Don't Worry - Bee Happy!
With honeybee populations in North America and parts of Europe sharply declining in recent years, urban beekeeping has grown increasingly popular in major metropolitan areas as one way to counteract the phenomenon now known as “colony collapse disorder.” On April 29 Broward County Parks opened the Tradewinds Micro-Apiary, the second such facility in Florida. The apiary, which provides protective housing for multiple hives, is managed by the Urban Beekeepers and will be used for public education by the Broward Beekeepers Association, a nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of apiculture. For more information, call Tradewinds Park & Stables in Coconut Creek at 954-357-8870.
Find out more about the importance of bees this month when Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach offers What’s the Buzz?
The free program, from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 21, features family-friendly activities and a presentation by Aaron Mullins, a senior biologist with the University of Florida
’s Entomology and Nematology Department
, who will provide information on bees and their social structure and work habits, as well as their famous by-product, honey. For additional details, call the nature center at 954-357-8884. Secret Woods
is accessible via Broward County Transit
Whether you already have an eye for nature photography or you want to develop one, Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek wants to help. The park’s monthly Team/Family Shutterbug Photo Hunt invites photographers of all levels to an introductory class, followed by a photo hunt out in the nature center. This month’s program will be on Sunday, May 21, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., with preregistration required by May 14. The fee is $10 per team or family. For more information, call Fern Forest at 954-357-5198. The nature center is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #31 and #42.
Green Light for Greenery
The monthly meeting of the Florida Native Plant Society is another good source of information on how your home landscaping can contribute to the preservation, conservation, and restoration of native plant communities in South Florida. The group’s Coontie Chapter, serving Broward County, meets at 7 p.m. every second Wednesday (May 10 this month) at Secret Woods Nature Center (954-357-8884) in Dania Beach.This month you can also learn about various aspects of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ (FFL) at three presentations offered through Extension Education’s Urban Horticulture Program: “Florida-Friendly Container Gardening,” from noon to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 13; “Florida-Friendly Landscaping,” from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 18; and “Florida-Friendly Butterfly Gardening,” from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 25. FFL, a University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences initiative, emphasizes the use of low-maintenance, environmentally sustainable plants. All three free sessions will be at the North Regional/Broward College Library (1100 Coconut Creek Blvd., Coconut Creek; 954-201-2600). Call Extension at 954-357-5270 for additional information.
Looking for some plants to spruce up your home landscape? Look no further than the Broward County Plant Affair. The popular event – co-sponsored by the Plantation Historical Society – takes place the weekend of May 6 and 7 at Plantation Heritage Park, where you’ll find a plant show and sale with plenty of specialty vendors. Among the offerings: native plants, bonsai, orchids, cyclamens, bougainvillea, and bromeliads, as well as gardening supplies and porch and patio items. Food and beverages will also be available for purchase. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The park’s regular weekend gate fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect. For more information, call Betty Cobb at 954-797-2722 or 954-581-6463, or the park at 954-357-5135, ext. 0. Plantation Heritage is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #30.
Walks on the Wild Side
Call it “nature by foot” – whether it’s a walk, a hike, or a stroll, by day or by night, we’ve got you covered this month with these programs. Preregistration and fees apply to most of these activities; call the park for more details.
- Sat., May 6, 8:30-10:30 a.m. – Bird Walk – Deerfield Island Park (954-357-5100)
- Sun., May 7, 8-10 a.m. – Bird Walk – Tall Cypress Natural Area (954-357-5100)
- Mon., May 8, 10-11 a.m. – Tot Walk – Secret Woods Nature Center (954-357-8884)
- Tues., May 9, 9-10 a.m. – Guided Hike – Quiet Waters Park (954-357-5100)
- Fri., May 12, 9-10 a.m. – Guided Hike – Woodmont Natural Area (954-357-5100)
- Sat., May 13, 10-10:45 a.m. – Trail Stroll – Anne Kolb Nature Center (954-357-5161)
- Tues., May 16, 9-10 a.m. – Guided Hike – Easterlin Park (954-357-5190)
- Fri., May 19, 8-9 p.m. – Night Hike – Helene Klein Pineland Preserve (954-357-5100)
- Sun., May 21, 10-11 a.m. – Plankton-a-Plenty Hike – Anne Kolb
- Tues., May 23, 9-10 a.m. – Guided Hike – Hillsboro Pineland Natural Area (954-357-5100)
- Fri., May 26, 9-10 a.m. – Guided Hike – Quiet Waters
- Fri., May 26, 8-9 p.m. – Nature at Night Hike – Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center (954-357-8797)
- Sun., May 28, 10-11 a.m. – Guided Nature Hike – Long Key
Free weekly Guided Nature Walks are also offered, weather permitting, on Sundays at Secret Woods, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., and Fern Forest Nature Center (954-357-5198), from 1 to 2 p.m.
Lend a Hand, Help a Park
Volunteer opportunities are plentiful throughout our park system. Our nature centers and natural areas, in particular, need volunteers who are willing to chip in and help clean up sites by removing invasive exotic plants and replacing them with native plants. With that in mind, many locations schedule monthly EcoAction Volunteer Workdays. Some parks (Fern Forest, Long Key, Quiet Waters, and Anne Kolb) will hold their last such workdays in May before taking a break for the summer and resuming in October; others (Miramar Pineland and Secret Woods) continue year round. The workdays are from 9 a.m. to noon except at Quiet Waters, where they run till 1 p.m. Contact the site of your choice for the required preregistration.
On Saturday, May 13, Military Trail Natural Area (954-357-5100) will also have a Scrub-a-Dub-Dub Cleanup & Hike, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. These monthly “mini-workdays” rotate among the four natural area sites in northern Broward County that feature a scrub habitat, one of the rarest plant and animal communities in South Florida. Participants in the cleanup will be rewarded by a short naturalist-led hike through the natural area. Preregistration is required; contact Quiet Waters Park, which oversees the program, at 954-357-5100.
…And Everything Else
Other nature-related programming at Broward County parks in May. Many programs require fees and/or preregistration; contact the relevant park for details.
- Tues., May 2, 10 a.m.-noon – Nature Tots – Miramar Pineland (954-357-8776)
- Tues., May 2, 3:30-5 p.m. – K-2 Nature Kids – Miramar Pineland
- Tues., May 2, 7-9 p.m. – Master Gardener/Master Naturalist Meeting – Plantation Heritage Park (954-357-5135)
- Thurs., May 4, 2 p.m. - Marine Advisory Committee Meeting - Secret Woods Nature Center (954-357-8884)
- Thurs., May 4, 7-9 p.m. – Friends of Anne Kolb Meeting – Anne Kolb Nature Center (954-357-5161)
- Thurs., May 4, 7:30-9:30 p.m. – Sierra Club Meeting – Fern Forest Nature Center (954-357-5198)
- Fri., May 5, 7:30 a.m. - Parks and Recreatioin Advisory Board Meeting - Tree Tops Park (954-357-5130)
- Fri., May 5, 12:15-12:45 p.m. – Bite-Sized Learning Lunch – Easterlin Park (954-357-5190)
- Sat., May 6, 9-11:30 a.m. – Basic Kayak Class – West Lake Park (954-357-5161)
- Sat., May 6, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. – Springtime Nature Crafts – Anne Kolb
- Mon., May 8, 7:30-10 p.m. – Rare Fruit & Vegetable Council Meeting – Extension Education (954-357-5270)
- Wed., May 10, 7:30-9:30 p.m. – Moonlight Paddle – West Lake Park
- Thurs., May 11, 10-11 a.m. – Nature Tots – Fern Forest
- Thurs., May 11, 10-11 a.m. – Preschool Play ‘n’ Learn – Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center (954-357-8797)
- Thurs., May 11, 6:30-9:30 p.m. – North American Butterfly Association Meeting – Extension Education
- Thurs. May 11, 7:30-9:30 p.m. – Florida Trail Association Meeting – Fern Forest
- Sun., May 14, 2-4 p.m. – Dan Barrow Memorial Bluegrass Jam – Fern Forest
- Tues., May 16, 10-11 a.m. – Nature Tots – West Lake Park
- Sat., May 20, 8:30-11 a.m. – Science Eye Nature Program – Everglades Holiday Park (954-357-8101)
- Sat., May 20, 9:30-11:30 a.m. – Geocaching Adventure Series – Highlands Scrub Natural Area (954-357-5100)
- Sun., May 21, 9-11:30 a.m. – Paddling EcoTour – West Lake Park
- Thurs., May 25, 10-11 a.m. – Nature Tots –SecretWoods
- Sun., May 28, noon-1 p.m. – Super Science Sunday – Secret Woods
- Sun., May 28, 1-4 p.m. – Jamming in the Park – Secret Woods
- Wed., May 31, 10-11 a.m. – Knee-High Naturalist – Long Key
- Wed., May 31, 6 p.m. - Urban Wilderness Advisory Board Meeting - Central Broward Regional (954-357-5400)
Parks Foundation of Broward County
TheParksFoundationofBrowardCountyis 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.