Dog Days of Summer
Find Your Gateway to the Everglades
Better Homes and Gardens
Parks After Dark
Horse Camp Almost Over
How Does Your (Butterfly) Garden Grow?
Beat the Heat
Find Fulfillment – Volunteer at a Broward County Park
Quote of the Month
Your Opinion Counts!
Broward County Board of County Commissioners
The term “dog days” has long been associated with the final days of summer – just the time for kids to hit Broward County Parks for a last recreational fling before heading back to school in late August.
Our four water parks – Paradise Cove at C.B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines, Tropical Splash at Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium in Lauderhill, Splash Adventure at Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach, and Castaway Island at T.Y. Park in Hollywood – are open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:20 p.m. based on the following schedule: daily through August 19; Thursdays through Sundays from August 23 through September 2; Monday, September 3 (Labor Day); and Saturdays and Sundays for the rest of September.
For mountain bikers, there are roughly 10 miles of trails at Markham Park & Target Range in Sunrise, ranging from novice to intermediate to expert/pro. And Quiet Waters offers 7.1 miles of novice and intermediate trails. Helmets are always required, and only mountain bikes are permitted on the trails, which are for all ages, although riders under the age of 17 must have written consent from a parent/guardian.
And don’t forget our skate park. The 35,000-square-foot one at Brian Piccolo Park & Velodrome in Cooper City is open daily for in-line skaters and skateboarders. BMX bikers have their own designated sessions on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.
For more information, visit or call the park of your choice: Brian Piccolo (954-357-5150), C.B. Smith (954-357-5170), Central Broward Regional (954-357-5400), Markham (954-357-8868), Quiet Waters (954-357-5100), or T.Y. (954-357-8811).
It was a surprisingly breezy, mild (for South Florida) summer morning when four members of the Parks Public Communications Group set out to experience an airboat excursion at Everglades Holiday Park, at the far western end of Griffin Road, just off U.S. 27 in Water Conservation Area 3. The 29.1-acre park, owned by Broward County since 1964, had recently reverted to county management, having long been leased by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissionand operated by a private concessionaire. We thought it made sense to see firsthand what we are now promoting to the public.
We weren’t disappointed. For the next hour or so, we looked and listened as our veteran captain and guide, Rick Reda, shared his own lifelong experiences of the Everglades as well as an informative and entertaining commentary on the flora and fauna surrounding us. The airboat – covered on top but open on the sides – glided swiftly and more or less smoothly across the water-lily pads and through the tall, reedy grasses, including the razor-sharp sawgrass the Everglades is known for. Once you’re out there, it’s easy to understand why author and environmentalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas called it the “River of Grass” in her 1947 book of that title.
Rick pointed out the striking red-winged blackbird that startled us when it took flight just as we were embarking on our tour. He called our attention to a trio of buzzards perched on an island dense with vegetation. He enticed the brightly colored marsh birds known as purple gallinules to come right up to him and let him feed them. And he talked in great detail about the alligators that seemed to appear from nowhere as if on cue. As with the gallinules, he had his own affectionate nicknames for them, such as “the Gatekeeper.”
The time flew as we drank in the sights and sounds of the Everglades, the only ecosystem of its kind on the planet. All too soon, we were climbing off the airboat back at the dock, having had a sample of South Florida as it once was, long before development gobbled up all of eastern Broward County. It’s an experience we highly recommend. Call 954-434-8111 to find out more about airboat tours at Everglades Holiday Park or to make reservations. – Michael Mills
This month Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach continues its Summer Home Landscape Series 2012 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays, August 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30. This annual series of free lectures – a total of eight this year – is designed for average homeowners who are interested in adding to the beauty of their homes through landscaping. Participants will learn ways to save money on their cooling and water bills, attract wildlife, and preserve native vegetation; they’ll improve the appearance of their yards and neighborhoods as well as increase property values.
The topics for the August lectures are as follows: “Lazy Landscaping,” presented by Broward County Park Aides Nina De la Rosa and Claire Kurlychek, and “Why Natives?”, presented by Park Naturalist Molly Taylor (both on August 2); “The Role of Biological Control in Invasive Plant Management,” presented by Elizabeth Mattison of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (August 9); “Designing a NatureScape for Wildlife,” presented by NatureScape Broward Outreach Coordinator Diana Guidry (August 16); “Composting,” presented by Broward County Horticultural Technician Sandy Granson (August 23); and “Fascinating Fungi,” presented by Broward County Park Aide Scott Bryan (August 30).
All classes are held in the nature center’s air-conditioned Julia Hall. For more information, call Secret Woods at 954-357-8884. The nature center is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #6.
For one segment of the public – model train enthusiasts – trains have never lost their appeal. And you can share in their sense of excitement every month at Tradewinds Park, where a group of hobbyists gathers to experience the thrill of running and riding one-eighth-life-size choo-choos.
The Tradewinds & Atlantic Railroad club, which operates the Model Steam Train Rides at Tradewinds, was formed in 1972 as the Southern Division of Florida Live Steamers, whose mission is to educate people about railroading and metalworking. This volunteer group began building a track on the north side of the park in 1987 and completed the 5,800-foot, standard 7.5-gauge track three years later, after many hours of backbreaking labor.
On the third full weekend of each month (August 18 and 19 this month), passengers of all ages can ride the pint-size locomotives. The fare is only $1 per person for all ages, along with the park’s regular weekend and holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50 per person (children 5 and under free); adults must accompany riders under the age of 10, and pregnant riders are not allowed. The railroad is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., weather permitting, and on average the trains haul about 1,500 visitors each operating weekend. Club members pay between $10 and $25 per year in dues, depending on membership level. For more information, call Tradewinds at 954-357-8870, visit www.livesteamers.org, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
End one month and start another with three evening hikes – in three totally different environments. From 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, August 31, Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach will host a Night Hike, for all ages. That same night, from 8 to 9 p.m., Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center in Davie will hold a Once-in-a-Blue-Moon Hike, for all ages. Each hike is $5/person.
Then, on Saturday, September 1, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., Hollywood North Beach Park in Hollywood will offer a Night Hike by the Seashore, also for all ages, and also at $5/person.
For the Secret Woods program, call the nature center, which is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #6, at 954-357-8884. For Long Key, call 954-357-8797. And for Hollywood North Beach, accessible via Routes #4 and #12, call the nearby Anne Kolb Nature Center at 954-357-5161.
Three more sessions remain in this year’s Summer Horse Camp, at the Tradewinds Park & Stables in Coconut Creek. The camp is for ages 9 through 16 and runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, July 30-August 2, August 6-9, and August 13-16. The camp is available by the day or by four-day session.
Fees must be paid and a release and waiver of liability signed at registration. Children must bring their own lunches and snacks, and long pants and closed-toe shoes are required. Participants should also bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a towel. Fees are $75 per day for single days, or $300 per four-day session.
For more information, call the stables at 954-357-8720. Tradewinds is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #34.
A love of science doesn’t equal geekdom, as your kids will learn if you sign them up for Science Eye Safari Camp at Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center in Davie. Each day is a new adventure at this day camp for ages 7 to 12, which covers astronomy, geology, marine biology, paleontology, physics, wildlife conservation, and more. The camp runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. the week of August 6-10. The fee is $250 per child per week, with after-care from 4 to 5 p.m. available for an additional fee.
For more information, call 954-680-7977, e-mail email@example.com, or visit www.scienceeye.com.
Your last chance to play pirate in the parks for the summer comes from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, August 10, when Splash Adventureat Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach will host its final Splash Ahoy of the season. The $6-per-person fee includes swim time, games, a bounce house, and a movie. Refreshments will be available for purchase. For more information, call the park at 954-357-5100. Quiet Waters is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #14 and #48.
Learn how to “grow” butterflies when Butterfly World at Tradewinds Park South in Coconut Creek offers a Butterfly Gardening Workshop, starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 11. Participants will learn how to increase the number and variety of butterflies in their yards by growing the right kinds of plants to attract both caterpillars and adult butterflies.
Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach will offer a similar program from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 26. The Butterfly World program, which includes a photo guide, is free with paid admission into the world-famous attraction. The fee for the Secret Woods program is $10/person.
For more information, call Butterfly World (accessible via Broward County Transit Route #34) at 954-977-4400 or Secret Woods (accessible via Route #6) at 954-357-8884.
The Parks and Recreation Division’s Special Populations Section invites ages 13 to 21 with developmental disabilities to celebrate the end of summer with a Teen Social. The free event has a “Back-to-School Dance” theme and will feature deejay music, dancing, socializing, and refreshments. It’s from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, August 17, in the Grand Ballroom at the Sunrise Civic Center, 10610 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Sunrise.
Participants are encouraged to dress in accordance with the theme. Preregistration is required at least seven days before the event. And please note: Direct supervision of participants is not provided. For more information or to preregister, call 954-357-8170 or e-mail SpecialPopulations@broward.org.
We’re now at the height of summer, and for many, that means enjoying the sun and being more active outside. If you spend significant time outdoors this summer, make sure you drink lots of water to stay safe and healthy while having fun. Water helps keep our bodies healthy by keeping our temperatures normal, protecting our organs, and helping break down the food we eat. Because water makes up so much of our bodies – 75 percent of muscle, 10 percent of fat – you have to make sure you drink water to stay healthy. Our bodies lose water by being active, breathing, and sweating.
When our bodies lose too much water, we get dehydrated. Common signs that someone is dehydrated include extreme thirst, headaches, dizziness, nausea, and/or not sweating. Here are some steps to take if this happens to you or you see someone showing symptoms while being active in the sun:
· Stop the activity immediately.
· Get out of the sun; find a place with shade to rest.
· Slowly sip water or some kind of cool fluid.
· Go get checked out to make sure you are okay.
And here are some tips to help you beat dehydration and enjoy your summer fun:
· Stay hydrated – Drink eight to 10 cups of water or fluid each day.
· Drink before you play – Drink two cups of water or fluid two hours before you plan on being active. Try to sip the liquid slowly.
· Drink while you play – Drink two to four cups of water or fluid each hour while you are being active.
· Drink after you play – Drink three cups of water or fluid for every pound you lose after being active.
This information is brought to you by the Extension Education Section’s Family Nutrition Program. For additional information, call 954-357-5270.
The great humanitarian Albert Schweitzer once said: “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.” At Broward County Parks, we encourage service through volunteerism by way of our VIP Program, which stands for Volunteers Improving Parks.
The VIP Program offers short-term and long-term opportunities for individuals, families, students, and groups both large and small to share their time and talents with the community. Volunteer opportunities are available throughout the park system, and we can work with you to schedule dates and times that are convenient for you. No experience is required – we will provide the necessary training and assistance to accompany any opportunity you choose, along with any special equipment needed.
The first step is to find a project that’s in line with your talents and interests and the amount of time you’re willing to commit. Our Website’s volunteer section includes links to lists that provide more information on our current volunteer opportunities. Potential volunteers may download the volunteer application (PDF) and bring the completed forms to the park where you would like to volunteer. If you prefer, you may pick up an application at the park. Those who are volunteering for a special event or a workday should download and fill out the Workday Volunteer application (PDF) prior to your arrival at the park. For volunteers under 18, parental signatures are required. You should also bring a photo I.D. to the park when you sign up to volunteer.
For additional information, visit our Website at www.broward.org or contact the Parks and Recreation Division’s Volunteer Coordinator at 954-357-8153.
Osswald Park, formerly a Broward County Park and now part of the City of Fort Lauderdale Parks and Recreation Department, will host the 59th Annual David Deal Playday, a nine-hole golf tournament, teeing off at 8 a.m. on Saturday, August 4. The event commemorates the accomplishments of past and present African American golfing greats, and all ages are welcome to attend. The fee is $10 per person and includes lunch, an award, and raffle tickets. For more information, call 954-497-1636.
“Do not wait for extraordinary circumstances to do good; try to use ordinary situations.” – German writer Jean Paul (1763-1825)
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)
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.
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.
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.
Dale V.C. Holness
John E. Rodstrom Jr.
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Parks and Recreation is a service of the Broward County Board of County Commissioners.