June 2012 Highlights
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Focus on Franklin Park
Gateway to the Everglades
Find the Great Outdoors
Godzilla in Your Garden
Horse Sense
Cool & Cooler!
By Popular Demand
Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Fun
Science Projects
Detective Work
Water Works
Find Fun for Father
Starstruck
Find Your Getaway
Quote of the Month
Special Attractions
Mission Statement
Your Opinion Counts!
SWIM Central
Broward County Board of County Commissioners 

Focus on Franklin Park

The site that is now Franklin Park was designated as a park in the Franklin Park subdivision in 1954 and further developed in the late 1960s. In 1995, following an initiative by the Broward County Administrator’s office to improve living conditions in this unincorporated area, the Parks and Recreation Division was allocated $1.6 million to acquire, develop, and expand the park.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held in August 1999, and less than a year later, on June 17, 2000, the newly revamped park reopened to the public. Improvements included new playground equipment, a covered basketball court with lights, two small picnic shelters (capacity 20-40), and a walking trail.

The most dramatic change in the park was the addition of a 6,000-square-foot community center building. The center features a kitchen, office space, storage, restrooms, and activity rooms, including a computer room. The main space in the building is available for rental, with a capacity of 150 to 175, depending on setup.

The park is also home to a prominent work of public art: The Word Garden, by Angela Curreri and Rick Yasko, a pair of Broward-based artists who designed a 1,000-foot-long multihued, patterned concrete walkway encircling the park’s playground. Along the walkway, they placed seven concrete benches engraved with the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa in both Swahili and English, along with seven inspirational quotes, each related to a specific principle. According to Curreri and Yasko’s artist statement, they “met with the Franklin Park community many times during [our] five years working in this neighborhood. The community repeatedly expressed the desire for the project to be both inspirational and educational.”

Programming at the park includes activities for teens, as well as the Division’s After-School and Summer Recreation programs. Girl Scouts and a community homeowners association also meet at the park.

For additional information, call Franklin Park at 954-791-1037. The park is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #11, #36, and #40.

Gateway to the Everglades

Nearly half a century ago, in 1964, the property that now makes up Everglades Holiday Park was turned over to Broward County by Davie Farm Lands Inc., with the stipulation that the sole use of the land would be for “public recreation purposes.” The following year the county entered a long-term agreement to lease the site to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), which has since sublet the park’s concession services to private vendors, including, since 1992, Bridges LLC.

On June 3, the 29-acre park reverts to Broward County control, with Bridges under one-year contract to continue to provide existing on-site concession services such as airboat rides, bait and tackle, boat rentals, fishing and hunting license sales, and sundries. The Parks and Recreation Division is working closely with FWC to ensure a smooth transition and anticipates no interruption in service. At this time, store operating hours remain unchanged.

In the next several months, the Broward County Board of County Commissioners and Broward County Parks will seek to hire a company to operate one or several concessions on a longer-term basis beginning in June 2013. The county has already initiated several basic renovations to improve the facilities, including constructing and installing an accessible ramp to the concessions, upgrading the restrooms, and renovating the wood decks and floating dock. The Parks and Recreation Division is working hard to ensure that none of these repairs will significantly interrupt existing services. The county has also begun the initial design and permitting process to convert the existing one-lane bridge to allow for through traffic in both directions.

The campground will be closed temporarily until necessary renovations can be completed. A park manager and staff will be present on the site starting in early June. Advance approval is required for all special events and activities.

Find the Great Outdoors

A generation ago three-quarters of all American children played outdoors daily. That number has shrunk to just 25 percent today, according to the National Wildlife Federation, which promotes getting in touch with nature through its Be Out There initiative and an annual event called the Great American Backyard Campout.

This year Quiet Waters and Deerfield Island parks, both in Deerfield Beach, and Easterlin Park in Oakland Park are piggybacking with their own camping specials designed to get families off the sofa and into the wild the weekend of Friday through Sunday, June 22 through 24. The cost is $55 per campsite at Quiet Waters and Deerfield Island; at Easterlin, it’s $45 per campsite for residents of Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties, and $65 for non-tricounty residents.

At Quiet Waters you’ll get a Rent-a-Tent site or a tepee, plus a one-hour boat rental during your stay. Easterlin’s deal includes an RV or tent site plus a hayride and campfire. Check-in at both parks is after 3 p.m. on Friday, and checkout is before 1 p.m. on Sunday. At Deerfield Island, you’ll get a campsite and a nature tour. Check-in is after 5 p.m. by prearranged boat shuttle, and checkout is before 1 p.m. by prearranged shuttle.

Amenities within easy access of the campground at Quiet Waters include basketball courts, biking/jogging paths, lakes for fishing, mountain bike trails, picnic areas, playgrounds, the Splash Adventure water park, and Ski Rixen USA cable water-skiing. At Easterlin, you’ll have access to a disc golf course, a nature trail, a picnic shelter, a playground, and areas for volleyball and horseshoes. On more primitive Deerfield Island, you’ll be close to nature trails, picnic areas, a playground, and Intracoastal Waterway and canal fishing.

You can register for the Quiet Waters and Deerfield Island specials by calling Quiet Waters at 954-357-5100. For Easterlin, call 954-357-5190. For more information on the National Wildlife Federation, Be Out There, and the Great American Backyard Campout, visit www.nwf.org.

Godzilla in Your Garden

Mycologists, or mushroom experts, call them Stropharia rugosoannulata, while regular  folk might know them variously as wine cap stropharia, garden giants, burgundy mushrooms, king stropharia, or even Godzilla mushrooms. Regardless of what you call them, they’re both delicious and easy to grow, as you’ll learn when Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach offers a King of the Garden Mushroom Class, for ages 16 and up, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 14.

Participants will learn the patch technique for cultivating these big beauties in a bucket and take home their own starter kits. A $20 donation to the Friends of Secret Woods volunteer group is requested to cover the cost of materials. Preregistration is required by calling the nature center at 954-357-8884. Secret Woods is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #6.

Horse Sense

Stop stalling and learn how to saddle up when Tradewinds Park in Coconut Creek offers its annual Summer Horse Camp, starting

on June 11 and ending on August 16. (There is no camp July 2-5.) The program, for ages 9 through 16, runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and there are multiple sessions scheduled, so if you don’t get into one session, keep trying.

Each four-day session includes daily riding instruction, weather permitting. Instruction also includes: breeds and colors; anatomy of the horse; appropriate riding equipment, tack, and general care of the horse in the show ring and on the trails; nutrition and feeding; and routine, preventive, and therapeutic maintenance. Other activities include videos, indoor/outdoor games, and farm activities.

Registration goes on for as long as openings are available. Class size is limited and early registration is recommended. Fees must be paid and a release and waiver of liability signed at registration. The fee is $300 per session. 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. Tradewinds is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #34.

Cool & Cooler!

Changes are under way in the concessions operations at Broward County Parks, the biggest among them being that coolers are now permitted in the water parks. Parties renting Funbrellas at Paradise Cove, Splash Adventure, and Castaway Island will also be permitted to order and accept pizza deliveries as needed or to bring in their own pizzas – until we are able to offer our own full-service concessions. Our internal concession operations are currently in a state of transition, and while we fine-tune them, we want to make sure no one is inconvenienced. One reminder, though: As always, no glass containers and no alcoholic beverages are allowed in the aquatics facilities.

Another reminder: Starting on June 11, the water parks will be open daily through August 19. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5:20 p.m. at Paradise Cove at C.B. Smith Park (954-357-5170) in Pembroke Pines; Tropical Splash at Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium (954-357-5400) in Lauderhill; Splash Adventure at Quiet Waters Park (954-357-5100) in Deerfield Beach; and Castaway Island at T.Y. Park (954-357-8811) in Hollywood.

By Popular Demand

The annual Sea Turtles and Their Babies program at the Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood doesn’t get under way until July, but if you wait until then to try to reserve a spot you’ll probably be out of luck – the long-running program regularly sells out well in advance. This year’s installment will run on Wednesdays and Fridays from Friday, July 6 through Friday, August 31, starting at 8 p.m.

This educational series on some of South Florida’s most endangered species covers a variety of topics related to the beleaguered marine reptiles and their plight. Following an hourlong video presentation and lecture, participants will accompany a naturalist on a hatchling release to see what these tiny creatures face during their first crucial minutes of life. You’ll also learn to identify the species of sea turtles found in South Florida, their habitat, breeding and nesting, identification of crawls and nests, conservation efforts, past exploitation, and current management problems now facing sea turtles.

Space is limited and no walk-ins are accepted. The fee is $8 per person, and prepayment is required. Participants should also bring quarters for metered parking at the release site. The program is also subject to rescheduling or cancellation if weather conditions are not favorable.

This month the nature center will also host a sort of abbreviated sneak peek, a Sea Turtle Awareness Program, from 1 to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 17. No live animals will be used in this information-only presentation, which is $1 per person.

For more information on either program or to preregister for Sea Turtles and Their Babies, call the nature center at 954-357-5161. Anne Kolb is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #12.#30.

Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Fun

Eye patches, peg legs, and hand hooks are optional when Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach hosts Splash Ahoy this month on Fridays, June 15 and 29. Fun is mandatory, however, thanks to such activities as a bounce house, games, a movie, and splash time in the park’s Splash Adventure water playground. The events run from 6 to 10 p.m. and cost $6 per person. Refreshments will also be available for purchase. Space is limited, and advance ticket purchase is required by calling the park at 954-357-5100.

The park will also have a Splash-tacular Family Celebration on Friday, June 8, with family activities from 6 to 9 p.m. Admission is $5.50 per person.

Quiet Waters is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #14 and #48.

Science Projects

A love of science doesn’t equal geekdom, as your kids will learn if you sign them up for Science Eye Safari Camp at Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center in Davie. Each day is a new adventure at this day camp for ages 7 to 12, which covers astronomy, geology, marine biology, paleontology, physics, wildlife conservation, and more. The camp runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily the weeks of June 25-29, July 9-13, and August 6-10. The fee is $250 per child per week, with after-care from 4 to 5 p.m. available for an additional fee.

For more information, call 954-680-7977, e-mail camp@scienceeye.com, or visit www.scienceeye.com

Detective Work

For years Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek has been stimulating young minds with Nature Detectives, a weeklong summer day camp for ages 8 to 11. This summer the popular program has sessions running from 9 a.m. to noon daily June 25-29 and July 23-27. Each day will focus on a different theme, as participants explore the nature center’s habitats through hands-on experiences, crafts, and other activities.

The fee is $75 per camper per week, and preregistration is required. For more information, call Fern Forest at 954-357-5198. The nature center is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #31 and #42.

Water Works

World Oceans Day, the planet’s largest celebration of the oceans, falls on Friday, June 8 this year, with the theme “Youth: The Next Wave for Change.” You can continue the tribute the next day, however, when the Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood holds its The Oceans and Us Event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Crafts and other activities that showcase the ocean will be offered, and relevant information will be available. Admission is $1 per person. For more information, call the nature center at 954-357-5161. Anne Kolb is accessible from Broward County Transit Route #12.

Find Fun for Father

In anticipation of Father’s Day, two neighborhood parks will  host events. The first, a Father’s Day Celebration at Boulevard Gardens Community Center in unincorporated Broward County, is on Thursday, June 7, from 1 to 3 p.m. Participants must already be enrolled in the park’s After-School Program. The second event is a Father’s Day Cookout from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 16, at Roosevelt Gardens Park, also in unincorporated Broward. Preregistration is required.

For more information, call the park of your choice: Boulevard Gardens (which is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #9, #22, #40, and #81) at 954-625-2988, or Roosevelt Gardens (accessible via Routes #11, #36, and #40) at 954-327-3888.

Starstruck

This month Broward County Parks offers seven free opportunities to find out more about what’s in the South Florida night sky, weather permitting. From roughly dusk to midnight on Saturdays, June 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30, the South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association (SFAAA) opens the Fox Observatory at Markham Park in Sunrise.

This nonprofit organization, which has been around since the mid-1960s, has a variety of telescopic equipment at its disposal, and its members will teach you the ropes. The group also meets at the Fox at 7:30 p.m. on the first Thursday, which this month falls on June 7. Markham Park is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #23.

The SFAAA also hosts quarterly gatherings called An Evening With the Stars at Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek. This quarter the event is on Friday, June 22, starting at 7 p.m. For more information, call the nature center at 954-357-5198. Fern Forest is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #31 and #42.

Find Your Getaway

For a fun, affordable getaway that lets you get away without going far away, look no farther than Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach, where the campground offers 25 Rent-a-Tent sites and two tepee sites. All sites feature a canvas platform tent or tepee already set up for you – all you have to do is move in. Each site comes with water and electricity, as well as a grill, a picnic table, and a fire ring. Tepee sites are similarly equipped.

Two camping specials run from June 1 through September 30, 2012. The Family Fun Package offers a two-night stay (Fridays and Saturdays only) for four campers for just $55; two more campers can be added at only $3 each.

The Escape Special, which runs from Sundays through Thursdays, offers a one- or two-night stay for four campers for only $20 per night per site; two additional campers can join you for just $3 each. For more information, call Quiet Waters at 954-357-5100.

Easterlin Park in Oakland Park will also offer the specials this year at its 55-site campground, although some details will vary. For more information, call Easterlin at 954-357-5190.

Events Calendar

Quote of the Month

“People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.” - Russian writer Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)

Special Attractions

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)

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.

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.

SWIM Central

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 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.

Broward County Board of County Commissioners

Sue Gunzburger
Dale V.C. Holness
Kristin Jacobs
Chip LaMarca
Ilene Lieberman
Stacy Ritter
John E. Rodstrom Jr.
Barbara Sharief
Lois Wexler

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