For the key to educating yourself on what you put into the ground and what you do with it once it’s planted, turn to Broward County Parks. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 6, Fern Forest Nature Center will hold its Fall Into Foliage Native Plant Sale, which emphasizes the right kinds of plants to grow in your home landscape. Gardening information and other activities will also be offered.
For more information, call Fern Forest at 954-357-5198. The nature center is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #31 and #42.
All Broward County regional parks (including water parks and campgrounds), and all nature centers, neighborhood parks, and natural areas will be open on Monday, September 1, Labor Day. Deerfield Island Park and the administrative offices of the Parks and Recreation Division will be closed.
The next meeting of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 4, to be followed by a Parks Public Participation Forum at 7 p.m. The meeting/forum will take place at the Anne Kolb Nature Center, 751 Sheridan St., Hollywood, FL 33019; 954-357-5161.
Broward County Parks invites the public to attend a Nature Block Party, for all ages, at Saw Palmetto Natural Area in Coconut Creek, starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 6. This communitywide event celebrates the opening of two new natural areas – Saw Palmetto and nearby West Creek Pineland. Light refreshments will be served following the opening ceremony.
The ceremony will also be followed by a variety of nature-related activities: a scavenger hunt, native plant installation, geocaching, arts and crafts, bicycle excursions, games, and more. Saw Palmetto Natural area is located at 4856 NW 71st Place, Coconut Creek, FL 33073.
For more information on this event, call Quiet Waters Park at 954-357-5100.
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 September 9 at Miramar Pineland in Miramar, on September 11 at Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek, on September 16 at West Lake Park in Hollywood, and on September 25 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 September 11 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 “Turtle Talk.” The fee for this program 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.
The South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association (SFAAA) opens the Fox Observatory at Markham Park & Target Range every Saturday evening, weather permitting, for free stargazing from dusk to midnight.
The SFAAA also hosts the quarterly program An Evening With the Stars at Fern Forest Nature Center, where speakers cover basic telescope techniques and general astronomy information. The next session will start at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, September 19, and the program is free and for all ages.
For more information, call Fern Forest at 954-357-5198 or the SFAAA at 954-384-0442, or email Info@SFAAA.com.
Choose from a variety of nature-related hikes and walks this month:
Sat., Sept. 6, 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. – Guided Nature Walks –Secret Woods Nature Center (954-357-8884) – Free
Sat., Sept. 6, 7 p.m. - Nature at Night Hike - Deerfield Island Park (954-357-5100) - $5/person
Tue., Sept. 9, 7 p.m. - Night Hike - Secret Woods Nature Center (954-357-8884) – $5/person
Fri., Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m. – Nature at Night Hike – Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center (954-357-8797) – $5/person
Fri., Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m. – Night Hike By The Seashore– Hollywood North Beach Park (954-357-5161) – $5/person
Sat., Sept. 13, 7 p.m. – Nature at Night Hike – Woodmont Natural Area (954-357-5100) – $5/person
Sun., Sept. 14, 1 p.m. – Trail Stroll – Anne Kolb Nature Center (954-357-5161) – Free
For well over a quarter of a century, the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup has cleared the trash from thousands of ocean and waterway sites, using volunteers from more than 15 countries and locations. The cleanup, in fact, is the largest volunteer event of its kind in the world. Last year nearly 650,000 participants in 92 countries picked up more than 12.3 million pounds of trash.
In 28 years these volunteers have not only collected nearly 150 million pounds of trash from the shores of lakes, streams, rivers, and oceans, they have also catalogued it carefully to provide a clearer picture of the scope of the problem.
This year the event celebrates its 29th anniversary on Saturday, September 20. You can be a part of the landmark undertaking by participating in its local component, the Florida Coastal Cleanup, which takes place from 9 a.m. to noon at Deerfield Island Park and Hollywood North Beach Park. On-site registration is required.
Volunteers will almost certainly get wet and dirty and should dress accordingly. Participants should also bring gloves, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, and drinking water. The event is for all ages, although children under age 17 must be accompanied by adults.
For more information, call Quiet Waters Park (for Deerfield Island) at 954-357-5100 or the Anne Kolb Nature Center (for Hollywood North Beach) at 954-357-5161.
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 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).