Volunteer of the Month: John Leon

Our Volunteer of the Month for September 2022 is John Leon.

John has been volunteering with us for almost 2 years and has taken part in every special event we’ve had.

John has accumulated a total of 205 hours and in September volunteered every single weekend for the full day. John has been a guide, assisted in our café, kept the park clean, helped prepare for events, and even helped with renovations for the Animal Care department. He’s always willing to do whatever we ask and that’s why we appreciate him so much.

Thank you John!

 

How Climate Change Helped Intensify Hurricane Ian

As Hurricane Ian roared across Florida, we were reminded once again that climate change is helping make tropical storms and hurricanes worse.

While scientists and meteorologists collectively caution against blaming these intense storms on any one cause, they do agree that climate change is creating conditions which contribute to the rapid intensification, rainfall, and inland flooding of recent hurricanes.

“The acting National Hurricane Center director recently stated that ‘on the whole, on the cumulative, climate change may be making storms worse.’ That is supported by the overwhelmingly clear science on what climate change means for storms like Ian in general: heavier rainfall, possible slower movement which prolongs heavy rain and battering winds, and more inundation as sea levels rise,” the Hurricane Center’s public affairs officer Maria Torres wrote in an email for a recent TIME magazine article.

Scientists agree that the rapid intensification of hurricanes is becoming more frequent and is connected to the impacts of climate change. Higher average temperatures lead to warmer ocean waters which in turn causes more evaporation. As tropical storms like Tropical Storm Ian pass over very warm water, they absorb more moisture, leading to heavier rainfall. In the right calm conditions, warmer waters can also increase the storms’ wind speed, and can cause hurricanes to undergo rapid intensification more frequently.

Dr. Richard Knabb, director of NOAA’s National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, said in a CBS News article that Hurricane Ian packed two days’ worth of rapid intensification into less than 36 hours.

“Warming sea-surface temperatures are playing a role, since they provide fuel for hurricanes, which also rely on a moist and unstable atmosphere — all of which are becoming more conducive for strengthening hurricanes in our changing climate,” Knabb said. “Hurricanes appear to be peaking in strength a bit higher than they used to, and they seem to be intensifying at a rapid rate a bit more frequently. We do not appear to be seeing more tropical storms and hurricanes overall, but the proportion of storms that become majors and that peak a bit stronger appears to be what is increasing.”

Rising sea levels also increase flooding danger from storm surge, helping to push flooding further inland.

“In addition,” Knabb said, “sea level rise will only continue to increase the magnitude and inland extent of flooding already caused by storm surge, when saltwater is pushed onto normally dry ground from the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic Ocean.”

 Apart from the damage caused by inland flooding, freshwater lagoons and reservoirs may become contaminated by the saltwater and may also damage water sanitation services resulting in waterborne infections. Standing water may also increase the presence of mosquitos and airborne diseases as well. More intense hurricanes and more frequent flooding are expected to drastically increase insurance costs to Florida residents.

We can all make a difference by helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions and by encouraging our leaders, friends, and neighbors to make impactful change as well. Here are 5 Things You Can Do to Fight Climate Change.

Eco-teers Secret Woods Nature Center Clean Up

On September 25th, the Eco-teers visited Secret Woods Nature Center for a waterway cleanup and invasive plant removal.

Unfortunately, the park has experienced heavy flooding due to king tides and they were unable to remove invasive plants. Their focus shifted to solely removing incoming trash from South Fork New River and they collected 47.6 pounds of trash including shoes, Styrofoam, toys and many plastic bottles. 

After the cleanup, the Secert Woods Naturalist offered a reptile show educating the Eco-teers on the many reptiles that are found in Florida and the importance of understanding the difference between non-invasive and invasive species. Invasive species can be plants or animals that have detrimental ecological and/or economic impacts. Learn more on how to identify these species by joining the next Eco-teers project in October. 

Support has been provided by the following Funds at Community Foundation of Broward: Leonard & Sally Robbins Fund, Mary and Alex Mackenzie Community Impact Fund, Frederick W. Jaqua Fund, and support from Spirit Airlines.

If you would like to join the Eco-teers in their upcoming projects, email Glennys Navarrete at [email protected] to request an application. 

Volunteer of the Month: Ines Rosales

Our Volunteer of the Month for August 2022 is Ines Rosales.

Ines has quickly made herself an important asset here at Flamingo Gardens.

She started in June and has quickly amassed over 110 hours. She has really taken initiative and volunteered in major areas of need for us.

Ines has been present at every Eco-teers project including this month’s mangrove propagule collection. She has regularly been involved with our Orchidteers as well as assisting Animal Care on a regular basis.

Her love of nature and wildlife shows every single time she volunteers, and she is a shining example of the type of volunteer we want here at Flamingo Gardens.

We really appreciate all the time and effort you’ve given us Ines!

Broward Attractions and Museums Month (BAMM) September 1-30, 2022

September is Broward Attractions and Museums Month (BAMM), which encourages visitors to experience the diversity of cultural treasures throughout Broward County. During September, visitors may buy one admission and get a second admission of equal or lesser value for free to Flamingo Gardens and 12 other participating museums and attractions in Broward County. Five additional museums offer free admission as part of the BAMM promotion.

Adventures await you right outside your door! Discover new artists or ancient artifacts, ride on a riverboat or an airboat, explore a botanical garden and historic house or feed a flamingo…and so much more.

Visitors just need to mention “BAMM” or inquire about the offer at the facility’s ticket booth to purchase one regular price admission and get a second admission of equal or lesser value for free.

Flamingo Gardens’ Buy One Get One (BOGO) admission offer is only available at the Gift Shop Box Office. BOGO is not available online.

Participating attractions and museums* include:

  • Art and Culture Center/ Hollywood (BOGO admission)
  • Bonnet House (BOGO admission *self-guided tours only)
  • Butterfly World (BOGO admission)
  • Coral Springs Museum of Art (Free admission)
  • Flamingo Gardens (BOGO admission)
  • Historic Stranahan House (BOGO admission *online reservation required)
  • History Fort Lauderdale (BOGO admission)
  • International Swimming Hall of Fame Museum (Free admission *partially open)
  • Jungle Queen Riverboats (BOGO *90-minute cruises only *online reservation required)
  • Museum of Discovery and Science (BOGO *Tuesdays excluded. Adult purchase required)
  • NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale (BOGO admission)
  • Old Davie School Historical Museum (BOGO admission *online reservation required)
  • Plantation Historical Museum (Free admission)
  • Sawgrass Recreation Park (BOGO admission *online reservation required)
  • Stonewall National Museum & Archives (Free admission)
  • Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts (BOGO *adult purchase required)
  • World AIDS Museum (Free admission)
  • Young At Art Museum (BOGO admission)

Broward Attractions and Museums Month is September 1-30, 2022. Visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BAMMsfl for additional information.

*Participating organizations may have additional restrictions or blackout dates that apply, as well as additional discounted offers available. No other offers, discounts or coupons may apply. Visitors should check each attraction’s website or call for details, hours of operation, and COVID19 updates before visiting.