All Broward County regional parks (including water parks and campgrounds), and all nature centers, neighborhood parks, and natural areas will be open
on Monday, September 1, Labor Day. Deerfield Island Park
and the administrative offices of the Parks and Recreation Division will be closed.
Splash Adventure and Castaway Island will reopen during October for the K-9 Splash Series for dogs (see next month’s Highlights for details).
Advisory Board/Public Participation Forum Notice
The next meeting of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 4, to be followed by a Parks Public Participation Forum
at 7 p.m. The meeting/forum will take place at the Anne Kolb Nature Center
, 751 Sheridan St., Hollywood, FL 33019; 954-357-5161.
A communitywide Nature Block Party
on Saturday, September 6 celebrates the opening of two Broward County natural areas – Saw Palmetto and nearby West Creek Pineland
. The opening ceremony, which starts at 10 a.m., will be followed by light refreshments and a variety of nature-related activities, including a scavenger hunt, native plant installation, geocaching, arts and crafts, bicycle excursions, games, and more. For more information, call Quiet Waters Park
Make Half of Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables
Most of us know our diets would be healthier if they included more fruits and vegetables every day – we just don’t follow through on that knowledge. Fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients that are under-consumed in the U.S., including folate, magnesium, potassium, dietary fiber, and vitamins A, C, and K.
UF/IFAS Broward Extension
’s Family Nutrition Program encourages you to make half of your plate fruits and vegetables to reduce the risk of such chronic ailments as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. When properly prepared, these naturally low-calorie foods also help with weight management.
Follow these tips to expand your use of fruits and vegetables:
- Keep whole fruit in a bowl on your dining room table or at your desk to remind you to include fruit in your diet.
- Pre-cut fresh broccoli, carrots, peppers, and other vegetables to speed meal preparation, or to serve as ready-to-go snacks.
- Emphasize variety – include fresh, frozen, canned, and dried selections. Choose vegetables with no salt added and/or fruits packed in 100 percent juice.
- As a general rule, the more colors in your diet the better – brighten your meals with fruits and vegetables that are red, orange, dark green, purple, yellow, and blue.
- Meet your fiber needs with fresh, whole cut-up fruits and vegetables instead of juice.
- Look for new recipes that use fruits and vegetables creatively.
For more information on the Family Nutrition Program, call 954-357-5277.
Emphasis on Native Plants
For the key to educating yourself on what you put into the ground and what you do with it once it’s planted, turn to Broward County Parks. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 6, Fern Forest Nature Center will hold its Fall Into Foliage Native Plant Sale, which emphasizes the right kinds of plants to grow in your home landscape. Gardening information and other activities will also be offered.
In conjunction with the high-tech marketing consulting group Optime, Markham Park will host the Optime 5K Run/Walk
, starting at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, September 21. Seventy-five percent of the net proceeds of this second annual event will benefit Young at Art Museum
. Gold, silver, and bronze medals will be awarded to the top finishers in a variety of categories. For more information or to register, go to www.Optime5KRun.com
. The park’s regular weekend gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect. Markham
is accessible via Broward County Transit
The South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association (SFAAA) opens the Fox Observatory at Markham Park & Target Range
every Saturday evening, weather permitting, for free stargazing from dusk to midnight.
The SFAAA also hosts the quarterly program An Evening With the Stars at Fern Forest Nature Center, where speakers cover basic telescope techniques and general astronomy information. The next session will start at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, September 19, and the program is free and for all ages.
For well over a quarter of a century, the Ocean Conservancy
’s International Coastal Cleanup has cleared the trash from thousands of ocean and waterway sites, using volunteers from more than15 countries and locations. The cleanup, in fact, is the largest volunteer event of its kind in the world. Last year nearly 650,000 participants in 92 countries picked up more than 12.3 million pounds of trash.
In 28 years these volunteers have not only collected nearly 150 million pounds of trash from the shores of lakes, streams, rivers, and oceans, they have also catalogued it carefully to provide a clearer picture of the scope of the problem.
This year the event celebrates its 29th anniversary on Saturday, September 20. You can be a part of the landmark undertaking by participating in its local component, the Florida Coastal Cleanup
, which takes place from 9 a.m. to noon at Deerfield Island Park
and Hollywood North Beach Park
. On-site registration is required.
Volunteers will almost certainly get wet and dirty and should dress accordingly. Participants should also bring gloves, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, and drinking water. The event is for all ages, although children under age 17 must be accompanied by adults.
There are plenty of opportunities this month to enjoy our nature parks after the sun goes down. All programs are $5/person, and preregistration is required.
- Sat., Sept. 6, 6:45 p.m. – Nature at Night Hike – Deerfield Island Park (954-357-5100)
- Tues., Sept. 9, 7 p.m. – Night Hike – Secret Woods Nature Center (954-357-8884)
- Fri., Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m. – Night Hike by the Seashore – Hollywood North Beach Park (954-357-5161)
- Fri., Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m. – Nature at Night Hike – Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center (954-357-8797)
- Sat., Sept. 13, 7 p.m. – Nature at Night Hike – Woodmont Natural Area (954-357-5100)
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
"It is only by following your deepest instinct that you can lead a rich life, and if you let your fear of consequence prevent you from following your deepest instinct, then your life will be safe, expedient, and thin." - American author Katharine Butler Hathaway (1890-1942)