August 2013 Nearby Nature
Broward County > Parks and Recreation > The Latest > August 2013 Nearby Nature
Nearby Nature Banner 

Staying Cool in the Summertime
Fun for the Little Ones
Beat the Heat
Habitat Evaluation Course Registration Still Open
Summer Home Landscape Series
Reserve Online
Find It All Magazine
Wanted: Volunteers
YouTube Spotlight – Airboat Rides at Everglades Holiday Park
Follow Us – On Twitter
Nature To Go
Your Opinion Counts!
Nature Centers of the Broward County Parks and Recreation Division
Special Attractions
Mission Statement
Broward County Board of County Commissioners

Staying Cool in the Summertime

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:

· Stop the activity immediately.

· Get out of the sun; find a place with shade to rest.

· Slowly sip water or some kind of cool fluid.

· 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.

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.        

The dates for this month will be August 8 at Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek, and August 20 at West Lake Park in Hollywood, and August 22 at Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach.

Programs run 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 Nature Center in Coconut Creek, the third Tuesday at West Lake Park, and the fourth Thursday at Secret Woods.

For more information on program or to preregister, call Fern Forest at 954-357-5198, West Lake at 954-357-5161, or Secret Woods at 954-357-8884. 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.

Beat the Heat

With summer coming to a close you’ve probably noticed, subtropical heat and humidity are still lingering. That’s no reason to stay cooped up indoors – not when you can take refuge in our North Broward Natural Areas, some of which will host Beat the Heat Hikes, every other weekend running through September. These hourlong naturalist-led hikes will take you through scrub, pine flatwood, and cypress habitats as you learn about how plants and animals adapt to summer heat.

Saturday hikes (this month on August 3, 17 and 31) will be at Highlands Scrub Natural Area in Pompano Beach, 8 to 9 a.m. Sunday hikes will consist of three morning hikes – two at Helene Klein Pineland Preserve in Coconut Creek (which also includes a side trip to nearby West Creek Pineland Natural Area), from 8 to 9 a.m. on August 4 and 18, and two others at Hillsboro Pineland Natural Area from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on August 4 and 18.

Participants are encouraged to wear sunscreen and bring drinking water. Please note that restrooms are available only at Hillsboro Pineland. The hikes are free, although preregistration is required by calling Quiet Waters Park at 954-357-5100.

Habitat Evaluation Course Registration Still Open

Registration is still open for the Florida Master Naturalist Habitat Evaluation Course, which runs from August 19 through 31 at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park in Fort Lauderdale. The course is offered through Broward County Parks and Recreation Division’s Extension Education Section and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF-IFAS), in cooperation with Tanawhá Presents. The 24-contact-hour course includes hands-on experiences in the classroom and field.

Registration for the course is $150 per person. Interested individuals can register online at Online registration closes at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, August 13, but after that, registration can be processed by credit card by phone at 352-392-5230; ask for Ms. Shelby Sowder or Ms. Kim Brand.

For more detailed information on the entire program and all course offerings, visit

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. The popular program runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on consecutive Thursdays, ending August 29.

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:

· Aug. 1 – “Tree Trimming and Pruning” (commercial horticulture agent Michael Orfanedes of UF-IFAS/Broward County Extension Education)

· Aug. 8 – “Tomato Gardening in South Florida” (vegetable gardening expert Elaine Farquharson)

· Aug. 15 – “Create a Quiet Getaway” (outreach coordinator Diana Guidry of NatureScape Broward)

· Aug. 22 – “Backyard Beekeeping” (senior biological scientist Aaron J. Mullins of UF-IFAS Department of Entomology and Nematology)

· Aug. 29 – “Fungi in the Garden and Yard” (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.

Reserve Online

Patrons are now able to do something they’ve never done before – reserve our more than 110 picnic shelters and corporate pavilions online. They’ll also be able to purchase annual gate passes, skate park passes, and seasonal aquatic passes, as well as rent Funbrellas at select parks, register for specific programs and activities, and check the availability of indoor venues for meetings, weddings, and other special events.

The WebTrac system will be expanded later to include the Division’s 300-plus campsites, along with other facilities and programming.

WebTrac is a product of Vermont Systems, which has provided recreation management tracking software primarily for county and city governments since 1989. Palm Beach County currently uses WebTrac, as well as such tricounty municipalities as Aventura, Boca Raton, Coconut Creek, Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Parkland, Plantation, Sunrise, Tamarac, Wellington, and West Palm Beach. Once the Broward County Parks system is up and running, it will be the largest and most comprehensive WebTrac operation in South Florida.

Check out the new system by visiting our Website at, where you’ll find a RESERVE ONLINE button on the right side of the page.

Find It All Magazine

Broward County Parks’ new “Find It All” magazine is now available in various Broward County park and governmental offices. Learn about the exceptional recreational opportunities available in Broward County parks, as well as find valuable discount coupons for some of your favorite park excursions.

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

YouTube Spotlight – Airboat Rides at Everglades Holiday Park

Broward County Parks now has its own YouTube Channel at Ride through the river of grass at Everglades Holiday ParkWatch our video and see what could be waiting for you next time you visit.

Follow Us – On Twitter

Broward County Parks is now on Twitter! Follow us at @BrowardParks and keep up to date with important information, events, programs, and other happenings. Twitter accounts have also been created for several of our parks. Visit the Broward County Government Stay Connected Web page to follow your favorite park.

Nature To Go

You can now take a little bit of Broward County nature home with you – thanks to a series of nature posters produced and sold by Broward County Parks. The six posters, all photographed in the county’s parks, nature centers, and natural areas, feature American white waterlilies, burrowing owls, a gray fox, live oak trees, a prairie iris, and a queen butterfly. The posters look great either framed or unframed, and they’re a distinctive way to bring a taste of nature into your home or office. They also make excellent gifts.

The offices at seven facilities have the posters available for purchase: the Anne Kolb Nature Center at West Lake Park in Hollywood, Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek, Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center in Davie, Markham Park in Sunrise, Plantation Heritage Park in Plantation, Tree Tops Park in Davie, and T.Y. Park in Hollywood.

The high-quality posters, which measure 18 inches by 24 inches, retail for $10, including Florida sales tax. You can also purchase posters by mail from Broward County Parks and Recreation, 950 N.W. 38th St., Oakland Park, FL 33309. Mail-order posters are $15 (includes Florida sales tax, shipping, and handling), with checks/money orders payable to Broward County Parks and Recreation. For more information, e-mail

Your Opinion Counts!

We’d like to know what you think about our programs and facilities. Please take a moment to tell us how we’re doing by filling out this survey.

Nature Centers of the Broward County Parks and Recreation Division

Anne Kolb Nature Center

751 Sheridan St., Hollywood


Deerfield Island Park

1720 Deerfield Island Park

Deerfield Beach


Fern Forest Nature Center

201 Lyons Rd. South Coconut Creek


Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center

3501 S.W. 130th Ave.



Secret Woods Nature Center

2701 W. State Rd. 84 Dania Beach



For more nature activities, please go to

Special Attractions

Airboat Rides (Everglades Holiday Park) – Batting Cages (AllGolf at C.B. Smith Park) – Bike America (Quiet Waters Park) Butterfly World (Tradewinds Park & Stables) – Cable Water-Skiing (Ski Rixen USA at Quiet Waters Park) – Campgrounds (C.B. Smith Park, Easterlin Park, Markham Park & Target Range, Quiet Waters Park, T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park) – Dog Park (Barkham at Markham Park & Target Range) – Educational Farm (Tradewinds Park & Stables) – Exhibit Halls (Anne Kolb Nature Center at West Lake Park, Fern Forest Nature Center, Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center, Secret Woods Nature Center) – Golf Facilities (AllGolf at C.B. Smith Park) – Softball/Baseball Fields (Brian Piccolo Park & Velodrome, Sunview Park, Tradewinds Park & Stables) – Observatory (Markham Park & Target Range) – Riding Stables (Tradewinds Park & Stables, Tree Tops Park) – Skate Park/Track (Brian Piccolo Park & Velodrome) – Target Range (Markham Park & Target Range) – Tennis Centers (Brian Piccolo Park & Velodrome, C.B. Smith Park) – Velodrome (Brian Piccolo Park & Velodrome) – Water Playgrounds/ Waterslides/Swimming (C.B. Smith Park, Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium, Quiet Waters Park, T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park)

Mission Statement

The Parks and Recreation Division is dedicated to providing a countywide park system with diverse facilities and recreation opportunities, along with natural area conservation and research-based educational outreach, to enhance the well-being of residents, businesses, and visitors.

Founded in February 1956 and accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies, Broward County Parks and Recreation Division manages almost 6,500 acres, encompassing nearly 50 regional parks and nature centers, neighborhood parks, and natural areas at various stages of development. Facilities include water parks, campgrounds, a target range, a stadium, a skate park, an observatory, mountain bike trails, an educational farm with stables, and a velodrome and other sports facilities. Hours and fees vary by location. For more information, visit


Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations in order to participate in County programs, services, and activities must contact the Special Populations Section at 954-357-8170 or TTY 954-537-2844 at least 10 business days prior to the scheduled meeting or event to request an accommodation.

Broward County Board of County Commissioners

Sue Gunzburger
Dale V.C. Holness
Kristin Jacobs
Martin David Kiar
Chip LaMarca
Stacy Ritter
Tim Ryan
Barbara Sharief
Lois Wexler

Subscribe/Unsubscribe to the Nearby Nature Newsletter

Parks and Recreation is a service of the Broward County Board of County Commissioners.