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July 2012 Highlights
Broward County > Parks > The Latest > July 2012 Highlights

Highlights Banner

July Is Parks and Recreation Month!
Independence Day Hours
This Just In…
We’re Still Listening
Oohing and Ahhing
Giddyup!
Water Fun for Everyone
Fridays = Fun at Long Key
Dog Days
Heavy-Duty Athletics
Keep Your Critters Cool
Growth Potential
When the Sun Goes Down…
Quote of the Month
Special Attractions
Mission Statement
Your Opinion Counts!
SWIM Central
Broward County Board of County Commissioners

July Is Parks and Recreation Month!

So says the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), which 27 years ago started a tradition that continues to this day. The Florida Recreation and Park Association (FRPA) supports the initiative and recently promoted Governor Rick Scott’s proclamation.

Among the benefits of parks and recreation:

· Parks and recreation programs enhance our quality of life by contributing to a healthy lifestyle, increasing communication skills, building self-esteem, teaching life skills, and providing places for enjoyment.

· Parks and recreation programs boost the economy, enhance property values, attract new business, increase tourism, and reduce crime.

· Recreation builds family unity, strengthens neighborhood involvement, offers opportunity for social interaction, enhances education, develops creativity, and promotes cultural diversity.

· Our parks and trails ensure ecological beauty, provide space to enjoy nature, help maintain clean air and water, and preserve plant and animal wildlife.

· Recreation, therapeutic recreation and leisure education are essential to the rehabilitation of individuals who have been ill or disabled.

In other words, “Find It All – At a Broward County Park.” Get out and enjoy. For more information on Broward County Parks, visit www.broward.org/parks.

Independence Day Hours

All Broward County regional parks and nature centers, neighborhood parks, and natural areas, as well as water parks and campgrounds, will be open on Wednesday, July 4 (with the exception of Deerfield Island Park, which will be closed). The holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect at applicable parks. The Parks and Recreation Division administrative offices will be closed.

This Just In…

Broward County Parks and Recreation Division’s use of social media has just been acknowledged with two Meritorious Awards in the annual Awards of Excellence presented by the National Association of County Information Officers (NACIO). In the Social Media category, Parks won for its Facebook page and for its YouTube channel.

NACIO, an affiliate of the National Association of Counties, has members from more than 3,000 counties, parishes, and boroughs nationwide. Its Awards of Excellence Competition honors the best public information and community outreach efforts by local governments throughout the country. Broward County Parks won two of the 10 awards won by the county.

We’re Still Listening

Back in late April we invited the public to provide input at a series of focus groups designed to assess customer satisfaction with our county park system and identify potential partnership opportunities and strategic planning issues, as well as to supply feedback about the community’s recreational needs.

Now the Broward County Parks and Recreation Division, in conjunction with the consulting firm GreenPlay, is ready to report back on the initial findings from those focus groups and begin to shape our vision for the future in two more public forums. These Findings/Visioning Workshops will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 18, at Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium in Lauderhill, and from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday, July 19, at Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek. You are welcome to attend.

Central Broward Regional is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #18, #36, #40, and #81. Fern Forest is accessible via Routes #31 and #42.

Oohing and Ahhing

The Fourth of July equals fireworks, right? And what better place for Fireworks Viewing than one of the highest elevations in South Florida? That would be Vista View Park in Davie, where the hill, at 65 feet above sea level, ranks as the highest manmade elevation in Broward County. This year the park will be open till 10 p.m., and depending on weather conditions, visitors may be able to see the displays from Davie, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Sunrise, and possibly even Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood.

Most of these shows are scheduled to begin at 9 p.m., but you’re welcome to bring lawn chairs and/or blankets and come early to get a good spot – the park opens at 8 a.m., and the entry fee is good for admission all day; present your receipt for reentry. You are also invited to bring your own refreshments, although no hard liquor and no glass containers are allowed. Parking is on a first-come, first-served basis, and no fireworks (including sparklers) will be permitted in the park. The park’s playgrounds and shelters will be closed.

Admission before 7:30 p.m. will be the park’s regular weekend and holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free); admission will go to $2/person at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call Vista View at 954-357-8898.

Giddyup!

Stop stalling, use your horse sense, and learn how to saddle up at the Summer Horse Camp at Tradewinds Park Stables in Coconut Creek. The day camp is currently under way and runs through August 16. (There is no camp July 2-5 due to the Independence Day holiday.) The program, for ages 9 through 16, is from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.

Each four-day session includes daily riding instruction, weather permitting. Instruction also includes: breeds and colors; 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 routine, preventive, and therapeutic maintenance. Other activities include videos, indoor/outdoor games, and farm activities.

Registration goes on for as long as openings are available. Class size is limited and early registration is recommended. Fees must be paid and a release and waiver of liability signed at registration. The fee is $300 per session. Children must provide their own lunches and refreshments. Long pants and closed-toe shoes are required. Participants should also bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a towel.

For more information, call the stables at 954-357-8720. Tradewinds is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #34.

Water Fun for Everyone

· Splash Ahoy – Fridays, July 13 and 27, 6-10 p.m. – Splash Adventure at Quiet Waters Park (954-357-5100); $6/person, includes splash time, pirate games, a bounce house, and a movie. Refreshments available for purchase. Advance ticket purchase required.

And remember, all four of our water parks – Splash Adventure, along with Paradise Cove at C.B. Smith Park (954-357-5170), Tropical Splash at Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium (954-357-5400), and Castaway Island at T.Y. Park (954-357-8811) – are open daily. Fees vary; call the park of your choice for additional information. C.B. Smith is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #3, #5, #7, #23, and 95 EXPRESS; Central Broward Regional via Routes #18, #36, $30, and #81; Quiet Waters via Routes #14 and #48; and T.Y. via Routes #3, #12, and #17.

Fridays = Fun at Long Key

One of Broward County’s best-kept secrets, Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center in Davie, is the place for fun on three Fridays this month. On July 6, 13, and 27, Fun Friday Nature invites ages 3 to 10 to drop by the park’s Discovery Room for nature-themed games, crafts projects, and storytelling. The program runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the fee is $5 per person per program. For more information, call Long Key at 954-357-8797.

Dog Days

Well over a third of U.S. households – 39 percent – have at least one dog. And every day’s a “dog day” at Broward County Parks, because no matter where you live in the county, you’re not far from a park that offers dog obedience training. The details of these ongoing programs vary from park to park, so call or go online for more information.

· C.B. Smith and Vista View parks – Humane K9, 954-288-1021, www.humanek9.com

· Markham Park – PlayTrain, 954-349-5969, www.playtraindog.com

· Plantation Heritage Park Oh Behave, 954-587-2711, www.ohbehavedogtraining.com

· Quiet Waters and T.Y. parks – K-9 Charm School, 954-292-6894, www.k9charmschool.com

· Sunview Park American IDogs, 954-829-3274, www.americanidogs.com

· Tradewinds Park – A Dog’s Best Friend, 954-791-2717, www.adogsbestfriend.com

· Vista View Park – Purely Positive, 954-382-9128, www.purelypositivedogtraining.net

Once your pooch has completed training, visit the Barkham at Markham Dog Park for three acres of leash-free play. Well-behaved dogs on leashes are also welcome to visit all Broward County Parks except Hollywood North Beach and all our nature centers and natural areas.

Heavy-Duty Athletics

While many of us look forward to the Fourth of July holiday as a day to kick back and enjoy a cookout, hardier folk may opt to participate in the 22nd Annual Independence Day Duathlon & Triathlon, to be held at Tradewinds Park in Coconut Creek. The triathlon features a quarter-mile swim, followed by a 10-mile bike ride and a three-mile run; the duathlon starts with a three-quarter-mile run in lieu of the swim.

Spectators are welcome at the event, which gets under way at 7 a.m. The park’s holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect. For more information, call Tradewinds at 954-357-8870 or visit www.multirace.com.

Keep Your Critters Cool

Summertime, and the living is easy, right? Just because you’re enjoying sun and surf, however, don’t neglect your pet’s summer needs. Did you know, for instance, that July 5 is the busiest day for animal shelters? That’s because many pet owners don’t take precautions to prevent Independence Day stress. The fireworks you and friends and family find exciting may provoke confusion and exhaustion in your pet. Dogs, especially, are sometimes upset enough to crash through windows, jump fences, or break chains to escape.

If loud noises disturb your pet – its reactions to thunderstorms should provide a clue – consider leaving the animal behind while you go out for Fourth of July festivities. At home, have someone remain inside with your pet while fireworks go off outside. Your vet may provide tranquilizers for particularly sensitive animals.

Another summer hazard, especially in subtropical South Florida, is heat stress. Never take a pet with you in the car if it will be unattended for any length of time. An outdoor temperature of 85 degrees can translate to an interior temperature of 120 degrees in just 30 minutes.

Even at home, supply drinking water and shade if your pet is to be left outside on hot days. And if you “strut your mutt” in one of our parks, remember that early morning and after sundown are easier on the heat-sensitive pads of your dog’s paws.

Growth Potential

Time for another round of Propagation Classes at Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach. The popular program runs for three sessions, each focusing on a different hands-on technique for propagating plants. On Sunday, July 8, the focus will be on “Seeds.” Session two, on Sunday, August 12, covers “Cuttings.” And the final class, on Sunday, September 9, is all about “Grafting.” The series is designed for ages 12 and up and runs from 2 to 3 p.m. The fee is $5/person per class. For more information or to preregister, call the nature center at 954-357-8884. Secret Woods is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #6.

When the Sun Goes Down…

…the fun is just beginning at two nature programs this month at Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center in Davie. From 8 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 14, the park invites you to join a naturalist and explore the nature trails after dark on a Nature at Night Hike. The program is $3 per person, and preregistration is required by the day before the hike.

Then, on Friday, July 20, and Saturday, July 21, also from 8 to 9 p.m., spend the darkest nights of the month hiking the park’s nature trails on a New Moon Hike. The fee is $5 per person, and again, preregistration is required by the day before the program.

For more information on either hike, call Long Key at 954-357-8797.

Events Calendar

Quote of the Month

“We should every night call ourselves to an account: What infirmity have I mastered today? What passions opposed? What temptation resisted? What virtue acquired?” – Roman philosopher, statesman, and dramatist Seneca (5 B.C.E.-65 A.D.)

Special Attractions

Airboat Rides (Everglades Holiday Park) – 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) – Multipurpose Athletic Fields (Brian Piccolo Park, Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium, Tradewinds Park) – Observatory (Markham Park) – Riding Stables (Tradewinds Park, Tree Tops Park) – Skate Park/Track (Brian Piccolo 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.

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 manages nearly 6,500 acres, encompassing 19 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, 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 www.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
Chip LaMarca
Ilene Lieberman
Stacy Ritter
John E. Rodstrom Jr.
Barbara Sharief
Lois Wexler

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