On Sale May 15th- The South Florida Adventure Pass Is Back for the Ninth Year!

4 Broward Attractions for One Low Price Equals a Summer Full of Savings and Family Fun!

Important: Online purchase receipts must be redeemed at Flamingo Gardens for physical pass before use.

Butterfly World, Flamingo Gardens, Museum of Discovery and Science and Sawgrass Recreation Park will be offering the South Florida Adventure Pass for the ninth year. The special promotion offers passholders unlimited
admission to all four attractions throughout the summer!

Explore aviaries filled with 20,000 exotic butterflies and tropical birds at Butterfly World; see live animals, from alligators to panthers, at Flamingo Gardens; take an airboat ride at Sawgrass Recreation Park; and experience Survival of the Slowest at the Museum of Discovery and Science…all for one low price!

The South Florida Adventure Pass will be available for purchase at each of the
participating locations beginning on May 15, 2024, and will be valid for admission to each of the attractions until September 30, 2024. Butterfly World, Flamingo Gardens, Museum of Discovery and Science and Sawgrass Recreation Park will also have the passes for sale online at their respective websites.

At $60 plus tax, per adult ages 13+ and $50 plus tax, per child (ages 3-12), this pass grants unlimited admission to each attraction. Existing annual passholders/members at participating attractions can upgrade to the South Florida Adventure Pass for $50 plus tax, per adult, and $40 plus tax, per child.

For more information on the South Florida Adventure Pass, please visit southfloridaadventurepass.com.

About Butterfly World
Experience Butterfly World, where Discovery and Wonder take Flight at the World’s Largest Butterfly and Bird Park! It features “open air” aviaries with a breath-taking
display of 20,000 exotic butterflies and tropical birds from all around the world. Explore and interact with rare and delicate butterflies in the South Florida Tropical Rain Forest. Discover metamorphosis in our Research Facility where you will see all stages of the butterfly life cycle in a display that changes daily. Other highlights include Vine Maze, Butterfly Museum and Insectarium, and more! This is the perfect adventure for the whole family! Tradewinds Park weekend/holiday gate fee may be in effect. Located at 3600 W. Sample Road, Coconut Creek, FL 33073. For more information, please visit butterflyworld.com or call 954.977.4400.

About Flamingo Gardens
Feed a flamingo at this botanical garden & wildlife sanctuary! Established in 1927, Flamingo Gardens is one of the oldest botanical gardens in South Florida. The 60-acre non-profit botanical garden and wildlife sanctuary contains over 3000 tropical and sub-tropical species of plants and trees including 15 of the largest trees of their species. Its Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary is home to the largest collection of rescued Florida native wildlife in the state, including alligators, bobcats, otters, eagles, panthers, a black bear and flamingos. Visit the
historic Wray Home Museum and take a narrated tram tour through native jungle growth and wetlands. Located at 3750 S. Flamingo Road, Davie, FL 33330. For more information, please visit flamingogardens.org or call 954.473.2955.

About Museum of Discovery and Science
Founded in 1976 as the Discovery Center, today the Museum of Discovery and Science (MODS) is at the forefront of science education, innovation and exploration. MODS connects people to inspiring science, providing STEM education and cultural experiences for 450,000+ visitors annually in the 150,000 sq. ft. facility. MODS is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that has been accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) for three decades (only 3% of science museums are accredited for excellence and leadership in the field). In the past year, MODS has added to that distinction by being named Broward’s Hub for Resilience Education by the Board of the Community Foundation of Broward, selected by the LEGO Foundation as one of only 15 museums nationwide to join the Playful Learning Museum Network and awarded the prestigious 2023 IMLS National Medal for Museum Service.

The Museum celebrates diversity and welcomes visitors from all walks of life. The Museum hours are Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. MODS is located downtown at 401 SW Second Street, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33312. For more information about the Museum, please visit mods.org or call 954.467.MODS (6637).

Like us or follow us on social media:
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About Sawgrass Recreation Park
Discover the Florida Everglades on a thrilling 40-minute airboat adventure! Glide over the sawgrass and cattails and let your spirit soar as you hear the stories of this unique environment. In our exhibit areas meet our adopted and rescued reptiles and even pet a baby alligator! Open 7 days reservations required at this time, try The Gator Grill offering unique flavors of Florida! Please call to make reservations for your visit. 1006 N. Highway 27, Weston, FL 33327. For more information, please visit evergladestours.com or call 954.389.0202.

Eco-teer Peace River Restoration Project

The city of Punta Gorda suffered widespread losses as a result of Hurricane Ian in Fall of 2022. Peace River Botanical and Sculpture Gardens fell within hurricane Ian’s path resulting in major environmental impacts such as the destruction of their trees and plants.

The Flamingo Gardens’ Eco-teers traveled to Peace River with over 500 native trees as well as host and nectar plants to help restore some ground on March 25th. Volunteers spent their day planting cypress, elderberry, coral bean, magnolia, lantana, and coontie.

Within the same week, Eco-teers took their talents to Fort Lauderdale Beach in partnership with the Youth Environmental Alliance on April 1st. Their mission was to plant 4000 sea oats in an effort to restore our sand dunes and they succeeded. 

 

Sand dunes provide natural coastal protection against storm surge, reducing coastal flooding and structural damage. Sand dunes also provide rich habitat for specific vegetation and wildlife. The sea oats are a Hardy and salt tolerant plant that play a major role in building and stabilizing the dunes. They help trap wind-blown sand which helps in maintain the form of the dunes and they have an extensive root system that grows horizontally and acts as the main support to keep the dune raised.

If you would like to join the next Eco-teer project, contact Glennys Navarrete at [email protected] for an application.

The Need For Bees

Without bees, many of the food crops in the United States would not even exist! In the US alone, honey bees are responsible for the pollination of $15 billion worth of crop . Pollination is a critical process in plants, allowing for the reproduction of plants, resulting in the next generation of crops. Plants are a critical part of our food chain and a source of food for all herbivores. Plants are also responsible for the purification of the atmosphere as they take in carbon dioxide and convert it to oxygen. Therefore, bees are indirectly responsible for our ability to eat and breath!

 

Bee populations are declining at alarming rates in recent years. The Smithsonian Magazine reports that bee populations declined just five to ten percent annually in the 1980s, but recent years have seen annual declines from 22 to 30 percent. Populations are declining due to a variety of factors including habitat destruction, pesticides, disease, and a changing climate.

Habitat Loss 

Studies indicate that bee territories have shrunk by nearly 200 miles in North America and Europe primarily due to human encroachment as more land is developed for housing, commerce, and agriculture. Consequently, the habitat ranges for the honeybees have become smaller and they are challenged as to where they should set their hives. Unlike other insects like butterflies that easily adapt to new habitat ranges, some bee species like bumblebees rarely shift their habitat. Thus, habitat loss may eventually result in the extinction of some species of bees. 

Increased habitat loss has led to native bees experiencing a significantly greater threat to extinction than ever before. Of the nearly 30,000 species of bees across the world, most native bee species are dependent upon a particular plant species for survival. The destruction of the bees’ particular habitat is a near certain death sentence for many bee species that are not suited to migration. Examples of the most threatened native bee species include yellow carpet solitary bee, sunflower leaf-cutting bee, wild sweet potato bee, and Gulf Coast solitary bee.

Diseases

Bees are particularly vulnerable to some species of gut and mite parasites that thrive in warm temperatures. One of the glaring effects of climate change is the increase in temperatures and shorter cold seasons. These high temperatures mean that bees are at greater risk of diseases and parasites now than they were before due to climate change. 

Seasonal Timing 

In their role as pollinators, timing is crucial for bees. The time of spring flowering and the hatching of bee larvae must coincide for successful pollination to take place. Usually, bees come out of winter hibernation at exactly the same time when flowers begin to bloom. Warmer temperatures in recent years have resulted in earlier snow melts and earlier bloom periods that occur before the bees start to emerge. If the flowers are available and there are no bees around to pollinate them, a mismatch occurs. This loss of synchronicity between bees and the flowering plants results in a decrease in seed production and plant reproduction, resulting in a food shortage for the bee population.

Three Ways To Help Bees:

  1. Plant a Bee Garden. Create a habitat for bees with plants that are rich in pollen and nectar. Bees are drawn to single flowers with one ring of petals where the central part of the flower is easily accessible. You don’t need a ton of space to grow bee-friendly plants — gardens can be established across yards and in window boxes, flowerpots, and planters.
  2. Go Chemical-Free for Bees. Bees are insects so synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, and neonicotinoids are harmful to bees, wreaking havoc on their sensitive systems. Avoid treating your garden and green spaces with synthetics. Instead, use organic products and natural solutions such as compost to aid soil health and add beneficial insects that keep pests away, such as ladybugs and praying mantises.
  3. Plant a tree. When a tree blooms, it provides hundreds and thousands of blossoms from which bees can feed. In fact, bees get most of their nectar from trees! Trees are not only a great food source for bees, but are also an essential habitat. Tree leaves and resin provide nesting material for bees, while natural wood cavities make excellent shelters.

For more ways to help bees visit www.theBeeConservancy.org.

Volunteer Spotlight: David Bauer

Our Volunteer of the Month for January is David Bauer.
David has done over 100 hours in a very short time span. His January productivity has been exceptional. David has assisted us at the café, helped out with the exhibits in our gallery, made Flamingo bags to be sold in our gift shop, and waste management. He is a very willing volunteer who is eager to do whatever he is asked and is always a team player. We are very thankful to have David here with us at Flamingo Gardens.
 

Eco-teers Dune Restoration

On December 17th, the Eco-teers worked on a dune restoration in Fort Lauderdale Beach alongside the Youth Environmental Alliance (YEA). 1004 sea oats were planted on the beach located just half a block North of Sunrise and A1A.

Sand dunes provide natural coastal protection against storm surge, reducing coastal flooding and structural damage. Sand dunes also provided rich habitat for specific vegetation and wildlife.

The sea oats are a Hardy and salt tolerant plant that play a major role in building and stabilizing the dunes. They help trap wind-blown sand which helps in maintain the form of the dunes and they have an extensive root system that grows horizontally and acts as the main support to keep the dune raised.

Although many signs were present alerting visitors to not walk over the dune, there was visible destruction of the dunes due to walking trails created by visitors. To help maintain our dunes, avoid walking through these grassy dunes to prevent sand displacement and promote the success and growth of our natural coastal protection.

If you would like to join in the next dune restoration, contact Glennys Navarrete at [email protected] 

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.

Eco-teers Mangrove Propagules Collection

The Eco-teers have launched their mangrove restoration campaign in partnership with The Youth Environmental Alliance (YEA) on Saturday, August 27th. 

Volunteers spent their day collecting propagules and removing trash off the shores of Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park. Approximately 300 white, black and red mangroves propagules were collected which have been transported to Flamingo Gardens where they will be germinated in freshwater tanks. 

Once the trees are strong enough to be planned in-ground, they will return to Eula Johnson Stat Park. A special recognition goes to MangroLife and Youth Environmental Alliance (YEA) for their kind donations of aquatic tanks and for their roles as educators, providing information on how to collect and germinate the propagules. 

Eco-teers also removed approximately 40 pounds of trash using supplies donated by 4Ocean

Mangroves provide essential habitat for thousands of species. They also stabilize shorelines, preventing erosion and protecting the land – and the people who live there – from waves and storms. As the Climate Crisis and detrimental human activates continues to threaten our planet, it is crucial to take action in creating and advocating for more sustainable future for all.  

The success of this project could not have been possible without the help of MangroLife and the Youth Environmental Alliance. Support has been provided by the following Funds at the Community Foundation of Broward: Leonard & Sally Robbins Fund, Mary and Alex Mackenzie Community Impact Fund, Fredrick W. Jaqua Fund, and support from Spirit Airlines.

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