Category Archives: Events

Remembering Our Past, Celebrating Our Future

The Palm Beach County Parks Department was created in 1951 as a department under the direction of the County Engineers Office. By 1965, the department was managing twelve parks and included a work force of sixty-nine employees. Reorganization in 1972 led to the separation of Parks and Engineering and so the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department was born. The department steadily expanded during the late 1960s and 1970s. During the 1980s and 1990s, responding to Palm Beach County’s exploding population growth and its equally exploding demand for leisure services, aggressive expansion efforts were accomplished. Today, The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department is recognized nationally for excellence in park and recreation management, operates more than 110 parks and recreational facilities, spanning more than 8,500 acres, and provides organized recreational programs and services for people of all ages and abilities.

Join us in celebrating our 50th Anniversary milestone as the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department. Connect with us on social media and be on the lookout for upcoming publications and events highlighting the history of your county park system.

Looking Back:

Palm Beach County & Orange Bowl Break Ground on Phase II of Orange Bowl Field in Belle Glade

Local and county officials joined the Orange Bowl Committee in breaking ground on Phase II of Orange Bowl Field in Glades Pioneer Park in Belle Glade on Tuesday, December 14, 2021.

(L to R)

Steve Wilson, Belle Glade Mayor; Regina Bohlen, City of Pahokee Vice Mayor; C’Jon Armstead, Quantum; Foundation Program Director; Eric Poms, Orange Bowl Committee Chief Executive Officer; John P. “Jack” Seiler, Orange Bowl Committee President & Chair; Melissa McKinlay, Palm Beach County Commissioner; Verdenia C. Baker, Palm Beach County Administrator; Sean Pittman, Orange Bowl Committee Past President; Eric Call, Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Director; Dorritt M. Miller, Palm Beach County Assistant Administrator; Robert L. Rease, Belle Glade City Manger.

The Orange Bowl Committee and Palm Beach County broke ground yesterday, December 14, on Phase II of Orange Bowl Field at Glades Pioneer Park in Belle Glade. 

Phase I was completed in December 2019 and included a synthetic turf field and maintenance, an electronic scoreboard, an entry monument, fencing, walkways and signage. Phase II includes construction of a neighborhood center and restroom that will host a variety of educational, wellness and civic uses. 

The park serves as the playing site for several teams from the Glades Youth Football League, which is a current member of the Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance (OBYFA). In addition, many current and former NFL players from the area have used the field to conduct youth football camps. 

“The continued renovation of Glades Pioneer Park furthers the county’s commitment to youth enrichment and sports and athletic programming and facilities,” said Commissioner Melissa McKinlay. 

The Orange Bowl Committee selected Glades Pioneer Park as a recipient of a $1.5 million matching Legacy Grant for the design, permitting and construction of the Orange Bowl Field and other related amenities. The amount was matched by the Board of County Commissioners providing a total of $3 million toward the renovation project. An additional $400,000 in grant funding was received from the Quantum Foundation and the NFL Foundation to assist with the second phase of the project. “The Orange Bowl Committee is extremely proud to begin Phase II of Orange Bowl Field at Glades Pioneer Park, as part of our 5th Legacy Park Project across South Florida and 1st in Palm Beach County,” said Orange Bowl Committee President & Chair Jack Seiler. “We are happy to complete our 1st Palm Beach County park and further our legacy of building and serving community in South Florida with a fantastic new facility for all ages to enjoy. The mission of the Orange Bowl Committee since its inception in 1935 is to inspire youth, engage our community, and enhance South Florida. This building will accomplish that and much more for years to come.” 

Phase II improvements will cost approximately $1.9 million and is expected to be completed in June 2022. Future plans include a new destination playground, picnic pavilion, grand entry plaza and a vehicle drop off area near the neighborhood center. 

South Florida PGA honors Osprey Point Golf Course Manager and Teaching Professional

Bo Preston, PGA General Manager at Osprey Point Golf Course and Bridget Ackley, onsite PGA Teaching Professional with Don Law Golf Academy (DLGA), were recognized by the South Florida Professional Golfers’ Association (SFPGA) during an awards presentation held at the golf course on Thursday, December 2.

Bo Preston was honored with the Patriot Award and is only the third recipient to have received it. The Patriot Award recognizes a PGA member who personifies patriotism through the game of golf and demonstrates unwavering commitment and dedication to all who have served the United States.

“I am humbled and honored to be the recipient of the award,” said Preston. “Giving back to our veterans is my way of saying ‘Thank you’ for all they have done for me. They all deserve my best and that is what I hope I give them.”

For the past 12 years, Preston’s facilities have participated in the annual Patriot Golf Days in addition to hosting Folds of Honor tournaments. A certified instructor of Adaptive Golf and the PGA HOPE program, Preston has been personally changed by these programs and will continue to provide events like these for years to come.

“This certification has had a major impact on me,” said Preston. “It changes you. I have a whole new insight, respect and appreciation for our veterans.”

When Preston arrived at Osprey Point, there were no programs running for veterans. He immediately put PGA HOPE on their calendar and, over these past few years, has worked to grow the program to what it is today. Their first program of the year brought in 16 veterans and generated a segment on local media PGA HOPE. Preston’s programs have already impacted more than 150 veterans and Preston and his team are committed to providing an exceptional experience for these veterans starting at the first moment they step on to the course.
 
Bridget Ackley has been named the South Florida PGA Youth Development Award winner. The award recognizes the PGA Professional who uses her leadership skills to promote and develop junior golf at both the club and community levels. “When I received the phone call that I won the Section’s Youth Player Development Award, I was truly overcome with emotion,” said Ackley. “Winning this award has been a career achievement goal of mine and it means so much that my efforts to grow the game at the junior level have not gone unnoticed by my peers. There are long and sometimes challenging days that I persevere through in order to provide the juniors with the best experience that I possibly can.”

Throughout Ackley’s time working in junior golf she has been able to develop leadership skills that have helped better translate into positive feedback from her students. Being able to create a comfortable environment for juniors has allowed for better communication and understanding of the game. As a Youth Player Development programmer, Ackley has been successful in spreading passion and enthusiasm for the game of golf to the younger generations.

“The main passion of my career has been to advance positive youth development by using golf skills that transition into various life skills to create successful young adults. Juniors deserve the opportunity to simply enjoy being kids, in a creative golfing environment, to promote lasting positive outcomes.”

While working predominantly with ages 2-12, Ackley also coaches high school golf at Saint John Paul II Academy in Boca Raton, where she has the opportunity to help young men and women not only grow in the game of golf but as individuals as well.

“I want to thank my family for fully supporting my dreams to foster youth development, DLGA for providing a space for me to develop my art of junior programming, and my fellow Professionals for acknowledging the work that I offer to the juniors in the community. I am honored to receive this award.”

“Our Department is very fortunate to have two outstanding people working for us who care deeply about growing the game of golf and creating opportunities for everyone to participate,” said Eric Call, Director of Parks and Recreation. “Congratulations to both Bo and Bridget for this significant recognition from the SFPGA.”

Photographers get Unique Opportunity to Photograph Birds of Prey

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  • Kestrel
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Raptor Day for Photographers was held at Okeeheelee Nature Center (ONC) on January 18, 2020. Sponsored by Friends of Okeeheelee Nature Center, this annual event provided 50 photographers with an opportunity to take close-up portraits of birds of prey. This year, ONC partnered with the Treasure Coast Wildlife Center (TCWC) to ensure a diversity of species for the participants to photograph. The birds displayed included two species of hawk, three species of owl, a kestrel, and a crested caracara. The birds are placed on outdoor perches so the photographers can capture images of the animals in natural light and in front of wooded backgrounds.

All of the raptors live at educational facilities under human care because they have an injury that prevents them from returning to the wild. Although many of the birds have visible imperfections, the talented photographers were able to bring out their best features and highlight their natural beauty.

ONC staff and volunteers were present throughout the event to provide information about the birds and answer questions. Participants were also given a brochure that included facts about the raptors and explained a little about each bird’s history.

Feedback from the participants was tremendously positive. Irwin Goldzweig wrote to share some of his beautiful photos and say, “Thanks to you, Heather, and your staff and volunteers. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed Raptor Day. It was professionally organized and implemented which made it totally enjoyable for us as visitors. The staff and volunteers were wonderful, informative, and very helpful. We look forward to the next one.”

Friends of Okeeheelee Nature Center sold out the event within two weeks, raising over $1,200. All proceeds benefit the programs, exhibits and animals at Okeeheelee Nature Center.

Destination Recreation 5: Nature Centers

Welcome to the fifth 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 take you around all three county-operated nature centersOkeeheelee Nature Center in Okeeheelee Park, Daggerwing Nature Center in Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park, and Green Cay Nature Center and Wetlands just west of Boynton Beach. These facilities are unique places where everyone — from kids to senior citizens — can bond with animals, learn about important ecosystems, and bask in the beauty of natural habitats – right here in Palm Beach County! The best part… they’re free!

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 information about our nature centers, visit pbcNature.com. For more opportunities for healthy, happy living, visit pbcParks.com.

Lake Woof Dog Park Now Open!

#pbcParks newest and largest dog park is now open in Lake Worth!

County officials joined with hundreds of residents and their four-legged companions to celebrate the grand opening of Lake Woof Dog Park and other park improvements in John Prince Park on Saturday, July 29. Overlooking Lake Osborne and spanning more than four acres, the new dog park features five enclosed landscaped dog areas with designated areas for large, medium and small dogs. Each enclosure includes a gazebo with benches, drinking fountains, dog wash area, and doggie bag station and trash receptacle.

Other park improvements include accessible six-foot wide asphalt and concrete circular paths in each area, park benches along the pathways, and asphalt bike/pedestrian trails that connect to the rest of the park. In addition, 42 regular parking spaces and four ADA accessible parking spaces were added. The adjacent cricket field was also renovated and includes a new grass playing surface, irrigation and dedicated parking. Memorial benches and brick pavers placed along the pathways to honor a loved one or family pet are available by contacting the department’s business development office at 561-966-6643.

“John Prince Park is one of our largest regional parks and has existed for 65 years,” said Parks and Recreation Director Eric Call. “Adding a state of the art dog park and other amenities is something residents and their four-legged friends have looked forward to for a long time.”

John Prince Park is located in Lake Worth along Lake Osborne. The park is accessible at the following entrances: 2700 6th Avenue South, 2520 Lake Worth Road and 4759 South Congress Avenue. Park hours are sunrise to sunset. Lighted court facilities are open until 9:00 p.m. Lighted, permitted athletic fields are open until 10:00 p.m.

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.

Destination Recreation 4: Amphitheaters

Welcome to the fourth 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 introduce you to the three different amphitheaters operated by PBC Parks throughout Palm Beach County. There’s Sunset Cove Amphitheater in Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park in Boca Raton, Canyon Amphitheater in Canyon District Park in Boynton Beach, and Seabreeze Amphitheater in Carlin Park in Jupiter. These amphitheaters are home to family-friendly events like concerts, movie nights, Fourth of July Celebrations, 5Ks, food truck events and more!

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.

Weekly Events in #pbcParks

There’s always something to do in #pbcParks! Palm Beach County’s more than 80 parks and recreation facilities are constantly hosting events and activities for families to enjoy. In addition to large events at select locations, facilities host events that are repeated weekly or monthly. Check out some of these exciting events that are regularly happening inside #pbcParks!

Food Truck Events

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Every Wednesday, Sunset Cove Amphitheater hosts a Food Truck Invasion night that’s perfect for a family outing. The event features a huge outdoor picnic with a large collection of Food Trucks on site! Event time is 5:00–9:00 pm. Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome.

Movie Nights & Concerts

090517_SafeHarbor_076.jpgPBC Parks operates three amphitheaters throughout the county that regularly host concerts and movie nights at their venues. Families and friends can come out to dance, or lay a blanket down and relax while watching a movie under the stars.

Schedules for each event can be found here: http://discover.pbcgov.org/parks/amphitheaters/Pages/default.aspx

Nature Centers & Riverbend Park

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Okeeheelee, Daggerwing and Green Cay Nature Centers, as well as Riverbend Park, regularly host nature-themed events for all ages at each facility. Some examples of events include guided paddles, birding tours, tai chi classes, night walks, animal feedings and more. Program Guides for each facility, organized by month, can be found on pbcParks.com.

Swimming Pools

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Head to one of six pools and aquatic centers to practice lap swims, water aerobics, and other water-related activities. Monthly calendars are posted on the facility’s website – visit this link for a list of all pools and aquatic centers that #pbcParks operates: http://discover.pbcgov.org/parks/Amenities/Swimming-Pools.aspx

Golf Courses

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Visit one of #pbcParks five golf courses throughout the county for Happy Hour Scrambles, Ladies League and “All you can hit & play” events. Golf Courses operates a fun-packed calendar of events that can be found by visiting pbcgolf.com.

The Junior Golf Card program is aimed at growing the game of golf – the Junior Golf Card provides substantial benefits at a significantly discounted price by offering younger golfers with access to free golf, range balls and events. For more information about the Junior Golf Card program at PBC Park Golf Courses, visit this link: http://discover.pbcgov.org/parks/golf/Pages/Junior-Golf-Card-Program.aspx

For a list of monthly events, including special events that are happening in #pbcParks, be sure to sign up for Leisure Times Online. You’ll receive an email every month with a list of events that are happening in #pbcParks that month! Sign up here: https://tinyurl.com/yaz34b7a

Best Annual Family Events at #pbcParks

In addition to the many recreational activities parents and kids can do together at more than 80 Palm Beach County parks and recreation facilities, there are a number of popular events that are hosted annually in #pbcParks. These events are designed to educate people of all ages and bring together parents and kids to create an appreciation for different topics, ranging from the environment to fitness and accessible sports.

Here are some popular free events:

Dark Sky Event

Every year, the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Dark Sky Festival_3Department and Department of Environmental Resources Management “celebrate
the night and turn down the lights” by Hosting their Dark Sky Festival at Okeeheelee Nature Center. The event is held at night, typically from the hours of 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. in February. The Dark Sky Festival aims to expose people of all ages to the marvels of astronomy and the importance of protecting dark skies for the benefit of human health and wildlife.

Parents and kids can:Stargaze with local astronomers

  • Enjoy exhibits and nature walks
  • Enjoy a children’s activity area
  • Make s’mores by a campfire
  • Learn night-time photography tips
  • And more!

Information about the Palm Beach County Dark Sky Festival can be found here: http://www.co.palm-beach.fl.us/erm/darkskyfest/


Outdoor Adventure Day

The first ever Outdoor Adventure Day is in John Prince Park on Saturday, March 4th! PBC Parks partners with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to bring the Lake Worth and surrounding community an event where youth and adults can safely learn and experience outdoor recreation opportunities like canoeing, fishing, archery, rock climbing and more.

The event helps get people outside and active, create a more active community and expose parents and youth to unique sports they can do together. By teaching our community these sports at no charge, they learn to be more active in their everyday lives and appreciate being in natural settings.

Click here for details about the 2017 John Prince Park Outdoor Adventure Day.


Family Fun Fests

Glades Family Fun Fest_3There are a number of Family Fun Fests in PBC Parks every year, from Family Fitness Fun Day at West Boynton Recreation Center to the Glades Family Fun Fest at Glades Pioneer Park.

The aim of Family Fun Fests is to allow parents and kids to get out and get active through dance, bounce houses, rock climbing, and team sports like soccer. These family-friendly activities are intended to get everyone active and moving, from the youngest member in the family to the oldest. Health and Wellness partners present at these events give community members a chance to get important information about their health and wellness, including free health screenings. Free resources are available for residents from partners around the community.


Migration Celebration

The annual Migration Celebration at Green Cay Nature Center welcomes adults, kids and bird lovers alike to the event to learn about migratory birds returning to the wetlands and become familiar with other animals, like reptiles, living at the facility. The Migration Celebration exposes people of all ages to a unique nature center inside Palm Beach County, while enlightening them on topics related to wildlife conservation and environmental protection.Migration Celebration_1

Kids can take part in animal-related activities like interactive puppet shows and arts and crafts with education and conservation themes. Parents can join their kids as they watch for dozens of different birds at the nature center.

The nature centers also host annual events celebrating Earth Day. At Daggerwing and Okeeheelee Nature Centers, guests can explore the nature center grounds, connect with nature, and participate in conservation events and efforts.


Knock and Roll Tournament – Wheelchair Rugby

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Every year, PBC Parks welcomes wheelchair rugby players from all over the country and the world, for the annual Knock and Roll Tournament. The different teams go head-to-head for the trophy in a three-day tournament at the Therapeutic Recreation Complex inside John Prince Park in Lake Worth.

Wheelchair Rugby, or Quad Rugby, is a game for individuals with disabilities; the players glide down the court, bumping and hitting each other’s chairs along the way, in what makes for an exciting and powerful sport meant to increase athletic participation among individuals with physical disabilities.

People of all ages and abilities can watch this exciting game every year at the TR Complex – and cheer on their favorite team while they bump and glide past each other!


Pioneer Farmstead, Living History Days & Battlefield Re-enactments

Riverbend Park and Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park often host historical family events like Pioneer Farmstead Day and Battlefield Re-enactments, which allow families to take a step back in time and learn about all realms of the historical battles that took place in the 19th century in these areas.Living History Days

The events often feature different historical aspects for families to enjoy. Riverbend Park’s Living History Day in November 2015 focused on a variety of topics, including battlefield education, pioneers, and homesteaders education. Visitors can experience “Old Florida” and learn about the history of the area through many points of view. Period army, Seminole camps, re-enactors, guest speakers and historical preservationists are often present at these historical events, all inside two of Palm Beach County’s beautiful and most popular parks.


There’s so much going on inside #pbcParks! To stay up-to-date with what’s going on, be sure to subscribe to Leisure Times Online, a monthly list of events that are happening inside PBC Parks.

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. For information about more leisure opportunities available through Palm Beach County, visit www.pbcparks.com​.

1,000+ enjoy first ever Outdoor Adventure Day at John Prince Park

More than 1,000 kids, teens and adults from the Lake Worth and surrounding area enjoyed kayaking, archery, rock climbing, fishing and other activities during the first ever Outdoor Adventure Day at John Prince Park.

This event was a partnership between PBC Parks and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. It’s the first time the two agencies are bringing these outdoor activities together to promote them to the Lake Worth and surrounding communities. It’s also part of a new initiative by PBC Parks to expose outdoor activities to urban youth who may be interested in nature and the environmental sciences, but may not have access to resources to study the environment or have opportunities to take part in similar outdoor activities to gain an appreciation for nature.

Watch the video to learn more!

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.