA of Broward County, in recognition of a variety of fitness programs for older adults and children that were being held in county parks. Funding for the program is from a grant to the YMCA from the Jim Moran Foundation.
The Active Older Adult Program, which continues at three neighborhood parks, includes four key components. One, EnhanceFitness, is offered through Parks and Recreation as follows:
Franklin Park (954-357-7080) - Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 10-11 a.m.
Reverend Samuel Delevoe Park (954-357-8801) - Mondays, 8-9 a.m.; Wednesdays and Fridays, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Roosevelt Gardens Park (954-625-8700) - Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Call the park of your choice for additional information.
Find Excitement - At a Broward County Water Park
Our four aquatics facilities reopen for the season this month. From Friday, March 21 through Sunday, March 30, the following water parks will be open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:20 p.m.: Paradise Cove at C.B. Smith Park (with its new Paradise Pipeline waterslide complex), Tropical Splash at Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium, Splash Adventure at Quiet Waters Park, and Castaway Island at T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park. The water parks will be open the same hours on Saturdays and Sundays only throughout the month of April. Sessions will not be in effect in March and April. Details on the schedule from May through September are available on our water park Web page.
For water park fees and additional information, call C.B. Smith at 954-357-5170, Central Broward Regional at 954-357-5400, Quiet Waters at 954-357-5100, or T.Y. at 954-357-8811. The parks are accessible via Broward County Transit routes: #5, #7, #16, #23, and 95 EXPRESS for C.B. Smith; #18, #36, #40, and #81 for Central Broward Regional; #14 for Quiet Waters; and #12 and #16 for T.Y.
Spring Break Alternatives
Don’t let your spring-breaker squander all his or her time when there are other possibilities out there. Young horse enthusiasts, for example, can participate in the Spring Break Horse Camp at Tradewinds Park & Stables. The camp, for ages 9 to 16, runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from Monday, March 24 through Thursday, March 27, and the cost is $75 per day, with a sibling discount available for $50 per day.
Instruction includes breeds and colors of horses; anatomy of the horse; appropriate riding equipment, tack, and general care of the horse in the show ring and on the trails; nutrition and feeding; and horse care – routine, preventive, and therapeutic maintenance. Children must provide their own lunches and snacks. Long pants and closed-toe shoes are required, and participants should also bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a towel. Preregistration is required, and fees must be paid and a release and waiver of liability completed and signed at the time of registration. For more information, call the park at 954-357-8870.
Or you could take your kid(s) on a camping trip without going far from home. At the Rent-a-Tent/Tepee Campground at Quiet Waters Park, all you have to bring is your camping gear – each campsite has a platform tent or tepee already set up and ready to move into. Each site has water, electricity, a picnic table, a grill, and a fire ring. Other park amenities nearby include mountain bike trails, a marina with boat rentals, lakes for fishing, and Ski Rixen USA cable water-skiing. For fees and additional information, call the park at 954-357-5100.
If you have a junior angler under the age of 12 in your household, take him/her to the Gator Kids Fishing Tournament
at Everglades Holiday Park
. It’s on Saturday, March 22, starting with check-in at 7:30 a.m. sharp, followed by fishing from 9 to 11 a.m. Kids will compete by age group: 5 and under, 6 to 8, and 9 to 12, all accompanied by an adult.
The $8/child fee includes bait (red worms), as well as a lunch consisting of hot dog, chips, gator bites, and beverage. The first 150 kids who arrive at the park the morning of the event will be given a T-shirt. Prizes will be awarded in all age groups for longest fish caught, most unusual catch, and most fish caught.
Register online at www.GatorKidsClub.com. For more information, call 954-434-8111.
The Renaissance, Revisited
Each year the Florida Renaissance Festival brings a taste of the Renaissance to Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach, and this year the celebration marks its 22nd anniversary. Visiting kings and queens will all claim land for their respective countries, and the festival’s makeshift village will be packed with artisans and crafts people selling and demonstrating their wares, not to mention rides, nearly a dozen stages featuring continuous entertainment, and hearty food and drink of the time.
The festival, now approximately at its midpoint, runs from 10 a.m. to sunset on Saturdays and Sundays through March 16. Admission is $20 for ages 12 and up, $9 for ages 6 to 11, and free for ages 5 and under. Group rates are also available. The park’s regular weekend and holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50 per person (children 5 and under free) will also be in effect.
For additional information, call Quiet Waters at 954-357-5100 or the festival at 954-776-1642, or visit www.Ren-Fest.com. The park is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #14.
Find the Stars - And Not Just on the Red Carpet
Hollywood may turn out every year for the Academy Awards, but another kind of star – the heavenly kind – inhabits the South Florida sky every night. And every quarter the South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association (SFAAA) gets together at Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek to discuss all things astronomical.
The free program is called An Evening With the Stars, and the latest installment starts at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 21. Speakers will cover basic telescope techniques and general astronomy information. For more details, call Fern Forest at 954-357-5198. The nature center is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #31 and #42.
The SFAAA also opens the Fox Observatory at Markham Park & Target Range in Sunrise every Saturday evening, weather permitting, from dusk to midnight. For more information, call 954-384-0442 or email info@SFAAA.com.
Water is an integral component of the quality of life to both residents and visitors alike in Broward County. This month two major events in parks attest to the importance water holds in our lives, in terms of both recreation and daily life.
The first event that will focus on water quality and conservation is the county’s largest environmental event, the 37th Annual Waterway Cleanup. The event, with the theme “Where Blue Meets Green,” is organized by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF) in cooperation with civil, public, and private partners to promote environmental awareness and responsibility. This year more than two dozen sites will participate, including the Anne Kolb Nature Center, Deerfield Island Park, Markham Park & Target Range, and Secret Woods Nature Center. The event is on Saturday, March 1, from 9 a.m. to noon.
Last year the event attracted more than 2,000 volunteers to work at waterfront locations and on floating sites on the Intracoastal Waterway. Nearly 19 tons of trash and debris was collected from the county’s roughly 300 miles of navigable waterways, canals, and shorelines.
Participants should wear clothes that they don’t mind getting dirty, as well as gloves and shoes. Sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, and drinking water are also recommended. For more information, call MIASF at 954-524-2733, visit www.WaterwayCleanup.org, or email WaterwayCleanup@miasf.org. Anne Kolb is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #4 and #12; Deerfield Island via Route #48; Markham via Route #23; and Secret Woods via Route #6.
Then on Saturday, March 8, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Tree Tops Park, Water Matters Day will take place. Now in its 12th year, the county’s signature water event – this year’s theme is “Water – Our Greatest Resource” – educates residents on what they can do to protect our drinking-water supplies. Among the relevant topics covered will be water conservation techniques, smart irrigation, and native landscaping.
This family-oriented event features live music, educational booths and exhibits, giveaways (including native plants), hands-on activities, children’s workshops, and more. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. The Broward County Board of County Commissioners, Broward Workshop, the School Board of Broward County, and the South Florida Water Management District partner for the event.
Admission to Water Matters Day is free, although Tree Tops’ regular weekend and holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect. For more information, visit Broward.org/WaterMatters.
In 2007 a South Florida girl named Kendra had just turned 4 when she died of a cancerous brain tumor. Two years later, the Kendra’s Kisses Memorial 5K Run/Walk was launched as a fundraiser for the nonprofit Kendra Vermont Foundation, which provides social, emotional, and financial support to families and caregivers of children with cancer.
This year’s chip-timed event will start at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 30 at Markham Park & Target Range in Sunrise. Early entry fees are $30 for ages 19 and up, $15 for ages 18 and under; add $5 to that if you register on race day. Refreshments, food, and entertainment will be provided immediately following the event, and awards will be given in several categories.
For more information, visit the event Website, KendrasKisses.org. Markham Park is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #23.
Learn all about “Grafting” at this month’s Propagation Lecture at Secret Woods Nature Center. This final installment in the three-lecture series, to be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 1, includes hands-on instruction in various techniques. The program is for ages 12 and up and runs $5/person. For more information, call Secret Woods at 954-357-8884. The nature center is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #6.
Also concluding this month: the latest installment of the Lunch-and-Learn Nature Series, the lecture program that has been so popular at the Anne Kolb Nature Center. The final of three presentations, from noon to 2 p.m. on Friday, March 21, will be on the topic “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife of South Florida.” The guest lecturer is Ricardo Zambrano, a wildlife biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Preregistration is required a week prior to the event. A $7 donation to the Friends of the Anne Kolb Nature Center volunteer group gets you in and gets you lunch. For more information, call Anne Kolb at 954-357-5161. The nature center is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #4 and #12.
Parks Division Hosts Annual Public Forum
The Parks and Recreation Division invites the public to a Public Participation Forum at Plantation Heritage Park on Thursday, March 6, starting at 7 p.m., immediately following the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board's 6 p.m. meeting. This free forum is the public's opportunity to provide suggestions, voice concerns, and ask questions about recreational needs in Broward County Parks.
The advisory board, whose members are appointed by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners, meets six times a year to provide input to Parks staff relevant to facilities and programming. These regular meetings are open to the public, although participation at them is limited to the advisory board and Parks staff. Once a year a Public Participation Forum is held to involve the public in the advisory board's activities.
For more information, call 954-357-8107.
SWIM Central is the 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
"The question should be, is it worth trying to do, not can it be done." - American politician Allard Lowenstein (1929-1980)