If the economic crisis and the high price of gasoline have you spending your summer months closer to home, you may enjoy taking the kids to visit some of Broward County’s nature preserves. These are small areas that show South Florida as it used to be, before urbanization destroyed so much of the land’s natural beauty.
Located at 3299 N.E. 3 Avenue in Pompano Beach, the Crystal Lake Sand Scrub Pine preserve protects some of the county’s most ecologically fragile communities. In addition to sandscrub pine, the area contains several species of scrub oak and prickly pear cactus. Wild rosemary grows close to the walking paths.The area is one of the few places where one can still occasionally see cardinals. Ibises are plentiful and one can hear an occasional woodpecker as well.
The park is open from sunrise to sunset, seven days a week. Be sure to bring your own water, sunscreen and hats. There are no bathroom facilities, either. Entrance is free and there are no parking fees. The area is more interesting at dawn, before the heat drives the wildlife into hiding.
If your children need to complete community service hours in order to graduate from high school, they may enjoy doing volunteer work in the county’s parks and natural areas. (See the contact information below.) It will give them a break from the usual chores like cleaning classrooms and grading papers for teachers and allow them to do something meaningful while enjoying Florida’s natural beauty.
3299 N.E. Third Ave., Pompano Beach, FL 33064