"We depend on the gifts of nature,
but these gifts must be received with gratitude
and not exploited or abused."
-Satish Kumar (1936- ), Indian activist and editor
Keen on Green
The key to a beautiful home landscape that is also ecologically sound is educating yourself on what you put into the ground and what you do with it once it’s planted. For help with that, you can always turn to Broward County Parks. For years our nature centers have been hosting Native Plant Sales emphasizing the right kinds of plants to nurture in your home landscape, drawing on the knowledge and experience of our staff naturalists and natural resource specialists.
The next such sale will be from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, February 17, at Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood. Gardening information and other activities will be offered as well. For more information, call the nature center at 954-357-5161. (Future sales are tentatively slated for April 21 and September 22 at Fern Forest in Coconut Creek; May 5 and August 25 at Secret Woods in Dania Beach; and July 28 at Long Key in Davie.)
You can also learn more about the dangers posed by non-native plants at a free Saturday Stroll & Learn: Invasive Exotics, from 10 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 17, at Fern Forest (954-357-5198). A week later, from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, February 24, take action against invasive plants when Highlands Scrub Natural Area in Pompano Beach holds a Snake Plant Strike Force Volunteer Workday. (There will be additional workdays on March 24, April 28, and May 19.)
Nature in Focus
Do you love both nature and photography? Combine those passions this month at Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek, with the park’s ongoing Team/Family Shutterbug Photo Hunts. The hunts are offered the third Sunday of the month (February 18 this month) from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., and preregistration is required a week in advance (February 11). The fee for this Nature Photography 101 class/expedition is $10 per team or family. Call Fern Forest at 954-357-5198 to sign up or to get more details. The park is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #31 and #42.
In addition to great facilities and programming, our parks, especially our nature centers, also provide places for the local or regional chapters of various organizations to meet, usually at the same time and same location every month; call to confirm and to find out topics.
- Thurs., Feb. 1, 7-9 p.m. – Friends of Anne Kolb – Anne Kolb Nature Center (954-357-5161)
- Thurs., Feb. 1, 7:30-9:30 p.m. – Sierra Club – Fern Forest Nature Center (954-357-5198)
- Tues., Feb. 6, 7-10 p.m. – Broward County Master Gardeners & Master Naturalists – Extension Education (954-357-5270)
- Thurs., Feb. 8, 7:30-9:30 p.m. – Florida Trail Association – Fern Forest
- Mon., Feb. 12, 7-10 p.m. – Rare Fruit & Vegetable Council – Extension Education
- Wed., Feb. 14, 7-9 p.m. – Florida Native Plant Society – Secret Woods Nature Center (954-357-8884)
The Buzz on Bees
As honeybee populations in North America and parts of Europe continue to decline sharply, bees remain a hot topic for discussion. The February installment of the popular Lunch-and-Learn Nature Series for Adults, at Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood, addresses the issue with a lecture on “Respecting Honeybees,” scheduled for Friday, February 9, from noon to 2 p.m. The speaker will be Dr. Bill Kern, an entomologist with the University of Florida. He’ll share his knowledge of honeybees and their importance to both our economy and our landscape, as well as information on beekeeping. Registration is required a week in advance of the program, with the suggested $10/person donation covering the lecture and a light lunch and benefitting the park’s busy-as-a-bee volunteer group, the Friends of Anne Kolb. Call the nature center at 954-357-5161; Anne Kolb is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #4 and #12.
If you’d like to see an active beehive in a park setting, visit the Tradewinds Micro-Apiary, which opened in April 2017 at Tradewinds Park & Stables in Coconut Creek. The apiary, the second such facility in Florida, provides protective housing for multiple hives, which are managed by the Urban Beekeepers and used for public education by the Broward Beekeepers Association, a nonprofit for the advancement of apiculture. For more information, call Tradewinds at 954-357-8870.
Fine Feathered Friends
The abundant bird species of our region are never far from our naturalists’ minds, which is why most months there are several guided opportunities to look for avian wildlife.This month there are three such programs scheduled. Deerfield Island Park in Deerfield Beach continues its monthly Bird Walks with one on Saturday, February 3, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. The walks, for ages 8 and up, are free, but preregistration is required a day in advance by calling Quiet Waters Park (which manages the island) at 954-357-5100. The next day, Sunday, February 4, Tall Cypress Natural Area in Coral Springs follows suit with its own Bird Walk, also free, from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Then, on Saturday, February 10, Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek will offer an Intro to Birding Walk, from 10 to 11 a.m. The cost is $5 per person, and no advance registration is required. Call the park at 954-357-5198 for additional information.
And if you’d just like to stroll among birds (and butterflies) on your own, there’s a sanctuary for doing just that at Quiet Waters in Deerfield Beach. The small site is home to a variety of shrubs, trees, and other plants that play a role in the life cycles of both butterflies and birds, and there’s interpretive signage to guide and inform you.
…And Everything Else
Other nature-related programming at Broward County parks in February. Many programs require fees and/or preregistration; contact the relevant park for details.
- Sat., Feb. 3, 9 a.m.-noon – EcoAction Volunteer Workday – Fern Forest Nature Center (954-357-5198), Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center (954-357-8797), Miramar Pineland (954-357-8776)
- Sun., Feb. 4, 11-11:45 a.m. – Trail Stroll – Anne Kolb Nature Center (954-357-5161)
- Tues., Feb. 6, 10-11 a.m. – Nature Tots – Miramar Pineland
- Wed., Feb. 7, 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Pineland at Night Hike – Miramar Pineland
- Thurs., Feb. 8, 10-11 a.m. – Nature Tots – Fern Forest
- Thurs., Feb. 8, 10-11 a.m. – Preschool Play ‘n’ Learn – Long Key
- Fri., Feb. 9, 7:30-9:30 p.m. – Twilight Forest Stroll – Fern Forest
- Sat., Feb. 10, 9-11:30 a.m. – Paddling EcoTour – West Lake Park (954-357-5161)
- Sat., Feb. 10, 9 a.m.-noon – EcoAction Volunteer Workday – Secret Woods Nature Center (954-357-8884)
- Sat., Feb. 10, 10-11 a.m. – Exploring Ethnobotany Hike – Anne Kolb
- Sun., Feb. 11, 2-4 p.m. – Dan Barrow Memorial Bluegrass Jam – Fern Forest
- Sun., Feb. 11, 2-4 p.m. – Krafting With Kay – Secret Woods
- Tues., Feb. 13, 9-10 a.m. – Guided Hike – Quiet Waters Park (954-357-5100)
- Wed., Feb. 14, 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Valentine’s Sunset Hike for Couples – Miramar Pineland
- Sat., Feb. 17, 9-11:30 a.m. – Basic Kayak Class – West Lake
- Sun., Feb. 18, noon-1 p.m. – Investigate It! – Secret Woods
- Tues., Feb. 20, 10-11 a.m. – Nature Tots – West Lake
- Tues., Feb. 20, 11 a.m.-noon – Investigate It! – Secret Woods
- Thurs., Feb. 22, 10-11 a.m. – Nature Tots – Secret Woods
- Sun., Feb. 25, 10-11 a.m. – Guided Nature Hike – Long Key
- Sun., Feb. 25, 1-4 p.m. – Jamming in the Park – Secret Woods
- Sun., Feb. 25, 2-4 p.m. – Music at the Mangrove: International Piano Festival Recital – Anne Kolb
- Wed., Feb. 28, 10-11 a.m. – Knee-High Naturalist – Long Key
- Wed., Feb. 28, 6-8 p.m. – Moonlight Paddle – West Lake
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. Donations are accepted BrowardParksFoundation.org.