The Palm Beach County Parks Department was created in 1951 as a department under the direction of the County Engineers Office. By 1965, the department was managing twelve parks and included a work force of sixty-nine employees. Reorganization in 1972 led to the separation of Parks and Engineering and so the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department was born. The department steadily expanded during the late 1960s and 1970s. During the 1980s and 1990s, responding to Palm Beach County’s exploding population growth and its equally exploding demand for leisure services, aggressive expansion efforts were accomplished. Today, The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department is recognized nationally for excellence in park and recreation management, operates more than 110 parks and recreational facilities, spanning more than 8,500 acres, and provides organized recreational programs and services for people of all ages and abilities.
Join us in celebrating our 50th Anniversary milestone as the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department. Connect with us on social media and be on the lookout for upcoming publications and events highlighting the history of your county park system.
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The Orange Bowl Committee and Palm Beach County broke ground yesterday, December 14, on Phase II of Orange Bowl Field at Glades Pioneer Park in Belle Glade.
Phase I was completed in December 2019 and included a synthetic turf field and maintenance, an electronic scoreboard, an entry monument, fencing, walkways and signage. Phase II includes construction of a neighborhood center and restroom that will host a variety of educational, wellness and civic uses.
The park serves as the playing site for several teams from the Glades Youth Football League, which is a current member of the Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance (OBYFA). In addition, many current and former NFL players from the area have used the field to conduct youth football camps.
“The continued renovation of Glades Pioneer Park furthers the county’s commitment to youth enrichment and sports and athletic programming and facilities,” said Commissioner Melissa McKinlay.
The Orange Bowl Committee selected Glades Pioneer Park as a recipient of a $1.5 million matching Legacy Grant for the design, permitting and construction of the Orange Bowl Field and other related amenities. The amount was matched by the Board of County Commissioners providing a total of $3 million toward the renovation project. An additional $400,000 in grant funding was received from the Quantum Foundation and the NFL Foundation to assist with the second phase of the project. “The Orange Bowl Committee is extremely proud to begin Phase II of Orange Bowl Field at Glades Pioneer Park, as part of our 5th Legacy Park Project across South Florida and 1st in Palm Beach County,” said Orange Bowl Committee President & Chair Jack Seiler. “We are happy to complete our 1st Palm Beach County park and further our legacy of building and serving community in South Florida with a fantastic new facility for all ages to enjoy. The mission of the Orange Bowl Committee since its inception in 1935 is to inspire youth, engage our community, and enhance South Florida. This building will accomplish that and much more for years to come.”
Phase II improvements will cost approximately $1.9 million and is expected to be completed in June 2022. Future plans include a new destination playground, picnic pavilion, grand entry plaza and a vehicle drop off area near the neighborhood center.
PBC Parks participated in the national Parks for Pollinators campaign, which was aimed at raising public awareness of the importance of pollinators and positioning parks as national leaders in advancing pollinator health. Organized by the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA), the Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz event was held during the month of September.
We created a project – named Parks for Pollinators 2021: Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation – in the iNaturalist app, which was shared with NRPA and added to the national campaign. Participants used the iNaturalist app and website to record and identify observations of various plant and animal pollinators found in parks, natural areas, backyards, and other locations throughout the county.
The PBC Parks project recorded about 1,500 observations with more than 500 species identified. More than 200 identifiers and nearly 250 observers participated using the iNaturalist app.
“I really enjoyed looking for as many pollinators as possible in the one-month span. I know I definitely won’t stop looking for them any time soon!” said Mikie Green, PBC Parks Volunteer.
Mikie was recognized with observing the most species in the county during the event on iNaturalist (username coolcrittersyt), with over 80 species of pollinators.
Parks play a key role in protecting and preserving pollinators and their habitats, and BioBlitz events are designed to create a literal snapshot of plants, insects and animals to see what wildlife is present in local parks. The activity not only let participants safely explore their local parks and learn more about the species through the iNaturalist mobile app, the information gathered also provided specific data on the species located in the parks — which can help park and recreation professionals manage those spaces for biological diversity and build ecological resilience.
In addition to featuring the project on PBCParks.com, BioBlitz activities were conducted at events, like the “Palm Beach County Library System Park(ing) Day”, in order to provide the community with more ways to understand the importance of pollinators and their impact on the environment.
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