May Is National Water-Safety Month
Our four water parks are among our top draws, and there are parks throughout our system that offer beach access, cable water-skiing, fishing, boating, and more.
With so many water-based attractions, water safety is a top concern. Our SWIM Central program – Broward County’s primary resource and referral service for available swim programs – has reached more than half a million children since its inception in 1999. Every summer three of our parks also offer an extensive Learn to Swim program (see story below). And we have a dedicated, highly trained lifeguard staff that routinely receives recognition from Ellis & Associates aquatics consultants, including a 2015 Gold International Aquatic Safety Award for Tropical Splash at Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium and Silver Awards for Castaway Island at T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park and Splash Adventure at Quiet Waters Park.
We’re observing National Water Safety Month
this May – and every other month as well. We hope you enjoy our water amenities, and we encourage you to make water safety a priority for you, too.
The Learn to Swim
program returns to C.B. Smith, Central Broward Regional, and T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) parks next month, with the first of five regular sessions starting on June 13 and the final session ending on August 18. These classes will meet for a total of eight 30-minute lessons, Mondays through Thursdays. Central Broward Regional will also offer two weekend sessions that meet for a total of six 45-minute lessons.
Classes will be offered only if minimum enrollment is met. Rained-out classes will be made up on Fridays, and each two-week session is limited to two make-up lessons only. Four different courses are offered, designed for ages 2 and up, from preschool through age 10. Schedules and courses available will vary depending on the park. Preregistration is encouraged and begins on May 2. The fee is $50 per session plus sales tax.
For additional information, call C.B. Smith at 954-357-5170, Central Broward Regional at 954-357-5400, 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; and T.Y.
via Route #12.
Our four aquatics facilities – including the Paradise Pipeline four-waterslide complex at Paradise Cove
at C.B. Smith Park
(954-357-5170) in Pembroke Pines – continue their season. From Thursday, May 5 through Sunday, June 5, the following water parks will be open Thursdays through Sundays, 9:30 a.m. to 5:20 p.m.: Paradise Cove; Tropical Splash
at Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium
(954-357-5400) in Lauderhill; Splash Adventure
at Quiet Waters Park
(954-357-5100) in Deerfield Beach; and Castaway Island
at T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park
(954-357-8811) in Hollywood. The water parks will also be open on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30. Sessions will be in effect on Saturdays and Sundays and on Memorial Day at Splash Adventure and Tropical Splash. Details on the schedule from June through September (October at Paradise Cove) are available on our water park Web page
Put your horse sense to good use when Tradewinds Park & Stables offers its popular annual Summer Horse Camp. The program, for ages 9 through 16, runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting on June 6 and ending on August 11.
Four-day intermediate sessions ($300) run June 6-9, 13-16, 20-23, and 27-30. Four-day advanced sessions ($400) are July 11-14 and 18-21, and August 1-4 and 8-11. (All fees are subject to Florida sales tax.)
Class size is limited; early registration is recommended. Fees must be paid and a release and waiver of liability signed at registration. Children must provide their own lunches and refreshments. Long pants and closed-toe shoes are required. Participants should also bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a towel.
Two major holidays this month provide opportunities for a fun outing in a park: Mother’s Day
, on Sunday, May 8, and Memorial Day
, on Monday, May 30. All Broward County Parks will be open their regularly scheduled hours (except Deerfield Island Park
and the Markham Park Target Range
, both of which are normally closed on Mondays). Shelters and indoor facilities of all sizes are offered for rent. Reservations are required, however, so call now to check availability. All shelters have picnic tables, most have grills, and many also have water, electricity, and restrooms. Amenities at indoor facilities vary. Freestanding picnic tables are also available on a first-come, first-served basis throughout most of our parks. For more information, visit our Website
. Enjoy your holiday in the park!
Looking to get away without going far away? Look no farther than Easterlin Park, Quiet Waters Park, or T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park, which will offer summer camping specials: from May 1 through October 31 at Easterlin and Quiet Waters, May 1 through September 5 (Labor Day) at T.Y.
The Escape Special at Easterlin, which runs from Sunday through Thursday, offers a stay of one or more nights for up to four campers for $25 plus tax per night; two additional campers can be added at $3 each. The Family Fun Package, available on Friday and Saturday only, offers a two-night stay for up to four campers for $50 plus tax per site; two additional campers can be added for $3 each. Call the park at 954-357-5190 for more information.
The terms of the Escape Special and Family Fun Package at Quiet Waters are the same as those at Easterlin. The Rent-a-Tent/Tepee campground features 25 sites with platform tents already set up and two sites with tepees. No RV sites are available. Reservations are required by calling the park at 954-357-5100. All Quiet Waters campers are also eligible for discounts at other park attractions. Inquire at the office for details.
The Find Your Getaway special at T.Y., for up to four campers, offers RV campsites at $30 per site (plus tax) per night seven days a week. The four registered campers will be admitted free to the park’s Castaway Island water park. Additional campers (up to two, at $3 per night) pay the regular Castaway admission of $8/person ($5/person after 3 p.m.). Reservations are required by calling the park at 954-357-8811.
Looking for some plants to spruce up your home landscape? Look no further than the Broward County Plant Affair
. The popular event – co-sponsored by the Plantation Historical Society – takes place the weekend of May 7 and 8 at Plantation Heritage Park, where you’ll find a plant show and sale with plenty of specialty vendors. Among the offerings: native plants, bonsai, orchids, cyclamens, bougainvillea, and bromeliads, as well as gardening supplies and porch and patio items. Food and beverages will also be available for purchase. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. For more information, call Betty Cobb at 954-581-6463, or the park at 954-357-5135, ext. 0. Plantation Heritage
is accessible via Broward County Transit
Every organ, tissue, and cell in our bodies needs water to function properly, and water helps us maintain a healthy body temperature. Although there are lots of variables – age, gender, body composition – the average adult human body is more or less 55 to 60 percent water, according to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Water Science School. The USGS also indicates that an adult male typically needs about 3.0 liters of water per day (3.1 quarts), while an adult female needs about 2.2 liters (2.3 quarts).
Here are some tips to help you stay adequately hydrated:
- Keep a bottle of water with you (for environmental reasons, we prefer tap over commercially bottled).
- Set cellphone reminders so you’ll remember to drink enough water.
- Use an app, such as Daily Water Free on iTunes, to set goals and keep track of how much you drink.
- If you don’t like plain water, add a piece of fruit or vegetable – the traditional lemon or lime slice or wedge, or something different, like a strawberry or a slice of cucumber.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables – water makes up as much as 90 percent of many varieties.
- Make homemade popsicles – recipes are widely available online.
- Switch it up by drinking seltzer, tea (noncaffeinated), or juice (unsweetened).
The Family Nutrition Program of Broward County Parks and the University of Florida-Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences teaches nutrition to low-income, food-stamp-eligible audiences throughout Broward County, promoting a healthy diet and obesity prevention. For more information, call 954-357-5270.
Middle and high school students ages 13 to 22 with developmental disabilities are invited to enjoy deejay music, dancing, socializing, and refreshments this month when Fern Forest Nature Center
hosts a Hawaiian Luau Teen Social
. Participants are encouraged to wear their favorite tropical-print shirt or even a grass skirt. The free event is from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, May 20, and preregistration is required. For more information or to register, call the Parks Special Populations Section at 954-357-8170 or email SpecialPopulations@broward.org
. Fern Forest is accessible via Broward County Transit
Routes #31 and #42.
Walk - It's Good for You
Charles Dickens was of the opinion that “If I could not walk far and fast, I think I should just explode and perish,” while the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche declared, “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” President Harry S Truman’s advice was to “Take a two-mile walk every morning before breakfast.”
And what better place to walk – or hike or stroll – than a park? Here are some group opportunities this month. Nominal fees – typically $3 to $5 – apply for some programs, and preregistration may be required.
- Bird Walk – Sun., May 1, 8 a.m. – Tall Cypress Natural Area (954-357-8109)
- Bird Walk – Sat., May 7, 8:30 a.m. – Deerfield Island Park (954-357-5100)
- Trail Stroll – Sat., May 7, 10 a.m. – Anne Kolb Nature Center (954-357-5161)
- Off-Trail Hike – Sat., May 14, 10 a.m. – Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center (954-357-8797)
- Sunset Nature Walk: Flowers – Wed., May 18, 7 p.m. – Miramar Pineland (954-357-8776)
- Plankton-a-Plenty Hike – Sat., May 21, 1 p.m. – Anne Kolb Nature Center (954-357-5161)
- Once-in-a-Blue-Moon Hike – Sat., May 21, 8 p.m. – Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center (954-357-8797)
- Trail Stroll – Sun., May 22, 10 a.m. – Anne Kolb Nature Center (954-357-5161)
- Guided Nature Hike – Sun., May 29, 10 a.m. – Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center (954-357-8797)
Solo walking is also popular at most of our parks. Visit Broward.org/Parks for a complete list.
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.
|Quote of the
"Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or better." - American author John Updike (1932-2009)