July 2014
Recreation. Preservation. Education.
July Is Parks and Recreation Month


So says the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), which started a tradition in 1985 that continues to this day. The Florida Recreation and Park Association (FRPA) supports the initiative and recently promoted Governor Rick Scott’s proclamation.

Among the benefits of parks and recreation:

  • 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.
In other words, “Find It All – At a Broward County Park.” Get out and enjoy. For more information on Broward County Parks, visit Broward.org/Parks.

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 Friday, July 4 (with the exception of Deerfield Island Park). 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.

Find It All Magazine

Find It All Magazine

Watch for your copy of the new “Find It All” magazine that was mailed to households in Broward County. If you missed your copy, the new magazines are also available in any Broward County Parks office. Learn about the exceptional recreational opportunities available in our parks, as well as find a valuable discount coupon for our water parks!

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 July 10 at Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek, on July 15 at West Lake Park in Hollywood, and on July 24 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, and on the fourth Thursday at Secret Woods.

Long Key Natural Area and Nature Center also hosts Preschool Play ‘n’ Learn on July 10 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 “Home Sweet Home.” Long Key also holds Knee-High Naturalist events on a monthly basis. This month's event, to be held on July 30 from 10 to 11 a.m.  for children ages 3 to 5, will have the theme of "Animal Babies." 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 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. Fern Forest is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #31 and #42. West Lake is accessible via Routes #12 and #14. Secret Woods is accessible via Route #6.

Class Acts

Extension Education will hold a new session of the Florida Master Naturalist Conservation Science Specialized Course. The course consists of 24 contact hours of instruction, and will be held at Plantation Heritage Park on various days beginning July 7 and concluding at Snake Warrior's Island Natural Area on July 19. The course fee is $150 and preregistration and prepayment are required.

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

Walks on the Wild Side

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


Saddle Up: Horse Camps

Trail ride

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.

Trailblazers Week Camp provides intermediate riding instruction and tack/equipment as activities and costs $300 plus sales tax per four-day sessions. Sessions run July 7-10, July 14-17, and July 21-24. There is a limit of 12 campers per session.

English riding and advanced riding instruction are added to the above-listed activities for Horsemasters Advanced Camp, which takes place in four-day sessions August 4-7 and August 11-14. The fee is $400 plus sales tax per session. Sessions are limited to 10 campers and the Trailblazers Week Camp is a prerequisite.

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 Webpage. Tradewinds is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #34.

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 are as follows:

  • July 10 – “Plants With a Purpose” (parks naturalist Molly Taylor of Secret Woods)
  • July 17 – “Container Grown Edibles” (Murray Corman)
  • July 24 – “Fertilizers” (commercial horticulture agent Michael Orfanedes of UF-IFAS/Broward County Extension Education)
  • July 31 – “Urban Farming Eating Broward” (Michael Madfis)
  • 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 of 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.

YouTube Spotlight: New Everglades Holiday Park Commercial
Broward County Parks has its own YouTube Channel at www.YouTube.com/BrowardCountyParks. 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).

SWIM Central logo

Quick Links
Parks on Social Media
Special Attractions
Mission Statement
Your Opinion Counts