History Comes Alive at Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park features different topics from reenactors at the annual Battlefield Reenactment event. On this episode, Archie Marshall, Mark Lutz, and Matt Milnes represent U.S. Infantry Soldiers and demonstrate weapons and battle tactics during the Second Seminole War.
The DuBois Pioneer Home Virtual Tour – Fireside Chat series brings you short stories from relatives and friends of the DuBois family. In this episode, John Alden DuBois, the grandson of Harry and Susan DuBois, shares a story about how his grandfather came to Palm Beach County, built the home, and settled in Jupiter in the late 19th century.
Lorraine DiFrancisco has been a volunteer at Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens for the past four years. She serves as a general volunteer and is currently a docent-in-training at the facility.
According to DiFrancisco, being in the docent program with her fellow docents means she can give tours to school groups, clubs, and organizations. She has also been a greeter at the Yamato-kan and main museum, as well as a volunteer at annual festivals, like Oshogatsu and the Lantern Festival.
DiFrancisco’s favorite thing about volunteering at the Morikami is that it allows her “to meet and interact with people from all over the world,” she said. She loves sharing the things she has learned with others so that they can better understand and appreciate all that the Morikami has to offer.
Whether you’re looking to enjoy a peaceful natural setting and spot some deer and wild turkey, get some exercise along ten miles of trails, kayak along the Loxahatchee River, or learn about historic battles and Pioneer life, Riverbend Park and Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park provide unique experiences!
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 Department 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.
Family Fun Fests
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
At a number of Palm Beach County Parks, kids and families can experience the unique culture and history of South Florida and Palm Beach County. Check out these parks where families can learn and explore together!
The DuBois Pioneer Home is located inside Palm Beach County’s DuBois Park in Jupiter. Built in 1898, by Harry DuBois for his wife Susan, the DuBois Pioneer Home is one of the last remaining historic homesteads of its type in northern Palm Beach County. Located along the Jupiter Inlet in DuBois Park, the DuBois Pioneer Home is more commonly known as “the house on the hill,” where parents and kids can walk into an excellent example of a self-sufficient South Florida Pioneer homestead. Inside, visitors will not only find original relics that belonged to one of Jupiter’s most notable pioneer families in the early 20th century, they’ll also experience what life was like for a Florida pioneer.
Built atop a Native American shell rock midden by the DuBois Family, this unique homestead is rich in both historic and archeological value. Originally over 600 feet long and 20 feet high, the hill is a remnant of one of the last coastal shell mounds in southeast Florida. Artifacts dating back several thousand years have been discovered at this site; at one point, the entire park was a thriving village where ancient Floridians lived. Signage in front of the house indicates the midden was built by the Jeaga, a tribe of Native Americans Johnathan Dickinson once wrote about.
There are two cannons located inside DuBois Park; one located in front of the DuBois Pioneer Home and the other located near the children’s swim lagoon. The shipwrecked cannons and anchor were recovered in 1987, and are linked to the Spanish vessel named “San Miguel De Archangel” that was bound for Spain; in 1659, the San Miguel foundered and wrecked off what’s known today as the Jupiter Inlet.
Visit pbcParks.com for a more information about the DuBois Pioneer home, including a complete tour schedule – tours are free!
Pineapple House (DuBois Park)
Now located inside Palm Beach County’s DuBois Park, The Pineapple House was once located on a piece of property near present day U.S. Highway 1, on a plot of land where Harry DuBois farmed pineapples. The little shed was built to store the harvested crops, and for a while it was also a rental house. DuBois later purchased a plot of land, now DuBois Park, as the site of the home where he would bring his new bride, Susan. DuBois floated the Pineapple House up the river to DuBois Park, and lived in it while he constructed what is now the DuBois Pioneer Home atop the shell midden. According to DuBois’ son, John, the Pineapple House is one of the oldest wooden structures still remaining in Palm Beach County today, and it pre-dates the DuBois house by at least several years.
Internationally recognized as one of South Florida’s most significant Japanese culture hubs, the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is located in Delray Beach. Since it’s opening in 1977, the Morikami has been a center for Japanese arts and culture in South Florida. With rotating exhibitions, tea ceremonies performed monthly, educational outreach programs, and Japanese traditional festivals celebrated for the public several times a year, there’s always an opportunity at Morikami to expand your horizons and gain an appreciation for the living culture of Japan.
Besides the museum, where parents and kids can experience multiple exhibitions that feature historical and contemporary Japanese culture, including more than 7,000 Japanese art objects and artifacts, the Morikami boasts expansive Japanese gardens with strolling paths, a world-class bonsai collection and lakes teeming with koi and other wildlife. A visit to the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens will give families a unique sense of culture and appreciation.
For more information about the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, including rates, hours and location, visit http://www.morikami.org.
Located in Jupiter, Palm Beach County’s Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park and Riverbend Park are adjacent to one another. Both parks are unique historic sites in Palm Beach County, perfect for exploring as a family.
The Gateway to the Loxahatchee River, prehistoric and historic habitation has occurred along the Loxahatchee dating as far back 5,000 years ago. Two battles of the Loxahatchee have taken place in Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park – including Powell’s Battle and Jesup’s Battle, both in 1838. Parents and kids can read about both battles in Riverbend Park, where Florida Historical Markers have been installed for each battle. Visitors to this park can still experience a sense of “Old Florida” that’s unique to this park setting.
At historic Riverbend Park, kids and families can take a step back in time and enjoy walking, biking, riding or canoeing. From the ancient Indian middens, through the Seminole War Battles, visitors have the opportunity to see Florida as the first settlers did. Stroll along the Wild and Scenic Loxahatchee River, visit the Cracker Farmstead, and picnic in the shade under a Seminole chickee.
There are a number of free events offered throughout the year where parents and kids can not only experience battle reenactments, but will also get an idea of what life was like in the 1800’s in this region; in January, visitors can experience a Loxahatchee Battle Reenactors Muster in Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park. During this two-day event, families can watch battle reenactments in a historical setting while learning about the battles and era from historians and re-enactors. In November, a Pioneer Farmstead Day is held at Riverbend Park. Definitely a family event, visitors can spend the day on the “Turn of the Century Farmstead” and enjoy crafters, activities, the Sawmill, roping and riding demos, and more.
The goal of Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation is to preserve and protect these cultural resources, while providing education and passive recreation opportunities for the public to experience this beautiful place and its history.
Palm Beach County’s Limestone Creek Park is a neighborhood park in Jupiter – the park itself is less than an acre, but much can be learned about the history surrounding the Limestone Creek Community through a visit to the park. A Florida Historical Marker was installed inside the park in 2016 to commemorate the community’s vast history. The marker explains how the Limestone Creek Community opened their own “Jupiter Colored School” inside the local church, despite racial tensions and segregation laws, more than 100 years ago. Kids and parents can learn how the community came together in the name of education and equality after the 1928 hurricane destroyed the church, by reading the Historical Marker. A visit to Limestone Creek Park will no doubt bring kids and parents a sense of culture and community, along with an educational experience.
For more about the Florida Historical Marker in this park, take a look at our blog post: https://pbcparks.wordpress.com/2016/05/04/limestone-creek-community-celebrates-florida-historic-marker/
In addition to being a popular saltwater fishing site and beach park, Ocean Inlet Park is also a location of a Florida Historical Marker that commemorates the South Lake Worth Inlet, which was constructed between 1925 and 1927. The inlet has been the site of a number of historically significant moments; it was the site of the world’s first fixed sand bypassing plant in 1937; during World War II, the Mar Lago Hotel, which overlooked the inlet, was used by the U.S. Coast Guard as a lookout post for enemy submarines.
Today, kids and families can visit the park to stroll the beach, take a swim, have a picnic, and take a gander at the Historic Marker to appreciate the inlet’s historical significance.
At Canal Point Community Center, parents and kids stop at a kiosk right outside the facility to learn more about the vast historical significance that the Glades region holds for Palm Beach County. Go through a timeline of the historically significant events in the region, and learn about the importance agriculture plays in the community.
South Bay RV Park – historic railroad worker’s cottage
Inside South Bay RV Park, parents and kids can experience a number of recreational opportunities, like biking, boating and camping. Located inside the park is the 1,656 square foot historic railroad worker’s cottage, a 1920’s era frame vernacular cottage, which was originally a FEC Railroad’s section foreman’s house located along a railroad spur in downtown South Bay. The railroad cottage is one of the only two structures left in South Bay which pre-date the 1928 hurricane that brought destruction to the Glades area. Although tours are not being given at this time, the historic railroad worker’s cottage still sits inside South Bay RV Park, and is an interesting sight for parents and kids to experience.
John Stretch Memorial Park – retired machinery
Situated in Clewiston near Lake Okeechobee with access to the lake, John Stretch Park was named after John Stretch, Recreation Director for the Central and South Florida Control District until 1970. In the park, visitors can see a number of old machinery on display, including a Nordberg Manufacturing Company two-stroke diesel radial engine that was formerly used as part of a flood control facility for Lake Okeechobee. Several diesel engines, valves, and pipes that were once part of the flood control facility are also on display inside the park.
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. They achieve this by promoting wellness, fostering environmental stewardship, contributing economic value, and by improving our community every day for this and future generations.
By Gina Musick, Education Intern for Summer Tour Plus 2016 Program via Summer Travels: Into the Land that is Japan \(^.^)/ — Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
Hello everyone! My name is Gina Musick and I am a new volunteer, but as a seasoned Morikami member and Elementary Education major in college, I saw an amazing opportunity in front of me when I read about a posting for an Education Intern for their Summer Tour Plus program. Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like – a tour! A wonderful tour where both docents and volunteers come together in order to create a fun, interactive, and educational experience for visiting camps of all ages into the land of Japan in South Florida.
Imagine visiting another country for almost the whole summer with nothing but the clothes on your back…without leaving your home state! “Impossible!” is what some may say, but that’s exactly how it felt for me. Walking up the steps to the museum alone is a stunning view, surrounded by a preview of the gardens and a small koi pond. Morikami creates a one-of-a-time experience that children of all ages and backgrounds are able to participate in.
Here is what a day in the Summer Tour Plus 2016 program looked like:
1. Japanese Game Show: the volunteers engage the campers in a slideshow of various Japanese tools and objects, guessing their true meanings of utility, after watching a clip from a real live game show!
2.Art Gallery Tour: the docents give the campers a unique and peaceful tour of Hiromi Moneyhun’s paper cut exhibition, where they learn about her unique art style and its main elements – metamorphosis and symmetry.
3. Shadow Art: Kirigami: the volunteers teach the campers how to create the own paper cuts (known in Japanese as kirigami)! The campers use scissors and hole-punchers to create unique designs and patterns into their canvas’, which is a moth – a strong representation of both symmetry and metamorphosis.
4. Docents’ Choice: the docents choose an activity of their own discretion to educate the campers about! For instance, during the week of the Star Festival (also known as Tanabata), which occurs on July 7th, the children learned about the history behind the festival and wrote a wish on a strip of paper attached to string (known as tanzaku) and then tied them to a bamboo tree for the wish to come true! Click here to learn more about Tanabata.
Each camp that visited Morikami participated in all four of these activities at some time or another during their day. In each rotation, the campers were motivated and supported by volunteers and docents alike to pursue a passion in learning to appreciate the very diverse and beautiful culture of Japan. The Summer Tour Plus Program created by Morikami strongly reflects the museum’s mission to the community…”to provide authentic Japanese cultural experiences that entertain, educate, and inspire.”
I thoroughly enjoyed my volunteer experience as a summer intern at Morikami, as it was everything I expected it to be and more! It was amazing to see children of all ages and cultural backgrounds learning about a very historic and unique culture through different activities, and excel at participating in every way. Such a successful experience does not go without thanking all of the staff, docents, and volunteers involved in creating such an enriching and lasting experience!
Morikami is always looking for volunteers to help out on a day-to-day basis, as well as for festivals or a variety of programs. During the time we waited for the camps to arrive, we volunteers would work on creating decorations for upcoming festivals. We made paper chains, tissue paper flowers, and paper lanterns all to help prepare for the upcoming Lantern Festival: In the Spirit of Obon! If you have a passion for education, culture, or anything Japan, I highly recommend you take an opportunity and offer your time to this amazing non-profit institution. You will receive a timeless experience for the time that you give! Click here to find out about your possible opportunities~! \(^.^)
On April 16-17, Palm Beach County’s Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens hosted its largest event of the year – a two-day spring celebration known as the annual Hatsume Fair.
Watch this short video to get a glimpse of the colors, traditions and festivities that were enjoyed by more than 16,000 people!
Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is owned and operated by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department and is located at 4000 Morikami Park Road in Delray Beach.
We operate more than 80 regional, district, community, beach, and neighborhood parks, spanning several thousand acres. Our mission 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. This is achieved by promoting wellness, fostering environmental stewardship, contributing economic value, and by improving our community every day for this and future generations.
Visit www.pbcparks.com for more information.
On Saturday, April 30, more than a century after the first “Jupiter Colored School” was opened in the Limestone Creek Community, residents, officials, volunteers and others gathered inside Palm Beach County’s Limestone Creek Park to celebrate the installation of a marker that commemorates the community’s vast history.
“For too long, way too many people didn’t have access to good education, and this was especially true in the south,” said U.S. Congressman Patrick Murphy, who was present at the event, along with Palm Beach County Vice Mayor Hal Valeche, former L.M. Davis Elementary School teacher Mrs. Dorothy Bendross Walker, and other iconic figures from around the community.
The ceremony centered on the strides in education in the Limestone Creek Community, the oldest African American community in the North Palm Beach area, in the past century. Denied access to Jupiter’s public schools by the laws of segregation, the community opened a school of their own in 1905. The first “Jupiter Colored School” was located in the local African Methodist Episcopal Church.
“This was a community that had nothing, but they made sure their children got a decent school, good teachers,” remarked Jamie Stuve, the CEO & President of the Loxahatchee River Historical Society, an organization that helps preserve “history shaped by nature” of the Loxahatchee River region.
When the 1928 hurricane destroyed the church, community member L.M. Davis donated an acre of his homestead for the construction of a new school. The community pooled their limited resources and even built a school bus for their children. Matching funds from the Rosenwald Fund, created by Julius Rosenwald, president of Sears, Roebuck and Co, enabled the community to construct a two-room school with a kitchen, and to hire two teachers for grades 1 through 8.
Mrs. Walker, a life-long member of the community who attended the Elementary School and eventually taught there, told a story of the many struggles the students and teachers faced at the school during the mid-20th century. “It was a different time, a different place when we were here, we had no electricity, no running water, no heat, no air conditioning… but we survived,” she said.
The graduating class of 1941 raised funds to construct a sidewalk over the drainage ditch at the entrance to the school and, along with their principal, autographed the remaining concrete. In 1956, the school was renamed the L.M. Davis Elementary School in honor of the man who donated the land and drove the school bus. High school students were transported 20 miles south to attend Industrial High in Riviera Beach until Jupiter public schools began to be desegregated in 1967.
“The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department is steadfast in preserving our history, but more than just preserving it, we need to interpret it and teach it,” said Eric Call, the Director of the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department.
Limestone Creek Park is operated by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department. The department operates more than 80 regional, district, community, beach, and neighborhood parks, spanning several thousand acres. Visit pbcParks.com to learn about opportunities for healthy, happy living.
On March 2, 2016, the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department hosted its grand reopening of the DuBois Pioneer Home in Palm Beach County’s DuBois Park, located at 19075 DuBois Road in Jupiter.
The home suffered damage during hurricanes in 2004 and 2005, and the historical landmark was closed in 2008 to repair the damage. After interior and exterior renovations, including a new roof, stabilization of Native American Midden, restoration of interior woodwork, among other restorations, the home is reopen to the public, with tours available to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Watch this short video to learn why the iconic Palm Beach County home is a top destination for history lovers.