Volunteer Spotlight: Ilene Shatkin

Our Volunteer of the Month for May is Ilene Shatkin.

Ilene is one of the kindest and most dedicated volunteers we’ve ever had. Ilene has specifically volunteered with the Orchidteers which is a group we established in 2017. When you see the orchids we have here in the gardens, you understand why the Orchidteers are such an integral part of Flamingo Gardens. Ilene is a major part of that group. In her time since becoming a volunteer she has already volunteered about 850 hours of her time and with the consistency she displays those hours are always climbing. We are lucky to have her and she is extremely valued. It is so important to have volunteers like her.

Quiet Hour with the Dinosaurs

Flamingo Gardens is introducing a serene and inclusive experience for visitors with sensory sensitivities. Every Tuesday, from 9am to 10am, the gardens will host “Quiet Hour with the Dinosaurs.” During this special time, the sound and motion of the animatronic dinosaurs will be turned off, allowing guests to explore the lush landscapes in a tranquil environment.

This thoughtful initiative ensures that everyone can enjoy the beauty and wonder of Flamingo Gardens without the potential overwhelm of loud noises and sudden movements. Visitors can wander through the gardens, soaking in the natural sounds of birds chirping and leaves rustling, creating a peaceful and immersive experience.

“Quiet Hour with the Dinosaurs” is a perfect opportunity for families and individuals who prefer a calmer setting to connect with nature and enjoy the impressive dinosaur displays at their own pace. Whether you’re a regular visitor or planning your first trip, this inclusive hour offers a unique and considerate way to experience Flamingo Gardens.

Join us every Tuesday at 9am for a tranquil journey through time and nature, designed with sensory sensitivities in mind. Discover the harmony of the past and present in a space where everyone can feel comfortable and welcome.

Eco-teers: Garden for Wildlife Habitats

Ecoteer’s participated with the City of Sunrise today in a “Garden for Wildlife Habitats” workshop with the hopes of getting the general public to certify their neighborhoods as “wildlife friendly habitats”. This event was held at Flamingo Park and lasted from 10 AM to 12PM. Part of encouraging the public to understand and create a wildlife friendly garden required informing them on how to initiate and maintain such an environment. They were educated on the importance of native plants (coontie, milkweed, salvia, etc.), how to grow them, and where to properly purchase natives as opposed to their look-alike invasive counterparts. This presentation also included the growth cycle and instructions on how to care for each of the many species. Much of the invitees, including EcoTeers, were lucky enough to take home a plant or two to grow in their own gardens and reintroduce wildlife back to formerly populated areas. It was estimated that we had 30-45 attendees and over 15 committed to certifying their neighborhoods online. We have also learned that our heat zone for Broward County has moved from a 10B to now an 11 so that directly correlates with the types of species that will thrive in our environment. This information will be a lead into our following projects toward the end of May and Early June. I’m looking forward to sharing all of those details with you as we grow the number of projects we practice monthly.