When it comes to the scientific order Lepidoptera, butterflies get all the best press. But moths can be just as fascinating, as you’ll learn if you participate in some of this month’s activities in observance of National Moth Week at Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center in Davie. These fun programs will help you gain a greater appreciation of the importance of moths to the planet’s ecosystems.
First up is Magical Moths for Kids, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 29. (The program repeats the following day.) Activities are free and are geared to ages 3 to 10, and may include games, science experiments, crafts, and hands-on experiences.
Also on Saturday, from noon to 8 p.m., celebrate Moth Day with free activities all day, including presentations by experts, gardening demos, educational booths, prizes, and a how-to workshop on moth viewing. That night, from 8 to 10:30 p.m., Moth Night will feature lights and no-kill traps set up to attract moths for up-close viewing and photographing. The fee is $5 per person.
Sandwiched in between on Saturday, there will be a Pollinator Plant Sale, offering plants that attract moths and butterflies. The sale, which benefits the Friends of Long Key volunteer group, is from noon to 5 p.m. For more information on any of these program components, call Long Key at 954-357-8797.
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 12, 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
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.
To the National Recreation and Park Association, July Is Park and Recreation Month, a tradition that goes back to 1985. Both the Florida Recreation and Park Association and Broward County Parks and Recreation Division have long supported the initiative by reminding people of the benefits of parks and recreation, which include the following:
- 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.
Let your youngster(s) end the month by playing detective at Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek. From Monday, July 31 through Friday, August 4, the park will offer its Nature Detectives summer camp, offered in half-day sessions from 9 a.m. to noon daily.
Each day campers ages 8 to 11 will investigate a different theme, exploring the nature center’s distinctive habitats through hands-on experiences, crafts, and other activities. The fee is $75 per camper for the full week. For more information, call the park at 954-357-5198. Fern Forest
is accessible via Broward County Transit
Routes #31 and #42.
Swamp ape. Swamp cabbage man. Stink ape. Swampsquatch. Whatever the designation, it probably doesn’t exist except in the overheated imaginations of those who believe in it. We’re talking about the large, hairy, smelly mammal said to inhabit the swamps of South Florida. (Arkansas and North Carolina have their own versions, according to Wikipedia.) The creature is the subject of “Florida Skunk Ape,” the next Science Eye Saturday Safari at Everglades Holiday Park, scheduled for July 15 from 9 to 11 a.m. The free program will examine the lore surrounding the beast, which skeptics say is more likely a black bear or other animal. (Again from Wikipedia: “The United States National Park Service considers the skunk ape to be a hoax.”) For more information, contact Science Eye at 954-680-7977.
…And Everything Else
Other nature-related programming at Broward County parks in July. Many programs require fees and/or preregistration; contact the relevant park for details.
- Sat., July 1, 9 a.m.-noon – EcoAction Volunteer Workday – Miramar Pineland (954-357-8776)
- Fri., July 7, 12:15-12:45 p.m. – Bite-Sized Learning Lunch – Easterlin Park (954-357-5190)
- Fri., July 7, 7-8 p.m. – Night Hike – Secret Woods Nature Center (954-357-8884)
- Sat., July 8, 9-10:30 a.m. – Scrub-a-Dub-Dub Cleanup & Hike – Crystal Lake Sand Pine Scrub (954-357-5100)
- Sat., July 8, 9 a.m.-noon – EcoAction Volunteer Workday – Secret Woods
- Tues., July 11, 9-10 a.m. – Guided Hike – Quiet Waters Park (954-357-5100)
- Tues., July 11, 10 a.m.-noon – Nature Tots – Miramar Pineland
- Tues., July 11, 3:30-5 p.m. – K-2 Nature Kids – Miramar Pineland
- Fri., July 14, 9-10 a.m. – Guided Hike – Highlands Scrub Natural Area (954-357-5100)
- Tues., July 18, 9-10 a.m. – Guided Hike – Easterlin
- Fri., July 21, 8-9 p.m. – Night Hike – Military Trail Natural Area (954-357-5100)
- Sat., July 22, 1-1:40 p.m. – Armchair Traveler: Seed Journeys – Anne Kolb Nature Center (954-357-5161)
- Tues., July 25, 9-10 a.m. – Guided Hike – Hillsboro Pineland Natural Area (954-357-5100)
- Fri., July 28, 9-10 a.m. – Guided Hike – Quiet Waters
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.
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 Park). The free event includes a wealth of information on how to prepare your family, pets, and property for severe weather, and there will be giveaways and refreshments as well. Broward County's hurricane awareness Website has more information.
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.