Nearby Nature February 2012
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Focus on Helene Klein Pineland Preserve and Hillsboro Pineland Natural Area
A Matter of Maintenance
By Land, By Water, and By Air
How Does Your Garden Grow?
Out for a Walk (or Hike)
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

Focus on Helene Klein Pineland Preserve and Hillsboro Pineland Natural Area

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.

A Matter of Maintenance

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 Waters at 954-357-5100 to find out more about how you can help.

By Land, By Water, and By Air

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.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

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.

Out for a Walk (or Hike)

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 Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium in Lauderhill, but the park has a nature trail that’s the focus of a free Nature 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 another 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.


Broward County Parks now has its own YouTube Channel at If you’ve never gone kayaking at West Lake Park in Hollywood, you’ll get a glimpse of this urban oasis. Other park experiences you can watch include mountain bike riding at Markham Park in Sunrise, cable water-skiing at Ski Rixen USA in Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach, and even Eli the Dog’s outing to Barkham dog park at Markham 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

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) – Softball/Baseball Fields (Brian Piccolo Park, Sunview Park, Tradewinds Park) – Observatory (Markham Park) – Riding Stables (Tradewinds Park, Tree Tops Park) – Skate Parks/Tracks (Brian Piccolo Park, Quiet Waters 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.

Founded in February 1956 and accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies, Broward County Parks and Recreation Division 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, skate parks, 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
Chip LaMarca
Ilene Lieberman
Stacy Ritter
John E. Rodstrom Jr.
Barbara Sharief
Lois Wexler

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