Focus on Hillsboro Pineland and Helene Klein Pineland Preserve
Experience the Renaissance Era
How Does Your Garden Grow?
Parks Celebrate Black History Year Round
By Land, By Water, and By Air
Make Your Own Kind of Music
One Wish at a Time
A Matter of Maintenance
Let Your Dog Know Who’s in Charge
Out for a Walk (or Hike)
Quote of the Month
Your Opinion Counts!
Broward County Board of County Commissioners
Two of Broward County Parks’ pineland natural areas – located near each other in Coconut Creek – celebrate an anniversary this month: Hillsboro Pineland Natural Area, which opened to the public on February 24, 2004, and Helene Klein Pineland Preserve, which opened almost four years later, on February 1, 2008.
Hillsboro Pineland lies in the historic transition zone between the Atlantic Coastal Ridge of eastern Broward County and the Everglades of western Broward. Located near the headwaters of both Cypress Creek and the historic Hillsboro River, the area was once a vast landscape of marshes and swamps, with wet prairies and pine flatwoods occupying the higher ground.
The site, which has grown to encompass 56.3 acres, features the pine flatwoods common to this part of the county, with surface rock outcroppings and a variety of grasses and wildflowers. Vegetation includes saw palmetto, beautyberry, cypress, swamp and sword ferns, and muhly grass. Among the wildlife spotted are several species of hawks, various wood warblers, several species of wading birds, and owls and woodpeckers. Zebra longwings are among the butterflies seen here.
At approximately 13 acres, Helene Klein is one of the smallest sites in the Parks and Recreation Division’s natural areas system but also one of the most diverse. While the site boasts an abundance of its namesake slash pines, it also includes a combination of cypress swamp and two small marl prairies.
Tall slash pines dominate the open canopy of the flatwoods community, layered below with a thick understory of saw palmetto and outcroppings of surface limestone. Up to 55 species of wildlife have been observed in the preserve, including giant swallowtail butterflies, Florida brown snakes, spotted skunks, blue-gray gnatcatchers, and pileated woodpeckers.
Amenities at both sites include covered overlooks and interpretive signage, and each location offers more than 2,200 feet of trails. At Hillsboro Pineland, you’ll also find benches and restrooms. Helene Klein includes seating areas, an information kiosk, and a covered picnic table.
Hillsboro Pineland was purchased for $4.74 million with funds from the 1989 Environmentally Sensitive Lands Bond program. Helene Klein, previously designated as Site 19, was acquired in 2002 through the 2000 Safe Parks and Land Preservation Bond program and a Florida Communities Trust grant, at a total cost of $3.4 million; it was named after a local environmental activist who died in July 2001, having collected petitions and lobbied the Broward County Commission on behalf of the project and the preservation of natural areas as public lands.
Hillsboro Pineland is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #18; Helene Klein is accessible via Routes #14, #31, and #48.
The Renaissance, according to Wikipedia, lasted from roughly the 14th century to the 17th century, beginning in Italy and spreading to the rest of Europe in “a flowering of literature, science, art, religion, and politics, and a resurgence of learning…” Not surprisingly, this period in history when Europe made the transition from the dark ages into the modern era is a topic of great fascination for many people, especially the revelry and excess in costume and cuisine that marked the period.
Each year the Florida Renaissance Festival brings a taste of the Renaissance to Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach, and this year the celebration marks its 20th anniversary. Visiting kings and queens will all claim land for their respective countries, and the festival’s makeshift village will be packed with artisans and crafts people selling and demonstrating their wares, not to mention rides, nearly a dozen stages featuring continuous entertainment, and hearty food and drink of the time.
The festival runs from 10 a.m. to sunset for five weekends, from Saturday, February 11 through Sunday, March 11, plus President’s Day, Monday, February 20. Admission is $20 for ages 12 and up, $7 for ages 6 to 11, and free for ages 5 and under. Group rates and season tickets are also available. The park’s regular weekend and holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50 per person (children 5 and under free) will also be in effect.
For additional information, call Quiet Waters at 954-357-5100 or the festival at 954-776-1642, or visit www.ren-fest.com. The park is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #14 and #48.
Stock up on native plants, herbs, and vegetable plants when the Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood hosts a Green and Growing Plant Sale. The free event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, February 11, and all ages are welcome. In connection with the plant sale, gardening expert Karin Fields will be presenting a Family Gardening Program from 10 to 11 a.m. She’ll let you in on her tips and techniques for success with the plants you pick up at the sale.
Over at Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach, you can learn another way to grow plants at the park’s ongoing series of Propagation Classes, which continues from 2 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, February 26 with installment two, “Cuttings.” Participants will get hands-on instruction in various techniques, and you’re welcome to bring your own cuttings.
And if you’re interested in attracting butterflies to your yard, check out the Butterfly Gardening Workshop at world-famous Butterfly World at Tradewinds Park South in Coconut Creek. It starts at 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 11 and includes a free photo guide to help you identify butterflies and their ideal host plants. The workshop is free with paid Butterfly World admission.
For more information, call Anne Kolb at 954-357-5161, Secret Woods at 954-357-8884, or Butterfly World at 954-977-4434. Anne Kolb is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #12; Secret Woods is accessible via Route #6; and Tradewinds is accessible via Route #34.
February 1 marks the beginning of Black History Month, an annual commemoration that was established in 1976 to highlight the contributions of African-Americans to the cultures of the United States and Canada. The designation was an expansion of Negro History Week, which dates back to 1926 and encompassed the birthdays of both the abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln.
To learn more about local black history, there’s no better place to start than at two neighborhood parks that represent Broward County’s distinctive pan-African cultural heritage. Across the parking lot from Fort Lauderdale’s acclaimed African-American Research Library and Cultural Center– one of only three of its kind in the nation – you’ll find Reverend Samuel Delevoe Park. The park’s namesake was one of Fort Lauderdale’s first black police officers, as well as a community activist, politician, businessman, civil rights leader, and street minister. In 1979, two years after Reverend Delevoe was fatally shot, the park was rededicated in honor of his outstanding contributions. In homage to him and many other notable community figures, an art installation in the park, called Pillars of the Community, displays 84 names of leaders past and present. The project is part of the Public Art and Design program.
Just north of Delevoe Park is Franklin Park, with its brightly colored playground and a thousand-foot-long walkway that runs through the park. The walkway and the benches that line it make up an installation known as The Word Garden, created by Broward artists Angela Curreri and Rick Yasko, that celebrates the seven principles of Kwanzaa in both Swahili and English. This is also a Public Art and Design project.
Along with these major public art projects, Delevoe Park’s 36 acres feature areas for fishing, a picnic shelter, a playground, a canoe launch, and sports facilities. Franklin Park, at 3.1 acres, offers basketball courts, a playground, picnic shelters, a walking trail, a weight room, and a community center. Both parks are included in the annual Summer Recreation Program sponsored by Parks and Recreation.
For more information, call Delevoe at 954-791-1036, Franklin at 954-791-1037, or the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center at 954-625-2800. Delevoe and the library/cultural center are accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #11 and #40. Franklin is accessible via Routes #11, #36, and #40.
Extreme runners, mark your calendars. From 6 a.m. to noon on Sunday, February 26, Vista View Park in Davie will host the 360 Ultramarathon & Relay. The object of the ultramarathon is to complete as many full laps on a 1.24-mile loop as possible in a six-hour timed period. The goal is the same for the relay, except that the run will involve four-person teams instead of individuals.
Online registration is available at www.active.com. Registration closes at 1 p.m. the day before the event, which will accept no race-day registration. Fees start at $60/person for the ultramarathon and $150/team for the relay. Cash prizes totaling more than $500 will be awarded.
The sport known by Americans as football can be traced in part to a 19th-century version of the game played in England, where it’s called rugby or, informally, rugger. (“Rugger” is also slang for a rugby player.) If you’ve never seen the English version played, you’ll have a chance when Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium in Lauderhill hosts the 36th annual Ruggerfest. The tournament runs on Saturday and Sunday, February 25 and 26, starting at 9 a.m., and it’s co-sponsored by the Fort Lauderdale Rugby Football Club. Spectators are admitted free, although the park’s regular weekend and holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect. For more tournament information, e-mail email@example.com. Central Broward Regional is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #18, #36, #40, and #81.
Whether they live on the ground, swim in the water, or take to the air, several varieties of animals take center stage at Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach this month. On Sunday, February 5, from 2 to 4 p.m., the nature center offers a free program called Manatees, Oh My!, which uses a presentation and crafts to inform visitors about these gentle giants. Then, from 10 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 18, the focus shifts to Wonderful Reptiles, including some of the ones that make Secret Woods their home. It, too, is a free program. Finally, the Delightful Flight program from noon to 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 26 offers an up-close look at some of South Florida’s butterflies, along with information on how to attract them. The fee is $1.50 per person.
All three programs are for all ages. For more information, call Secret Woods at 954-357-8884. The nature center is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #6.
Every second Sunday of the month from October through May, from 2 to 4 p.m., Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek hosts Jammin’, an unplugged jam session for people interested in folk, mountain, and bluegrass music. Participants are welcome to bring instruments if they like (no amplifiers, please), or just to sit and listen. The popular audience-participation event has been led by the same group of volunteer musicians since its inception in the mid-1980s.
Every once in a while, though, the nature center offers Twilight Jammin’, an evening version of the event. The next one will be from 5 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, February 26, in the park’s amphitheater. It’s free and for all ages.
For more information, call the nature center at 954-357-5198. Fern Forest is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #31 and #42.
Last year more than 1,300 participants took part in the Walk for Wishes 5K Walk/Run, a fundraiser for the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida that generated more than $100,000 – enough to grant the wishes of 20 children. This year the third-annual event hopes to do even better. The walk/run will take place starting at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 4, at Markham Park in Sunrise. (Registration is at 7 a.m.) After the event, stick around for a light breakfast and Family Fun Day activities.
Registration is $25 for adults, $10 for kids; a commemorative T-shirt is included, and a hundred percent of the proceeds benefit the foundation. For more information, visit www.walkforwishes.net or contact Andrea Giraldo at 954-967-9474, ext. 323, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Broward County Parks and Recreation Division’s Special Populations Section will host a free Friday Night Social, for adult mental health consumers ages 18 and up. The event will be held from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, February 10, at Tree Tops Park in Davie.
A week later, on Friday, February 17, also from 7 to 9:30 p.m., there will be a Teen Social: Sounds of the ’70s, for ages 13 to 21 with developmental disabilities. The free event will be held at Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek. Participants are invited to come dressed in vintage 1970s clothing.
Activities for both events include deejay music, dancing, refreshments, and socializing. Preregistration is required at least a week in advance for the Teen Social. To register, or for more information on either event, call Special Populations at 954-357-8170, or e-mail SpecialPopulations@broward.org.
It’s been about eight decades since gangster Al Capone took an interest in the land that now makes up Deerfield Island Park. The site was even once nicknamed Capone Island, even though Capone himself never actually owned it, and the area at that time was a peninsula, not an island.
This is the sort of inside info you might pick up when the park, which opened in September 1980, offers an Intracoastal History Tour, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, February 26. The cost is $5 per person, and boat transportation to the island is provided, although you must be at the dock by 8 a.m. to catch the shuttle from nearby Sullivan Park (on Riverview Road, just off Hillsboro Boulevard at the western end of the Intracoastal Waterway bridge).
Space is limited, so preregistration is required and can be made by calling Quiet Waters Park at 954-357-5100. Deerfield Island is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #48 and #50.
The 7.1 miles of novice and intermediate mountain bike trails at Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach don’t take care of themselves. That’s why the park will host a Mountain Bike Trail Maintenance Day this month. It’s on Saturday, February 11, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call Quiet Watersat 954-357-5100 to find out more about how you can help.
If your dog exhibits such problem behaviors as jumping up and pulling on the leash, maybe it’s time the remedy the situation. Starting on Saturday, February 25, Plantation Heritage Park in Plantation will offer two programs: Basic Obedience, starting at 9 a.m., and C.L.A.S.S., starting at 10 a.m. For fees, registration, and other information, visit www.ohbehavedogtraining.com, call 954-587-2711, or e-mail email@example.com.
Enjoying our parks doesn’t get much more basic than exploring their trails on foot. This month offers a variety of opportunities to do so.
Start the month off with a Mangrove Adventure Hike, from 2 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, February 2, at the Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood. Participants will learn about the park’s rich mangrove ecosystem as they hike one of the trails and encounter wildlife along the way. The program costs $3 per person.
On Saturday, February 4, from 8 to 10:30 a.m., beginning and advanced birders will get a chance to see the avian life at Deerfield Island Park in Deerfield Beach when the park hosts a volunteer-led Bird Walk. Space is limited and preregistration is required by calling Quiet Waters Park at 954-357-5100. The fee is $3 per person. Later that same day, there will be a free Nature Walk, with the theme “The Enduring Tranquility of Highlands Scrub.” It starts at 1 p.m. at the Pompano Beach natural area, and preregistration is suggested by calling 954-357-8114.
For nature after dark, visit Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach on Tuesday, February 7, when the park will offer a naturalist-led Night Hike from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The fee is $5 per person, and preregistration is required by calling Secret Woods at 954-357-8884.
Nature may not come to mind when you think of the more sports-oriented Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium in Lauderhill, but the park has a colony of burrowing owls that’s the focus of a free Bird Walk, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 11. From noon to 2 p.m. the next day, head back to Secret Woods to explore the sloughs and back country by going Off the Beaten Path. Closed-toe shoes, drinking water, a walking stick, and the willingness to get wet are prerequisites for this rigorous hike, which costs $6 per person.
Then it’s back to Central Broward Regional at 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 18, when there’s a themed Nature Walk, “Living With Change at Central Broward Regional Park.” It’s also free, and preregistration is suggested by calling 954-357-8114.
The following Friday, February 24, Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek will offer a Family Night Hike. This naturalist-led event is $3 per person and runs from 7 to 8 p.m.
Finally, the Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood hosts a free Trail Stroll, from 1 to 1:45 p.m. on Saturday, February 25. This guided boardwalk stroll introduces visitors to the park’s distinctive mangrove ecosystem.
Anne Kolb is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #12; Central Broward Regional via Routes #18, #36, #40, and #81; Deerfield Island via Routes #48 and #50; Fern Forest via Routes #31 and #42; Highlands Scrub via Route #50; and Secret Woods via Route #6.
“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” – American writer, activist, and lecturer Helen Keller (1880-1968)
Batting Cages (AllGolf at C.B. Smith Park) – Butterfly World (Tradewinds Park) – Cable Water-Skiing (Ski Rixen USA at Quiet Waters Park) – Campgrounds (C.B. Smith Park, Easterlin Park, Markham Park, Quiet Waters Park, T.Y. Park) – Dog Park (Barkham at Markham Park) – Educational Farm (Tradewinds Park) – 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) – Multipurpose Athletic Fields (Brian Piccolo Park, Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium, Tradewinds Park) – Observatory (Markham Park) – Riding Stables (Tradewinds Park, Tree Tops Park) – Skate Park/Track (Brian Piccolo Park) – Target Range (Markham Park) – Tennis Centers (Brian Piccolo Park, C.B. Smith Park) – Velodrome (Brian Piccolo Park) – Water Playgrounds/ Waterslides/Swimming (C.B. Smith Park, Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium, Quiet Waters Park, T.Y. Park)
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.
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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).
Founded in February 1956 and accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies, Broward County Parks and Recreation manages nearly 6,500 acres, encompassing 18 regional parks and nature centers, six neighborhood parks, and 21 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 www.broward.org/parks.
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.
Dale V.C. Holness
John E. Rodstrom Jr.
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Parks and Recreation is a service of the Broward County Board of County Commissioners.