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July 2013 Highlights
Broward County > Parks > The Latest > July 2013 Highlights
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Reserve Online
Independence Day Hours
July Is Parks and Recreation Month
Look – Up in the Sky!
Swim, Bike, and Run for Independence Day
House and Garden
Keeping Critters Cool
Watching the Detectives
Ahoy, Matey!
Quote of the Month
Special Attractions
Mission Statement
Your Opinion Counts!
SWIM Central
Broward County Board of County Commissioners

Reserve Online

When the Parks and Recreation Division takes its new WebTrac system live on July 1, park patrons will be able to do something they’ve never done before – reserve our more than 110 picnic shelters and corporate pavilions online.

They’ll also be able to purchase annual gate passes, skate park passes, and seasonal aquatic passes, as well as rent Funbrellas at select parks, register for specific programs and activities, and check the availability of indoor venues for meetings, weddings, and other special events.

The WebTrac system will be expanded later to include the Division’s 300-plus campsites, along with other facilities and programming.

WebTrac is a product of Vermont Systems, which has provided recreation management tracking software primarily for county and city governments since 1989. Palm Beach County currently uses WebTrac, as well as such tricounty municipalities as Aventura, Boca Raton, Coconut Creek, Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Parkland, Plantation, Sunrise, Tamarac, Wellington, and West Palm Beach. Once the Broward County Parks system is up and running, it will be the largest and most comprehensive WebTrac operation in South Florida.

Check out the new system by visiting our Website at broward.org/parks, where you’ll find a RESERVE ONLINE button on the right side of the page.

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 Thursday, July 4 (with the exception of Deerfield Island Park). 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.

July Is Parks and Recreation Month

So says the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), which started a tradition in 1985 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 broward.org/parks.

Look – Up in the Sky!

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 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.

Swim, Bike, and Run for Independence Day

If your idea of fun for the Fourth of July holiday involves swimming, biking, and running, you’re in luck: The 23rd Annual Independence Day Duathlon & Triathlon event is scheduled for Tradewinds Park & Stables in Coconut Creek. The races begin at 7 a.m., followed by an awards ceremony at 9:15 a.m. Hundreds of athletes have already signed up for the event.

The duathlon consists of a 0.75-mile run, a 10-mile bike ride, and a three-mile run. The triathlon starts with a quarter-mile lake swim, moves on to a 10-mile bike ride, and concludes with a three-mile run. For registration and fee information, call 561-354-5941 or email info@multirace.com

The park’s regular weekend and holiday gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) will be in effect. For more information about Tradewinds, call 954-357-8870. The park is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #34.

House and Garden

Are you an average homeowner who would like to add to the beauty of your home through landscaping? Then Secret Woods Nature Center in Dania Beach has just the ticket for you: the Summer Home Landscape Series, which consists of eight free lectures. The popular program runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on consecutive Thursdays, starting on July 11 and ending August 29.

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.

Topics and presenters are as follows:

· July 11 – “Tools for Serious Gardeners” (horticulturist and landscape designer David McLean)

· July 18 – “Orchid Basics” (orchid curators Sandi Jones and Tom Wells of Bonnet House Museum and Gardens)

· July 25 – “Plants With a Purpose” (parks naturalist Molly Taylor of Secret Woods)

· Aug. 1 – “Tree Trimming and Pruning” (commercial horticulture agent Michael Orfanedes of UF-IFAS/Broward County Extension Education)

· Aug. 8 – “Tomato Gardening in South Florida” (vegetable gardening expert Elaine Farquharson)

· Aug. 15 – “Create a Quiet Getaway” (outreach coordinator Diana Guidry of NatureScape Broward)

· Aug. 22 – “Backyard Beekeeping” (senior biological scientist Aaron J. Mullins of UF-IFAS Department of Entomology and Nematology)

· Aug. 29 – “Fungi in the Garden and Yard” (parks naturalist Scott Bryan of Secret Woods)

For more information, contact the nature center at 954-357-8884. Secret Woods is accessible via Broward County Transit Route #6.

Keeping 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.

Also remember that well-behaved dogs on six-foot leashes are welcome in our regional and neighborhood parks, just not in our nature centers and natural areas.

Watching the Detectives

Last month the weeklong Nature Detectives summer day camp stimulated young minds at Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek. This month there’s another such camp, from 9 a.m. to noon daily, July 15-19. Each day the camp, for ages 8 to 11, focuses on a different theme, as participants explore the nature center’s habitats through hands-on experiences, crafts, and other activities.

The fee is $75 per camper for the week, and preregistration is required. For more information, call Fern Forest at 954-357-5198. The nature center is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #31 and #42.

Ahoy, Matey!

Eye patches, peg legs, and hand hooks are optional when Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach hosts Splash Ahoy! this month on Fridays, July 12 and 26. Fun is mandatory, however, thanks to such activities as a bounce house, games, a movie, and splash time in the park’s Splash Adventure water playground. The events run from 6 to 10 p.m. and cost $6 per person. Refreshments will also be available for purchase. Space is limited, and advance ticket purchase is required by calling the park at 954-357-5100. Quiet Waters is accessible via Broward County Transit Routes #14 and #48.

Quote of the Month

“There are two ways to slide easily through life: To believe everything, or to doubt everything; both ways save us from thinking.” – Polish-American philosopher and scientist Alfred Korzybski  (1879-1950)

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.