"Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it."
-Mary Oliver (1935- ), American poet
Chip in to Help Parks
There are three types of people: those who can’t wait to get rid of their Christmas trees once the holidays have passed, those who leave their trees up well into the new year, and everybody else. One way or another, we’ve got you covered with our Chip-a-Tree initiative. The annual event runs from the day after Christmas (Monday, December 26 in 2017) through Martin Luther King Day (Monday, January 15).
The free program encourages Broward County residents to remove all decorations from their trees (no exceptions), then drop them off at a participating park for recycling. Last year we recovered more than 5,100 trees, or the equivalent of 357.72 metric tonnes, which probably would have otherwise ended up in landfills. That amount accounted for 15 percent of Broward Parks' greenhouse gas reduction efforts for all of 2016. The chipped trees are used for landscaping throughout our park system.
There’s a limit of two trees per vehicle; artificial trees are not accepted; and no commercial vehicles or garbage trucks are allowed. And remember, the regular weekend and holiday gate fee is never in effect for recyclers, so there’s no excuse not to do the right thing. Hours vary; call the park of your choice for details:
- Brian Piccolo Sports Park & Velodrome, 9501 Sheridan St., Cooper City 33024; 954-357-5150
- C.B. Smith Park, 900 N. Flamingo Rd., Pembroke Pines 33028; 954-357-5170
- Easterlin Park, 1000 N.W. 38th St., Oakland Park 33309; 954-357-5190
- Fern Forest Nature Center, 201 Lyons Rd. South, Coconut Creek 33063; 954-357-5198
- Markham Park & Target Range, 16001 W. State Rd. 84, Sunrise 33326; 954-357-8868
- Reverend Samuel Delevoe Park, 2520 N.W. Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale 33311; 954-357-8801
- Snake Warrior's Island Natural Area, 3600 S.W. 62nd Ave., Miramar 33023; 954-357-8776
- Tradewinds Park & Stables, 3600 W. Sample Rd., Coconut Creek 33073; 954-357-8870
- Tree Tops Park, 3900 S.W. 100th Ave., Davie 33328; 954-357-5130
- T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park, 3300 N. Park Rd., Hollywood 33021; 954-357-8811
- Vista View Park, 4001 S.W. 142nd Ave., Davie 33330; 954-357-8898
- West Lake Park, 1200 Sheridan St., Hollywood 33019; 954-357-5161
All regional parks and nature centers, neighborhood parks, and natural areas will be open on New Year’s Day, Monday, January 1, as well as on Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 15 (except for Deerfield Island Park, which will be closed). The holiday gate fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect at applicable regional parks.
Sundays in the Park
Whether you’re in northern, central, or southern Broward County, there will be free music in a park setting at three of our nature centers this month. On Sunday, January 14, Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek will host its monthly Dan Barrow Memorial Bluegrass Jam, from 2 to 4 p.m. A week later, on Sunday, January 21, the nature center will also present one of its occasional Twilight Jammin’ acoustic sessions, from 5 to 7 p.m.
Then, on Sunday, January 28, you’ll have two choices: From 1 to 4 p.m., Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach serves up its regular monthly Jamming in the Park acoustic session. And from 3:30 to 5 p.m., Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood, in conjunction with the Music Club of Hollywood, hosts another Music at the Mangrove concerts, this one featuring Mark Bornfield & D'Jaimes.
Anne Kolb (954-357-5161) is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #4 and #12; Fern Forest (954-357-5198) via Routes #31 and #42; and Secret Woods (954-357-8884) via Route #6.
Nature Fun for Little Ones
At Broward County Parks, we’re committed to the idea that a healthy respect for and love of nature begin at an early age, and toward that end we have several programs designed for preschoolers. Activities may include storytelling, songs, arts and crafts, hands-on projects, and nature walks. All programs are from 10 to 11 a.m.; the cost is $5 per child accompanied by an adult, and preregistration is required.
- Knee-High Naturalist – Ages 3-5. Last Wednesdays at Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center (954-357-8797)
- Nature Tots – Ages 2-4. First Tuesdays (except the current January, when it will be on the second Tuesday) at Miramar Pineland (954-357-8776); Second Thursdays at Fern Forest Nature Center (954-357-5198); Third Tuesdays at West Lake Park (954-357-5161); Fourth Thursdays at Secret Woods Nature Center (954-357-8884)
- Preschool Play ‘n’ Learn – Ages 4-5. Second Thursdays at Long Key
Fern Forest is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #31 and #42; Miramar Pineland via Route #2; Secret Woods via Route #6; and West Lake via Routes #4 and #12.
Listen, Lunch, and LearnYou’ve heard of dinner and a movie. Why not lunch and a lecture? For years Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood has hosted its Lunch-and-Learn Nature Series for Adults, in installments of three consecutive monthly presentations on diverse topics, with lunch provided. The program is on Fridays from noon to 2 p.m. in the park’s Mangrove Hall. Preregistration is required a week in advance, and a $10-per-person donation is requested for each event, to benefit the park’s very active volunteer group, the Friends of Anne Kolb.
- January 12 – “Sea Turtle Research, Conservation, & Protection” (Dr. Kurt Rusenko, Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, Boca Raton)
- February 9 – “Respecting Honeybees” (Dr. Bill Kern, University of Florida)
- March 16 – “Conservation & Research at Zoo Miami” (Dr. Steven Whitfield, Zoo Miami)
…And Everything Else
Other nature-related programming at Broward County parks in January. Many program require fees and/or preregistration; contact the relevant park for details.
- Mon., Jan. 1, 10-11 a.m. – Off-Trail Hike – Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center (954-357-8797)
- Thurs., Jan. 4, 7:30-9:30 p.m. – Sierra Club Meeting – Fern Forest Nature Center (954-357-5198)
- Fri., Jan. 5, 12:15-12:45 p.m. – Bite-Sized Learning Lunch – Easterlin Park (954-357-5190)
- Sat., Jan. 6, 8:30-10:30 a.m. – Bird Walk – Deerfield Island Park (954-357-5100)
- Sat., Jan. 6, 9 a.m.-noon – EcoAction Volunteer Workday – Fern Forest, Long Key, Miramar Pineland (954-357-8776)
- Sat., Jan. 6, 11-11:45 a.m. – Trail Stroll – Anne Kolb Nature Center (954-357-5161)
- Sat., Jan. 6, 2-4 p.m. – Snowflake Fun – Secret Woods Nature Center (954-357-8884)
- Sun., Jan. 7, 7:30-10:30 a.m. – Bird Walk –Tall Cypress Natural Area(954-357-5100)
- Tues., Jan. 9, 9-10 a.m. – Guided Hike – Quiet Waters Park (954-357-5100)
- Wed., Jan. 10, 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Pineland at Night Hike – Miramar Pineland
- Wed., Jan. 10, 7-9 p.m. – Florida Native Plant Society Meeting – Secret Woods
- Thurs., Jan. 11, 7:30-9:30 p.m. – Florida Trail Association Meeting – Fern Forest
- Sat., Jan. 13, 9 a.m.-noon – EcoAction Volunteer Workday – Secret Woods, Snake Warrior’s Island Natural Area (954-357-8776)
- Sat., Jan. 13, 10-11 a.m. – Orienteering Outing – Anne Kolb
- Sat., Jan. 13, 10-11 a.m. – Intro to Birding Walk – Fern Forest
- Sun., Jan. 14, 2-4 p.m. – Family Fun Nature Series: Art & Nature – Anne Kolb
- Tues., Jan. 16, 9-10 a.m. – Naturalist-Led Tour – Easterlin
- Tues., Jan. 16, 10-11 a.m. – Nature Tots – West Lake
- Tues., Jan. 16, 11 a.m.-noon – Investigate It! – Secret Woods
- Fri., Jan. 19, 6-7 p.m. - Night Hike - Crystal Lake Sand Pine Scrub (954-357-5100)
- Sat., Jan. 20, 9-11:30 a.m. – Paddling EcoTour – West Lake Park (954-357-5161)
- Sat., Jan. 20, 9:30-11:30 a.m. – Geocaching Adventure Series – West Creek Pineland Natural Area (954-357-5100)
- Sat., Jan. 20, 10-11 a.m. – Saturday Stroll & Learn: Prairie – Fern Forest
- Sat., Jan. 20, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. – Manatee Jamboree – Anne Kolb
- Sun., Jan. 21, 11 a.m.-noon – Mangrove Adventure Hike – Anne Kolb
- Sun., Jan. 21, 2:30-4:30 p.m. – Team/Family Shutterbug Photo Hunt – Fern Forest
- Fri., Jan. 26, 9-10 a.m. – Guided Hike – Quiet Waters
- Sat., Jan. 27, 9 a.m.-noon – Survivor Island – Deerfield Island
- Sun., Jan. 28, 10-11 a.m. – Guided Nature Hike – Long Key
- Wed., Jan. 31, 5:30-7:30 p.m. – Moonlight Paddle – West Lake
- Wed., Jan. 31, 7-8 p.m. – Once-in-a-Blue-Moon Hike – Long Key
The Parks Foundation of Broward County is a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2014 in support of 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.