Tag Archives: Fun

Power of Parks: Sandi Schwartz

Welcome to Power of Parks, a podcast produced by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department, where we share inspiring stories from people who have benefited from nature, parks, and recreation.

Episode 19 features Sandi Schwartz — a Palm Beach County resident and author of “Finding Ecohappiness: Fun Nature Activities to Help Your Kids Feel Happier and Calmer.” She’s also a passionate environmentalist, and spent years working in the environmental field and she’s dedicated to helping others recognize the ways nature can help minimize stress and increase happiness.

Destination Recreation: Pups in the Park

On this episode of Destination Recreation, we walk you through the many ways you and your dog can explore and enjoy PBC Parks. From dog parks where your pups can run free, to a stroll along a trail, find out how you and your best friend can enjoy a day out at a county-operated park!

Eagle Scout Project Complete at Daggerwing Nature Center

Daggerwing Nature Center congratulates Michael Yao, who, after over two years of planning and setbacks with the pandemic, completed his Eagle Scout project at the nature center.  As part of the final project, Michael provided two Wood Duck nest boxes and built and installed seven Screech Owl nest boxes in the natural area. 

The Screech Owl nest boxes are located close enough to the boardwalk for observation and can be seen by guests when walking along the trail.  The Wood Duck and Screech Owl nest boxes will provide places for these species to raise young and will help support the diversity of wildlife around Daggerwing Nature Center. 

Grab your Nature Adventure Journal today!

PBC Parks’ mascot, Oakly, takes some time to explore nature by completing the new ‘Nature Adventure Journal’

PBC Parks is happy to introduce the Nature Adventure Journal! This unique journal lets kids of all ages complete outdoor- and nature-related activities that can be done anywhere – in parks, beaches, neighborhoods, even in their backyards.

The journal is designed to get kids outside and active in a natural setting, through a variety of fun activities. Activities include animal spotting, leaf tracing, making an outdoor bucket list, and more. As they go along, adventurers can earn sticker badges for completing various sections — they can even send PBC Parks their progress to be featured on PBC Parks’ social media!

Where can I pick up a Nature Adventure Journal?

Nature Adventure Journals are available at Palm Beach County Nature Centers, Palm Beach County Libraries, and the Parks and Recreation Administration Building inside John Prince Park. Please email pbcparks@pbcgov.org to explore additional locations.

For more information about the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department, visit http://www.pbcparks.com.

Power of Parks: Sandy Mannon

Welcome to Power of Parks, a podcast produced by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department, where we share inspiring stories from people who have benefited from nature, parks and recreation.

Episode 15 features Sandy Mannon, a yoga teacher who teaches Yoga in the Park at Veteran’s Park, a Village of Royal Palm Beach-operated park. She prefers teaching outdoors so her students can experience the full benefits of nature in their practice. Sandy is also a Nurse Practitioner who focuses on wellness and aging gracefully and recognizes the role of nature and parks on both.

Power of Parks: Colby Zebarth & Greg Norman, Jr.

Welcome to Power of Parks, a podcast produced by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department, where we share inspiring stories from people who have benefited from nature, parks and recreation.

Episode 13 features Colby Zebarth, a Palm Beach County resident and 14-year-old rider at Shark Wake Park inside Okeeheelee Park. Colby was recently crowned the 2020 Junior Pro World Champion at the World Wake Association Wake Park World Championships just 15 months after starting his wakeboard training at the park.

Also joining the conversation is Greg Norman, Jr. – the owner of Shark Wake Park inside Okeeheelee Park. They offer a variety of adventurous water activities, including cable wakeboarding and kneeboarding, a floating obstacle course, and more.

Animal Encounters: American Alligators

American Alligators, the Florida State Reptile, are common in South Florida — and can even be spotted in some PBC Parks. In this episode of Animal Encounters, Daggerwing Nature Center Manager, Sean Mallee, shares some interesting facts about the American Alligator, including a number of useful adaptations the reptiles have! This episode features Nibbles, an Animal Ambassador at Daggerwing Nature Center.

Bathouse Bonanza at Daggerwing Nature Center!

Written by Autumn Horne, Asstistant Naturalist, Daggerwing Nature Center

Here at Daggerwing Nature Center, the bat houses are open for business!  Our small homestead is accepting all qualified members of the Order Chiroptera with echolocation in good standing. Chiroptera, which is Greek for “hand wing,” is the order to which all bats belong, and we are excited to have collaborated with fellow hand-wing lovers Shari Blisset-Clark and John Clark of the Florida Bat Conservancy to erect a whole new bat housing development on the Nature Center’s grounds in Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park.  As nocturnal species, native bats spend all day at home, and what a privilege it is to be able to provide our fellow airborne earthlings with a safe roost in which to rest their weary wings. 

But bats aren’t the only beneficiaries of the arrangement, we humans win too!  Bats play an essential role in keeping our ecosystem healthy and functioning, they’re great pest control, seed-dispersers, and pollinators.  Plus bats are the only mammals capable of true flight, and it’s tough to beat an early evening sighting of bat-crobatics.

Here in Florida, we have 13 resident bat species (either found year-round or seasonally), two of which are listed as endangered: the Florida bonneted bat and the gray myotis.  However bats can be found everywhere on the planet except in some extreme deserts, polar regions, and on certain isolated islands.  Our Florida bats are all considered insectivores, and a single little brown bat can eat as many as 1,000 insects in just an hour!  Told you it was a win-win situation.  And after they eat all those bugs, what happens on the other end?  Well, if you can make it past the ick factor, bat poop, also called guano, is some super sensational excrement.  Guano is an amazing fertilizer, has little odor, is fungicidal, and is sometimes even sparkly…move over unicorn poop!

But why become a bat landlord?  Can’t bats find their own houses?  Currently nearly 40% of American bat species are in severe decline, or already listed as threatened or endangered.  According to Bat Conservation International, “…bats are under unprecedented threat from widespread habitat destruction, hunting, accelerated climate change, invasive species, and other stresses. Without concerted international action, their populations will continue to fall, driving many species to extinction.”  And as we know, bats fertilize, bats pollinate, bats disperse seeds, they keep the insect population in check, so by creating safe homes for bats, we are not only helping insure the survival of a fellow creature, but their survival ensures our survival as well!  To quote John Muir, “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”

So here’s to all our chiropteran friends, and a huge thank you to Shari and John for the important work they do with Florida Bat Conservancy.  If you’d like to learn more, stop by the nature center and have a chat with a naturalist, or visit floridabats.org.

Power of Parks: Jana Cooper

Welcome to Power of Parks, a podcast produced by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department, where we share inspiring stories from people who have benefited from nature, parks and recreation.

Episode 12 features Jana Cooper, an avid nature lover who manages the Instagram Page, @walkyourpathfl. On the page, she shares photos from her adventures in and around trails, parks, outdoor gardens, museums, and natural areas in mostly South Florida. In the podcast, she shares her passion for nature and explains why everyone should get out to a trail for their mental and physical wellness.