Category Archives: Beaches

Destination Recreation 6: Boating

Welcome to the sixth episode of Destination Recreation! We take you through different Palm Beach County parks and facilities in each episode – giving you a unique peek at what you can experience at our more than 80 locations throughout the County.

On this episode, we tell you all about one of the most popular amenities in Palm Beach County — boating! Learn about where to go, what activities you can enjoy, and what you need to do if you’re parking your boat trailer at a PBC Park. Let’s head out on the water!

Don’t miss an episode – follow pbcParks on WordPress or subscribe to our YouTube channel to see each episode of Destination Recreation, which is released monthly.

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.

One Penny Sales Surtax: Palm Beach County Parks & Recreation

What would the One Penny Sales Surtax mean for Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Facilities? What this video for the facts.

For more information on the One Penny Sales Surtax, visit OneCountyOnePenny.org.

The mission of the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department 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. We achieve this by promoting wellness, fostering environmental stewardship, contributing economic value, and by improving our community every day for this and future generations.

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

Beach Safety: stay safe at #pbcParks this summer

The summer months are creeping up on us, which means many residents and tourists will be flocking to Palm Beach County’s beach parks to enjoy the sand and sea. However, because the ocean can be dangerous, we’ve compiled some tips for keeping yourself and your kids safe at the beach this summer.

Watch this video for more –

National Water Safety Month: staying safe in #pbcParks

Swim Lessons
Enroll your child in swimming lessons at a county pool or park.

As the summer months sneak up on us, our department is making sure our park patrons are staying safe in our many aquatic-themed parks and facilities.

As April was proclaimed Water Safety Month in Palm Beach County, and earlier this year, Governor Scott signed a proclamation supporting the month of May as Water Safety Month for the State of Florida, it’s clear that Florida is one of the states where water safety is most critical. In fact, this week (May 21-27) is Boating Safety Week – and Palm Beach County’s parks and beaches are popular locations for not only boaters, but swimmers, fishermen, kayakers, paddle-boarders, surfers, divers, and many others who enjoy our beautiful county pools, parks and beaches.

Lifeguard
Lifeguards protect patrons at 14 oceanfront and inlet parks.

While our department’s Ocean Rescue staff at beaches, water parks and pools work diligently to prevent water-related incidents, we want to make sure park patrons are aware of water safety-related resources that are available to make sure all preventable incidents are avoided.

In 2014, Palm Beach County had 43 unintentional drowning deaths. Our staff is committed to providing safe environments for kids and adults to enjoy the water. Here are a few simple things you can do to prevent water-related incidents at pools, beaches and other water-themed parks & facilities:

  • Enroll children in swimming lessons at a county pool or water park: Palm Beach County makes it easy for adults and children to learn simple skills that may turn out to be life-saving.
    • All classes are taught by American Red Cross certified Water Safety instructors.
    • Because there are so many aquatics-related recreational activities available to Palm Beach County residents and visitors in our parks & facilities, knowing proper swimming techniques is key in easily preventing water-related incidents.
    • Swim lessons include training in basic water safety and helping others in an emergency.
  • Adults – keep an eye on children and avoid distractions – sometimes it helps to put the phone or tablet down!
  • Never swim alone – use the buddy system
  • Use proper boating safety techniques – wear a life vest!
  • Follow the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) Top 10 Beach and Water Safety Tips.
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June 5-12 is National Beach Safety Week.

June 5 – 12 is National Beach Safety Week! Throughout the summer, we will keep you informed on more water safety tips – including Beach Safety from our lifeguards – so keep following our blog for more helpful tips to make our parks & facilities even more enjoyable!

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 Ocean Rescue: Lifesaving and Marine Safety for 40 Years

Ninety-one certified Ocean Rescue lifeguards provide drowning prevention, rescue, and emergency medical services at thirteen scenic, world-renowned oceanfront and inlet beach parks. The waters along our shores are dynamic as well as beautiful, and rapidly changing conditions call for unique training, specialized skills, and considerable athletic ability.

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Rip currents pose a hidden danger here in South Florida. Local swimmers are grateful for the proven skills of Ocean Rescue Lifeguards such as Chase Robertson.

To be considered for an Ocean Rescue Lifeguard position, applicants are required to have a current American Red Cross Lifeguard and CPR/AED certificate. Applicants also participate in a run-swim-run test and are tested on their rescue and medical skills. Only then are they formally interviewed and considered for an Ocean Lifeguard position.

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Many lifeguards are also SCUBA certified, licensed boat captains, and trained and certified boat operators for rescue boats or Personal Water Crafts (PWC).

New recruits are required to participate in an 80-hour Ocean Rescue Trainee Academy. The Academy introduces new lifeguards to vigorous and stringent Palm Beach County policies, procedures, and rescue techniques. Academy graduates must also become certified as Emergency Medical Response Workers (EMR), training that surpasses the requirements of American Red Cross Lifeguard certification. Members of our Ocean Rescue staff are uniquely qualified and authorized to provide this important EMR training through an agreement, renewed this past year, with the State of Florida Department of Health’s Bureau of Emergency Medical Services.

Palm Beach County’s Ocean Rescue team is of the highest professional caliber. It is well worth noting that the majority of our team are certified as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT), a step above EMR certification.

As a United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) Certified Agency, our Ocean Rescue team members are also authorized to provide training for individual Palm Beach County Open Water Lifeguard certification.

“Ocean Rescue is about team unity,” says North County District Captain Julia Leo with pride. “The lifeguards train hard to work seamlessly together in life and death situations—they’re always focused on public safety and the welfare of our park patrons. It’s a great feeling when tragedy is averted and a life is saved because everyone worked together as a team.”

“Ocean Rescue has evolved and grown to keep pace with its rapidly changing environment,” agreed Ocean Rescue Lieutenant Rick Welch. “Each of us brings his or her strengths to create a really exceptional public safety team. I’m privileged to be a part of it.”