Tag Archives: Learning

Camping in #pbcParks

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The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department operates three campgrounds throughout the county where families can enjoy the great outdoors together in tents or an RV – John Prince Park Campground in Lake Worth, Peanut Island Campground in Riviera Beach, and South Bay RV Campground in Western Palm Beach County. Families can tell stories around a campfire, make s’mores, explore nature, or just relax near a lake!

There are a number of benefits for kids and adults who go camping:

  • Bonding & socialization: parents and kids have the opportunity to play games together, go on a nature scavenger hunt, pitch tents together, and partake in a number of socializing and bonding activities. Camping allows families to get away from hectic responsibilities of daily lives and bond without the interference of busy schedules that come with work and school.
  • Learn & improve skills: go out and explore natural settings! Camping is the perfect way to educate kids about wildlife and natural resources – families can find and identify species of plants and insects, or get up early and bird watch. Even learning to cook on a campfire allows people of all ages to develop useful skills!
  • Gain an appreciation for nature: kids and adults can develop an appreciation for wildlife and natural resources as they are surrounded by both during a camping experience; learning about and appreciating nature allows for greater interest in preserving and conserving the planet’s natural resources and contributing to protection of species for play vital roles in ecosystems.
  • Fun and relaxation: get away from the stresses of every day life! Whether you’re relaxing in a hammock or relaxing by the lake with a book, camping provides opportunities to forget your daily responsibilities and escape to a natural setting. Camping also allows families to unplug from technology, and in many cases, from the stresses that come with it.
  • Develop healthy habits: camping allows people of all ages to put down technological products that consume time and energy; escaping these distractions may provide for healthier, happier lives. Camping can also help kids and adults learn new, healthier recipes that are easy to make, and will allow families to recognize the health effects of spending time in nature, including reduced risks for heart disease, anxiety and stress.

 

Where to camp in #pbcParks

John Prince Park Campground – 4759 South Congress Ave., Lake Worth, Florida 33461

Trade in your shoes for sandals and come to John Prince Park in Lake Worth to enjoy Palm Beach-style relaxation in a family-friendly atmosphere with playgrounds, exercise trails, and nature walks. The beach is only a ten-minute drive away.

Peanut Island Campground – Intracoastal waterway, near the Lake Worth Inlet, Riviera Beach

Peanut Island Campground is well-situated for swimming, snorkeling, fishing and boating. Located near the Palm Beach Inlet, the island is surrounded by the Intracoastal Waterway.

South Bay RV Campground – 100 Levee Rd., South Bay, Florida 33493

This is your place to simply relax! South Bay RV Campground is situated next to Lake Okeechobee, and is an ideal spot for boat ramp access. The campground features fire rings, a recreation hall, and WiFi. Spacious paved RV sites include water, sewer, electric, and a picnic table with grill.

We 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. We achieve this by promoting wellness, fostering environmental stewardship, contributing economic value, and by improving our community every day for this and future generations.

For more opportunities for healthy, happy living, visit pbcParks.com.

Have a family picnic in a #pbcPark!

Picnicking is a great family activity! It’s a great opportunity to get away from the traditional setting of a dinner table and head out to a natural environment.

Benefits of picnicking:
  • Spend time outdoors in a serene setting: being outdoors has been proven to boost moods, reduce stress levels, and improve overall mental wellness. This is a chance for you and your family to be away from the stresses of every day life and enjoy a natural setting. 
  • Bond with family members: because many people live fast-paced lifestyles, there aren’t many opportunities to slow down and spend meaningful time with the people who matter. Play games, get up and walk, or simply sit still and bond over a good meal. 
  • Communicate more effectively: small talk, or even deep conversations, are essential to any good picnic. Head out and learn more about what’s going on with your family members – whether it’s school, work or friends – this is a great opportunity to connect with the people you care about and encourage effective communication skills in kids. 
  • Develop healthy eating habits: instead of buying a pre-made meal to enjoy on a picnic, try preparing a meal for your next picnic trip. Meals prepared at home are typically healthier and more nutritious than pre-made meals. Make sure you include all the basics for a full, healthy meal. 
  • Encourage active lifestyles: having group or family picnics consistently can allow families to form traditions that are passed down from generation to generation; make picnics a habit and turn it into an outing! Bring supplies for games like tug-of-war, soccer or football and encourage the kids to get up before eating to fit in some physical activity during the picnic. 
Where to picnic at #pbcParks:

Picnic areas are available at no charge from sunrise until sunset on a first-come, first-served basis at the following park locations. Visit this page fore a list of all picnicking locations in our parks:  http://discover.pbcgov.org/parks/Amenities/Picnicking.aspx.

Check out municipal parks in or near your town or city for additional picnicking locations.

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Note: please do not feed wild or stray animals. Animals that are fed can become aggressive and harass people. Wild or stray animals can become extremely territorial and bite the hand that feeds them. This can transmit disease. Animals that become used to human contact are susceptible to disease, injury, and random acts of violence.  The survival skills of wild animals are threatened when they lose the ability to forage naturally for food. This can happen when they are fed by hand or when they eat food left out for stray or abandoned pets. Stray animals hunt and kill native wildlife, even when well fed.

Palm Beach County Parks offer variety of cultural, historical opportunities

At a number of Palm Beach County Parks, kids and families can experience the unique culture and history of South Florida and Palm Beach County. Check out these parks where families can learn and explore together!

 DuBois Pioneer Home (DuBois Park)

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The DuBois Pioneer Home is located inside Palm Beach County’s DuBois Park in Jupiter. Built in 1898, by Harry DuBois for his wife Susan, the DuBois Pioneer Home is one of the last remaining historic homesteads of its type in northern Palm Beach County. Located along the Jupiter Inlet in DuBois Park, the DuBois Pioneer Home is more commonly known as “the house on the hill,” where parents and kids can walk into an excellent example of a self-sufficient South Florida Pioneer homestead. Inside, visitors will not only find original relics that belonged to one of Jupiter’s most notable pioneer families in the early 20th century, they’ll also experience what life was like for a Florida pioneer.

Built atop a Native American shell rock midden by the DuBois Family, this unique homestead is rich in both historic and archeological value. Originally over 600 feet long and 20 feet high, the hill is a remnant of one of the last coastal shell mounds in southeast Florida. Artifacts dating back several thousand years have been discovered at this site; at one point, the entire park was a thriving village where ancient Floridians lived. Signage in front of the house indicates the midden was built by the Jeaga, a tribe of Native Americans Johnathan Dickinson once wrote about.

There are two cannons located inside DuBois Park; one located in front of the DuBois Pioneer Home and the other located near the children’s swim lagoon. The shipwrecked cannons and anchor were recovered in 1987, and are linked to the Spanish vessel named “San Miguel De Archangel” that was bound for Spain; in 1659, the San Miguel foundered and wrecked off what’s known today as the Jupiter Inlet.

Visit pbcParks.com for a more information about the DuBois Pioneer home, including a complete tour schedule – tours are free!

Pineapple House (DuBois Park)

Now located inside Palm Beach County’s DuBois Park, The Pineapple House was once located on a piece of property near present day U.S. Highway 1, on a plot of land where Harry DuBois farmed pineapples. The little shed was built to store the harvested crops, and for a while it was also a rental house. DuBois later purchased a plot of land, now DuBois Park, as the site of the home where he would bring his new bride, Susan. DuBois floated the Pineapple House up the river to DuBois Park, and lived in it while he constructed what is now the DuBois Pioneer Home atop the shell midden. According to DuBois’ son, John, the Pineapple House is one of the oldest wooden structures still remaining in Palm Beach County today, and it pre-dates the DuBois house by at least several years.

Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens

morikami_1Internationally recognized as one of South Florida’s most significant Japanese culture hubs, the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is located in Delray Beach. Since it’s opening in 1977, the Morikami has been a center for Japanese arts and culture in South Florida. With rotating exhibitions, tea ceremonies performed monthly, educational outreach programs, and Japanese traditional festivals celebrated for the public several times a year, there’s always an opportunity at Morikami to expand your horizons and gain an appreciation for the living culture of Japan.morikami_2

Besides the museum, where parents and kids can experience multiple exhibitions that feature historical and contemporary Japanese culture, including more than 7,000 Japanese art objects and artifacts, the Morikami boasts expansive Japanese gardens with strolling paths, a world-class bonsai collection and lakes teeming with koi and other wildlife. A visit to the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens will give families a unique sense of culture and appreciation.

For more information about the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, including rates, hours and location, visit http://www.morikami.org.

Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park/Riverbend Park

Riverbend_3.jpgLocated in Jupiter, Palm Beach County’s Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park and Riverbend Park are adjacent to one another. Both parks are unique historic sites in Palm Beach County, perfect for exploring as a family.

The Gateway to the Loxahatchee River, prehistoric and historic habitation has occurred along the Loxahatchee dating as far back 5,000 years ago. Two battles of the Loxahatchee have taken place in Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park – including Powell’s Battle and Jesup’s Battle, both in 1838. Parents and kids can read about both battles in Riverbend Park, where Florida Historical Markers have been installed for each battle. Visitors to this park can still experience a sense of “Old Florida” that’s unique to this park setting.

At historic Riverbend Park, kids and families can take a step back in time and enjoy walking, biking, riding or canoeing. From the ancient Indian middens, through the Seminole War Battles, visitors have the opportunity to see Florida as the first settlers did. Stroll along the Wild and Scenic Loxahatchee River, visit the Cracker Farmstead, and picnic in the shade under a Seminole chickee.

There are a number of free events offered throughout the year where parents and kids can not only experience battle reenactments, but will also get an idea of what life was like in the 1800’s in this region; in January, visitors can experience a Loxahatchee Battle Reenactors Muster in Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park. During this two-day event, families can watch battle reenactments in a historical setting while learning about the battles and era from historians and re-enactors. In November, a Pioneer Farmstead Day is held at Riverbend Park. Definitely a family event, visitors can spend the day on the “Turn of the Century Farmstead” and enjoy crafters, activities, the Sawmill, roping and riding demos, and more.

The goal of Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation is to preserve and protect these cultural resources, while providing education and passive recreation opportunities for the public to experience this beautiful place and its history.

Limestone Creek Park

 Limestone_Creek_Park_1.JPGPalm Beach County’s Limestone Creek Park is a neighborhood park in Jupiter – the park itself is less than an acre, but much can be learned about the history surrounding the Limestone Creek Community through a visit to the park. A Florida Historical Marker was installed inside the park in 2016 to commemorate the community’s vast history. The marker explains how the Limestone Creek Community opened their own “Jupiter Colored School” inside the local church, despite racial tensions and segregation laws, more than 100 years ago. Kids and parents can learn how the community came together in the name of education and equality after the 1928 hurricane destroyed the church, by reading the Historical Marker.  A visit to Limestone Creek Park will no doubt bring kids and parents a sense of culture and community, along with an educational experience.

For more about the Florida Historical Marker in this park, take a look at our blog post: https://pbcparks.wordpress.com/2016/05/04/limestone-creek-community-celebrates-florida-historic-marker/

Ocean Inlet Park

In addition to being a popular saltwater fishing site and beach park, Ocean Inlet Park is also a location of a Florida Historical Marker that commemorates the South Lake Worth Inlet, which was constructed between 1925 and 1927. The inlet has been the site of a number of historically significant moments; it was the site of the world’s first fixed sand bypassing plant in 1937; during World War II, the Mar Lago Hotel, which overlooked the inlet, was used by the U.S. Coast Guard as a lookout post for enemy submarines.

Today, kids and families can visit the park to stroll the beach, take a swim, have a picnic, and take a gander at the Historic Marker to appreciate the inlet’s historical significance.

Canal Point Community Center

At Canal Point Community Center, parents and kids stop at a kiosk right outside the facility to learn more about the vast historical significance that the Glades region holds for Palm Beach County. Go through a timeline of the historically significant events in the region, and learn about the importance agriculture plays in the community.

South Bay RV Park – historic railroad worker’s cottage

Inside South Bay RV Park, parents and kids can experience a number of recreational opportunities, like biking, boating and camping. Located inside the park is the 1,656 square foot historic railroad worker’s cottage, a 1920’s era frame vernacular cottage, which was originally a FEC Railroad’s section foreman’s house located along a railroad spur in downtown South Bay. The railroad cottage is one of the only two structures left in South Bay which pre-date the 1928 hurricane that brought destruction to the Glades area. Although tours are not being given at this time, the historic railroad worker’s cottage still sits inside South Bay RV Park, and is an interesting sight for parents and kids to experience.

John Stretch Memorial Park – retired machinery

john_stretch_park_2Situated in Clewiston near Lake Okeechobee with access to the lake, John Stretch Park was named after John Stretch, Recreation Director for the Central and South Florida Control District until 1970. In the park, visitors can see a number of old machinery on display, including a Nordberg Manufacturing Company two-stroke diesel radial engine that was formerly used as part of a flood control facility for Lake Okeechobee. Several diesel engines, valves, and pipes that were once part of the flood control facility are also on display inside the park.

The mission of the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department 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. They achieve this by promoting wellness, fostering environmental stewardship, contributing economic value, and by improving our community every day for this and future generations.

Westgate Recreation Center Teen Room Renovated

 Renovation to be featured on NBC show, “Billion Dollar Buyer”

In September, Palm Beach County’s Westgate Recreation Center received a much needed renovation to their teen room, thanks to two community organizations – ADT Always Cares and PBSO’s Police Athletic League.

The facility received new furniture, a new paint job, a new flat screen TV, and more. The kids and teens from the Westgate community now have more opportunities to play, learn and study after school.

The renovation will be featured on the NBC show, “Billion Dollar Buyer” in January 2017 – watch this short video for more!

The mission of the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department 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. We achieve this by promoting wellness, fostering environmental stewardship, contributing economic value, and by improving our community every day for this and future generations. Visit pbcParks.com for more information.

Summer Travels: Into the Land that is Japan \(^.^)/

By Gina Musick, Education Intern for Summer Tour Plus 2016 Program via Summer Travels: Into the Land that is Japan \(^.^)/ — Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens

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Hello everyone! My name is Gina Musick and I am a new volunteer, but as a seasoned Morikami member and Elementary Education major in college, I saw an amazing opportunity in front of me when I read about a posting for an Education Intern for their Summer Tour Plus program. Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like – a tour! A wonderful tour where both docents and volunteers come together in order to create a fun, interactive, and educational experience for visiting camps of all ages into the land of Japan in South Florida.

Imagine visiting another country for almost the whole summer with nothing but the clothes on your back…without leaving your home state! “Impossible!” is what some may say, but that’s exactly how it felt for me. Walking up the steps to the museum alone is a stunning view, surrounded by a preview of the gardens and a small koi pond. Morikami creates a one-of-a-time experience that children of all ages and backgrounds are able to participate in.

Here is what a day in the Summer Tour Plus 2016 program looked like:

1. Japanese Game Show: the volunteers engage the campers in a slideshow of various Japanese tools and objects, guessing their true meanings of utility, after watching a clip from a real live game show!

2.Art Gallery Tour: the docents give the campers a unique and peaceful tour of Hiromi Moneyhun’s paper cut exhibition, where they learn about her unique art style and its main elements – metamorphosis and symmetry.

3. Shadow Art: Kirigami: the volunteers teach the campers how to create the own paper cuts (known in Japanese as kirigami)! The campers use scissors and hole-punchers to create unique designs and patterns into their canvas’, which is a moth – a strong representation of both symmetry and metamorphosis.

4. Docents’ Choice: the docents choose an activity of their own discretion to educate the campers about! For instance, during the week of the Star Festival (also known as Tanabata), which occurs on July 7th, the children learned about the history behind the festival and wrote a wish on a strip of paper attached to string (known as tanzaku) and then tied them to a bamboo tree for the wish to come true! Click here to learn more about Tanabata.img_1743

Each camp that visited Morikami participated in all four of these activities at some time or another during their day. In each rotation, the campers were motivated and supported by volunteers and docents alike to pursue a passion in learning to appreciate the very diverse and beautiful culture of Japan. The Summer Tour Plus Program created by Morikami strongly reflects the museum’s mission to the community…”to provide authentic Japanese cultural experiences that entertain, educate, and inspire.”

I thoroughly enjoyed my volunteer experience as a summer intern at Morikami, as it was everything I expected it to be and more! It was amazing to see children of all ages and cultural backgrounds learning about a very historic and unique culture through different activities, and excel at participating in every way. Such a successful experience does not go without thanking all of the staff, docents, and volunteers involved in creating such an enriching and lasting experience!

img_1880-e1475684592620Morikami is always looking for volunteers to help out on a day-to-day basis, as well as for festivals or a variety of programs. During the time we waited for the camps to arrive, we volunteers would work on creating decorations for upcoming festivals. We made paper chains, tissue paper flowers, and paper lanterns all to help prepare for the upcoming Lantern Festival: In the Spirit of Obon! If you have a passion for education, culture, or anything Japan, I highly recommend you take an opportunity and offer your time to this amazing non-profit institution. You will receive a timeless experience for the time that you give! Click here to find out about your possible opportunities~!  \(^.^)

さようなら。! (Sayōnara!)

Okeeheelee Nature Center Welcomes Specialty Camps, Field Trips

Did you know that our Nature Centers are the perfect field trip and camp destinations?  Okeeheelee Nature Center recently hosted a week-long specialty camp, where kids canoed, built bird houses, interacted with birds and deer that live at the Nature Center, and more. During a field trip to Okeeheelee, Green Cay or Daggerwing Nature Centers, kids can enjoy some of the same interactive and educational activities, like owl pellet dissection and animal encounters.

Okeeheelee Nature 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.

Visit pbcParks.com for more information.