PBC Ocean Rescue Scores Historic First Place Win at USLA Regionals

The 2018 United States Lifesaving Association Southeast Regional Championships were held at Flagler Beach on July 26th and 27th. This competition was attended by 22 beach patrols from the Southeast Region with some of the best open water athletes in the nation.

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Palm Beach County Ocean Rescue was supported by 16 competitors who volunteered their time and resources to represent the County and included: Lieutenant Chase Robertson, Kim Robertson, Jessica Ventura, Lead Guard Tiffany Lacasse-Johnson, Lieutenant Phil Harris, Chase Harris, Matt Lynskey, Tracey Matuszko, Lieutenant Dan Barnickel, Russ Gehweiler, Jessie Stevens, Training Officer Steve Kaes, Kira Shoemaker, Mitchell Irwin, Hanna Forrest and Lex May.

This first place win was an important victory for the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department’s Ocean Rescue team (PBCOR). PBCOR is one of the largest beach patrols in the Southeast Region and strives to attract and retain full-time lifeguards of the highest caliber. Competing and placing first in a USLA Regional Competition helps attract top guards from around the nation to make their careers at Palm Beach County.

USLA Competitions are one of the only organized sports that directly promotes life saving. In winning the first place Southeast Regional title, PBCOR competitors did a fantastic job promoting and representing their public safety agency. In addition to their required training on duty, many of the guards trained hard off duty to win this event.

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Chase Robertson, Matt Lynskey

The competition consists of 10 individual events that include: surf swim, paddleboard, surf ski, singles surf boat, beach flags, iron guard, ironman/woman, American ironman/woman, run swim run, and 2K beach. There are six team events: doubles surf boat and paddleboard rescueand 4X100 run relay, line pull rescue, surf rescue, and taplin relay.


Highlights:

  • Lieutenant Chase Robertson was the highest overall point scorer for Palm Beach County and the second highest male point scorer for the entire competition with a total of 89.5 points. He competed and placed in 12 events and won first place in 9 events.
  • Jessica Ventura was the highest overall female point scorer for Palm Beach County with a total of 64 points and competed in a total of 18 events placing first in age group surf swim, board race, surf ski, international iron woman, run swim paddle and run swim run.
  • Tiffany Lacasse-Johnson was the second highest overall female point scorer for Palm Beach County with a total point score of 60.7 from a total of 20 events.
  • Senior Guard Lieutenant Phil Harris returned this year to compete in seven events. Highlights were winning first place in the age group run-swim-run, and 2nd place in surf swim, board race, 2k beach run, and beach flags. His daughter, Chase Harris, who swam for FIU and recently graduated proudly competed alongside her dad finishing 6th in the highly competitive open women’s swim.
  • Senior Guard and Training Officer Steve Kaes was there to compete and his guidance and help were invaluable to all the competitors before, during and after the event. For years he captained the Competition Team and our success this year was accomplished on the foundation Steve Kaes and other senior guards have built over the years.

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About the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department

The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department operates more than 110 parks and recreational facilities and is committed to making 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 by promoting wellness, fostering environmental stewardship, contributing economic value, and by improving the community every day for this and future generations. For more information about recreational opportunities and healthy, happy living, visit www.pbcparks.com and follow @pbcparks on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and WordPress.

Remember to swim near a lifeguard when you visit the beach. For more information, visit USLA.org.

What’s that Plant? Pickerelweed!

A native Florida plant that typically grows along the shore, the purple-flowered Pickerelweed can be found in a number of #pbcParks. Watch this short video to learn some fun facts about the plant, including ways it helps the environment!

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About Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department:
The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department operates more than 110 parks and recreational facilities and is committed to making 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 by promoting wellness, fostering environmental stewardship, contributing economic value, and by improving the community every day for this and future generations. For more information about recreational opportunities and healthy, happy living, visit http://www.pbcparks.com and follow @pbcparks on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and WordPress.

Bert Winters Park boating amenities now reopen after renovations

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On the morning of July 25, county officials cut the ribbon to reopen Bert Winters Park’s boating area after being closed for construction since September 2017.

Major improvements include the renovation of existing boat ramps, three floating staging docks, 45 additional car/trailer parking spaces, and new ADA-compliant restroom facilities. Additional features include the enhancement of vehicular circulation, reconfiguration of existing parking spaces, storm-water management improvements, as well as associated site work and infrastructure.

Representatives of collaborating agencies, the Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), participated in the program.

“Residents are excited about utilizing the increased boater access to the Intracoastal Waterway and Atlantic Ocean,” said District 1 Commissioner Hal R. Valeche.

Bert Winters Park is located at 13425 Ellison Wilson Road in Juno Beach. The park is open daily from sunrise until sunset. A boat trailer parking permit is required. Annual permits may be purchased online at www.pbcparks.com. Daily permits will be available at Bert Winters Park using the onsite pay station.

Please visit www.pbcparks.com​ for more information about boating and other leisure opportunities available through the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department.​

(Aerial photos provided by Engenuity Group)

Animal Encounters: Virginia Opossum

Did you know the Virginia Opossum is the only native marsupial in North America? Watch #pbcParks “Animal Encounters” and learn some fun facts about the Virginia Opossum!

Visit Animal Ambassador, Lizzie the Virginia Opossum, at Daggerwing Nature Center — you may also spot some of the same species around the facility, boardwalk, and in other #pbcParks.

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About Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department:
The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department operates more than 110 parks and recreational facilities and is committed to making 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 by promoting wellness, fostering environmental stewardship, contributing economic value, and by improving the community every day for this and future generations. For more information about recreational opportunities and healthy, happy living, visit www.pbcparks.com and follow @pbcparks on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and WordPress.

Nature Ninja Warrior Spring 2018

 

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Through the vision of our Director, Eric Call, a new department initiative kicked off this spring. The Nature Ninja Warrior Program provides underrepresented middle and high school youth with diverse experiences in parks and recreation. This free program highlights youth development opportunities in park and natural resource management, outdoor experiential learning and environmental recreation, with an emphasis on job and life skills development. Between February 17 and April 14, 2018, 14 middle school youth traveled to John Prince Park in Lake Worth on eight consecutive Saturdays and two days during spring break and set out for adventure and learning in our parks and natural areas.

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Activities included the FAU ropes course, canoeing, archery, fishing, habitat restoration, assisting with Outdoor Adventure Day and geocaching. Students learned about wetlands, prescribed fire, resume building, proper interview techniques, bird adaptations and invasive exotic plants. The program culminated with a graduation ceremony at the CMAA Therapeutic Recreation Center in Lake Worth where family and friends of the participants gathered for presentations and refreshments.

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The program was a huge success thanks to our partners and the parks and recreation professionals that facilitated all components of the program. Partner agencies included: PBC Youth Services, who assisted our department with identifying program participants; Palm Tran, who provided bus passes for participants with transportation challenges; 4-H and UF IFAS Extension, who presented a youth workforce readiness program and the Friends of Green Cay Nature Center, who provided a generous financial contribution to this program. Special thanks to the Parks Natural Resource section, our nature centers, recreation centers, therapeutic recreation and Riverbend Park staff for their support.

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As a result of the Nature Ninja Warrior program, participants not only broadened their access to the parks and recreation field, but also showed significant improvements in eight youth development outcomes. Teamwork, independence, responsibility, competency, problem solving, friendship, exploration and affinity for nature were measured through pre and post testing developed by the American Camp Association. The Nature Ninja Warrior Program will continue in the fall with returning students building upon the skills they learned during the spring. Returning program participants will have a leadership role during the new season and will assist in guiding the new participants through the program. The Nature Ninja Warrior student work experience program will begin in summer 2019. This will provide program graduates with paid work experience in the Parks and Recreation Department.

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For more information on this program, please contact Pat Rash at: prash@pbcgov.org 

 

 

#pbcParks Promotes Good Health and Wellness

Active lifestyles are key to a healthy mind and body, but many people don’t get out and moving as much as they should. The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department is committed to offering a variety of opportunities to help you and your loved ones find balance and stay healthy.

The Office of Public Engagement created this Public Service Announcement to show the multitude of ways PBC Parks contributes to the physical wellbeing of Palm Beach County. The video includes original artwork and animation created by intern Carlos Duenas, Jr. with a voice over by Public Relations Specialist Bibi Baksh.

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.

For more opportunities for healthy, happy living, visit pbcParks.com.

LOS MEJORES PARQUES PARA FAMILIAS CON NIÑOS PEQUEÑOS

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El Departamento de Parques y Recreación del Condado de Palm Beach ofrece varios entornos para que las familias con niños pequeños pasen tiempo juntos mientras crecen, aprenden y practican estilos de vida saludables. Con más de 80 parques e instalaciones recreativas desde Tequesta a Boca Raton y al oeste hasta el lago Okeechobee, hay una variedad de actividades en las que los padres y los niños pequeños pueden participar – Todos nuestros parques e instalaciones son inspeccionados para proporcionar experiencias seguras. ¡Aquí hay una lista de nuestros parques favoritos!

John Prince Park

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El parque John Prince en Lake Worth no decepcionará a los pequeños. Los niños pueden disfrutar de 5 patios de recreo en todo el parque, incluyendo un campo de recreo ilimitado que proporciona a los niños con y sin discapacidades una experiencia colorida, sensorial y accesible. Situado al lado del amplio patio de recreo se encuentra un parque de atracciones donde los niños pueden correr a través de una serie de arcos rociadores, pararse bajo una gigantesca cola que salpica agua y mucho más. Todo ello bajo tres velas de sombra que proporcionan protección solar. El parque también ofrece un área de ejercicios Fitness Zone® para que los padres puedan mantenerse activos mientras sus hijos juegan. Los adultos pueden hacer ejercicio usando 17 facilidades Fitness Zone® al aire libre, que se encuentra cerca de un gran pabellón y un parque infantil.

Okeeheelee Park

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Una visita al Parque Okeeheelee es una gran oportunidad para realizar actividades físicas y educarse. El parque de 1.700 hectáreas cuenta con tres parques infantiles para correr, deslizarse y balancearse. Después de pasar tiempo en el patio de recreo, los padres pueden llevar a sus hijos al Okeeheelee Nature Center (OKNC), ubicado dentro del parque. En OKNC, las familias pueden visitar exposiciones prácticas, encuentros con animales y una tienda de regalos relacionados con la naturaleza. La entrada al OKNC y a los senderos es gratuita. La participación en los programas y alquileres de bicicletas/kayak son nominales. Programe su visita y experimente un evento ecuestre en Jim Brandon Equestrian Center en Okeeheelee Park South, situado en el lado sur de Forest Hill Boulevard.

Westgate Park and Recreation Center

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Ubicado en West Palm Beach el parque Westgate y el centro recreativo cuentan con un patio de recreo, parques de atracciones y gimnasio, convirtiéndolo en un lugar ideal para actividades para padres e hijos. En un día caluroso, los niños pueden refrescarse a través del colorido parque acuático. Mientras los niños disfrutan del nuevo patio de recreo, los adultos pueden aprovechar la oportunidad de trabajar en una zona de fitness de 10 piezas bien equipada, mientras observan a sus hijos Divertirse.

Lake Worth West Neighborhood Park

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Lake Worth West Neighborhood Park en el centro del condado de Palm Beach recientemente fue remodelado, cortesía de la Fundación de Office Depot y el condado de Palm Beach. Ahora, los residentes de Lake Worth West pueden disfrutar de un nuevo parque infantil con equipos accesibles para todas las habilidades, así como una biblioteca gratuita, espacio verde, cancha de baloncesto y un jardín de mariposas. Con una estación de ejercicios ubicada al lado del patio de recreo. Los adultos pueden hacer una variedad de ejercicios mientras observan a sus hijos.

Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park

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Ya sea que pase el día en Coconut Cove Waterpark, juegue en uno de los dos patios de recreo, o se dirija al Daggerwing Nature Center para aprender sobre reptiles e insectos, hay algo para cada miembro de la familia en Burt Aaronson South County Regional Parque. Coconut Cove Waterpark es una actividad perfecta para esos calurosos días de verano; niños y adultos pueden correr en un patio de recreo, deslizarse por toboganes o flotar a lo largo de un río perezoso. En el centro natural Daggerwing, los niños pueden jugar y aprender a través de exhibiciones interactivas, o aventurarse afuera, a un paseo marítimo y una torre donde las familias pueden observar y aprender sobre la vida silvestre. Si bien hay una cuota de admisión para el parque acuático Coconut Cove, la visita al centro natural Daggerwing es gratuita, con la excepción de las cuotas del programa.

Glades Pioneer Park

Glades Family Fun Fest 2017 211Ubicado en el oeste del condado de Palm Beach, el parque Glades Pioneer cuenta con una piscina de funcionamiento estacional, un campo de béisbol, canchas de baloncesto, canchas de tenis, un sendero multiuso pavimentado a lo largo de 1.25 millas, patios de recreo para niños de 2-5 y 5-12 años, un parque de diversiones y áreas para picnic.

Para conocer las ubicaciones de los parques, visite www.pbcparks.com.