It’s July – Celebrate!
July is many things to many people – hot weather, the height of summer break from school, a time to go on vacation, not to mention National Hot Dog Month and National Ice Cream Month.
- Parks and recreation programs enhance our quality of life by contributing to a healthy lifestyle, increasing communication skills, building self-esteem, teaching life skills, and providing places for enjoyment.
- Parks and recreation programs boost the economy, enhance property values, attract new business, increase tourism, and reduce crime.
- Recreation builds family unity, strengthens neighborhood involvement, offers opportunity for social interaction, enhances education, develops creativity, and promotes cultural diversity.
- Our parks and trails ensure ecological beauty, provide space to enjoy nature, help maintain clean air and water, and preserve plant and animal wildlife.
- Recreation, therapeutic recreation, and leisure education are essential to the rehabilitation of individuals who have been ill or disabled.
Get out and experience these benefits at a Broward County park. Our nearly 50 locations include regional parks and nature centers, neighborhood parks, and natural areas, and we’re open 364 days a year.
Independence Day Hours
All Broward County regional parks and nature centers, neighborhood parks, and natural areas, as well as water parks and campgrounds, will be open on Tuesday, July 4 (with the exception of Deerfield Island Park, which is open on weekends only). The holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect at applicable parks. The Parks and Recreation Division administrative offices will be closed.
“…And the Rockets’ Red Glare”
The Fourth of July equals fireworks, right? And what better place for Red, White, and View Fireworks Viewing than one of the highest elevations in South Florida? That would be Vista View Park in Davie, where the hill ranks as the highest manmade elevation in Broward County. This year the park will be open on Tuesday, July 4 till 10 p.m., and depending on weather conditions, visitors may be able to see the displays from Davie, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Sunrise, and possibly even Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood.
Most of these shows are scheduled to begin at 9 p.m., but you’re welcome to bring lawn chairs and/or blankets and come early to get a good spot – the park opens at 8 a.m., and the entry fee is good for admission all day; present your receipt for reentry if you leave and want to come back later. You are also invited to bring your own refreshments, although no hard liquor and no glass containers are allowed. Parking is on a first-come, first-served basis, and no fireworks (including sparklers), horses, or trailers will be permitted in the park. The park’s playgrounds and shelters will be closed after 7:30 p.m.
Admission before 7:30 p.m. will be the park’s regular holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free); admission will go to $2/person at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call Vista View at 954-357-8898.
Hot Fun in the Summertime
We’ve been hitting or breaking record temperatures this past month and the trend is going to continue. There’s still a way to have hot fun this summer while cooling down at our water parks.
All four of our water parks – Splash Adventure at Quiet Waters Park (954-357-5100), Paradise Cove at C.B. Smith Park (954-357-5170), Tropical Splash at Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium (954-357-5400), and Castaway Island at T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park (954-357-8811) – are open daily this month from 10 a.m. to 5:20 p.m. Entrance fees vary; call the park of your choice for additional information.
And two of those water parks are offering special evening events for families.
- Superhero Splash Bashes – Superhero-themed family nights will be held on Fridays, July 7 and 21, from 6 to 10 p.m., at Splash Adventure. The fee is $6/person (+ sales tax) and includes splash time, games, a movie, and more. Refreshments available for purchase. Preregistration is required.
- Splashtacular Family Fridays – Themed activities will be held on Fridays, July 7 and 21, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Castaway Island. The fee is $7/person (+ sales tax) for ages 13 months and up. Enjoy games, races, music, and more during this fun-filled family night.
C.B. Smith is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #5, #7, #16, #23, 95 EXPRESS, and Pembroke Pines Gold, Blue East, and Green; Central Broward Regional via Routes #18, #19, #36, #40, #81, 441 Breeze, Lauderdale Lakes North/South, and Lauderhill #1, #5, #6, and #7; Quiet Waters via Routes #14 and Deerfield Beach #1 East/West; and T.Y. via Route #12.
To Your Good Health
To reach out to the most vulnerable members of our community – our children, the elderly, and those living on low incomes or in poverty – For a Healthier Summer will bring the Broward Health Mobile Bus to provide free HIV and hepatitis C testing, health-care assessments, and other health services to all ages. This initiative is presented in conjunction with Broward Health. The mobile bus will visit the following parks in July. Please call to confirm before going to the location as the bus may move to another location if turnout is low.
- Mondays, July 3, 17, & 24, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Plantation Heritage, 954-357-5135
- Wednesday, July 5, 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Reverend Samuel Delevoe, 954-357-8801
- Thursdays, July 6, 13, 20, & 27, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Quiet Waters, 954-357-5100
- Friday, July 7, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Easterlin, 954-357-5190
- Monday, July 10, 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Franklin, 954-357-7080
- Wednesday, July 12, 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Roosevelt Gardens, 954-357-8700
- Tuesdays, July 18 & 26, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Easterlin
- Wednesday, July 19, 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Lafayette Hart, 954-357-7970
- Friday, July 21, 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Sunview, 954-357-6520
Easterlin is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #14; Franklin via Routes #11, #36, #40, and the Sun Trolley (Fort Lauderdale Neighborhood link); Lafayette Hart via Routes #11 and #40; Plantation Heritage via Route #30; Quiet Waters via Route #14 and Deerfield Beach #1 East/West; Delevoe via Route #40 and the Sun Trolley (Fort Lauderdale Neighborhood link); Roosevelt Gardens via Routes #11, #36, #40, and the Sun Trolley (Fort Lauderdale Neighborhood link); and Sunview via Routes #18, #30, and 441 Breeze.
House and Garden
For years the Summer Home Landscape Series
at Secret Woods Nature Center
in Dania Beach has built a loyal audience, and with good reason. Not only is the program free, but more important, it consistently features speakers who share their wealth of knowledge on relevant topics. This year the series comprises five lectures that will help listeners learn how to add to the beauty of their homes through landscaping. The lectures are on consecutive Thursdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
After taking in one or more of the lectures, you’ll no doubt want to pick up some plants that will enable you to put what you’ve learned to work in your own home landscape. You can do that on Saturday, August 13, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., when the nature center will host a Go Native Plant Sale, featuring local nurseries and other vendors.
For more information on the lecture series or the plant sale, call the park at 954-357-8884. Secret Woods is accessible via Broward County Transit
For other nature-related events and activities, read Nearby Nature
Keeping Critters Cool
Summertime, and the living is easy, right? Just because you’re enjoying sun and surf, however, don’t neglect your pet’s summer needs. Did you know, for instance, that July 5 is the busiest day for animal shelters? That’s because many pet owners don’t take precautions to prevent Independence Day stress. The fireworks you and friends and family find exciting may provoke confusion and exhaustion in your pet. Dogs, especially, are sometimes upset enough to crash through windows, jump fences, or break chains to escape, and are found the next day miles from home, exhausted and disoriented.
If loud noises disturb your pet – its reactions to thunderstorms should provide a clue – consider leaving the animal behind while you go out for Fourth of July festivities. At home, have someone remain inside with your pet while fireworks go off outside. For particularly sensitive animals, consult a vet about possibly prescribing tranquilizers.
Another summer hazard, especially in subtropical South Florida, is heat stress. Never take a pet with you in the car if it will be unattended for any length of time. An outdoor temperature of 85 degrees can translate to an interior temperature of 120 degrees in just 30 minutes.
Even at home, supply drinking water and shade if your pet is to be left outside on hot days. And if you “strut your mutt” in one of our parks, remember that early morning and after sundown are easier on the heat-sensitive pads of your dog’s paws.
And remember that well-behaved dogs on six-foot leashes are welcome in our regional and neighborhood parks but not in our nature centers and natural areas.
Ready. Set. Safe.
That's the theme of this year's annual Hurricane Preparedness Open House, which will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 15, at the African-American Research Library & Cultural Center (adjacent to Reverend Samuel Delevoe Memorial Park). The free event includes a wealth of information on how to prepare your family, pets, and property for severe weather, as well as giveaways and refreshments. Broward County's hurricane awareness Website has more information. The library is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #40 and the Sun Trolley – Fort Lauderdale Neighborhood Link.
Visit the Online Events Calendar for all Broward County Park Activities.
Parks Foundation of Broward County
The Parks Foundation of Broward County is a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2014 in support of Broward County Parks and Recreation. 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.