May 2014
Recreation. Preservation. Education.
May is Air Quality Awareness Month

May is Air Quality Awareness Month, and the Broward County Air Quality Program would like to provide tips on things you can do conserve energy, improve air quality and your health, and reduce your carbon footprint. Here are easy changes everyone can make to help:

  • Give your car a break. Take Tri-Rail or the bus, walk, bike, and/or carpool.
  • Unplug unused electronics. When electronics are not being used, unplug them from the outlet or keep them plugged into a power strip and switch it off.
  • Adjust your thermostat up two degrees.
  • Take shorter showers. Showers account for two-thirds of all water heating costs.
  • Use reusable cloth shopping bags.
  • Reuse a mug or water bottle.
  • Wash clothes in cold water.
  • Use recycled paper and print on both sides.

If you take all of the above these actions, you can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 2,500 pounds, which is equivalent to the emissions of 127 gallons of gasoline.

Also remember to check the Air Quality Index. This is especially important for children, the elderly, and those with respiratory ailments. Call 954-519-1476 for today’s Air Quality Index.

You can also sign up for Enviroflash, which will immediately notify subscribers, via e-mail or pager, when the Air Quality Index falls out of the “good” category. The e-mail provides information on what precautions should be taken. 

Think Greenery

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 and the GFWC Plantation Woman’s Club – takes place the weekend of May 3 and 4 at Plantation Heritage Park, where you’ll find a plant show and sale with up to 30 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. both days.

For more information, call Betty Cobb at 954-797-2722 or 954-581-6464, or the park at 954-357-5135, ext. 0. Plantation Heritage is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #30.

Walks on the Wild Side


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

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 May 8 at Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek, on May 20 at West Lake Park in Hollywood, and on May 22 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 Park, and on the fourth Thursday at Secret Woods Nature Center.

Long Key Natural Area and Nature Center also hosts Preschool Play ‘n’ Learn on May 8 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 “Butterfly Flutterby.” The fee for this program 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 Route #12. Secret Woods is accessible via Route #6.

Holiday Fun

Mother and Daughter

Two major holidays this month provide opportunities for a fun outing in a park: Mother’s Day, on Sunday, May 11, and Memorial Day, on Monday, May 26. All Broward County Parks will be open their regularly scheduled hours (except Deerfield Island Park which is normally closed on Mondays).

Shelters and indoor facilities of all sizes are offered for rent. Reservations are required, however, so call now to check availability. All shelters have picnic tables, most have grills, and many also have water, electricity, and restrooms. Amenities at indoor facilities vary. Freestanding picnic tables are also available on a first-come, first-served basis throughout most of our parks. For more information, visit our Website. Enjoy your holiday in the park!

Wings and Things


Amateur lepidopterists, a.k.a. butterfly enthusiasts, have a few opportunities to indulge their passion this month. On Saturday, May 10, there’s a Butterfly Gardening Workshop at Secret Woods Nature Center, known for its “butterfly island,” from 2 to 4 p.m. Participants will learn how to use the right kinds of plants and flowers to draw butterflies to their home landscapes. The fee is $10/person. For more information, call the park (accessible via Broward County Transit Route #6) at 954-357-8884.

Then on Tuesday, May 13, the Broward County Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association meets at Plantation Heritage Park from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The evening includes socializing and refreshments, followed by a speaker/presentation and a plant raffle. The park (954-357-5135) is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #30.

Finally, on Saturday, May 17, there are two events. The Anne Kolb Nature Center offers Butterflies: Winged Beauties, a program for kids ages 6 to 12. This celebration of butterflies runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and costs $2/person. For more information, call the park (accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #4 and #12) at 954-357-5161. At 1 p.m.,Butterfly Worldat Tradewinds Park will offer a Butterfly Gardening Workshop, free with paid admission into the world-famous attraction. For more info, call Butterfly World at 954-977-4400. Tradewinds is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #34.

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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