Volunteer Spotlight: Sandy Gurian

Sandy Gurian has been a volunteer for 2 years at Green Cay Nature Center. She helps set the tone of the visit for patrons, as she is usually the first person seen by visitors. She greets visitors, assists with basic questions, helps with program reservations and answers the phone. She is very knowledgeable about all operations of the nature center.

Green Cay is one of the most popular places to visit, where the nature center itself can be bustling and busy on any given day! Volunteers highly contribute to their successful engagement with the public on those busy days! Sandy contributes her positive energy, enthusiasm, and attention to detail as well as keeping the front desk clean and neat, making sure safety concerns are addressed, and takes initiative when she sees something needs attention.

Sandy has a great energy and was awarded the engagement champion this year during their volunteer appreciation week. She truly loves welcoming visitors, offering assistance or answering questions. She is always on her feet and wants to learn something new everyday. In addition, she is a great team player and is very flexible with her schedule – always willing to help out when needed. All around, that enthusiasm and teamwork is what makes her a wonderful volunteer at Green Cay.

The biggest personal benefit she’s received as a volunteer with our department? “I’m glad I can give back before I get old. It fulfills me to volunteer my time”. Sandy loves engaging with all visitors at Green Cay Nature Center.

Sandy worked as a secretary for the Allentown School District and retired in 2013. She moved to Florida in 2018 from the Poconos. Sandy loves nature and being outdoors and has many childhood memories of going to the park every day as a kid. She said her family went out for picnics every Sunday to the lake. Sandy loves birds, likes to run, swim and play pickleball. When Sandy is not volunteering at Green Cay Nature Center, she ushers at the Wick Theatre in Boca Raton.

Know Before You Go: Portuguese Man O’ War

Have you ever spotted an object on the beach that looks like a harmless blue plastic bag? These animals are called Portuguese Man O’ War – and they can deliver a painful shock to anyone who picks them up or pops them. Watch this video to learn more about Portuguese Man O’ War and how you can protect yourself from these beach hazards.

For more information about Portuguese Man O’ War and other beach hazards, visit this webpage: https://discover.pbcgov.org/parks/Aquatics/Hazards.aspx

Grab your Nature Adventure Journal today!

PBC Parks’ mascot, Oakly, takes some time to explore nature by completing the new ‘Nature Adventure Journal’

PBC Parks is happy to introduce the Nature Adventure Journal! This unique journal lets kids of all ages complete outdoor- and nature-related activities that can be done anywhere – in parks, beaches, neighborhoods, even in their backyards.

The journal is designed to get kids outside and active in a natural setting, through a variety of fun activities. Activities include animal spotting, leaf tracing, making an outdoor bucket list, and more. As they go along, adventurers can earn sticker badges for completing various sections — they can even send PBC Parks their progress to be featured on PBC Parks’ social media!

Where can I pick up a Nature Adventure Journal?

Nature Adventure Journals are available at Palm Beach County Nature Centers, Palm Beach County Libraries, and the Parks and Recreation Administration Building inside John Prince Park. Please email pbcparks@pbcgov.org to explore additional locations.

For more information about the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department, visit http://www.pbcparks.com.

Power of Parks: Jessica Gray

Welcome to Power of Parks, a podcast produced by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department, where we share inspiring stories from people who have benefited from nature, parks and recreation.

Episode 16 features Jessica Gray, the founder of Boca Save Our Beaches, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting marine ecosystems through community collaboration, conservation, and educational awareness. There’s also a long-time Adopt-A-Park Partner with PBC Parks and they host a number of beach cleanups throughout the year. In the podcast, Jessica shares some of the ways the organization helps PBC Parks achieve our goal of promoting stewardship of natural sites.