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!

PBC Ocean Rescue Awarded $4,400 Scholarship Check for EMT Training

Thanks to a generous donation from the Palm Beach County Community Assistance and Benefit Corporation, two PBC Ocean Lifeguards will now have the chance to better serve Palm Beach County’s beachgoers.

On September 15, PBC Ocean Rescue was presented with a $4,400 scholarship check, which will go to helping two PBC Ocean Lifeguards take the Emergency Medical Technician  (EMT) course, in order to secure their EMT Certifications. EMT’s provide pre-hospital and emergency care that can make a difference between life and death, and are recognized by the emergency medical community as a key link in the “chain of survival.” The scope of knowledge required of EMT’s is broad.

“The ultimate benefactors of these scholarships are the beachgoers who visit [Palm Beach County],” said Ocean Rescue Lifeguard Dennis Ward.

Trainees will receive on-the-scene training, such as rides with Fire/Rescue paramedics, shifts working in local hospital ER’s, as well as being directly involved in medical care, from severe trauma, to pediatric, cardiac, language barriers and more, which will prepare them for a variety of different scenarios on a beach setting. “EMT is a crash course in a sometimes very harsh environment,” explained Ward.

The scholarship money will not only mean an improved skill set for two PBC Ocean Rescue Lifeguards, but it will also help maintain Palm Beach County’s continued leadership status in the Ocean Rescue industry.

“Fortunately, we have groups like the CAB Corp. and Mr. [Lance] Berkowitz in our community, and lifeguard supervisors/administrators that clearly see the value and need for quality professional EMS care,” said Ward.

How local parks can help families bond

Families who visit any of our 84 parks and facilities may find themselves experiencing a variety of mental, physical and social benefits that allow for greater bonding experiences. ”Families who play together, stay together,” is an important philosophy when it comes to enjoying our park system as a family. Check out exactly how a trip to our parks can improve your family’s well-being!

Physical

With thousands of acres of park land available for roaming, running and discovering, riverbend_kayaking_2parks allow for plenty of physical activity for both kids and adults. Whether you’re a family that enjoys water activities like swimming at any of our six pools and aquatic facilities, splashing and sliding at our two water parks, snorkeling at Phil Foster or DuBois Parks – or if you’re a land family who prefers strolling along boardwalks and trails at our nature centers, mountain biking at three trail locations, or simply enjoying some daytime play on our colorful and interactive playgrounds, there are so many ways parents and kids can get moving together. The physical activity opportunities available in our parks are so fun, the kids won’t even know they’re exercising! Among the many benefits of physical activity are increased fitness levels and a lower risk of obesity, and healthier bodies lead to healthier minds. Getting exercise at our parks and facilities will not only benefit the bodies and minds of adults, but will be setting a trend for children to continue the lifestyle as they age.

Mental

CoralCoveBeach.jpgAccording to the Florida Department of Health, there are a variety of mental health issues that both adults and kids in Palm Beach County face on a daily basis, including poor self-esteem, anxiety, depression, tension and stress. However, studies show physical activity and interacting with nature can improve your quality of life. By simply walking through the many trails and green space offered at parks like Riverbend, Okeeheelee, John Prince and more, families have the opportunity to escape from the pressures of everyday life that they face at school, work and even home. Our parks allow for tranquil getaways with the ones you love. For instance, Palm Beach County is the perfect location for beach days and evenings, and we offer 16 beach locations [Peanut Island and Phil Foster are located in the Intracoastal] where you and the kids can feel the ocean breeze on your face and watch the waves crash, putting your minds at ease. Mental health also plays an important role in one’s ability to maintain good physical health, make better health decisions, and live as healthy, productive citizens. To watch a short video on the mental health benefits of visiting our local parks, click here.

Social

If you and your family are looking for opportunities to bond on a social level, look no further than the Palm Beach County park system. Discovering new parks, trails, lakes and more will create a curious mindset in children. For instance, when visiting Okeeheelee, Green Cay or Daggerwing Nature Centers, kids can discover all sorts of animals and plants – and parents will have a blast learning along with their kids. Parents have the opportunity to teach and learn alongside their children, creating a bond kids will remember. There are so many opportunities to learn new things at our parks, from biking and kayaking to cultural and historical experiences, participating in these activities allow for asking and answering new questions, as well as unique chances for both parents and children to interact on a whole new level.

For park locations, visit www.pbcparks.com.southcounty_playground

Youth & Teens ‘Move & Groove’ at this year’s #pbcParks Summer Camp!

Palm Beach County’s West Boynton, Westgate & West Jupiter Recreation Facilities, as well as Aquatics, Okeeheelee Nature Center and Golf hosted a number of Summer & Specialty Camp programs to entertain kids during this year’s Summer Break. The kids went on field trips, learned about living healthy lifestyles through physical activity and healthy eating, played a number of games & activities, made tons of friends, and more!

Watch this short video for a recap of this year’s Summer Camp!

Visit pbcParks.com for more information.

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.