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 7, Labor Day. Deerfield Island Park
and the administrative offices of the Parks and Recreation Division will be closed
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 12, 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.
C'mon in - The Water's Fine!
Splash Adventure and Castaway Island will reopen during October for the K9 Water Festivals for dogs (see next month’s Highlights for details).
In conjunction with the high-tech marketing consulting group Optime, Markham Park will again host the Optime 5K Run/Walk,
starting at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, September 27. Seventy-five percent of the net proceeds of this third annual event will benefit United Cerebral Palsy of South Florida
. 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 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
Extension Encourages Home Cooking
It’s a challenge to eat healthier when you have a busy schedule and lifestyle. For many people, grab-and-go meals are the norm rather than the exception. Broward County Extension Education’s Family Nutrition Program (FNP) encourages you to eat at home more often – you’ll be in control of the ingredients, the flavors, and the portion sizes, and you’ll save money, too. Here are some tips to help reinvigorate your home cooking.
- Exchange recipes with friends to expand your kitchen repertoire. Or check social media sites for recipes that have been analyzed for calories and nutritional content.
- Grow your own fresh herbs at home in a container garden. They’ll add variety to your meals.
- Try variations on old favorites. Fresh ginger root or a sprinkle of curry powder or jerk seasoning, for instance, can liven up chicken. Cinnamon is great on carrots and parsley goes perfectly with potatoes. And so on.
- Give vegetables a sweet, smoky flavor by grilling them or roasting them at 450 degrees with a little oil and a sprinkling of herbs.
- Add fresh mushrooms or onions to soups, salads, sandwiches, and stir-fry dishes. They’ll absorb the flavors.
- Squeeze a lemon, lime, or orange over foods for a zesty, citrusy flavor. You’ll also need less salt.
- Plan meals ahead of time and shop from a grocery list to be better prepared and to stick to a budget.
- Explore the produce section of your grocery store – try one new fruit or vegetable every week.
- Strive to make half your plate fruits and vegetables to reduce the risk of chronic diseases and help you shed pounds.
FNP, in conjunction with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences, urges you to follow the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, use the MyPlate Website
, and read the nutrition panels on food labels to help you make both smarter food choices and nutritious, delicious meals. For more information, call FNP at 954-357-5270.
The South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association (SFAAA) opens the Fox Observatory at Markham Park & Target Ran
ge 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 25, and the program is free and for all ages.
There's a Hill in Broward County?
Yep, and it’s at Vista View Park in Davie, home of the highest man-made elevation in South Florida – 65 feet above sea level. The hilly park is the site for two big 5K races this month. On Saturday, September 5, the Ninth Annual King of the Hill 5K Challenge & 5K Color Run gets under way at 7:30 a.m. Hang around afterward for refreshments and an awards ceremony.
Then on Saturday, September 25, the park will host the Third Annual Triumph 5K Run/Walk
, which starts at 7 a.m. The beneficiary of this fundraiser is the Triumph Crisis Recovery Center
, which aims to end domestic violence against women and children.
For fees, registration, and additional information, visit the Website of the race-management company Split Second Timing
. For directions to Vista View
, call the park at 954-357-8898.
Making a (Really Big) Difference
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 across the globe. The cleanup, in fact, is the largest volunteer event of its kind in the world. Last year more than half a million participants in 91 countries picked up more than 16 million pounds of trash.
In three decades these volunteers have not only collected roughly 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. Cigarette butts, for example, are the most-collected item, logging in at 2.2 million, followed by food wrappers (such as candy and chips) at nearly 1.4 million items.
This year the event celebrates its 30th anniversary on Saturday, September 19. You can be a part of the landmark undertaking by participating in its local component, the Florida Coastal Cleanup
, which in Broward County takes place from 9 a.m. to noon at Deerfield Island Park
and Hollywood North Beach Park
. On-site registration is required.
Volunteers are pretty much guaranteed to 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 17 must be accompanied by adults.
There are a handful of opportunities this month to enjoy our nature parks after the sun goes down. Fee and preregistration are required for these naturalist-led outings.
The public is invited to the next meeting of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board
, which is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. on Friday, September 18
. The meeting will take place at Markham Park & Target Range, 16001 W. State Rd. 84, Sunrise 33326; 954-357-8868. Markham
is accessible via Broward County Transit
Route #23. More information is available here
The coordinating agency for water-safety instruction and awareness in Broward County maintains the most comprehensive database in Florida for swimming pools and water-safety programs in the County. It is one of the only programs of its type in the country. For more information, call 954-357-SWIM (7946).
|Quote of the
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." - American writer and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)