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April 2018
Recreation. Preservation. Education.

"Let us spend one day as deliberately as Nature,
and not be thrown off track by every nutshell
and mosquito's wing that falls on the rails."
- Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), American writer

All Aboard Spaceship Earth

Earth Day, an observance dating back to 1970, will be on Sunday, April 22, with some of our parks getting a head start by offering programs earlier. From 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 14, for instance, Secret Woods Nature Center (954-357-8884) in Dania Beach will offer Earth Warriors, a special edition of the park’s regular monthly EcoAction volunteer workday. A week later, from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 21, Deerfield Island Park will host its fifth annual Earth Day Waterway Cleanup. More than a hundred volunteers are expected to collect debris, either on shore or from kayak or paddleboard (bring your own or rent one). Sign up by calling 954-357-5113 or emailing

Other likeminded events also on April 21 include an EcoAction Day, at Anne Kolb Nature Center (954-357-5161) in Hollywood, and a Global Youth Service Day, at Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center (954-357-8797) in Davie; both are also from 9 a.m. to noon. And from 10 to 11 a.m., Fern Forest Nature Center (954-357-5198) in Coconut Creek will host its own Earth Day Program, as well as a Spring Into Gardening Native Plant Sale, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (See related story below.)

Earth Day itself will mark the end of an ongoing initiative at Miramar Pineland (954-357-8776) called the 100 Bags for the Earth Challenge, which invited volunteers to aim to collect a hundred bags of invasive (exotic, non-native) plants from throughout the park. Other nature-related programs on Earth Day include a Paddling EcoTour, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at West Lake Park (954-357-5161) in Hollywood; a Mangrove Adventure Hike, from 11 a.m. to noon at Anne Kolb; a Nature Lecture on “Spiders & Insects,” from noon to 1 p.m. at Fern Forest; and a Jamming in the Park, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Secret Woods.

Anne Kolb and West Lake are accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #4 and #12; Deerfield Island, Route #48; Fern Forest, Routes #31 and #42; and Secret Woods, Route #6.


Ins & Outs of Landscaping

Broward County Parks has a long history of educating the public on two related subjects: the importance of native plants in maintaining ecosystems that have developed over millions of years, and the threats posed to those ecosystems by plants classified variously as exotic, invasive, or non-native. Both types of plants come into play in landscaping, whether in our parks or in your own yards.

We regularly enlist volunteers to help remove invasive plants and replace them with native species. Monthly EcoAction Days are held at multiple sites: on first Saturdays at Fern Forest Nature Center (954-357-5198) in Coconut Creek, Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center (954-357-8797) in Davie, and Miramar Pineland (954-357-8776) in Miramar; second Saturdays at Quiet Waters Park (954-357-5100) in Deerfield Beach and Secret Woods Nature Center (954-357-8884) in Dania Beach; and third Saturdays at Anne Kolb Nature Center (954-357-5161) in Hollywood and Deerfield Island Park (954-357-5100) in Deerfield Beach. Most of these are scheduled from October through April or May, running from 9 a.m. to noon at most sites (9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Quiet Waters, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Deerfield Island). Confirm with individual sites.

Some of our natural areas also have volunteer workdays. This month, for instance, there are special workdays at three sites:

  • a Scrub-a-Dub-Dub Cleanup & Hike, at Deerfield Highlands Nature Preserve (954-357-8109) in Deerfield Beach, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 14;
  • a quarterly EcoAction Day, at Snake Warrior’s Island Natural Area (954-357-8776) in Miramar, from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 14;
  • a Snake Plant Strike Force Volunteer Workday, at Highlands Scrub Natural Area (954-357-8109) in Pompano Beach, from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 28.

Several times a year we also offer native plant sales to make the right kinds of plants to meet your home landscaping needs. This month there’s a Spring Into Gardening Native Plant Sale at Fern Forest, on Saturday, April 21, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Vendors will be onsite, and there will be gardening information available and other activities going on. Admission is free.

Finally, as another resource, Secret Woods Nature Center (954-357-8884) in Dania Beach hosts the monthly meetings of the Florida Native Plant Society, on second Wednesdays from 7 to 9 p.m.

Anne Kolb is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #4 and #12; Deerfield Island, #48; Fern Forest, #31 and #42; Highlands Scrub, #50; Quiet Waters, #14; Secret Woods, #6; Snake Warrior’s Island, #18.

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Jeepers Creepers

Lots of critters get a bad rap – reptiles, insects, and arachnids, in particular. But at Broward County Parks, we’re committed to educating the public about these strange, fascinating creatures.

On the last three Sundays in April, for instance, Fern Forest Nature Center (954-357-5198) will present its latest three-part Nature Lecture Series, emphasizing “Snakes” on the 15th, “Spiders & Insects” on the 22nd, and “Invasive Exotic Plants & Animals” on the 29th. The lectures are free, but donations to the Fern Allies volunteer group are encouraged. The programs run from noon to 1 p.m. and are followed by a question-and-answer session. There will be live animals used for the presentations, although the public will not be expected or allowed to handle them.

You can also get up close and personal with another ancient animal, the alligator, at Everglades Holiday Park, which offers live Gator Boys shows at the conclusion of its popular airboat tours of the Everglades. Call 954-434-8111 for ticket and schedule information.

Fern Forest is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #31 and #42.


National County Government Month
Since 1991, the National Association of Counties has designated April as National County Government Month and encouraged counties to actively promote the services and programs they offer. The 2018 theme is “Serving the Underserved.” The Parks and Recreation Division operates six staffed neighborhood parks and several unstaffed sites in the Broward Municipal Services District to ensure facilities and programming are available to traditionally underserved communities.
In broader terms, all of our nature centers and natural areas offer free admission year round. Their programs, which almost always include an educational component, are either free or presented for minimal fees. For more information, visit our Low-Cost Fun Web page.


…And Everything Else

Other nature-related programming at Broward County parks in April. Many programs require fees and/or preregistration; contact the relevant park for details.

  • Wed., Apr. 4, 7-8 p.m. – Pineland at Night Hike Miramar Pineland (954-357-8776)
  • Thurs., Apr. 5, 7-9 p.m. – Friends of Anne Kolb Meeting Anne Kolb Nature Center (954-357-5161)
  • Thurs., Apr. 5, 7:30-9:30 p.m. – Sierra Club Meeting Fern Forest Nature Center (954-357-5198)
  • Fri., Apr. 6, 12:15-12:45 p.m. – Bite-Sized Learning Lunch Easterlin Park (954-357-5190)
  • Sat., Apr. 7, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. – Super Eco-Stewards – Anne Kolb
  • Sun., Apr. 8, 8:30-10:30 a.m. – Bird Walk Deerfield Island Park (954-357-5100)
  • Sun., Apr. 8, 2-4 p.m. – Dan Barrow Memorial Bluegrass Jam – Fern Forest
  • Tues., Apr. 10,  9-10 a.m. – Guided Hike Quiet Waters Park (954-357-5100)
  • Thurs., Apr. 12, 10-11 a.m. – Nature Tots – Fern Forest
  • Thurs., Apr. 12, 10-11 a.m. – Preschool Play ‘n’ Learn Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center (954-357-8797)
  • Thurs., Apr. 12, 7:30-9:30 p.m. – Florida Trail Association Meeting – Fern Forest
  • Fri., Apr. 13, 9-10 a.m. – Guided Hike Tall Cypress Natural Area (954-357-8109)
  • Sat., Apr. 14, 9:30-11 a.m. – Photo Hike – Long Key
  • Sat., Apr. 14, 10-11 a.m. – Intro to Birding Walk – Fern Forest
  • Sat., Apr. 14, 11-11:45 a.m. – Trail Stroll – Anne Kolb
  • Sat., Apr. 14, 7-8:30 p.m. – Sunset Adventure Paddle – Deerfield Island
  • Sun., Apr. 15, 9-11:30 a.m. – Basic Kayak Class West Lake Park (954-357-5161)
  • Sun., Apr. 15, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. – Music at the Mangrove: Student Auditions – Anne Kolb
  • Sun., Apr. 15, noon-1 p.m. – Investigate It!Secret Woods Nature Center (954-357-8884)
  • Sun., Apr. 15, 2:30-4:30 p.m. – Team/Family Shutterbug Photo Hunt – Fern Forest
  • Tues., Apr. 17, 10-11 a.m. – Nature Tots – West Lake
  • Tues., Apr. 17, 11 a.m.-noon – Investigate It! – Secret Woods
  • Fri., Apr. 20, 7-8 p.m. – Sunset Adventure Hike – Long Key
  • Fri., Apr. 20, 7:30-8:30 p.m. – Shooting-Star Forest Stroll – Fern Forest
  • Fri., Apr. 20, 7:30-8:30 p.m. – Night Hike Woodmont Natural Area (954-357-8109)
  • Sat., Apr. 21, 9:30-11:30 a.m. – Geocaching Adventure Series Helene Klein Pineland Preserve (954-357-8109)
  • Sun., Apr. 22, 9-11:30 a.m. – Paddling EcoTour – West Lake
  • Sun., Apr. 22, 11 a.m.-noon – Mangrove Adventure Hike – Anne Kolb
  • Sun., Apr. 22, 1-4 p.m. – Jamming in the Park – Secret Woods
  • Tues., Apr. 24, 9-10 a.m. – Guided Hike Saw Palmetto Natural Area (954-357-8109)
  • Wed., Apr. 25, 10-11 a.m. – Knee-High Naturalist – Long Key
  • Thurs., Apr. 26, 10-11 a.m. – Nature Tots – Secret Woods
  • Fri., Apr. 27, 9-10 a.m. – Guided Hike – Quiet Waters
  • Fri., Apr. 27, 8-9 p.m. – Nature at Night Hike – Long Key
  • Sat., Apr. 28, 9-10 a.m. – Island History Paddle & Hike – Deerfield Island
  • Sat., Apr. 28, 9 a.m.-noon – Survivor – Deerfield Island
  • Sat., Apr. 28, 7:30-8:30 p.m. – Night Hike – Secret Woods
  • Sun., Apr. 29, 10-11 a.m. – Guided Nature Hike – Long Key
  • Sun., Apr. 29, 7-9 p.m. – Moonlight Paddle – West Lake  
Parks Foundation

The Parks Foundation of Broward County is a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2014 in support of Broward County Parks and Recreation Division. The foundation welcomes individual memberships and corporate partnerships at all levels to help promote our parks and programs, preserve our natural areas, and provide more green space for our community. Donations are accepted at
Parks Foundation color logo small.jpg 

Quick Links

Nature Centers

  • 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. Davie
  • Secret Woods Nature Center
    2701 W. State Rd. 84
    Dania Beach

For more nature activities, please go to

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Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations in order to participate in programs, services, and activities must contact the
Special Populations Section at 954-357-8170 or TTY 954-537-2844 at least five (5) business days prior to the scheduled meeting or event.

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