Broward County > Parks and Recreation > Nearby Nature eNews > August 2014 Nearby Nature
August 2014
Recreation. Preservation. Education.
Staying Cool in the Summertime

Woman Drinking Water

We’re now at the height of summer, and for many, that means enjoying the sun and being more active outside. If you spend significant time outdoors this summer, make sure you drink lots of water to stay safe and healthy while having fun. Water helps keep our bodies healthy by keeping our temperatures normal, protecting our organs, and helping break down the food we eat. Because water makes up so much of our bodies – 75 percent of muscle, 10 percent of fat – you have to make sure you drink water to stay healthy. Our bodies lose water by being active, breathing, and sweating.

When our bodies lose too much water, we get dehydrated. Common signs that someone is dehydrated include extreme thirst, headaches, dizziness, nausea, and/or not sweating. Here are some steps to take if this happens to you or you see someone showing symptoms while being active in the sun:

  1. Stop the activity immediately.
  2. Get out of the sun; find a place with shade to rest.
  3. Slowly sip water or some kind of cool fluid.
  4. Go get checked out to make sure you are okay.

And here are some tips to help you beat dehydration and enjoy your summer fun:

  • Stay hydrated – Drink eight to 10 cups of water or fluid each day.
  • Drink before you play – Drink two cups of water or fluid two hours before you plan on being active. Try to sip the liquid slowly.
  • Drink while you play – Drink two to four cups of water or fluid each hour while you are being active.
  • Drink after you play – Drink three cups of water or fluid for every pound you lose after being active.
This information is brought to you by the Extension Education Section’s Family Nutrition Program. For additional information, call 954-357-5270.

eNaturalist Program Expands to New Location

eNaturalist Logo

Technology meets nature when the third eNaturalist-led hike is held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, August 30 at Woodmont Natural Area in Tamarac. A Parks naturalist will be available at this event to explain to participants how the self-guided hikes run.
It works this way: Signs posted along the nearly 2,100-foot boardwalk through this 66-acre preserve will feature QR (quick response) codes that provide enhanced information on the nature you’re experiencing, including relevant videos. Just use your cell phone or tablet (and an application that can be downloaded for free) to scan the codes. The visually impaired can also participate, as Braille signs will provide Web addresses that lead to audio descriptions of the natural area’s flora and fauna. 
For more information on the eNaturalist Program, call North Broward Natural Areas at 954-357-5113 or visit the eNaturalist Program Web page.

Saddle Up: Horse Camps


Put your horse sense to good use when Tradewinds Park offers its popular annual Summer Horse Camps. The program, for ages 9 through 16, runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Horsemasters Advanced Camp provides English riding and advanced riding instruction, and costs $400 plus sales tax per four-day session. Sessions run August 4-7 and August 11-14. There is a limit of 10 campers per session.

Early registration is recommended and can be done online as well as at the park office. Fees must be paid and a release and waiver of liability signed at registration. Children must provide their own lunches and refreshments. Long pants and closed-toe shoes are required. Participants should also bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a towel.

For more information, call the stables at 954-357-8720 or visit our Online Reservation Web page. Tradewinds is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #34.

Wanted: Volunteers
The great humanitarian Albert Schweitzer once said: “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.” At Broward County Parks, we encourage service through volunteerism by way of our VIP Program, which stands for Volunteers Improving Parks.


The VIP Program offers short-term and long-term opportunities for individuals, families, students, and groups both large and small to share their time and talents with the community. Volunteer opportunities are available throughout the park system, and we can work with you to schedule dates and times that are convenient for you. No experience is required – we will provide the necessary training and assistance to accompany any opportunity you choose, along with any special equipment needed.

The first step is to find a project that’s in line with your talents and interests and the amount of time you’re willing to commit. Our Website’s volunteer section includes links to lists that provide more information on our current volunteer opportunities. Potential volunteers may download the volunteer application (PDF) and bring the completed forms to the park where you would like to volunteer. If you prefer, you may pick up an application at the park. Those who are volunteering for a special event or a workday should download and fill out the Workday Volunteer application (PDF) prior to your arrival at the park. For volunteers under 18, parental signatures are required. You should also bring a photo I.D. to the park when you sign up to volunteer.

For additional information, contact the Parks and Recreation Division’s Volunteer Coordinator at 954-357-8153 or

Summer Home Landscape Series
Are you an average homeowner who would like to add to the beauty of your home through landscaping? Then Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach has just the ticket for you: the Summer Home Landscape Series, which consists of eight free lectures. The popular program runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on consecutive Thursdays, starting on July 10 and ending August 28.

Participants will learn ways to save money on their cooling and water bills, attract wildlife, and preserve native vegetation; they’ll improve the appearance of their yards and neighborhoods as well as increase property values.

Topics and presenters featured in August are as follows:

  • Aug. 7 – “Insects in the Yard: Pollinators and Pests” (senior biological scientist Aaron J. Mullins of UF-IFAS Department of Entomology and Nematology)
  • Aug.14 – “Landscape Design Basics” (Kaylee Kildare)
  • Aug. 21 – "Orchid Basics: What They Need to Grow and Pests You Should Know" (Sandi Jones, owner of Broward Orchid Supply and orchid curator at Bonnet House Museum and Gardens)
  • Aug. 28 – “Fungus Among Us” (Parks naturalist Scott Bryan of Secret Woods)
For more information, contact the nature center at 954-357-8884. Secret Woods is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #6.

Fun for the Little Ones

It’s no secret that Nature Tots has been teaching tykes to appreciate the great outdoors for years. The program was the brainchild of a park naturalist in 2003.

The one-hour programs, for ages 2 to 4 accompanied by an adult, focus on a different theme each month, with each site’s naturalist free to embellish on it according to his/her style. A typical program might start with stories, songs, or arts and crafts and end with a short nature walk.

This month’s events will be on August 12 at Miramar Pineland in Miramar, on August 14 at Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek, on August 19 at West Lake Park in Hollywood, and on August 28 at Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach.

The monthly program runs from 10 to 11 a.m. The fee is $5 per child, and preregistration is required. Programs are on the second Thursday at Fern Forest, the third Tuesday at West Lake, the second Tuesday at Miramar Pineland, and the fourth Thursday at Secret Woods.

Long Key Natural Area and Nature Center also hosts Preschool Play ‘n’ Learn on August 7 from 10 to 11 a.m. This program, open to participants ages 3 to 5, may include games, hands-on activities, crafts, storytelling, songs, and a nature walk or animal encounter. This month’s theme is “Wiggle Worms.” Long Key also holds Knee-High Naturalist events on a monthly basis. This month's event, to be held on August 27 from 10 to 11 a.m., is for children ages 3 to 5 andwill have the theme of "What's the Dirt?" The fee for both of these programs is $5 per child and preregistration is required.

For more information on a program or to preregister, call Miramar Pineland at 954-357-8776, Fern Forest at 954-357-5198, West Lake at 954-357-5161, Secret Woods at 954-357-8884, or Long Key at 954-357-8797. Miramar Pineland is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #2. Fern Forest is accessible via Routes #31 and #42. West Lake is accessible via Routes #12 and #14. Secret Woods is accessible via Route #6.

Walks on the Wild Side

Choose from a variety of nature-related hikes and walks this month:

Long Key Trail 

Class Acts

Extension Education will hold a new session of the Florida Master Naturalist Habitat Evaluation Specialized Course. The course consists of 24 contact hours of instruction, and will be held at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park on various days beginning August 18. The course fee is $150 and preregistration and prepayment are required.

To preregister, visit  For more on this course or other Florida Master Naturalist programs, call Extension Education at 954-357-5270.

YouTube Spotlight: New Everglades Holiday Park Commercial
Broward County Parks has its own YouTube Channel at Experience the "Gateway to the Everglades" at Everglades Holiday Park Watch our new commercial and see what could be waiting for you next time you visit.

SWIM Central
SWIM Central is the Broward County Commission's primary resource and referral service for available swim programs in cooperation with various cities and nonprofit organizations. Call 954-357-SWIM (7946).

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