HighLights eNewsletter
Broward County > Parks and Recreation > Highlights eNews
​March 2015
Recreation. Preservation. Education.
​Wonders of Water
​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 38th 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, Reverend Samuel Delevoe Park, and Secret Woods Nature Center.

Last year the event attracted nearly 1,700 volunteers to work at waterfront locations and on floating sites on the Intracoastal Waterway. Nearly 18 tons of trash and debris was collected from the County’s roughly 300 miles of navigable waterways, canals, and shorelines. This year’s event will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 7, with Trash Bash activities – refreshments, live entertainment, door prizes – immediately following.

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 WaterwayCleanup.org,  or email WaterwayCleanup@MIASF.org .Anne Kolb is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #12; Deerfield Island via Route #48; Delevoe via Route #40; Markham via Route #23; and Secret Woods via Route #6.

Then on Saturday, March 14, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Tree Tops Park, Water Matters Day will take place. Now in its 13th year, the county’s signature water event – this year’s theme is “Water for Everyone – People, Plants, Animals” – 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 gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect. For more information, visit Broward.org/WaterMatters.

​Destination: The Renaissance
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 23rd 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 15. Admission is $21 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 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 Ren-Fest.com.  The park is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #14.

​Not Your Typical Spring Break

​Don’t let your spring-breaker squander all his or her time when there are creative 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 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily from Monday, March 16 through Thursday, March 19, and then again from Monday, March 23 through Thursday, March 26. The cost is $75 per day.

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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, a Bike America location, and Ski Rixen USA cable water-skiing. For fees and additional information, call the park at 954-357-5100.
 
For a one-day outing, visit our popular Everglades Holiday Park in far western Broward, where you can enjoy hourlong guided airboat tours followed by gator shows. There’s also a food concession (with gator bites!) and a souvenir shop. For rates and additional information, call 954-434-8111.

 


​Find H2O - At a Broward County Water Park

​Our four aquatics facilities reopen for the season this month. From Friday, March 20 through Sunday, March 29, the following water parks will be open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:20 p.m.: Paradise Cove (with its four new waterslides) 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. 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. C.B. Smith is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #5, #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.

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​Put on Your Listening Ears
​Learn all about “Grafting” at this month’s Propagation Lecture at Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach, from 2 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 14. This final installment in the three-lecture series includes hands-on instruction in various techniques. The program is for ages 16 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 in Hollywood. The final of three presentations, from noon to 2 p.m. on Friday, March 20, will be on the topic “Sink or Swim – Sea Level Rise in Broward County.” The guest lecturer is urban planner Jason Liechty. 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 Route #12.

​The Return of Bicycle Month

​When a week’s worth of events proved popular with the public in 2007, the organizers of Bicycle Week opted to expand it to Bicycle Month the following year. Bicycle Month 2015 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.

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Bicycle Month 2015 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, 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.

​Star Search
​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 20. 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 in Sunrise every Saturday evening, weather permitting, from dusk to midnight. For more information on the SFAAA, call 954-384-0442 or email Info@SFAAA.com.  

​A Few Good Causes
​Starting at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 14, Markham Park & Target Range in Sunrise will host the fourth annual Daniel’s Dash for Concussion Awareness 5K Run/Walk. The event benefits the nonprofit Daniel Brett Foundation, which was established in memory of a young man who died from injuries sustained from playing football. For more information, visit DanielsDash.org.
 
That same day, starting at 7 a.m., Tradewinds Park & Stables in Coconut Creek will host the Transplant Foundation Miracle 5K Run/Walk. The annual fundraiser promotes organ donor awareness. For more information, visit TransplantFoundation.org.
 
Then on Sunday, March 22, Markham will host the seventh annual Kendra’s Kisses Memorial 5K Run/Walk, starting at 7:30 a.m. This fundraiser benefits the Kendra Vermont Foundation, which provides social, emotional, and financial support to families and caregivers of children with cancer. The event commemorates a South Florida girl who died at age 4 of a brain tumor in 2007.For more information, visit KendrasKisses.org.

The parks’ regular weekend gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect for these events.

​Walk This Way

​Call it “nature by foot” – whether it’s a walk, a hike, a stroll, or a prowl, we’ve got you covered this month with these programs. Preregistration may be required.


​Public Participation Forum

​The parkgoing public will have an opportunity to provide suggestions, voice concerns, and ask questions about recreational needs in the Broward County park system at a Public Participation Forum. The forum will take place starting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, in the Fountain Room at Plantation Heritage Park (1100 S. Fig Tree Lane, Plantation; 954-357-5135).

 

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Quote of the Month
​"You are not here merely to make a living. You are here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world. You impoverish yourself if you forget this errand." - U.S. President Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924)