Tag Archives: Kids

Know Before You Go: Portuguese Man O’ War

Have you ever spotted an object on the beach that looks like a harmless blue plastic bag? These animals are called Portuguese Man O’ War – and they can deliver a painful shock to anyone who picks them up or pops them. Watch this video to learn more about Portuguese Man O’ War and how you can protect yourself from these beach hazards.

For more information about Portuguese Man O’ War and other beach hazards, visit this webpage: https://discover.pbcgov.org/parks/Aquatics/Hazards.aspx

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.

PBC Parks Hosts Cleanup and Celebration on World Ocean Day

More than 70 volunteers joined forces on World Ocean Day, Tuesday, June 8th, to remove over 500 pounds of trash from the Atlantic shoreline and Intracoastal Waterway along Coral Cove Park in Jupiter. The cleanup was a partnership between the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department, Visit Palm Beach, the Palm Beach Ecotourism Association, Palm Beach County Environmental Resources Management, and the Beach Bucket Foundation.

In addition to removing harmful items and trash from these locations, the event was an effort to educate participants on the importance of keeping key environments clean, and to inspire environmental stewardship among residents and visitors.

“More than 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by oceans and the ocean is the center of most living things,” said Eric Call, Director of Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department. “It’s important that we create opportunities to educate the public on the importance of keeping our oceans clean and vibrant now and into the future.”

Participants were invited to clean up the Atlantic shoreline and waterway by walking, kayaking, or paddle boarding. All cleanup supplies were provided, and all ages were welcome at the family-friendly event. More information for anyone interested in participating in cleanup events at Palm Beach County-operated parks and beaches is available at 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: Shayna Ginsburg

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.

In honor of May as mental health awareness month, episode 14 features Dr. Shayna Ginsburg. She’s the chief of clinical services, education, and training for the palm beach county youth services department. Shayna joined the podcast via Zoom to talk about the ‘Get Your Green On” campaign, the importance of mental health, and the ways in which visiting parks and spending time in nature can help contribute to better mental health.

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.

Park Feature: Dyer Park

Dyer Park is a 560-acre regional park located in West Palm Beach. A former landfill, the park features “The Hill” allowing visitors to walk up and around it, and even bike along it! The park allows visitors to experience a unique green space that is not typically found in the flat South Florida landscape. Watch this video to learn more about opportunities for play at Dyer Park!

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.