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March 2013 Highlights
Broward County > Parks > The Latest > March 2013 Highlights

Highlights Banner

Focus on Miramar Pineland
Bicycle Month Returns
The Renaissance, Revisited
Find Excitement – At a Broward County Water Park
Water of Life
Spring Break Alternatives
Find the Stars
Listen To Learn
Find Culture – At Tradewinds Park’s Butterfly World
Turning on the Charm
For a Good Cause
An Award-Winning Partnership
Advisory Board Notice
Quote of the Month
Special Attractions
Mission Statement
Your Opinion Counts!
SWIM Central
Broward County Board of County Commissioners

Focus on Miramar Pineland

Upon its March opening, Miramar Pineland will be one of the most diverse sites in the Broward County Parks and Recreation Division: part regional park, part nature center, and part natural area. At approximately 157 acres, it is a unique combination of scrubby flatwoods to the north and restored wetlands and associated prairie to the south. Its slash pine forest, in the northern half, is one of the largest intact resources of its kind in the county. The two distinct vegetative communities are separated by fairly deep ravines that were cut when the site was once popular with off-road-vehicle enthusiasts.

The land that would eventually become Miramar Pineland was platted in 1908 by the Everglades Sugar and Land Co., which was owned by Robert Parsell Davie (future namesake of the Town of Davie) and the Colorado sugar tycoon J.R. McKinney. As with much of the Everglades, this land was purchased from the state’s Internal Improvement Fund, established in 1855 to distribute wetlands to anyone willing to drain and farm them.

Sugar was never actually farmed on the site, however, which was used instead for cattle farming when the tract later came under the ownership of Royal Dairy Farms. The bare remains of a long-gone windmill and a concrete trough linger as reminders of the property’s previous grazing activities.

The site has been greatly transformed over the last century. As part of the historical headwaters of the Snake Creek, it was once covered with typical Everglades vegetation, including sawgrass and clumps of bayhead tree islands. It was also connected to an active Seminole canoe route that flowed east to settlements along the Atlantic Ocean and west to the Big Cypress area of the Everglades. With the onset of the drainage, however, the site shifted into a drier pineland community, characterized by large, sprawling pines that date back 70 to 80 years.

The grazing cattle also affected the landscape, keeping it fairly open and restricting the spread of the pines and other canopy species, as well as prohibiting the growth of a thick understory. It’s also likely that new grasses for cattle feed were introduced, and ranchers might have pulled up vegetation such as saw palmetto to keep the understory clear for the cattle.

Of the site’s original 97.62 acres, almost 70 were purchased from the Estate of Emil Morton in 1989, through the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Bond Issue acquisition program; the remaining 27.64 acres were donated. Additional acreage was acquired in 2001, using a combination of funds from the 2000 Safe Parks and Land Preservation Bond program and grants from the Florida Communities Trust (FCT). The City of Miramar was a partner in the FCT project.

Since its purchase the land has had debris removed from it, and initial treatment and removal of exotic invasive plants has been completed, with the site now regularly monitored for exotics and treated again as needed. A slash pine forest with limited understory, grassy meadows, and bare sandy spots occupy a low ridge rising above the adjacent terrain in the northern portion of the area. The southern half of the site is a remnant sandy slough from the Snake Creek drainage system.

Amenities at the park include a pineland trail, a wetland boardwalk, a playground, a splash pad, and picnic areas (including rental shelters). A future interpretive center will include an assembly hall, interpretive displays, restrooms, and office and storage space.

Miramar Pineland was placed on the Urban Wilderness Inventory in 1996. The park is accessible via Broward County Transit’s University Breeze line.

Bicycle Month Returns

When a week’s worth of events proved popular with the public, the organizers of Bicycle Week opted to expand it to Bicycle Month in 2008. Bicycle Month 2013 now includes dozens of programs and events from March 1 through 31. The purposes of this special month are to promote bicycle safety and education; to provide leisure and recreational bicycling opportunities for all ages and abilities; and to offer competitive/challenging cycling opportunities throughout Broward County within both the public and the private sectors.

Bicycle Month 2013 is made possible by Broward County, along with Broward B-cycle, the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization, CycleMobility, the Florida Department of Transportation, the Florida Velodrome Association, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, the South Florida Bike Coalition, and South Florida Commuter Services. Together these organizations have committed to hosting bicycle rodeos, recreational rides, bike-to-work challenges, nature bike hikes, lunchtime rides, bicycle scavenger hunts, and tandem rides for the visually impaired. Times, fees, locations, and registration requirements vary. Our Website features a calendar detailing the month’s activities

The Renaissance, Revisited

Each year the Florida Renaissance Festival brings a taste of the Renaissance to Quiet Waters Park, and this year the celebration marks its 21st anniversary. Visiting kings and queens will all claim land for their respective countries, and the festival’s makeshift village will be packed with artisans and crafts people selling and demonstrating their wares, not to mention rides, nearly a dozen stages featuring continuous entertainment, and hearty food and drink of the time.

The festival, now at roughly its midway point, runs from 10 a.m. to sunset on Saturdays and Sundays through March 17. Admission is $20 for ages 12 and up, $7 for ages 6 to 11, and free for ages 5 and under. Group rates are also available. The park’s regular weekend and holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50 per person (children 5 and under free) will also be in effect.

For additional information, call Quiet Waters at 954-357-5100 or the festival at 954-776-1642, or visit ren-fest.com. The park is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #14 and #48.

Find Excitement – At a Broward County Water Park

Our four aquatics facilities reopen for the season this month. From Friday, March 22 through Sunday, March 31, the following water parks will be open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:20 p.m.: Paradise Cove at C.B. Smith Park; Tropical Splash at Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium; Splash Adventure at Quiet Waters Park; and Castaway Island at T.Y.(Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park. The water parks will be open the same hours on Saturdays and Sundays only throughout the month of April. Sessions will not be in effect in March and April. Details on the schedule from May through September are available on our water park Web page.

For water park fees and additional information, call C.B. Smith at 954-357-5170, Central Broward Regional at 954-357-5400, Quiet Waters at 954-357-5100, or T.Y. at 954-357-8811. C.B. Smith is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #3, #5, #7, #23, and 95 Express; Central Broward Regional via Routes #18, #36, #40, and #81; Quiet Waters via Routes #14 and #48; and T.Y. via Routes #3, #12, and #17.

Water of Life

Water is an integral component of the quality of life to both residents and visitors alike in Broward County. This month two major events in parks attest to the importance water holds in our lives, in terms of both recreation and daily life.

The first event that will focus on water quality and conservation is Water Matters Day, scheduled for Saturday, March 9, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Tree Tops Park. Now in its 11th year, the county’s signature water event – this year’s theme is “Preserve. Protect. Conserve.” – educates residents on what they can do to protect our drinking-water supplies. Among the relevant topics covered will be water conservation techniques, smart irrigation, and native landscaping.

This family-oriented event features live music, educational booths and exhibits, giveaways (including native plants), hands-on activities, children’s workshops, and more. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. The Broward County Board of County Commissioners, Broward Workshop, the School Board of Broward County, and the South Florida Water Management District partner for the event.

Admission to Water Matters Day is free, although Tree Tops’ regular weekend and holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect. For more information, visit broward.org/watermatters.

Then, from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 16, the county’s largest environmental event, the 36th annual Waterway Cleanup, returns to Broward. The event, with the theme “Where Blue Meets Green,” is organized by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF) in cooperation with civil, public, and private partners to promote environmental awareness and responsibility. This year more than two dozen sites will participate, including the Anne Kolb Nature Center, Franklin Park and Reverend Samuel Delevoe neighborhood parks, Markham Park, and Secret Woods Nature Center.

Last year the event attracted more than 2,000 volunteers to work at waterfront locations and on floating sites on the Intracoastal Waterway. Approximately 20 tons of trash and debris was collected from the county’s roughly 300 miles of navigable waterways, canals, and shorelines.

Participants should wear clothes that they don’t mind getting dirty, as well as gloves and shoes. Sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, and drinking water are also recommended. For more information, call MIASF at 954-524-2733, visit waterwaycleanup.com, or email waterwaycleanup@miasf.org. Anne Kolb is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #12; Franklin via Routes #11, #36, and #40; Delevoe via Routes #11 and #40; Markham via Route #23; and Secret Woods via Route #6.

Spring Break Alternatives

Don’t let your spring-breaker squander all his or her time when there are other possibilities out there. Young horse enthusiasts, for example, can participate in the Spring Break Equestrian Camp at Tradewinds Park & Stables. The camp, for ages 9 to 16, runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from Monday, March 25 through Thursday, March 28, and the cost is $75 per day, with a sibling discount available for $50 per day. Florida sales tax will be added.

Instruction includes breeds and colors of horses; 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 horse care – routine, preventive, and therapeutic maintenance. Children must provide their own lunches and snacks. Long pants and closed-toe shoes are required, and participants should also bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a towel. Preregistration is required, and fees must be paid and a release and waiver of liability completed and signed at the time of registration. For more information, call the park at 954-357-8870.

Or you could take your kid(s) on a camping trip without going far from home. At the Rent-a-Tent/Tepee Campground at Quiet Waters Park, all you have to bring is your camping gear – each campsite has a platform tent or tepee already set up and ready to move into. Each site has water, electricity, a picnic table, a grill, and a fire ring. Other park amenities nearby include mountain bike trails, a marina with boat rentals, lakes for fishing, and Ski Rixen USA cable water-skiing. For fees and additional information, call the park at 954-357-5100.

Find the Stars

Hollywood may turn out every year for the Academy Awards, but another kind of star – the heavenly kind – inhabits the South Florida sky every night. And every quarter the South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association (SFAAA) gets together at Fern Forest Nature Center to discuss all things astronomical.

The free program is called An Evening With the Stars, and the latest installment starts at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 15. Speakers will cover basic telescope techniques and general astronomy information. For more details, call Fern Forest at 954-357-5198. The nature center is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #31 and #42.

The SFAAA also opens the Fox Observatory at Markham Park every Saturday evening, weather permitting, from dusk to midnight. For more information on the SFAAA, call 954-384-0442 or email info@sfaaa.com.

Listen To Learn

Learn all about “Cuttings” at this month’s Propagation Lecture at Secret Woods Nature Center. This middle installment in the three-lecture series includes hands-on instruction in various techniques. The program is for ages 12 and up and runs $5/person (plus applicable Florida sales tax). For more information, call Secret Woods at 954-357-8884. The nature center is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #6.

Also concluding this month: the latest installment of the Lunch and Learn Nature Series, the lecture program that has been so popular at the Anne Kolb Nature Center. The final of three presentations, from noon to 2 p.m. on Friday, March 22, will be on the topic “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife of South Florida.” The guest lecturer is Ricardo Zambrano, a wildlife biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Preregistration is required a week prior to the event. A $7 donation to the Friends of the Anne Kolb Nature Center volunteer group gets you in and gets you lunch. For more information, call Anne Kolb at 954-357-5161. The nature center is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #12.

Find Culture – At Tradewinds Park’s Butterfly World

Add a little culture to your life on Saturday, March 9, when Butterfly World at Tradewinds Park will host two concerts (at noon and 2 p.m.) by the Indiana Wesleyan University Chorale. The group’s concerts consist of a diverse repertoire of music, including sacred classics, hymns, spirituals, and contemporary compositions. These shows, held in the Grand Plaza Concert Hall, are free with paid admission to Butterfly World, which runs $24.95 for ages 12 and up, $19.95 for ages 3 to 11, and free for 2 and under. For more information, call Butterfly World at 954-977-4434 or visit butterflyworld.com. Tradewinds Park’s regular weekend and holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will also be in effect. The park is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #34.

Turning on the Charm

Help your dog become a charmer by enrolling him or her in K-9 Charm School at Quiet Waters Park or T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park. Wednesday, March 6 is the registration deadline for group training classes, which get under way at Quiet Waters on Saturday, March 9, and at T.Y. on Sunday, March 10. Basic Dog Obedience runs from 9:20 to 10:20 a.m. on Saturdays at Quiet Waters and from 9:40 to 10:40 a.m. on Sundays at T.Y. Intermediate Dog Obedience runs from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. on Saturdays at Quiet Waters and from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. on Sundays at T.Y. The five-week sessions cost $125 per dog/handler team. For more information, contact K-9 Charm School at 954-292-6894 or info@k9charmschool.com.

For a Good Cause

In 2007 a South Florida girl named Kendra had just turned 4 when she died of a cancerous brain tumor. Two years later, the Kendra’s Kisses Memorial 5K Run/Walk was launched as a fundraiser for the nonprofit Kendra Vermont Foundation, which provides social, emotional, and financial support to families and caregivers of children with cancer.

This year’s event – the fifth annual – will start at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 24 at Markham Park. Early entry fees are $30 for ages 19 and up, $15 for ages 10 to 18; add $5 to that if you register on race day. Refreshments, food, and entertainment will be provided immediately following the event, and awards will be given in several categories.

For more information, visit the event Website, kendraskisses.org. Markham is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #23.

An Award-Winning Partnership

The Parks and Recreation Division recently bestowed its first Community Partnership Award on the YMCA of Broward County, in recognition of a variety of fitness programs for older adults and children that are being held in county parks. Funding for the programs is from a grant to the YMCA from the Jim Moran Foundation.

The Older Adult Fitness Program includes four key components: “EnhanceFitness” and “Living Healthy,” both offered at Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium (954-357-5400); “Diabetes Self-Management,” offered at Reverend Samuel Delevoe Park (954-791-1036); and “Matter of Balance,” offered at Boulevard Gardens Community Center (954-497-1638).

YFit FEST, the children’s program, adds Broward County Schools to the mix of partners. It launches on Saturday, March 2, from 10 a.m. to noon, at C.B. Smith Park (954-357-5170), with subsequent programs on Saturday, March 16 at T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park (954-357-8811) and on Saturday, April 6 at Quiet Waters Park (954-357-5100). The parks’ regular weekend and holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect.

Advisory Board Notice

The public is invited to the next meeting of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, which is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. on Friday, March 1. The meeting will take place at Secret Woods Nature Center, 2701 W. State Rd. 84, Dania Beach 33312; 954-357-8884. More information is available here.

Quote of the Month

“The question should be, is it worth trying to do, not can it be done.” – American politician Allard Lowenstein (1929-1980)

Special Attractions

Airboat Rides (Everglades Holiday Park)Batting Cages (AllGolf at C.B. Smith Park) – Bike America (Quiet Waters Park) –  Butterfly World (Tradewinds Park & Stables) – Cable Water-Skiing (Ski Rixen USA at Quiet Waters Park) – Campgrounds (C.B. Smith Park, Easterlin Park, Markham Park & Target Range, Quiet Waters Park, T.Y. Park) – Dog Park (Barkham at Markham Park & Target Range) – Educational Farm (Tradewinds Park & Stables) – 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 & Velodrome, Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium, Tradewinds Park & Stables) – Observatory (Markham Park & Target Range) – Riding Stables (Tradewinds Park & Stables, Tree Tops Park) – Skate Park/Track (Brian Piccolo Park & Velodrome) – Target Range (Markham Park & Target Range) – Tennis Centers (Brian Piccolo Park & Velodrome, C.B. Smith Park) – Velodrome (Brian Piccolo Park & Velodrome) – 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 Division manages almost 6,500 acres, encompassing nearly 50 regional parks and nature centers, neighborhood parks, and 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
Martin David Kiar
Chip LaMarca
Stacy Ritter
Tim Ryan
Barbara Sharief
Lois Wexler

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