Tag Archives: Fun

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.

DuBois PIoneer Home Virtual Tour Fireside Chat: John Alden DuBois

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, share how Harry and the Carlins, another pioneer family, helped tourists visiting the area.

DuBois Pioneer Home Virtual Tour Fireside Chat: Skip & Geri Gladwin

The DuBois Pioneer Home Virtual Tour – Fireside Chat series brings you short stories from relatives and friends of the DuBois family. In this episode, Skip Gladwin (1942-2020) and Geri Gladwin (1941-2020), siblings who lived in the home as kids, talk about what it was like living in Jupiter area in the mid-1900’s.

Volunteer Spotlight: Karen Gray, Friends of Jupiter Beach

25 years ago, Karen Gray and other Jupiter Beach residents started Friends of Jupiter Beach (FJB). The founder being Anita Lankler and the executive director, Karen Gray have always had a passion for keeping their home clean and educating others about conservation and stewardship for the environment.

One of the main incentives for creating FJB, other than environmental benefits, is the agreement to delegate a portion of Jupiter Beach as a dog friendly beach, where dogs can roam free off-leash. This group has continuously maintained the beach’s cleanliness as well as enforcing the rules of the dog-friendly beach with pet owners. FJB has provided each beach access with a dispenser of pet waste bags and signs clearly conveying to cleanup after your pet.

 From the effects of the pandemic in 2020, FJB had to cancel a few cleanups this year, but continued to perform these monthly cleanups in a safe and socially-distanced manner after restrictions let up. Karen does an incredible job organizing volunteer meetings at separate locations with no more than 10 volunteers at each access. Even with the restrictions, FJB still manages to safely host up to 100 volunteers dispersed through each cleanup. In 2020, this group has managed to clean up and document approximately 1,287 pounds of garbage and 879 pounds of recyclables from Ocean Cay Park and Jupiter Beach.

A huge thanks goes out to Karen and all the volunteers that participate in the monthly Friends of Jupiter Beach Cleanups hosted every first Saturday of the month.

Power of Parks: Surface 71

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 11 features Emily Briceno, Jemma Currie, and Marina Barto. They’re students who lead a group called Surface 71, a non-profit organization that helps keep our oceans and communities clean by raising awareness of plastic pollution, hosting and participating in cleanup events in parks and beaches, and working to get other students involved in their efforts.