Category Archives: Health and Fitness

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

Knock and Roll_1

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​.

Play organized sports in #pbcParks!

0603_Okeeheelee_682

From baseball and football to cheerleading and rugby, there are a number of opportunities inside our parks where kids can join organized sports teams! Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation offers opportunities for youth (and adults) to join sports leagues and teams that practice on fields in our parks, on a competitive level.

Sports like soccer, lacrosse, basketball and softball allow kids to learn a variety of skills – physical, mental and social that will carry over outside the sports realm. These include:

  • Helping kids maintain a healthy weight by staying active while having fun
  • Improving motor skills like coordination
  • Developing social skills and sportsmanship by working with others
  • Gaining self-confidence as an athlete

0509_WBoynton_1424Studies have also shown children who participate in organized sports are more likely to succeed in school and work.

If your child is interested in joining an organized sports league or team that practices and plays in one of our parks, PBC Parks has made it easy for you to contact that team. Visit this link for our Youth Sports Directory: http://discover.pbcgov.org/parks/Pages/Sports.aspx#youthsports

If you love playing recreational sports like soccer, basketball and tennis, but aren’t interested in joining a league or team, you can still enjoy these sports at many of ourDSC_0734 copy parks! Basketball courts, tennis courts and open green space are available at a number of PBC Parks for groups to play unorganized activities (no officiating, scorekeeping, schedule, league play or practices permitted). These amenities are available on a first-come, first-served basis during regular park hours unless a special event is scheduled.

Please note, baseball and softball fields are available at a charge for public use on weekdays, weekends, and holidays by obtaining a ball field permit.

NATIONAL PARK RX DAY IS SUNDAY, APRIL 23

0603_SouthCountyRegional_1670.jpgEvery year, the U.S. National Park Service encourages people and park agencies throughout the country to celebrate National Park Rx Day. The day serves as a means to promote and encourage the unique partnership between parks, communities and healthcare providers to get people to enjoy their community’s parks and nature as a way of preventing diseases, creating healthier lifestyles, and improving qualities of Life.

The initiative to get doctors to prescribe time in the park to their patients is a growing trend – and PBC Parks has initiated our own ‘Park Prescription Program’ – check it out!

Creating a healthier, happier society– one walk in the park at a time

Rx-For-Parks-FRONT-B.jpgThe Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department is partnering with members of the healthcare community to promote physical activity and improve the health of patients and the public in Palm Beach County through a “park prescriptions” program that connects them to parks and other public lands to create a healthier, happier society.

Across the United States, parks, healthcare providers, public health agencies, and other entities have successfully facilitated physician-patient conversations about active living through “park prescriptions” programs, connecting individuals and families to free opportunities for physical activity close to their homes.

The goal is to have outdoor physical activity serve as “prescriptions” to prevent or treat health problems resulting from inactivity and poor diet. Park prescriptions increase the amount of time patients spend enjoying physical activity and provide physicians and other healthcare providers with a new set of tools to inspire them to improve their health.

Public parks and recreation agencies are an underutilized healthcare resource. They create healthy communities and play a fundamental role in enhancing the physical environments in which we live. Through facilities, outdoor settings, and services provided, they support good health for people of all abilities, ages, socio‐economic backgrounds, and ethnicities. Parks provide a connection to nature which studies demonstrate relieves stress levels, tightens interpersonal relationships, and improves mental health. They provide opportunities for patients to reduce obesity and incidence of chronic disease by providing opportunities to increase rigorous physical activity in a variety of forms. And, they foster overall wellness and healthful habits, such as becoming tobacco‐free and engaging in enrichment opportunities that add balance to life.

DSC_7325.JPGIn Palm Beach County, there are nearly 120 county-operated parks and natural areas, hundreds of municipal parks, two state parks, a national wildlife refuge, and a number of public lands operated by various entities (South Florida Water Management DistrictSolid Waste Authority, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers). Facilitating health and wellness opportunities is a core service of the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department. Countless miles of paved multi-use pedestrian pathways and fitness trails, many with exercise stations, can be found throughout the park system. The department has recently brought the indoor gym outdoors with the new John Prince Park Fitness Zone, a completely outdoor facility containing 17 pieces of resistance exercise equipment located underneath a large shade sail, accessible by people of all abilities and fitness levels. The Fitness Zone is free to use and available daily from sunrise to sunset.

Creating healthier residents is a day-by-day, collective effort that involves our dedicated healthcare providers. The next time you reach for your prescription pad, consider adding one more item—an outdoor physical activity in a local park or public land.

Getting started

Please contact Christopher Korbelak at (561) 966-6649 or email pbcparks@pbcgov.org if you or someone you know may be interested in partnering with the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department to promote physical activity and improve the health of patients and the general public in Palm Beach County through a “park prescriptions” program that connects your patients with public lands to engage in outdoor physical activity to create a healthier, happier society.

Leisure Times also available for your office or facility.

 

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.

Destination Recreation: John Prince Park Fitness Zone

Welcome to the second 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 to the Fitness Zone inside John Prince Park in Lake Worth, a shaded area that offers 17 pieces of resistance exercise equipment that uses your own body weight to target and train specific muscle groups. The Fitness Zone is a popular, free amenity for people ages 14 and up, and it’s accessible by people of all abilities and fitness levels!

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.

Accomplish Your Fitness Goals with #pbcParks

The number one New Year’s Resolution is to get healthy & fit – #pbcParks is here to help!

There are so many free & low-cost ways to stay active in our parks, from doing strength training exercises in our free Fitness Zone, to cardio like biking and swimming, there are endless options to help you accomplish your fitness goals in our more than 80 parks and recreation facilities throughout Palm Beach County.

Join Bibi and #pbcParks in this short video as she shows you some of the ways you can get a great workout in our parks.

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.

#pbcParks and F.O.R.C.E Remind You to Wear Your Helmet!

The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department and Florida Off-Road Cycling Enthusiasts teamed up to create this short video about the importance of wearing your bicycle helmet while riding through bike trails at our parks, as well as outside of our trails.

Watch this video to hear from members of F.O.R.C.E, find out how to properly fit a helmet, and see what happens to two pumpkins dropped from four stories – one shielded with a helmet, and one without!

Helpful Resources:
PbcParks.com
http://www.forcemtb.org/
http://www.cp-cto.org/Safe-Kids: Safe Kids Palm Beach provides important safety information and resources, including access to free bike helmets

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.

Opportunities for exercise for families with children who have a disability

The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department is committed to enhancing the quality of life for children and adults with disabilities, as well as their families. Find out all the ways families can enjoy exercise with children who have a disability.

Therapeutic Recreation Complex

tr_complexThe Palm Beach County CMAA Therapeutic Recreation Complex is a facility designed for individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities. The facility incorporates a state-of-the-art design with sophisticated adapted equipment that allows everyone to participate in sports and physical activity. People of all ages and abilities can train and compete in sports, participate in fitness programs, and experience a wide array of visual and performing arts programs. Kids and parents can play a variety of sports at the TR complex, including wheelchair basketball, boccia, goalball, wheelchair rugby, and more. Gleneagles Country Club Aquatic Center is also located at the TR Complex in John Prince Park and is open from April thru September; pool lifts are available for individuals with physical disabilities to assist with entering the water.

John Prince Park Wheelchair Coursejohnprince_wheelchaircourse

Palm Beach County parks allow children and families a chance to exercise and live active lifestyles, regardless of age, gender or ability. During a visit to John Prince Park in Lake Worth, you’ll find a nearly half-mile long Wheelchair Course. Participants can travel down the trail, completing a series of exercises at seven stations throughout the course. Each stop includes clearly marked instructions on completing the exercises.

Barrier-free playgrounds & accessible equipment

Three barrier-free playgrounjohnprince_boundlessplayground_2ds located in John Prince, Lake Ida West, and Burt Aaronson South County Regional Parks provide children with and without disabilities a colorful, sensory-rich, accessible experience to run, jump, roll and slide. Newly-installed accessible playground equipment is also available for children to enjoy at Lake Worth West Park in the Central part of the county. Palm Beach County playgrounds are inspected and beautifully-maintained to ensure the safest and most enjoyable experience for families and children.

Fitness zone®, Stations & Exercise Courses

Select Palm Beach County Parks offer Fitness Zone® Exercise Areas, Fitness Stations and johnprince_fitnesszone_2Exercise Courses for all abilities to utilize. At John Prince Park, a Fitness Zone® allows parents and kids the opportunity to use 17 pieces of outdoor, resistance exercise equipment that uses one’s own body weight for strength-training purposes. The equipment is accessible for people of all abilities. Fitness stations with accessible equipment are also available at Westgate Park and Lake Worth West Park. Families can also spend time stretching, bending and balancing at exercise courses in a number of parks located throughout Palm Beach County.

For more information on enjoying our parks with children who have a disability, visit pbcParks.com.

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