Tag Archives: Conservation

COUNTY HOSTS WEEKEND BEACH CLEANUP FOLLOWING HURRICANE DORIAN

In the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, PBC Parks teamed up with the County’s Environmental Resources Department (ERM), along with other community organizations, to host a weekend beach cleanup event on the morning of Saturday, September 7. The cleanups were prompted by the impacts of Hurricane Dorian, which caused large volumes of plastic, trash and debris to wash ashore.

Groups of at least a dozen hard-working volunteers at each site — DuBois Park, Ocean Reef Park, Ocean Inlet Park, Ocean Cay Park and R.G. Kreusler Beach Park — spent part of their Saturday morning removing all sorts of trash from along the shore and around the park. After two hours of work, they volunteers from all the sites managed to collect hundreds of pounds of trash.

Volunteers will have another opportunity to help keep our beaches clean during the International Coastal Cleanup event on Saturday, September 21 at select beach parks. Thanks to all the volunteers who came out to help keep Palm Beach County’s shorelines clean and green, for the health and enjoyment of beach visitors and the animals who call them home!

Palm Beach County Golf Shines in Audubon International’s Annual BioBlitz Competition

red fox sitting on grass
The award for Best Photograph went to Southwinds Golf Course, for their photograph of a Red Fox on the course.

In Audubon International’s BioBlitz, Southwinds Golf Course received the Community Engagement Award with a total of 271 participants. The key to their success was both a Lady’s Night Out and a Junior BioBlitz session that included crafting both animal masks and birdhouses along with the hunt for wildlife. The Southwinds clubhouse joined in by featuring a wildlife-themed drink menu throughout the week of the event. Park Ridge Golf Course came in second place for Community Engagement.

The award for Best Photograph went to Southwinds Golf Course, for their photograph of a Red Fox on the course. Sharon Painter, Southwinds’ General Manager, says, “We make it a priority to educate our golfers of all ages about the habitat our golf course provides to the diversity of species that call Southwinds Golf Course home.”

Now in its fifth year, this annual event, sponsored by the United States Golf Association (USGA), provides a unique opportunity for golf courses to engage their community members in activities designed to showcase and record the abundance of wildlife found on their course landscapes. Participating courses went above and beyond in their outreach and environmental stewardship efforts. Participants also competed for awards in Community Engagement, Biodiversity, and Best Photograph.

All five Palm Beach County golf courses are certified Audubon International courses, a distinction that is given to golf courses that employ environmental-friendly practices in maintaining their facilities.

—————————————————————–

Audubon International is a not-for-profit environmental organization dedicated to creating sustainable environments in all the places people live, work and play. To meet this mission, the organization provides training, services, and a set of award-winning environmental education and certification programs for individuals, organizations, individual properties, recreation sites, and entire communities.

Southwinds Golf Course and Park Ridge Golf Course are operated by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department. For more information on county-operated golf courses, visit www.pbcgolf.com.

Palm Beach County Celebrates Marine Life Protection Under Blue Heron Bridge

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

On Thursday, April 11, Palm Beach County and scuba diving enthusiasts joined together for a celebration of marine life protection at Phil Foster Park under the Blue Heron Bridge in Riviera Beach.

“We were able to do this and preserve a really important part of Palm Beach County – the County has invested a lot here and we wanted to help them protect that and make this resource available for everybody,” said Dr. Thomas Reinert, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Regional Director.

The event celebrated recent changes by the FWC that prohibit the collection and possession of marine life fishery species (species collected and managed for the tropical aquarium trade) within Phil Foster Park and surrounding waters.

The changes will maintain high-quality snorkeling and diving opportunities and contribute to the conservation of species under the Blue Heron Bridge and at Phil Foster Park. The Blue Heron Bridge area is internationally recognized by scientists, scuba divers, underwater photographers, and snorkelers for its abundance of unique marine life and was named one of the 50 best dive sites in the world by PADI Sport Diver magazine and referred to as Florida’s “best shore dive” by SCUBA Diving Magazine.

PBC Parks Hosts Beach Cleanup on National Skip the Straw Day

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Boynton Beach residents Jessica and Sandy Rowley are a mother-daughter duo, who, for the past 25 years, have made a habit out of cleaning up parks and natural areas around the area to ensure a cleaner, safer community. So naturally, when they heard about Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation’s Skip the Straw Day Beach Cleanup on the morning news, they immediately wanted to be a part of the effort.

“Every little bit helps, we come here all the time, might as well keep it clean,” said Jessica.

On the morning of February 22, roughly a dozen volunteers made their way to Ocean Inlet Park to help rid the popular beach of litter. It was held on National Skip the Straw Day, in an effort to bring attention to the issue of non-degradable litter often found on Palm Beach County beaches. The unofficial holiday encourages people to recognize the harmful effects of non-degradable plastic commonly known to contaminate the ocean and harm marine life.

Volunteers liked the Rowleys filled a 33-gallon trash bag with debris from the beach park. Every volunteer received a bag containing a t-shirt, water, snacks & environmental literature, and pickers, gloves and garbage bags were supplied.

For the mother-daughter team, the cleanup was important because it helps strengthen their appreciation for nature. “We love getting out in nature and enjoying everything and seeing all the animals… and it’s sad to see garbage everywhere,” said Jessica.

For more information about volunteering for the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department, visit pbcparks.com.

What’s that Plant? Strangler Fig!

The Florida Strangler Fig wraps its roots around host trees, widens, and forms larger roots that eventually take over its host tree. This unique tree is also the host plant for the Daggerwing Butterfly! Check out the latest episode of “What’s that Plant?” to learn more about the Florida Strangler Fig.

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.

Green Cay Nature Center hosts ‘Project WILD’ Workshops

“I cannot remember the last time I sat in a classroom for seven hours…and enjoyed every (exhausting) minute! Green Cay’s incredible Naturalist, Jessica Andreasen, taught a motivating, inspiring program, “Project Wild” to a group of educators, environmentalists, and others who cherish our wetlands. It was a wonderful and very meaningful experience! Jessica, you are an incredibly gifted teacher!”
-Shelley Hymowitz, Volunteer, Green Cay Nature Center.


20170620_095452_Edited.jpg

Staff at Green Cay Nature Center are helping educators teach students HOW to think, not WHAT to think, when it comes to conservation and the environment. The nature center recently hosted a Project WILD workshop for Palm Beach County educators to help integrate wildlife-based environmental and conservation education in their classrooms.

On June 20th, Green Cay Nature Center welcomed 20 educators from the Palm Beach County School District, home school, Broward 4-H, AmeriCorps and several nature centers for an educational, fun and action-packed day-long training, hosted by naturalist Jessica Andreasen. Jessica taught Aquatic WILD and Flying WILD, which covers wetland and bird topics – making Green Cay a great venue for the lessons.

“When I remember all the people who inspired me to pursue a career in environmental education, I am proud to bring Project WILD to Green Cay as a host site and have this incredible opportunity,” Jessica said, adding that she is grateful for the opportunity “to not only teach children, but now guide educators towards incorporating these important topics into their classrooms.”

Jessica will hold a Project WILD workshop at least once a year, and already uses a lot of the activities for Green Cay’s school, public and specialty programs. Facilitators like Jessica must attend a certification program, a day-long “Train-The-Trainer” class, in order to host their own workshop.

20170620_104138_edited.jpg

In addition to Aquatic WILD and Flying WILD, a new topic will be introduced as continuing education for those who have taken the core workshops. Conserving WILD covers current conservation issues, environmental policy, and conservation-based activities that can be found in all four activity guides. This workshop will discuss the importance of incorporating a conservation message into every activity to help children not only learn about the topic, but to also understand the need for conservation and preservation efforts.

“It is my hope that by being an advocate for Project WILD activities, we can work with educators to find creative but easy ways to encourage the next generations to be passionate about wildlife, conservation and the environment,” Jessica said.

About Project WILD19400534_1439646286097012_7208021712814310910_o_edited.jpg

Project WILD, which stands for Wildlife in Learning Design, is an internationally-used environmental education program aimed at arming both formal and informal educators alike with the knowledge and skills to teach environmental education in their own classrooms. These activities are ideal for many audiences: formal K-12 classroom instruction, non-formal teaching, and summer camp programs emphasizing the environment.

Project WILD Florida is sponsored by the Council for Environmental Education, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network (FYCCN). Through this sponsorship, all the books and materials for this workshop were free of charge, giving facilitators like Jessica the opportunity to reach a larger audience by being able to offer the workshops with no associated costs to the participants. The Friends of Green Cay Nature Center sponsored the workshop with refreshments.

For more information about Project WILD, visit these links:

http://www.projectwild.org/

http://myfwc.com/education/educators/project-wild/

For more information about the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department, including efforts to promote stewardship of natural, archaeological and cultural sites, visit pbcParks.com.