"Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend;
you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left."
- American environmentalist Aldo Leopold (1887-1948)
Start and/or end your day in a Broward County nature park in September. The month kicks off with a Nature at Night Hike on Friday, September 1, from 8 to 9 p.m., at Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center in Davie. The fee is $5/person, with preregistration required the day before the hike. Call 954-357-8797.
The next day, Saturday, September 2, gets going with a Sunrise Paddle at West Lake Park in Hollywood, from 6 to 8 a.m. The program, for ages 13 and up, is for experienced paddlers, and ages 13 to 17 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. Canoes and single and double kayaks will be available. The fee is $35/person, and preregistration and prepayment are required. Call 954-357-5161.
A few days later – Wednesday, September 6, to be exact – the moon reaches its fullest, which means it’s time for another Moonlight Paddle, also at West Lake. This program, too, is for experienced paddlers ages 13 and up and runs from 7 to 9 p.m. Preregistration is required, as is prepayment of the $35/person fee. Call 954-357-5161. The moon is also the subject of this month’s Science Eye Saturday Safari, on Saturday, September 16 at Everglades Holiday Park. The free program is from 9 to 11 a.m. and has the theme “Astounding Eclipses and Phases of the Moon.”
Also on September 6, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., Secret Woods Nature Center
in Dania Beach will have a Night Hike
, for all ages. The fee is $5/person, and preregistration is required by calling 954-357-8884. Then, on Friday, September 15, also from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., there will be another Night Hike
at Crystal Lake Sand Pine Scrub
in Pompano Beach, at a cost of $3/person. Call 954-357-5100 for the required reservation.
Finally, choose between the seashore and the forest on Friday, September 22. Hollywood North Beach Park
in Hollywood will hold a Night Hike by the Seashore
, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Preregister and prepay ($5/person) for this program by calling 954-357-5161. Meanwhile, up at Fern Forest Nature Center
in Coconut Creek, the free quarterly An Evening With the Stars
program will take place from 7:30 to 9 p.m., run by the South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association
(SFAAA). Call 954-357-5198 for more info.
And don’t forget, the SFAAA also operates the Fox Observatory
at Markham Park & Target Range
(954-357-8868) in Sunrise, where you can stargaze for free any Saturday between dusk and midnight. The park’s regular weekend gate fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect.
Labor Day Holiday Hours
All Broward County nature centers and natural areas will be open their regular operating hours on Labor Day, Monday, September 4 (except for Deerfield Island Park, which is open only on weekends, and the Markham Target Range, which is normally closed on Mondays). The administrative offices of Parks and Recreation will be closed.
Let's Meet in the Park
Among the often-overlooked services provided by our network of nature centers and parks: hosting monthly meetings of leading nature-related organizations. These meetings are free and open to the public, although of course each group is always on the lookout for prospective members.
The 19th-century English author and mathematician Lewis Carroll (best known for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) once wrote, “One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.” At Broward County Parks, we encourage and welcome service through volunteerism.
Our volunteers are designated as VIP’s – not just Very Important Persons, but Volunteers Improving Parks. We rechristened our volunteer initiative in 2010 and stepped up our efforts to recruit individuals, families, students, and groups both large and small to share their time and talents with the communities served by our parks. Volunteer opportunities are available throughout our system. We work with our volunteers to schedule dates and times that work for them, and we provide any necessary training and assistance, along with any special equipment that might be needed.
We urge potential volunteers to find something that’s in line with their skills and interests, as well as the amount of time they’re willing to commit to, by reviewing the more than a hundred listings on our Find a Volunteer Project Web page. Each project links to detailed information, and the required Volunteer Forms & Supplemental Materials are available for downloading.
All four of our nature centers, along with Deerfield Island Park, have Friends Groups that work with them to serve their specific needs. These parks (and others) also host regular EcoAction Days on designated Saturdays that allow volunteers to roll up their sleeves and do the hard work of keeping our sites free of debris and invasive non-native plants.
For more information on any aspect of volunteers with Broward County Parks, contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 954-357-8153 or ParksVolunteers@Broward.org.
Three of our nature centers – Anne Kolb
(954-357-5161) in Hollywood, Fern Forest
(954-357-5198) in Coconut Creek, and Secret Woods
(954-357-8884) in Dania Beach – and one of our regional parks (Quiet Waters, 954-357-5100, in Deerfield Beach) offer regular native plant sales year round. Each event features nurseries and other vendors displaying and selling plants native to South Florida as well as other plants conducive to butterfly and wildlife gardening. The next such event will be the Fall Into Foliage Native Plant Sale
on Saturday, September 23, at Fern Forest. Hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and admission is free. Fern Forest is accessible via Broward County Transit
Routes #31 and #42.
...And Everything Else
Other nature-related programming at Broward County parks in September. Many programs require fees and/or preregistration; contact the relevant park for details.
- Fri., Sept. 1, 12:15-12:45 p.m. – Bite-Sized Learning Lunch – Easterlin Park (954-357-5190)
- Sat., Sept. 2, 9 a.m.-noon – EcoAction Volunteer Workday – Miramar Pineland (954-357-8776)
- Tues., Sept. 5, 10 a.m.-noon – Nature Tots – Miramar Pineland
- Tues., Sept. 5, 3:30-5 p.m. – K-2 Nature Kids – Miramar Pineland
- Wed., Sept. 6, 9:30-11 a.m. – Polliwogs: Walk, Waddle, Wiggle – Hillsboro Pineland Natural Area (954-357-5100)
- Fri., Sept. 8, 9-10 a.m. – Guided Hike – Highlands Scrub Natural Area (954-357-5100)
- Sat., Sept. 9, 9-10:30 a.m. – Scrub-a-Dub-Dub Cleanup & Hike – Military Trail Natural Area (954-357-5100)
- Sat., Sept. 9, 9-11:30 a.m. – Basic Kayak Class – West Lake Park (954-357-5161)
- Sat., Sept. 9, 9 a.m.-noon – EcoAction Volunteer Workday – Secret Woods Nature Center (954-357-8884)
- Sat., Sept. 9, 10-10:45 a.m. – Trail Stroll – Anne Kolb Nature Center (954-357-5161)
- Tues., Sept. 12, 9-10 a.m. – Guided Hike – Quiet Waters Park (954-357-5100)
- Thurs., Sept. 14, 10-11 a.m. – Nature Tots – Fern Forest Nature Center (954-357-5198)
- Thurs., Sept. 14, 10-11 a.m. – Preschool Play ’n’ Learn – Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center (954-357-8797)
- Sat., Sept. 16, 9 a.m.-noon – Broward County Coastal Cleanup – Hollywood North Beach Park (954-357-5161)
- Sat., Sept. 16, 9:30-11:30 a.m. – Geocaching Adventure Series – West Creek Pineland Natural Area (954-357-5100)
- Tues., Sept. 19, 9-10 a.m. – Guided Hike – Easterlin
- Tues., Sept. 19, 10-11 a.m. – Nature Tots – West Lake
- Fri., Sept. 22, 9-10 a.m. – Guided Hike – Quiet Waters
- Sat., Sept. 23, 9-11:30 a.m. – Paddling EcoTour – West Lake
- Sun., Sept. 24, 10-11 a.m. – Guided Nature Hike – Long Key
- Sun., Sept. 24, noon-1 p.m. – Super Science Sunday – Secret Woods
- Sun., Sept. 24, 1-4 p.m. – Jamming in the Park – Secret Woods
- Tues., Sept. 26, 9-10 a.m. – Guided Hike – Saw Palmetto Natural Area (954-357-5100)
- Wed., Sept. 27, 10-11 a.m. – Knee-High Naturalist – Long Key
- Thurs., Sept. 28, 10-11 a.m. – Nature Tots – Secret Woods
- Sat., Sept. 30, 1-2 p.m. – Singing Insects – Anne Kolb
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.