Tag Archives: outdoors

Power of Parks: Andres Avello

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 18 features Andres Avello, the co-founder of PADL, a self-service, solar-powered paddle boarding startup with stations throughout South Florida, including in three PBC Parks — Burt Reynolds, Ocean Inlet, and Juno Park. These stations provide easy access to the county’s waterways without having to own a paddle board.

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.

Volunteer Spotlight: Eddie Ott

Edward “Eddie” Ott has been a volunteer for 11 years at John Prince Golf Learning Center. He picks up golf balls on the range and helps keep the fire ants under control by surveying the property in the hunt for anthills, so they can extinguish them before they cause patrons harm. He also helps keep the golf greens, green aprons (collars) and fairways in tiptop shape by fixing ball markers and filling divots, keeping them as some of the best in South Florida.

Fellow staff, volunteers and patrons have always said that he has been a pleasure to talk to due to his wealth of experiences and knowledge.

Eddie has always been a very diligent working volunteer. He is kind, optimistic and very cordial to all and a role model to the whole facility.

The biggest personal benefit he’s received as a volunteer with our department? “I get to play golf and work with Geoff!”

Eddie started playing golf at the age of 42 and moved down to Florida from Ohio when he was 50. His previous occupation was an auto mechanic. What’s most interesting is he is 97 years old, who calls 85 year olds ‘kids’. 

Best Parks for Families with Young Children

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The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department offers many environments for families with young children to spend time together while learning, growing and practicing healthy lifestyles. With more than 80 parks and recreation facilities from Tequesta to Boca Raton and west to Lake Okeechobee, there are a variety of activities parents and young kids can partake in – and all our parks and facilities are inspected to provide safe experiences. Here’s a list of our favorites!

John Prince Park

JohnPrince_FitnessZone_2.JPGJohn Prince Park in Lake Worth will not disappoint the little ones. Kids can enjoy 5 playgrounds throughout the park, including a boundless playground that provides children with and without disabilities a colorful, sensory-rich, accessible experience. Located next to the boundless playground is a splash park where kids can run through a series of spray arches, stand under a giant splashing tail, and more, all under three shade sails that provide sun protection. The park also offers a Fitness Zone® Exercise Area so parents can stay active while their kids play. Adults can work out using 17 pieces of outdoor, resistance exercise equipment that uses one’s own body weight for strength training purposes. The Fitness Zone® is located near a large pavilion and playground.

Okeeheelee Park

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A visit to Okeeheelee Park is a great opportunity for activity and education. The 1,700-acre park features three playgrounds for running, sliding and swinging. After spending some time on the playground, parents can take kids to Okeeheelee Nature Center, located inside the park. At OKNC, families can check out hands-on exhibits, animal encounters and a nature-related gift shop. Admission to OKNC and trails is free. Program participation and bicycle/kayak concession fees are nominal. Time your visit right and experience an equestrian event at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in Okeeheelee Park South, on the south side of Forest Hill Boulevard.

Westgate Park and Recreation Center

Westgate_Playground.JPGLocated in West Palm Beach, Westgate Park and Recreation Center features a playground, splash park and fitness station, making it an ideal location for activity for both parents and kids. On a hot day, kids can cool off by splashing through the brightly-colored water playground. When the kids are enjoying the newly-remodeled playground, adults can take the opportunity to work out on a 10-piece exercise station with equipment while watching their kids.

Lake Worth West Neighborhood Park

Lake Worth West Neighborhood Park in Central Palm Beach County recently underwent LakeWorthWest_FitnessStation.JPGa makeover, courtesy of the Office Depot Foundation and Palm Beach County. Now, Lake Worth West residents can enjoy a new playground with accessible equipment for all abilities, as well as a free library, green space, basketball court, and a butterfly garden. With an exercise station located next to the playground, adults can do an array of exercises while watching their kids.

Burt Aaronson South County Regional ParkSouthCounty_CoconutCoveWaterpark.JPG

Whether you’re spending the day at Coconut Cove Waterpark, playing on one of the two playgrounds, or heading to Daggerwing Nature Center to learn about reptiles and insects, there’s something for every member of the family at Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park. Coconut Cove Waterpark is a perfect activity for those hot summer days; kids and adults can run on a playground, slide down waterslides or float along a lazy river. At Daggerwing Nature Center, kids can play and learn through interactive exhibits, or venture outside to a boardwalk and tower where families can watch and learn about wildlife. While there is an admission fee for Coconut Cove Waterpark, a visit to Daggerwing Nature Center is free, with the exception of program fees.

Glades Pioneer ParkGlades Family Fun Fest 2017 211.JPG

Located in western Palm Beach County, Glades Pioneer Park features a seasonally-operated swimming pool, a baseball field, basketball courts, tennis courts, a 1.25-mile paved multipurpose path, playgrounds for ages 2-5 and 5-12, a splashpark, and picnic areas.

For park locations, visit www.pbcparks.com.

 

 

 

 

Best Annual Family Events at #pbcParks

In addition to the many recreational activities parents and kids can do together at more than 80 Palm Beach County parks and recreation facilities, there are a number of popular events that are hosted annually in #pbcParks. These events are designed to educate people of all ages and bring together parents and kids to create an appreciation for different topics, ranging from the environment to fitness and accessible sports.

Here are some popular free events:

Dark Sky Event

Every year, the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Dark Sky Festival_3Department and Department of Environmental Resources Management “celebrate
the night and turn down the lights” by Hosting their Dark Sky Festival at Okeeheelee Nature Center. The event is held at night, typically from the hours of 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. in February. The Dark Sky Festival aims to expose people of all ages to the marvels of astronomy and the importance of protecting dark skies for the benefit of human health and wildlife.

Parents and kids can:Stargaze with local astronomers

  • Enjoy exhibits and nature walks
  • Enjoy a children’s activity area
  • Make s’mores by a campfire
  • Learn night-time photography tips
  • And more!

Information about the Palm Beach County Dark Sky Festival can be found here: http://www.co.palm-beach.fl.us/erm/darkskyfest/


Outdoor Adventure Day

The first ever Outdoor Adventure Day is in John Prince Park on Saturday, March 4th! PBC Parks partners with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to bring the Lake Worth and surrounding community an event where youth and adults can safely learn and experience outdoor recreation opportunities like canoeing, fishing, archery, rock climbing and more.

The event helps get people outside and active, create a more active community and expose parents and youth to unique sports they can do together. By teaching our community these sports at no charge, they learn to be more active in their everyday lives and appreciate being in natural settings.

Click here for details about the 2017 John Prince Park Outdoor Adventure Day.


Family Fun Fests

Glades Family Fun Fest_3There are a number of Family Fun Fests in PBC Parks every year, from Family Fitness Fun Day at West Boynton Recreation Center to the Glades Family Fun Fest at Glades Pioneer Park.

The aim of Family Fun Fests is to allow parents and kids to get out and get active through dance, bounce houses, rock climbing, and team sports like soccer. These family-friendly activities are intended to get everyone active and moving, from the youngest member in the family to the oldest. Health and Wellness partners present at these events give community members a chance to get important information about their health and wellness, including free health screenings. Free resources are available for residents from partners around the community.


Migration Celebration

The annual Migration Celebration at Green Cay Nature Center welcomes adults, kids and bird lovers alike to the event to learn about migratory birds returning to the wetlands and become familiar with other animals, like reptiles, living at the facility. The Migration Celebration exposes people of all ages to a unique nature center inside Palm Beach County, while enlightening them on topics related to wildlife conservation and environmental protection.Migration Celebration_1

Kids can take part in animal-related activities like interactive puppet shows and arts and crafts with education and conservation themes. Parents can join their kids as they watch for dozens of different birds at the nature center.

The nature centers also host annual events celebrating Earth Day. At Daggerwing and Okeeheelee Nature Centers, guests can explore the nature center grounds, connect with nature, and participate in conservation events and efforts.


Knock and Roll Tournament – Wheelchair Rugby

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Every year, PBC Parks welcomes wheelchair rugby players from all over the country and the world, for the annual Knock and Roll Tournament. The different teams go head-to-head for the trophy in a three-day tournament at the Therapeutic Recreation Complex inside John Prince Park in Lake Worth.

Wheelchair Rugby, or Quad Rugby, is a game for individuals with disabilities; the players glide down the court, bumping and hitting each other’s chairs along the way, in what makes for an exciting and powerful sport meant to increase athletic participation among individuals with physical disabilities.

People of all ages and abilities can watch this exciting game every year at the TR Complex – and cheer on their favorite team while they bump and glide past each other!


Pioneer Farmstead, Living History Days & Battlefield Re-enactments

Riverbend Park and Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park often host historical family events like Pioneer Farmstead Day and Battlefield Re-enactments, which allow families to take a step back in time and learn about all realms of the historical battles that took place in the 19th century in these areas.Living History Days

The events often feature different historical aspects for families to enjoy. Riverbend Park’s Living History Day in November 2015 focused on a variety of topics, including battlefield education, pioneers, and homesteaders education. Visitors can experience “Old Florida” and learn about the history of the area through many points of view. Period army, Seminole camps, re-enactors, guest speakers and historical preservationists are often present at these historical events, all inside two of Palm Beach County’s beautiful and most popular parks.


There’s so much going on inside #pbcParks! To stay up-to-date with what’s going on, be sure to subscribe to Leisure Times Online, a monthly list of events that are happening inside PBC Parks.

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. For information about more leisure opportunities available through Palm Beach County, visit www.pbcparks.com​.

Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation, COBWRA partner for Family Fitness FunDay

DSC_0217_EditedOn Sunday, March 6, Palm Beach County residents of all ages came together for a “Sunday Funday” filled with hula hooping, dancing, yoga, rock climbing and other family-friendly activities intended to get everyone active and moving. Seniors, kids and adults took to Palm Beach County’s West Boynton Park and Recreation Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as part of an initiative to offer inter-generational fitness activities to the West Boynton community.

“In support of our department’s mission, we partnered with the Coalition of Boynton West Residential Associations [COBWRA] with the goal in mind of promoting health and wellness to people of all ages,” said Recreation Programs Supervisor Jackie Lambert.

The Family Fitness FunDay was an intergenerational event that featured an expansive menu of indoor and outdoor activities for all ages. Participants experienced aerobics, karate, yoga, tai chi, zumba and other activities available for all ages. Outdoors, kids enjoyed a bike rodeo, played soccer, got their faces painted, and more! The activities were accessible for people of all ages and abilities.

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Other community partners, including the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, Palm Tran, Delray Medical, and Bethesda Hospital were present.DSC_0190_Edited

“Community partners came together to provide opportunities for physical activity, socialization and provided information about wellness resources and services to assist in identifying and supporting the health, safety, and well-being of all residents,” explained Lambert.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office conducted fingerprinting demonstrations and spoke to the public about safety issues. Palm Beach County Fire Rescue allowed children to draw on their fire trucks, simultaneously speaking to people of all ages about the parts of a fire truck and their duties as firefighters.

DSC_0180_Edited“Anytime you put together an event that brings the community together and promotes health and wellness that offers different ways to get moving, it’s beneficial,” said Palm Beach County Mayor Mary Lou Berger, who was present at the event, along with Commissioners Shelley Vana and Steven Abrams.

After giving an introduction speech to attendees, Berger took part in a zumba, hip hop and aerobic class. “It was a great workout,” said Berger.

According to COBWRA representatives, this was the first time COBWRA put on an event of this magnitude for the West Boynton Community. “We wanted to reach a broader community,” explained Valerie Fuldauer, a COBWRA community member. She, along with COBWRA chair Joan Brunswick and Vice Chair Debbie Murphy, say they came to Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation with the idea, and staff helped guide them through the entire process.

“They’ve been fabulous,” said Brunswick.

COBWRA officials say they hope to plan more events like Sunday’s Family Fitness FunDay in the future.