Tag Archives: Community

Parks to Work Success Story: Miguel Crespo

The Palm Beach County Parks to Work Program is an effort that combines the forces of the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department, Community Services Department, Salvation Army, and other community partners to help homeless individuals who are living in John Prince Park in Lake Worth get resources to escape homelessness.

Miguel Crespo is the program’s first success story. Crespo started in the 6-month program in February 2018 and was able to obtain seasonal employment with the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department as a result of his experience as a Parks to Work participant. In March 2019, Crespo obtained a full-time position as a maintenance employee with the department, working primarily at Peanut Island in Riviera Beach. The program has allowed Crespo to successfully transition out of homelessness, obtain a job, buy a car, and secure permanent housing.

Watch this video to learn more about Miguel Crespo’s story and the Parks to Work Program.

Volunteer Spotlight: Kim Ryan

PBC Parks’ Volunteer Spotlight highlights our talented and dedicated volunteers! Meet DuBois Pioneer Home volunteer, Kim Ryan, one of the four “original” Dubois Pioneer Home historical docents. Watch the video to learn about Ryan – including why she volunteers and what reactions she gets from visitors! Docents provide guests with quality, educational, and enriching experiences by giving educational tours throughout the DuBois House exhibit. Consider becoming a docent at the DuBois House located at DuBois Park in Jupiter! Call PBC Parks Volunteer Services at 561-966-6609 for more information.

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.

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​.

#pbcParks Builds Communities

The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department offers countless opportunities to create and maintain bonds that help communities thrive and unite for good causes. In our more than 80 parks and recreation facilities, friendships are sparked through simple, every day encounters that bring together neighbors and communities. Regardless of age, gender, or ability, playtime is for everyone – so come explore, achieve and recharge in a PBC Park in or near your community!

The Office of Public Engagement created this 60-second public service announcement to portray the many community-building opportunities patrons have by visiting PBC Parks. The video includes original artwork and animation created by intern Carlos Duenas, Jr. with a voice over by Public Relations Specialist Bibi Baksh.

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.

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.