Land conservation and management are essential for restoring and protecting wildlife habitat. These are also important for assuring future generations have natural resources that are sources of inspiration, creativity, relaxation, and recreation. To help conserve natural lands for the benefit of all, several land conservation programs were put into place. These have included Preservation 2000 and Florida Forever. So far almost two million acres of land in Florida have been preserved. Audubon has purchased land for bird sanctuaries and nature centers as well as conducted educational campaigns about the importance of land conservation and management.
Annually, however, up to 200,000 acres of land are converted to residential and commercial uses thwarting the best efforts of public lands strategies. Also thwarting these efforts are the reduced budgets to public land management agencies leaving fewer personnel to manage the increasing portfolios of land. Public lands must be managed to control invasive exotic plants and animals, allow or mimic natural fire regimes, and prevent overuse and abuse.
In November 2000 voters in Broward County overwhelmingly approved the Safe Parks and Land Preservation Bond Referendum. Its purpose is to preserve natural lands for future generations and limit over development. This was necessary because the pace of development was proceeding rapidly and natural lands were being lost. Land Preservation efforts include (1) acquiring natural lands for conservation, (2) securing green spaces as buffers between environmentally sensitive lands and conservation lands, and (3) obtaining and restoring open spaces for public parks.
Broward County Parks and Recreation Division manages almost 6,500 acres, encompassing nearly 50 regional parks and nature centers, neighborhood parks, and natural areas at various stages of development. Facilities include water parks, campgrounds, a target range, a stadium, a skate park, an observatory, mountain bike trails, an educational farm with stables, and a velodrome and other sports facilities.
For schedules of nature walks, Ecoaction Days, educational programs and special events offered by South Florida nature centers and visitor centers, visit their websites.
Anne Kolb Nature Center, Hollywood, FL
Blair Audubon Center, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Naples, FL
Daggerwing Nature Center, Boca Raton, FL
Everglades National Park, FL (Coe Visitor Center, Flamingo Visitor Center, Gulf Coast Visitor Center, Royal Palm Visitor Center, Shark Valley Visitor Center)
Fern Forest Nature Center, Coconut Creek, FL
Green Cay Wetlands and Nature Center, Boynton Beach, FL
Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, Boca Raton, FL
Long Key Nature Center, Davie, FL
Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, Boynton Beach, FL
Okeeheelee Nature Center, West Palm Beach, FL
Sawgrass Nature Center, Coral Springs, FL
Secret Woods Nature Center, Dania Beach, FL
Tree Tops Park Nature Center, Davie, FL
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Find an EcoEscape - Visit the nature centers, natural area sites, and parks. Let staff know how much you appreciate these resources.
Introduce Others - Take your neighbors to these nature centers, National Wildlife Refuges, and Everglades National Park.
Support Audubon - help acquire land and preserve it through your donations
Make Your Voice Heard - Let your congressional representatives know how you feel about land conservation and preservation.
South Florida Audubon Society
PO Box 9644
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33310
954 776 5585
Copyright © South Florida Audubon Society. All rights reserved.