On September 15, PBC Ocean Rescue was presented with a $4,400 scholarship check, which will go to helping two PBC Ocean Lifeguards take the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) course, in order to secure their EMT Certifications. EMT’s provide pre-hospital and emergency care that can make a difference between life and death, and are recognized by the emergency medical community as a key link in the “chain of survival.” The scope of knowledge required of EMT’s is broad.
“The ultimate benefactors of these scholarships are the beachgoers who visit [Palm Beach County],” said Ocean Rescue Lifeguard Dennis Ward.
Trainees will receive on-the-scene training, such as rides with Fire/Rescue paramedics, shifts working in local hospital ER’s, as well as being directly involved in medical care, from severe trauma, to pediatric, cardiac, language barriers and more, which will prepare them for a variety of different scenarios on a beach setting. “EMT is a crash course in a sometimes very harsh environment,” explained Ward.
The scholarship money will not only mean an improved skill set for two PBC Ocean Rescue Lifeguards, but it will also help maintain Palm Beach County’s continued leadership status in the Ocean Rescue industry.
“Fortunately, we have groups like the CAB Corp. and Mr. [Lance] Berkowitz in our community, and lifeguard supervisors/administrators that clearly see the value and need for quality professional EMS care,” said Ward.
Families who visit any of our 84 parks and facilities may find themselves experiencing a variety of mental, physical and social benefits that allow for greater bonding experiences. ”Families who play together, stay together,” is an important philosophy when it comes to enjoying our park system as a family. Check out exactly how a trip to our parks can improve your family’s well-being!
With thousands of acres of park land available for roaming, running and discovering, parks allow for plenty of physical activity for both kids and adults. Whether you’re a family that enjoys water activities like swimming at any of our six pools and aquatic facilities, splashing and sliding at our two water parks, snorkeling at Phil Foster or DuBois Parks – or if you’re a land family who prefers strolling along boardwalks and trails at our nature centers, mountain biking at three trail locations, or simply enjoying some daytime play on our colorful and interactive playgrounds, there are so many ways parents and kids can get moving together. The physical activity opportunities available in our parks are so fun, the kids won’t even know they’re exercising! Among the many benefits of physical activity are increased fitness levels and a lower risk of obesity, and healthier bodies lead to healthier minds. Getting exercise at our parks and facilities will not only benefit the bodies and minds of adults, but will be setting a trend for children to continue the lifestyle as they age.
According to the Florida Department of Health, there are a variety of mental health issues that both adults and kids in Palm Beach County face on a daily basis, including poor self-esteem, anxiety, depression, tension and stress. However, studies show physical activity and interacting with nature can improve your quality of life. By simply walking through the many trails and green space offered at parks like Riverbend, Okeeheelee, John Prince and more, families have the opportunity to escape from the pressures of everyday life that they face at school, work and even home. Our parks allow for tranquil getaways with the ones you love. For instance, Palm Beach County is the perfect location for beach days and evenings, and we offer 16 beach locations [Peanut Island and Phil Foster are located in the Intracoastal] where you and the kids can feel the ocean breeze on your face and watch the waves crash, putting your minds at ease. Mental health also plays an important role in one’s ability to maintain good physical health, make better health decisions, and live as healthy, productive citizens. To watch a short video on the mental health benefits of visiting our local parks, click here.
If you and your family are looking for opportunities to bond on a social level, look no further than the Palm Beach County park system. Discovering new parks, trails, lakes and more will create a curious mindset in children. For instance, when visiting Okeeheelee, Green Cay or Daggerwing Nature Centers, kids can discover all sorts of animals and plants – and parents will have a blast learning along with their kids. Parents have the opportunity to teach and learn alongside their children, creating a bond kids will remember. There are so many opportunities to learn new things at our parks, from biking and kayaking to cultural and historical experiences, participating in these activities allow for asking and answering new questions, as well as unique chances for both parents and children to interact on a whole new level.
Palm Beach County’s West Boynton, Westgate & West Jupiter Recreation Facilities, as well as Aquatics, Okeeheelee Nature Center and Golf hosted a number of Summer & Specialty Camp programs to entertain kids during this year’s Summer Break. The kids went on field trips, learned about living healthy lifestyles through physical activity and healthy eating, played a number of games & activities, made tons of friends, and more!
Watch this short video for a recap of this year’s Summer Camp!
Since February, kids in West Jupiter Recreation Center’s after school program have helped revive and maintain a garden filled with tomatoes, herbs, onions, peppers, strawberries, and more delicious and nutritious fruits and vegetables!
The project was made possible using grant funds from the Walmart Foundation and National Recreation and Park Association. It teaches principles of the Florida Department of Health’s “5-2-1-0 Let’s Go!” initiative, which includes five or more fruits and vegetables a day, and one of more hour of physical activity.
West Jupiter Recreation Center is operated by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department. 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.
For more about the garden project, watch this video.
In June, the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department teamed up with Palm Beach County’s Office of Community Revitalization and the Office Depot Foundation to improve Palm Beach County’s Lake Worth West Park. More than 90 volunteers from all over the world helped paint the sidewalks, put in a garden bed, install a free library, and more. Two new pieces of inclusive playground equipment were also installed prior to the event. The Office Depot Foundation previously assisted in installing a new playground at the park a year prior, in coordination with Palm Beach County and Kaboom!
For more, please watch the below video.
Lake Worth West Park is operated by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department. 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.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Palm Beach County Parks & Recreation Department scored two local spots on a recent list of the nation’s best fishing and boating locales. Lake Osborne in John Prince Park and Okeeheelee Fish Management Area in Okeeheelee Park made the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation and its Take Me Fishing and Vamos A Pescar campaigns’ 2016 Top 100 Family-Friendly Places to Boat and Fish in the U.S. list. The Top 100 list was released leading up to National Fishing and Boating Week.
Cooperatively managed by the FWC and Palm Beach County, both sites provide great access and good recreational fishing for casual family outings and serious anglers alike. Fishing piers, boat ramps, fish attractors and fish feeders are combined with fish stocking and habitat enhancement to create productive angling that is easy to access. This collaboration allows both agencies to offer better recreational opportunities for their mutual constituents.
“These areas are readily available for residents and visitors alike and are known for producing some great angling opportunities,” said FWC regional Freshwater Fisheries administrator Barron Moody.
Lake Osborne is a 356-acre lake in suburban Lake Worth, with much of the shoreline incorporated in John Prince Park. It is easily accessed via John Prince Park, which offers ample shoreline access, fishing access from piers, and a two-lane paved boat ramp in excellent condition with an additional boat ramp located within the John Prince Lake
Osborne in John Prince ParkPark Campground. The lake provides above-average fishing for largemouth bass, bluegill and redear sunfish, channel catfish and exotic Mayan cichlid. Other species include black
crappie (specks), sunshine bass stocked by the FWC plus peacock bass. Some outstanding largemouth bass fishing can be found there, with fish exceeding 8 pounds. A brochure with map are at MyFWC.com/fishing, click “Freshwater,” “Sites & Forecasts,” “South Region” and “Lake Osborne.”
Okeeheelee FMA is a 157-acre lake conveniently situated in West Palm Beach. This site offers fishing from the shoreline as well as piers. Okeeheelee FMA contains an abundance of native sunfish and hatchery-raised catfish. The catfish are stocked each year to maintain a steady supply of fish for anglers. FWC fisheries biologist John Cimbaro has been co-managing the lake with Palm Beach County for over 15 years.
“While Okeeheelee bass average less than 14 inches, their abundance here offers plenty of action and fun on light fishing tackle or fly fishing gear,” said Cimbaro. “This is also a perfect spot for someone who is learning to fish for bass to get lots of practice.”
Gasoline motors may not be used on boats at Okeeheelee, making it a peaceful site to fish from kayak or canoe. A brochure with map are at MyFWC.com/fishing, then click on “Freshwater,” “Sites & Forecasts,” “Fish Management Areas” then “Lake Okeeheelee.”
Along with fishing enhancements, both sites offer abundant parking, lakeside trails, playgrounds, picnic pavilions, restrooms and other amenities for a great family trip. Both Okeeheelee and John Prince Park are owned by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department, and ensuring access to beaches and water bodies are a core service of their department.
The RBFF’s Take Me Fishing and Vamos A Pescar campaigns held a nationwide vote to provide families with a recommended list of locations to visit. Criteria for these top locales included not only the quality of fishing and boating, but proximity to urban areas for easy access and the presence of amenities that contribute to a fun family outing.
The summer months are creeping up on us, which means many residents and tourists will be flocking to Palm Beach County’s beach parks to enjoy the sand and sea. However, because the ocean can be dangerous, we’ve compiled some tips for keeping yourself and your kids safe at the beach this summer.
For three weeks in December and January, College Swim Teams from around the country travel to Palm Beach County’s Aqua Crest Pool and North County Aquatic Complex to train for the fall season. The teams travel from as far west as Iowa to as far north as Michigan to escape frigid temperatures that make it difficult to train. As students from Michigan State and New York’s Wagner College explain, Palm Beach County’s palm trees and beaches allow them to take a mental break during the winter.
Aqua Crest Pool and North County Aquatic Complex are owned and operated by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department. Providing for athletic programming and facilities is one of the core services of the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department. For more opportunities, visit www.pbcparks.com.
On Saturday, January 16, Baseball Hall of Fame member Mike Schmidt and the Richard David Kann Melanoma Foundation, in partnership with the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department, unveiled Palm Beach County’s first BrightGuard™ Sunscreen Dispenser at the South Florida Fair and encouraged fairgoers to protect themselves from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Schmidt, a Palm Beach County resident who played 18 seasons for the Philadelphia Phillies and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995, made a special appearance at Palm Beach County’s exhibit. The 12-time All-Star and three-time National League MVP shared his story about surviving stage 3 melanoma.
“I spent my life in the sun without protection. I am currently a melanoma survivor because I see my dermatologist regularly,” said Schmidt. “I have partnered with the Richard David Kann Foundation whose mission is to increase the awareness and importance of sun safety. This mission, to educate our young and old alike, is a perfect fit for me.”
A baseball theme was prevalent among Palm Beach County Fair exhibits in anticipation of the new spring training stadium in West Palm Beach and tied in to this year’s South Florida Fair theme: Discover The Palm Beaches.
“We think it is vitally important for people of all ages to use our parks and stay active, but also be sun safe,” said Parks and Recreation Director Eric Call.
Fairgoers who visited Parks and Recreation’s exhibit at the Fair learned about the many services provided by the department, but also received SunSmart™ prevention and detection brochures and free sunscreen from the BrightGuard™ Sunscreen Dispenser, courtesy of Katzen Eye Care & Laser Center, before heading out to the midway.
“Parks and Recreation provides safe outdoor sports facilities and opportunities for youth enrichment,” said Lisa Richman, executive director at the Richard David Kann Melanoma Foundation, “and for 20 years the Richard David Kann Melanoma Foundation has been empowering families to make the necessary sun safe choices for healthy lives while enjoying our beautiful outdoor venues.”
The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department operates more than 80 regional, district, community, beach, and neighborhood parks, spanning several thousand acres. Visit www.pbcparks.com to learn about opportunities for healthy, happy living.