HighLights eNewsletter
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​March 2016
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 39th 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 nearly three dozen sites will participate, including the Anne Kolb Nature Center, Markham Park & Target Range, Quiet Waters Park, Reverend Samuel Delevoe Park, and Tradewinds Park & Stables.

The event regularly attracts nearly 1,700 volunteers to work at waterfront locations and on floating sites on the Intracoastal Waterway, collecting more than a dozen tons of trash and debris 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 5, 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.

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Then on Saturday, March 12, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Tree Tops Park, Water Matters Day will take place. Now in its 14th 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.
 
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.

 


​Great Scots!
​After an absence of several years from Broward County Parks, the Southeast Florida Scottish Festival & Highland Games are back – returning to Plantation Heritage Park, where the festivities will take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 5. This celebration of all things Scottish, now in its 33rd year, includes heavy athletics, clan gatherings, dancing, piping and drumming, sheepdog demos, and live entertainment throughout the day, as well as vendors offering Scottish food, drink, and merchandise. The noon opening ceremonies will feature a clan parade and massed pipe bands. Advance tickets are $20 for adults, $2 for children 6 to 14, and free for children under 6. (Adult tickets go to $25 on games day.) For more information, call 954-460-5000 or visit SASSF.org.

​Bicycle Month Redux

​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 2016 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 2016 is made possible by Broward County and participating municipalities, along with Bike America, Broward B-cycle, the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization, 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.

 


​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 24th anniversary. Visiting kings and queens will 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 runs from 10 a.m. to sunset on Saturdays and Sundays through March 27. 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 21 through Thursday, March 24. The cost is $75 per day.

Tradewinds is also the site for a Junior Urban Farmers’ Camp, for ages 5 to 8, which also runs March 21-24. There will be two sessions daily, from 8:30 a.m. to noon and from 12:30 to 4 p.m.; the cost is $40 per session. Preregistration is required for both these camps; 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, 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 H20 - At a Broward County Water Park
​Our four aquatics facilities reopen for the season this month. From Friday, March 18 through Sunday, March 27, 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 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. 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, #19, #36, #40, #81, and 441 Breeze; Quiet Waters via Route #14; and T.Y. via Route #12.

​Star Search

​Hollywood (the California one) 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.

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The free program is called An Evening With the Stars, and the latest installment starts at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 11. 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.  

 


​Put on Your Listening Ears
​Enjoy 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 18, will be on the topic “A Visit to the Galápagos Through the Eyes of an Explorer.” 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.

​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 and fees apply to most of these activities; call the park for more details.

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  • Fri., Mar. 4, 10 a.m. – Intro to Birding Walk Fern Forest (954-357-5198)
  • Sat., Mar. 5, 8:30 a.m. – Bird Walk Deerfield Island (954-357-5100)
  • Sat., Mar. 5, 10 a.m. – Intro to Birding Walk – Fern Forest (954-357-5198)
  • Sun., Mar. 6, 8 a.m. – Bird WalkTall Cypress (954-357-5100)
  • Fri., Mar. 18, 6:30 p.m. – Owl Prowl Long Key (954-357-8797)
  • Sun., Mar. 20, 11 a.m. – Trail Stroll Anne Kolb (954-357-5161)
  • Sat., Mar. 26, 10 a.m. – Plants of the Anne Kolb Nature Center Hike (954-357-5161)
  • Sun., Mar. 27, 10 a.m. – Guided Nature Hike – Long Key (954-357-8797)

​Advisory Board/Public Participation Forum Notice
​The next meeting of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, to be followed by a Parks Public Participation Forum at 7 p.m. The meeting/forum will take place at Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium, 3700 N.W. 11th Place, Lauderhill 33311; 954-357-5400.

​Parks Foundation of Broward County

​​The Parks Foundation of Broward County is a 501 (c) (3) organization founded in 2014 in support of the Broward County Parks and Recreation Division. The foundation welcomes individual memberships and corporate partnerships at all levels to help promote our parks and programs, preserve our natural areas, and provide more green space for our community.

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Quote of the Month
​"The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome. The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse." - American author, activist, and lecturer Helen Keller (1880-1968)