For many years one of our most popular nature programs has been the seasonal Sea Turtles and Their Babies, which regularly sells out. Now we have our own resident sea turtle – Captain, a rehabilitated green sea turtle who lives in a specially modified saltwater swimming pool at historic Carpenter House at Hollywood North Beach Park in Hollywood.
Captain will meet the public for the first time when the new Marine Environmental Education Center (MEEC) opens on the Carpenter House grounds on Friday, March 3. The opening, from 9 a.m. to noon, represents a collaboration between Broward County Parks and Recreation Division, which manages Hollywood North Beach, and Nova Southeastern University, which will manage the MEEC through its Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography.
The mission of the MEEC is to provide outstanding marine education, interactive learning, and research with a focus on endangered sea turtles. The center will engage residents and visitors by increasing conservation awareness and action in a way that ultimately results in greater protection of our marine and coastal environments. Along with Captain, the MEEC features an interpretive center with displays on marine-related subjects.
The center will be open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with specialized programs offered on those days at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Admission is free, although a $3/person donation (ages 3 and up) is suggested, both to offset operational costs and to support environmental outreach. Carpenter House will continue to be available as a rental facility for small private functions such as meetings and weddings.
The Birds and the Bugs (and Then Some)
Three well-known segments of the animal population are the focus of programs this month at two parks. The first, For the Love of Birds, is from 9 to 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 5, at Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach. The free program takes a look at the migration of birds through South Florida on their way back north. Activities include crafts, games, and birdwatching on the trails.
On Saturday, March 18, Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood will host A World of Insects, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Insect diversity and behavior will be explored by way of displays, games, and arts and crafts. No preregistration is required, although there is a $2/person exhibit hall fee (plus sales tax).
Then it’s back to Secret Woods on Saturday, March 25, for Snake-tagious!
Participants will learn about the species of snakes found at the park, then create a model of their favorite species. The fee is $5 per person, and preregistration is required for the program, which runs from 1 to 2 p.m.
For more information, call Anne Kolb
(accessible via Broward County Transit
Routes #4 and #12) at 954-357-5161, or Secret Woods
(Route #6) at 954-357-8884.
Water of Life
Water is an integral component of the quality of life to both residents and visitors alike in Broward County. This month two major events in parks attest to the importance water holds in our lives, in terms of both recreation and daily life.
The first event that will focus on water quality and conservation is the County’s largest environmental event, the 40th Annual Waterway Cleanup. The event, with the theme “Where Blue Meets Green,” is organized by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF) in cooperation with civil, public, and private partners to promote environmental awareness and responsibility. This year nearly three dozen sites will participate, including Anne Kolb Nature Center (Hollywood), Deerfield Island Park (Deerfield Beach), Markham Park & Target Range (Sunrise), Secret Woods Nature Center (Dania Beach), Reverend Samuel Delevoe Park (Fort Lauderdale), and Tradewinds Park & Stables (Coconut Creek).
The event regularly attracts nearly 1,700 volunteers to work at waterfront locations and on floating sites on the Intracoastal Waterway, collecting more than a dozen tons of trash and debris from the County’s roughly 300 miles of navigable waterways, canals, and shorelines. This year’s event will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 4, with Trash Bash activities – refreshments, live entertainment, door prizes – immediately following.
Participants should wear clothes that they don’t mind getting dirty, as well as gloves and shoes. Sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, and drinking water are also recommended. For more information, call MIASF at 954-524-2733, visit WaterwayCleanup.org, or email WaterwayCleanup@MIASF.org.
Then on Saturday, March 11, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Tree Tops Park, Water Matters Day will take place. Now in its 15th year, the County’s signature water event – this year’s theme is “Community. Climate. Connected!” – educates residents on what they can do to protect our drinking-water supplies. Among the relevant topics covered will be water conservation techniques, smart irrigation, and native landscaping.
This family-oriented event features live music, educational booths and exhibits, giveaways (including native plants), hands-on activities, children’s workshops, and more. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.
Admission to Water Matters Day is free, although Tree Tops
’ regular weekend gate fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect. For more information, visit Broward.org/WaterMatters
Walk This Way
Call it “nature by foot” – whether it’s a walk, a hike, or a stroll, we’ve got you covered this month with these programs. Preregistration and fees apply to most of these activities, which run from 45 minutes to three hours; call the park for more details.
- Sat., Mar. 4, 8:30 a.m. – Bird Walk – Deerfield Island Park (954-357-5110)
- Sun., Mar. 5, 8 a.m. – Bird Walk – Tall Cypress Natural Area (954-357-5110)
- Fri., Mar. 10 9 a.m. – Guided Hike – Woodmont Natural Area (954-357-5110)
- Sat., Mar. 11, 9 a.m. – Scrub-a-Dub-Dub Cleanup & Hike – Crystal Lake Sand Pine Scrub (954-357-5110)
- Sat., Mar. 11, 10 a.m. – Intro to Birding Walk – Fern Forest Nature Center (954-357-5198)
- Sat., Mar. 11, 11 a.m. – Plankton-a-Plenty Hike – Anne Kolb Nature Center (954-357-5161)
- Mon., Mar. 13, 10 a.m. – Tot Walk – Secret Woods Nature Center (954-357-8884)
- Tues., Mar. 14, 9 a.m. – Guided Hike – Quiet Waters Park (954-357-5100)
- Wed., Mar. 15, 7 p.m. – Sunset Hike – Miramar Pineland (954-357-8776)
- Fri., Mar. 17, 7:30 p.m. – Night Hike – Deerfield Highlands Natural Area (954-357-5110)
- Sat., Mar. 18, 10 a.m. – Saturday Stroll & Learn: Ethnobotany – Fern Forest
- Sun., Mar. 19, 11 a.m. – Trail Stroll – Anne Kolb
- Tues., Mar. 21, 9 a.m. – Guided Hike – Easterlin Park (954-357-5190)
- Fri., Mar. 24, 9 a.m. – Guided Hike – Quiet Waters
- Sun., Mar. 26, 10 a.m. – Guided Nature Hike – Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center (954-357-8797)
- Tues., Mar. 28, 9 a.m. – Guided Hike – Helene Klein Pineland Preserve (954-357-5110)
- Fri., Mar. 31, 7 p.m. – Night Hike by the Seashore – Hollywood North Beach Park (954-357-5161)
Hollywood (the California one) may turn out every year for the Academy Awards, but another kind of star – the heavenly kind – inhabits the South Florida sky every night. And every quarter the South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association (SFAAA) gets together at Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek to discuss all things astronomical and do a little stargazing.
The free program is called An Evening With the Stars
, and the latest installment starts at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 17. Speakers will cover basic telescope techniques and general astronomy information. For more details, call Fern Forest
at 954-357-5198. The nature center is accessible via Broward County Transit
Routes #31 and #42.
The SFAAA also opens the Fox Observatory at Markham Park
in Sunrise every Saturday evening, weather permitting, from dusk to midnight. Admission is free, although the park’s regular weekend gate fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) is in effect. For more information on the SFAAA
, call 954-384-0442 or email Info@SFAAA.com
…And Everything Else
Other nature-related programming at Broward County parks in March. Many programs require fees and/or preregistration; contact the relevant park for details.
- Wed., Mar. 1, 9-11:30 a.m. – Basic Kayak Class – West Lake Park (954-357-5161)
- Wed., Mar. 1, 6 p.m. – Urban Wilderness Advisory Board Meeting – Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium (954-357-5400)
- Thurs., Mar. 2, 2 p.m. – Marine Advisory Committee Meeting – Secret Woods Nature Center (954-357-8884)
- Fri., Mar. 3, 12:15-12:45 p.m. – Bite-Sized Learning Lunch – Easterlin Park (954-357-5190)
- Sat., Mar. 4, 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., Mar. 5, 2-4 p.m. – Music at the Mangrove: Chamber Music Showcase – Anne Kolb Nature Center (954-357-5161)
- Tues., Mar. 7, 10 a.m.-noon – Nature Tots – Miramar Pineland
- Tues., Mar. 7 3:30-5 p.m. – K-2 Nature Kids – Miramar Pineland
- Tues., Mar. 7, 7-9 p.m. – Master Gardener & Master Naturalist Meeting – Plantation Heritage Park (954-357-5135)
- Wed., Mar. 8, 7-9 p.m. – Florida Native Plant Society Meeting – Secret Woods
- Thurs., Mar. 9, 10-11 a.m. – Nature Tots – Fern Forest
- Thurs., Mar. 9, 10-11 a.m. – Preschool Play ‘n’ Learn – Long Key
- Thurs., Mar. 9, 6:30-9:30 p.m. – North American Butterfly Association Meeting – Extension Education (954-357-5270)
- Thurs., Mar. 9, 7:30-9:30 p.m. – Florida Trail Association Meeting – Fern Forest
- Fri., Mar. 10, noon-2 p.m. – Lunch-and-Learn Nature Series for Adults: Nature & Your Well-Being – Anne Kolb
- Fri., Mar. 10, 7-9 p.m. – Moonlight Paddle – West Lake
- Sat., Mar. 11, 9 a.m.-noon – EcoAction Volunteer Workday – Quiet Waters Park (954-357-5100), Secret Woods
- Sat., Mar. 11, 1 p.m. – Butterfly Gardening Workshop – Butterfly World (954-977-4400) at Tradewinds Park & Stables (954-357-8870)
- Sun., Mar. 12, 2-4 p.m. – Dan Barrow Memorial Bluegrass Jam – Fern Forest
- Mon., Mar. 13, 7:30-10 p.m. – Rare Fruit & Vegetable Council Meeting – Extension Education
- Sat., Mar. 18, 8:30-11 a.m. – Science Eye Nature Program – Everglades Holiday Park (954-357-8101)
- Sat., Mar. 18, 9 a.m.-noon – EcoAction Volunteer Workday – Anne Kolb, Deerfield Island Park (954-357-5100)
- Sat., Mar. 18, 9:30-11:30 a.m. – Geocaching Adventure Series – Saw Palmetto Natural Area (954-357-5110)
- Sun., Mar. 19, 2-4 p.m. – New to Nature – Anne Kolb
- Sun., Mar. 19, 2:30-4:30 p.m. – Team/Family Shutterbug Photo Hunt – Fern Forest
- Tues., Mar. 21, 10-11 a.m. – Nature Tots – West Lake
- Thurs., Mar. 23, 10-11 a.m. – Nature Tots – Secret Woods
- Sat., Mar. 25, 9 a.m.-noon – Family Fun Bike & Paddle – West Lake
- Sat., Mar. 25, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. – Spring Into Gardening Native Plant Sale – Fern Forest
- Sun., Mar. 26, 9-11:30 a.m. – Paddling EcoTour – West Lake
- Sun., Mar. 26, noon-1 p.m. – Super Science Sunday – Secret Woods
- Sun., Mar. 26, 1-4 p.m. – Jamming in the Park – Secret Woods
- Sun., Mar. 26, 2-4 p.m. – Krafting With Kay – Secret Woods
- Wed., Mar. 29, 10-11 a.m. – Knee-High Naturalist – Long Key
Parks Foundation of Broward County
The Parks Foundation of Broward County
is a 501 (c) (3) organization founded in 2014 in support of the 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.
Parks Advisory Board Meeting/Public Participation Forum Notice
The next meeting of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 2, to be followed by a Parks Public Participation Forum at 7 p.m. The meeting/forum will take place at Plantation Heritage Park, 1100 S. Fig Tree Lane, Plantation 33317; 954-357-5135.