Palm Beach County Parks & Recreation

At Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation, there are countless opportunities to have fun, take a break, or bond with your family and community.

Whether you’re playing sports, enjoying our many nature trails, having a picnic or taking a trip to one of our beaches, our committed staff will make sure your visit to any one of our 80 parks and recreation facilities will be safe and enjoyable – no matter your age, gender or ability. And the best part – every activity that can be enjoyed at our parks and facilities is free or low-cost!

We make the quality of life for Palm Beach County residents and visitors better by providing diverse, safe and affordable recreation services, welcoming parks, and enriching social and cultural experiences. We achieve this by promoting wellness, fostering environmental stewardship, contributing economic value, and by improving our community every day for this and future generations.

Visit pbcparks.com for more opportunities for healthy, happy living!

Give a book, take a book at West Jupiter Recreation Center’s “Little Free Library”

DSC_0007.jpgVisitors to Palm Beach County’s West Jupiter Recreation Center now have the opportunity to “give a book and take a book” from the newly-installed, vibrant and colorful Little Free Library located right outside the entrance of the Recreation Center.

Nicknamed “Mr. Scott’s Little Free Library” after maintenance worker Scott Lillian who’s undertaking the job of managing and upkeeping the Little Free Library, the former Palm Beach Post Newspaper box was transformed into a box that hosts a variety of books for all ages, from children to adults. The Little Free Library is currently stocked with titles that include “Where the Wild Things Are”,Toning the Sweep” and “Facts of Life”.

DSC_0004.jpg“If their children are playing on the playground or in a program and they’re waiting for their children, they can sit and read and entertain themselves,” said Mr. Scott.

Kids and adults can take a book for free, and either bring it back for others to read, or leave a book of their own, to keep it stocked with a constant supply of books. The Little Library has two goals – to encourage literacy and reading, and to introduce parents and children to the recreation center.

There’s also a convenience factor in utilizing a Little Free Library. As Mr. Scott explained, “I find it to be great for children who can’t go to libraries, that it’s not local for them.”

There are also Little Free Libraries located at four additional Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation facilities – Westgate Recreation Center in West Palm Beach, West Boynton Recreation Center in Boynton Beach, the Therapeutic Recreation Complex located in John Prince Park in Lake Worth, and more recently, Lake Worth West Park.

This project is a result of a partnership with the Children’s Services Council and Leadership Palm Beach County, and is sponsored by The Palm Beach Post, Jupiter Signarama, ideabar, and W.M. Behn & Sons Boatbuilders.

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Okeeheelee Nature Center Welcomes Specialty Camps, Field Trips

Did you know that our Nature Centers are the perfect field trip and camp destinations?  Okeeheelee Nature Center recently hosted a week-long specialty camp, where kids canoed, built bird houses, interacted with birds and deer that live at the Nature Center, and more. During a field trip to Okeeheelee, Green Cay or Daggerwing Nature Centers, kids can enjoy some of the same interactive and educational activities, like owl pellet dissection and animal encounters.

Okeeheelee Nature Center is operated by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department. We operate more than 80 regional, district, community, beach, and neighborhood parks, spanning several thousand acres. Our mission is to make the quality of life for Palm Beach County residents and visitors better by providing diverse, safe and affordable recreation services, welcoming parks, and enriching social and cultural experiences. This is achieved by promoting wellness, fostering environmental stewardship, contributing economic value, and by improving our community every day for this and future generations.

Visit pbcParks.com for more information.

After School kids help plant garden at West Jupiter Recreation Center

Since February, kids in West Jupiter Recreation Center’s after school program have helped revive and maintain a garden filled with tomatoes, herbs, onions, peppers, strawberries, and more delicious and nutritious fruits and vegetables!

The project was made possible using grant funds from the Walmart Foundation and National Recreation and Park Association. It teaches principles of the Florida Department of Health’s “5-2-1-0 Let’s Go!” initiative, which includes five or more fruits and vegetables a day, and one of more hour of physical activity.

West Jupiter Recreation Center is operated by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department. We operate more than 80 regional, district, community, beach, and neighborhood parks, spanning several thousand acres. Our mission is to make the quality of life for Palm Beach County residents and visitors better by providing diverse, safe and affordable recreation services, welcoming parks, and enriching social and cultural experiences. This is achieved by promoting wellness, fostering environmental stewardship, contributing economic value, and by improving our community every day for this and future generations.

For more about the garden project, watch this video.

Palm Beach County, Office Depot Foundation team up to beautify neighborhood park

In June, the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department teamed up with Palm Beach County’s Office of Community Revitalization and the Office Depot Foundation to improve Palm Beach County’s Lake Worth West Park. More than 90 volunteers from all over the world helped paint the sidewalks, put in a garden bed, install a free library, and more. Two new pieces of inclusive playground equipment were also installed prior to the event. The Office Depot Foundation previously assisted in installing a new playground at the park a year prior, in coordination with Palm Beach County and Kaboom!

For more, please watch the below video.

Lake Worth West Park is operated by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department. We operate more than 80 regional, district, community, beach, and neighborhood parks, spanning several thousand acres. Our mission is to make the quality of life for Palm Beach County residents and visitors better by providing diverse, safe and affordable recreation services, welcoming parks, and enriching social and cultural experiences. This is achieved by promoting wellness, fostering environmental stewardship, contributing economic value, and by improving our community every day for this and future generations.

Visit www.pbcparks.com for more information.

Palm Beach County in top 100 family-friendly places to boat and fish

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Lake Okeeheelee in Okeeheelee Park (Courtesy: FWC)

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Palm Beach County Parks & Recreation Department scored two local spots on a recent list of the nation’s best fishing and boating locales. Lake Osborne in John Prince Park and Okeeheelee Fish Management Area in Okeeheelee Park made the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation and its Take Me Fishing and Vamos A Pescar campaigns’ 2016 Top 100 Family-Friendly Places to Boat and Fish in the U.S. list. The Top 100 list was released leading up to National Fishing and Boating Week.

Cooperatively managed by the FWC and Palm Beach County, both sites provide great access and good recreational fishing for casual family outings and serious anglers alike. Fishing piers, boat ramps, fish attractors and fish feeders are combined with fish stocking and habitat enhancement to create productive angling that is easy to access. This collaboration allows both agencies to offer better recreational opportunities for their mutual constituents.

“These areas are readily available for residents and visitors alike and are known for producing some great angling opportunities,” said FWC regional Freshwater Fisheries administrator Barron Moody.

Lake Osborne is a 356-acre lake in suburban Lake Worth, with much of the shoreline incorporated in John Prince Park. It is easily accessed via John Prince Park, which offers ample shoreline access, fishing access from piers, and a two-lane paved boat ramp in excellent condition with an additional boat ramp located within the John Prince Lake

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Lake Osborne in John Prince Park (Courtesy: FWC)

Osborne in John Prince ParkPark Campground. The lake provides above-average fishing for largemouth bass, bluegill and redear sunfish, channel catfish and exotic Mayan cichlid. Other species include black
crappie (specks), sunshine bass stocked by the FWC plus peacock bass. Some outstanding largemouth bass fishing can be found there, with fish exceeding 8 pounds.  A brochure with map are at MyFWC.com/fishing, click “Freshwater,” “Sites & Forecasts,” “South Region” and “Lake Osborne.”

Okeeheelee FMA is a 157-acre lake conveniently situated in West Palm Beach. This site offers fishing from the shoreline as well as piers. Okeeheelee FMA contains an abundance of native sunfish and hatchery-raised catfish. The catfish are stocked each year to maintain a steady supply of fish for anglers. FWC fisheries biologist John Cimbaro has been co-managing the lake with Palm Beach County for over 15 years.

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Lake Okeeheelee in Okeeheelee Park (Courtesy: FWC)

“While Okeeheelee bass average less than 14 inches, their abundance here offers plenty of action and fun on light fishing tackle or fly fishing gear,” said Cimbaro. “This is also a perfect spot for someone who is learning to fish for bass to get lots of practice.”

Gasoline motors may not be used on boats at Okeeheelee, making it a peaceful site to fish from kayak or canoe. A brochure with map are at MyFWC.com/fishing, then click on “Freshwater,” “Sites & Forecasts,” “Fish Management Areas” then “Lake Okeeheelee.”

Along with fishing enhancements, both sites offer abundant parking, lakeside trails, playgrounds, picnic pavilions, restrooms and other amenities for a great family trip. Both Okeeheelee and John Prince Park are owned by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department, and ensuring access to beaches and water bodies are a core service of their department.

The RBFF’s Take Me Fishing and Vamos A Pescar campaigns held a nationwide vote to provide families with a recommended list of locations to visit. Criteria for these top locales included not only the quality of fishing and boating, but proximity to urban areas for easy access and the presence of amenities that contribute to a fun family outing.

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