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Broward County > Parks > Secret Woods Nature Center > Programs and Activities
Artist painting outside at the nature center

Secret Woods Nature Center, an educational and passive public recreation area acquired with the assistance of the Nature Conservancy, was Broward's first interpretive nature center. The 57 acres of Secret Woods, a Designated Urban Wilderness Area, encompass three vegetative communities: cypress-maple wetland, laurel oak hammock, and pone apple/mangrove wetland. The site is influences by the New River and offers an overlook of the South Fork along the New River Trail. A 2,000-square-foot interpretive center offers hands-on activities, live animals, and computer kiosk learning. Guided nature walks and nature/environmental special events are scheduled regularly. Special tours and program are available or can be created for specific ages and groups. A volunteer program, including training for new volunteers, is available for individuals interested in conducting nature walks.

Become a Secret Woods Volunteer!
No meetings! No dues! Are you between the ages of 12 and 100? Then we need you! Learn about photography, painting, recycling, plants, and nature as you volunteer to help with our special events. Staying in shape is easy at Secret Woods. Hike our trails and pick up litter, plant native trees, remove exotics, or maintain our geocaches and letterboxes. Feeling crafty? Design and create signs, decorations, and themed games for our upcoming programs. Need service hours?  We'll customize a program tailored to your interests and schedule. To volunteer, contact the park's naturalist at 954-357-8884, ext. 3.

Come visit Secret Woods Nature Center - we have something for everyone. 


Nature Tots

Nature Tots Program

Our award-winning Nature Tots program takes place every fourth Thursday from 10 to 11 a.m. It is a nature-themed program aimed at 2-to-4-year-old children. Secret Woods' Nature Tots program was honored by South Florida Parenting Magazine with a Kids Crown award for being "the best outdoor enrichment program for little ones." Nature Tots usually begins with outside storytime and culminates with a hands-on activity or a short nature walk. Every month there is a different theme, so there is always something new for the children. The cost for this program is $5 per child; accompanying parents are free. Preregistration is required. To register your child, call Secret Woods at 954-357-8884.

 


Scouting

Girl Scouts learning for a badgeBoy Scouts visiting nature to earn a badge

We offer a wide variety of scout advancement programs.

Boy Scouts  
Cub Scouts:

Wolf and Bear badge requirements.  Bear Soil and Water Conservation.
Webelos Forester, Naturalist, Scientist, and Artist.

Boy Scouts: Archaeology, Art, Forestry, Indian Lore, Insect Study, Mammal Study, Nature, Reptile and Amphibian Study, Orienteering, Soil and Water Conservation, Weather, and Wilderness Survival.
   
Girl Scouts  
   
Brownies: Animals, Earth and Sky, Eco-Explorer.
Juniors: Drawing and Painting, Plants and Animals, Eco-Action, Ecology, Wildlife.
Cadets: Wildlife.
Seniors: Wildlife.

Badge workshops are held throughout the year; registration is required and can be made by calling the park office. 

Unit leaders may call and schedule a badge program just for their unit. There is a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 15 scouts for all programs. The cost for badge programs is $4 per hour for each scout participating. There is no charge for adults. Most badge programs are two hours long. For additional information, call the nature center at 954-357-8884 and ask to speak to a park naturalist.


Guided Nature Walks

Naturalists and volunteers lead walks through the nature centerFree guided nature walks are offered every Sunday. Groups of 10 or more can make reservations for a specific date and time; there is a $3-per-person fee for scheduled group walks. Either way, a park naturalist will walk you along the nature trail and point out the various plants and trees as well as any wildlife. Our park naturalists are trained professionals and will provide in-depth details about Florida's flora and fauna. As you walk along the trail they will also give you a glimpse into the history of the area and how Secret Woods came to be. The walks last about an hour. For reservations, call the nature center at 954-357-8884.


Yoga

Yoga classes are Mondays and Thursdays from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m. by appointment and every Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m. Instructor Lynette Culp holds several yoga certifications, including one from the Yoga Alliance, and has more than 30 years of experience. Her body/mind/spirit yoga class includes breathing, meditation, visualization, and chakra work. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in education and speaks Spanish.

Participants should wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes and bring a mat or thick blanket to class. Preregistration is not necessary. First-timers should arrive early. All levels are welcome. Participants must be 16 years of age or older.

Call 954-357-8884 to register for Monday or Thursday classes. Registration is not necessary for the Saturday class.

Fees: $10 per class or $90 for 10 classes. Please bring exact change or pay by check.


A man plays an instrument at the jamming sessionJamming in the Park

Bring your favorite acoustic instrument for an impromptu music jam the fourth Sunday of every month from 1 to 4 p.m. Join local musicians as they play all afternoon in the air-conditioned Julia Hall. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned professional, you're sure to have a good time. If you like listening to acoustic music but you don't play an instrument, come join us anyway. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the melodic sounds in the beautiful surroundings. You must be 16 or older to play. This program is free to all.


Group Programs

Discovering the New River Trail (All Ages)
A naturalist will lead your group on an exploration of the plant communities found along and influenced by the New River. Our trip begins in the hammock forest, where laurel oaks tower overhead. Traveling to the flood plain, your group will experience the brackish-water wetland dominated by pond apple and mangrove trees. After spending some time at the observation deck overlooking the South Fork of the New River, your group will return to view the Monarch Interpretive Center. 
• One hour.
• $3/student. Maximum 60 students.

Nature Puppet Tales (Pre-K-Second Grades)
A variety of nature-themed shows are performed by the Secret Woods puppets, demonstrating insect life, mangrove ecosystems, life cycles, birds, weather, and more. Following the show, a short art project or activity reinforces the theme. 
• One-half hour.
• $1/student. Maximum 60 students.

Hammock Hike-and-Seek (Pre-K-Third Grades)
A naturalist will lead your group on an exploration of the Laurel Oak Hammock with hands-on activities along the way, demonstrating animal life in a hammock. Animal senses and signs, environmental conditions, and plant adaptations will be observed as we walk through uplands and over bridges where water flows, feeding wetlands throughout the park.
• One hour.
• $3/student. Maximum 60 students.

Wonderful Reptiles (Pre-K-Third Grades)
The physical adaptations of the four classes of reptiles will be discussed while your group meets some of the native reptiles that call South Florida and Secret Woods their home. Following the reptile encounter, students will paint a wooden snake to take home and share the importance of these creatures in our world.
• One hour.
• $5/student. Maximum 60 students.

Butterflies Are Free (Pre-K-Third Grades)
Join our staff to discover the life cycle of the butterfly and compare insect anatomy. Participants will make their own craft butterflies and take them on a walk through Butterfly Island to observe butterflies and the plants that attract them while looking for the different phases of these beautiful insects. 
• One hour.
• $5/student. Maximum 60 students.

Fishy Prints (Pre-K-Sixth Grades)
Hear the story of Gyotaku, a modern and ancient art of fish printing. Fish anatomy and physical adaptations are discussed before making your own Gyotaku print.  
• One hour.
• $5/student. Maximum 60 students. 

Nature's Stewards (Middle-High School)
This program offers students the opportunity to learn how and why some exotic plants have become a problem in South Florida. Students will get the opportunity for hands-on land management by learning to identify and remove exotic species. 
• One to three hours.
• Free, with completion of work project. Maximum 60 students.

Found in the Woods (High School and Up)
Learn the basics of way finding and orienteering with hand-held compasses and an introduction to map-reading skills. The groups will then use these skills during an off-trail scavenger hunt through the back woods of Secret Woods. 
• Two hours.
• $10/student. Maximum 60 students.

Any of the group programs can be arranged in advance by contacting the park at 954-357-8884.