Category Archives: Health and Fitness

Pickleball boom: bringing players of all ages together at Caloosa Park

“Pickleball has absolutely exploded in the last eight years!”

Avid Pickleball player Sue Thaler visits Caloosa Park often to play the sport of Pickleball with her husband and friends. As a 30-year racquetball C0012.MP4.00_00_30_10.Still001player, Thaler discovered Pickleball when she and her husband, a 40-year tennis player, wanted a sport that would suit both of them. “We each tried playing each other’s sport, I wasn’t good enough at tennis, he wasn’t good enough at racquetball,” Thaler said. Enter – Pickleball.

Pickleball is a “derivation of tennis and badminton and ping pong,” according to Thaler. It involves hitting a whiffle ball with a paddle on a court that’s about half the size of a tennis court. The game can be played in singles or doubles. Thanks to the structure of the court and the ease of hitting the whiffle ball, Pickleball is easy on the joints, allowing people of all ages to get out on the court. Thaler says it’s an easy game to learn and regardless of whether a player is a novice or an expert, the game can be enjoyed by anyone. Now, there’s no reason not to stay active!

Best of all, Thaler says through Pickleball, she’s met a number of new friends and C0003.MP4.00_00_00_22.Still001teammates, like teammates Leslee Roach and Bob Sumislawski, featured in the video. “We’ve met dozens and dozens of players that we’ve developed friendships with and it’s because of Pickleball – it’s a shared interest that we all have,” Thaler said. Thaler went on to say that during the fall and winter months, the courts are packed with Pickleball players at Caloosa Park who are looking to enjoy the breezier South Florida winter, meet new people, and stay active through a game that’s easy to play and enjoy!

Check out our eight Pickleball courts at Caloosa Park – visit pbcParks.com for more information.

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.

Camping in #pbcParks

JPP Campground_2

The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department operates three campgrounds throughout the county where families can enjoy the great outdoors together in tents or an RV – John Prince Park Campground in Lake Worth, Peanut Island Campground in Riviera Beach, and South Bay RV Campground in Western Palm Beach County. Families can tell stories around a campfire, make s’mores, explore nature, or just relax near a lake!

There are a number of benefits for kids and adults who go camping:

  • Bonding & socialization: parents and kids have the opportunity to play games together, go on a nature scavenger hunt, pitch tents together, and partake in a number of socializing and bonding activities. Camping allows families to get away from hectic responsibilities of daily lives and bond without the interference of busy schedules that come with work and school.
  • Learn & improve skills: go out and explore natural settings! Camping is the perfect way to educate kids about wildlife and natural resources – families can find and identify species of plants and insects, or get up early and bird watch. Even learning to cook on a campfire allows people of all ages to develop useful skills!
  • Gain an appreciation for nature: kids and adults can develop an appreciation for wildlife and natural resources as they are surrounded by both during a camping experience; learning about and appreciating nature allows for greater interest in preserving and conserving the planet’s natural resources and contributing to protection of species for play vital roles in ecosystems.
  • Fun and relaxation: get away from the stresses of every day life! Whether you’re relaxing in a hammock or relaxing by the lake with a book, camping provides opportunities to forget your daily responsibilities and escape to a natural setting. Camping also allows families to unplug from technology, and in many cases, from the stresses that come with it.
  • Develop healthy habits: camping allows people of all ages to put down technological products that consume time and energy; escaping these distractions may provide for healthier, happier lives. Camping can also help kids and adults learn new, healthier recipes that are easy to make, and will allow families to recognize the health effects of spending time in nature, including reduced risks for heart disease, anxiety and stress.

 

Where to camp in #pbcParks

John Prince Park Campground – 4759 South Congress Ave., Lake Worth, Florida 33461

Trade in your shoes for sandals and come to John Prince Park in Lake Worth to enjoy Palm Beach-style relaxation in a family-friendly atmosphere with playgrounds, exercise trails, and nature walks. The beach is only a ten-minute drive away.

Peanut Island Campground – Intracoastal waterway, near the Lake Worth Inlet, Riviera Beach

Peanut Island Campground is well-situated for swimming, snorkeling, fishing and boating. Located near the Palm Beach Inlet, the island is surrounded by the Intracoastal Waterway.

South Bay RV Campground – 100 Levee Rd., South Bay, Florida 33493

This is your place to simply relax! South Bay RV Campground is situated next to Lake Okeechobee, and is an ideal spot for boat ramp access. The campground features fire rings, a recreation hall, and WiFi. Spacious paved RV sites include water, sewer, electric, and a picnic table with grill.

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.

Best Parks for Families with Young Children

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The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department offers many environments for families with young children to spend time together while learning, growing and practicing healthy lifestyles. With more than 80 parks and recreation facilities from Tequesta to Boca Raton and west to Lake Okeechobee, there are a variety of activities parents and young kids can partake in – and all our parks and facilities are inspected to provide safe experiences. Here’s a list of our favorites!

John Prince Park

JohnPrince_FitnessZone_2.JPGJohn Prince Park in Lake Worth will not disappoint the little ones. Kids can enjoy 5 playgrounds throughout the park, including a boundless playground that provides children with and without disabilities a colorful, sensory-rich, accessible experience. Located next to the boundless playground is a splash park where kids can run through a series of spray arches, stand under a giant splashing tail, and more, all under three shade sails that provide sun protection. The park also offers a Fitness Zone® Exercise Area so parents can stay active while their kids play. Adults can work out using 17 pieces of outdoor, resistance exercise equipment that uses one’s own body weight for strength training purposes. The Fitness Zone® is located near a large pavilion and playground.

Okeeheelee Park

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A visit to Okeeheelee Park is a great opportunity for activity and education. The 1,700-acre park features three playgrounds for running, sliding and swinging. After spending some time on the playground, parents can take kids to Okeeheelee Nature Center, located inside the park. At OKNC, families can check out hands-on exhibits, animal encounters and a nature-related gift shop. Admission to OKNC and trails is free. Program participation and bicycle/kayak concession fees are nominal. Time your visit right and experience an equestrian event at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in Okeeheelee Park South, on the south side of Forest Hill Boulevard.

Westgate Park and Recreation Center

Westgate_Playground.JPGLocated in West Palm Beach, Westgate Park and Recreation Center features a playground, splash park and fitness station, making it an ideal location for activity for both parents and kids. On a hot day, kids can cool off by splashing through the brightly-colored water playground. When the kids are enjoying the newly-remodeled playground, adults can take the opportunity to work out on a 10-piece exercise station with equipment while watching their kids.

Lake Worth West Neighborhood Park

Lake Worth West Neighborhood Park in Central Palm Beach County recently underwent LakeWorthWest_FitnessStation.JPGa makeover, courtesy of the Office Depot Foundation and Palm Beach County. Now, Lake Worth West residents can enjoy a new playground with accessible equipment for all abilities, as well as a free library, green space, basketball court, and a butterfly garden. With an exercise station located next to the playground, adults can do an array of exercises while watching their kids.

Burt Aaronson South County Regional ParkSouthCounty_CoconutCoveWaterpark.JPG

Whether you’re spending the day at Coconut Cove Waterpark, playing on one of the two playgrounds, or heading to Daggerwing Nature Center to learn about reptiles and insects, there’s something for every member of the family at Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park. Coconut Cove Waterpark is a perfect activity for those hot summer days; kids and adults can run on a playground, slide down waterslides or float along a lazy river. At Daggerwing Nature Center, kids can play and learn through interactive exhibits, or venture outside to a boardwalk and tower where families can watch and learn about wildlife. While there is an admission fee for Coconut Cove Waterpark, a visit to Daggerwing Nature Center is free, with the exception of program fees.

Glades Pioneer ParkGlades Family Fun Fest 2017 211.JPG

Located in western Palm Beach County, Glades Pioneer Park features a seasonally-operated swimming pool, a baseball field, basketball courts, tennis courts, a 1.25-mile paved multipurpose path, playgrounds for ages 2-5 and 5-12, a splashpark, and picnic areas.

For park locations, visit www.pbcparks.com.

 

 

 

 

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.

Have a family picnic in a #pbcPark!

Picnicking is a great family activity! It’s a great opportunity to get away from the traditional setting of a dinner table and head out to a natural environment.

Benefits of picnicking:
  • Spend time outdoors in a serene setting: being outdoors has been proven to boost moods, reduce stress levels, and improve overall mental wellness. This is a chance for you and your family to be away from the stresses of every day life and enjoy a natural setting. 
  • Bond with family members: because many people live fast-paced lifestyles, there aren’t many opportunities to slow down and spend meaningful time with the people who matter. Play games, get up and walk, or simply sit still and bond over a good meal. 
  • Communicate more effectively: small talk, or even deep conversations, are essential to any good picnic. Head out and learn more about what’s going on with your family members – whether it’s school, work or friends – this is a great opportunity to connect with the people you care about and encourage effective communication skills in kids. 
  • Develop healthy eating habits: instead of buying a pre-made meal to enjoy on a picnic, try preparing a meal for your next picnic trip. Meals prepared at home are typically healthier and more nutritious than pre-made meals. Make sure you include all the basics for a full, healthy meal. 
  • Encourage active lifestyles: having group or family picnics consistently can allow families to form traditions that are passed down from generation to generation; make picnics a habit and turn it into an outing! Bring supplies for games like tug-of-war, soccer or football and encourage the kids to get up before eating to fit in some physical activity during the picnic. 
Where to picnic at #pbcParks:

Picnic areas are available at no charge from sunrise until sunset on a first-come, first-served basis at the following park locations. Visit this page fore a list of all picnicking locations in our parks:  http://discover.pbcgov.org/parks/Amenities/Picnicking.aspx.

Check out municipal parks in or near your town or city for additional picnicking locations.

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Note: please do not feed wild or stray animals. Animals that are fed can become aggressive and harass people. Wild or stray animals can become extremely territorial and bite the hand that feeds them. This can transmit disease. Animals that become used to human contact are susceptible to disease, injury, and random acts of violence.  The survival skills of wild animals are threatened when they lose the ability to forage naturally for food. This can happen when they are fed by hand or when they eat food left out for stray or abandoned pets. Stray animals hunt and kill native wildlife, even when well fed.

Waterway Park Opens in Jupiter

Our newest boat ramp park is now open to the public!

County officials and residents cut the ribbon to Waterway Park in Jupiter on Saturday, April 29 to add three new boat ramps and other new boating amenities to Palm Beach County’s park system. Representatives of partnering agencies also joined the celebration—the Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

“Ensuring free and affordable access to beaches and water bodies is a core service of our department,” said Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department Director Eric Call.

Waterway Park includes a boat basin (170 linear feet), four 40-ft. floating staging docks, fishing pier, boardwalk, restrooms, and landscaping. 52 boat trailer parking spaces and 24 standard parking spaces were also added.

Waterway Park is operated by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department and is located at 3630 Indiantown Road in Jupiter, just west of the Intracoastal Waterway. Operating hours are sunrise to sunset. A boat trailer parking permit is required. Annual permits may be purchased online at pbcparks.com. Daily permits are available at Waterway 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.