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May 2018
Recreation. Preservation. Education.

"Spring is nature's way of saying, 'Let's party!'"
- Robin Williams (1951-2014), American comedian


Bear in Mind

The Florida black bear may be our largest native mammal, but it’s rarely seen in southeastern Florida, due to the habitat loss that comes with urbanization. As many as 12,000 are thought to have lived in the state before it was settled, a number that dropped to less than half that. The reclusive bears now live mainly in protected areas, and their numbers are rebounding.
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Celebrate all things “beary” at this year’s Teddy Bear Picnic, from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 20, at Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center in Davie. The event, presented by the Friends of Long Key volunteer group, will include games, bear-themed crafts and activities, stories, bear face painting, giveaway novelties, and a Teddy Bear Beauty Contest.

Admission is $5 per person, and you’re invited to bring your own picnic lunch and teddy bears. If the weather is uncooperative, the picnic will move indoors. For more information, call Long Key at 954-357-8797.
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Lend a Hand, Help a Park
Volunteer opportunities are plentiful throughout our park system. Our nature centers and natural areas, in particular, always need volunteers who are willing to chip in and help clean up sites by removing invasive exotic plants and replacing them with native plants. With that in mind, many locations schedule monthly EcoAction Volunteer Workdays. Some parks (Fern Forest, Long Key, Quiet Waters, and Anne Kolb) will hold their last such workdays in May before taking a break for the summer and resuming in October; others (Miramar Pineland and Secret Woods) continue year round. The workdays are from 9 a.m. to noon except at Quiet Waters, where they run till 1 p.m.
On Saturday, May 12, Military Trail Natural Area (954-357-8109) will also have a Scrub-a-Dub-Dub Cleanup & Hike from 9 to 10:30 a.m. These monthly “mini-workdays” rotate among the four natural area sites in northern Broward County that feature a scrub habitat, one of the rarest plant and animal communities in South Florida. Participants in the cleanup will be rewarded by a short naturalist-led hike through the natural area.
Another of those scrub sites, Highlands Scrub Natural Area (954-357-8109) in Pompano Beach, will have a Snake Plant Strike Force Volunteer Workday the following Saturday, May 19, from 8:30 a.m. to noon.
​Preregistration and relevant forms are required for all these workdays. Contact the site of your choice for details.


Walk This Way
Charles Dickens claimed, “If I could not walk far and fast, I think I should just explode and perish,”
while the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche declared, “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” President Harry Truman’s advice: “Take a two-mile walk every morning before breakfast.”

What better place to walk – or hike or stroll – than a park? Here are some group opportunities this month. Nominal fees – typically $3 to $5 – apply for some programs, and preregistration may be required. Solo walking is also popular at most of our parks. Visit for a full park list.

Green Light for Greenery

Looking for some plants to spruce up your home or yard? The Broward County Plant Affair, co-sponsored by the Plantation Historical Society, takes place the weekend of May 5 and 6 at Plantation Heritage Park, where you’ll find a plant show and sale with plenty of specialty vendors. Among the offerings: native plants, bonsai, orchids, cyclamens, bougainvillea, and bromeliads, as well as gardening supplies and porch and patio items. Food and beverages will also be available for purchase. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The park’s regular weekend gate fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect. For more information, call the Plantation Historical Society at 954-581-6463, or the park at 954-357-5135, ext. 0. Plantation Heritage is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #30.
The monthly meeting of the Florida Native Plant Society is another good source of info on how your home landscaping can contribute to the preservation, conservation, and restoration of native plant communities in South Florida. The group’s Coontie Chapter, serving Broward County, meets at 7 p.m. every second Wednesday (May 9 this month) at Secret Woods Nature Center (954-357-8884) in Dania Beach.
Springtime Holidays
Two big holidays this month provide opportunities for a fun outing in a park: Mother’s Day, on Sunday, May 13, and Memorial Day, on Monday, May 28. All Broward County Parks will be open their regularly scheduled hours on the latter (except Deerfield Island Park and the Markham Park Target Range, which are normally closed on Mondays). Shelters and indoor facilities of all sizes are offered for rent. Reservations are required, however, so call now to check availability. All shelters have picnic tables, most have grills, and many also have water, electricity, and restrooms. Amenities at indoor facilities vary. Freestanding picnic tables are also available on a first-come, first-served basis throughout most of our parks. For more information, visit our Website. Enjoy your holiday in the park!

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…And Everything Else
Other nature-related programming at Broward County parks in May. Many programs require fees and/or preregistration; contact the relevant park for details.
  • Thurs., May 3, 7-9 p.m. – Friends of Anne Kolb Meeting Anne Kolb Nature Center (954-357-5161)
  • Thurs., May 3, 7:30-8:30 p.m. – Sierra Club Meeting Fern Forest Nature Center (954-357-5198)
  • Fri., May 4, 12:15-12:45 p.m. – Bite-Sized Learning Lunch Easterlin Park (954-357-5190
  • Sun., May 6, 9-11:30 a.m. – Basic Kayak Class West Lake Park (954-357-5161)
  • Wed., May 9, 7-9 p.m. – Florida Native Plant Society Meeting Secret Woods Nature Center (954-357-8884)
  • Thurs., May 10, 10-11 a.m. – Nature Tots – Fern Forest
  • Thurs., May 10, 10-11 a.m. – Preschool Play ‘n’ Learn – Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center (954-357-8797)
  • Thurs., May 10, 7:30-9:30 p.m. – Florida Trail Association Meeting – Fern Forest
  • Sat., May 12, 7-8:30 p.m. – Sunset Adventure Paddle Deerfield Island Park (954-357-5100)
  • Sun., May 13, 9-11:30 a.m. – Paddling EcoTour – West Lake
  • Sun., May 13, 2-4 p.m. – Dan Barrow Memorial Bluegrass Jam – Fern Forest
  • Tues., May 15, 10-11 a.m. – Nature Tots – West Lake
  • Sat., May 19, 9:30-11:30 a.m. – Geocaching Adventure Series Highlands Scrub Natural Area (954-357-8109)
  • Sun., May 20, noon-1 p.m. – Investigate It! – Secret Woods
  • Tues., May 22, 11 a.m.-noon – Investigate It! – Secret Woods
  • Thurs., May 24, 10-11 a.m. – Nature Tots – Secret Woods
  • Sat., May 26, 9-10 a.m. – Island History Paddle & Hike – Deerfield Island
  • Sat., May 26, 9 a.m.-noon – Survivor – Deerfield Island
  • Sun., May 27, 1-4 p.m. – Jamming in the Park – Secret Woods
  • Tues., May 29, 7:30-9:30 p.m. – Moonlight Paddle – West Lake
  • Wed., May 30, 10-11 a.m. – Knee-High Naturalist – Long Key


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
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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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