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Hugh Taylor Birch State Park Providing resource-based recreation while preserving, interpreting, and restoring Floridas natural and cultural resources.

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Presentation on theme: "Hugh Taylor Birch State Park Providing resource-based recreation while preserving, interpreting, and restoring Floridas natural and cultural resources."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hugh Taylor Birch State Park Providing resource-based recreation while preserving, interpreting, and restoring Floridas natural and cultural resources. Founded 1949

2 Florida State Park System 171 Parks, Trails and Historic Sites State of Florida Park DistrictsSoutheast District - 24 Parks 2

3 Department of Environmental Protection Making An Impact For more than 75 years, Florida State Parks have inspired residents and visitors with recreation opportunities and scenic beauty that helps to strengthen families, educate children, expand local economies, and foster community pride. Floridas parks are special places that help make the state unique offering the very best of the states natural, cultural, and recreational resources. Visitors: 24,983,179 Acres: 788,982.18 Total Revenue: $52,512,359 Economic Impact: $1,165,624,554 *FY 2011/2012 3

4 Hugh Taylor Birch A Legacy of Green Birch State Park is a tropical hammock oasis that was once the home to Hugh Taylor Birch. A prominent Chicago attorney, real estate investor, and naturalist, Mr. Birch deeded 180 acres of his hidden paradise to the State of Florida in 1941. Opened to the public in 1949, his priceless gift remains an enduring Legacy of Green for residents and tourists to enjoy. 4

5 Measuring Up State of Florida Division of Recreation and Parks Fiscal Year Recap 2012/2013 District 5 Revenue: $13,568,156 Attendance: 6,867,632 Hugh Taylor Birch State Park Revenue: $362,038 *5% increase from 2011/2012 Attendance: 260,000 *24 th highest attended park in the State 5

6 Recreational Activities Each year, over 260,000 visitors enjoy Fort Lauderdales magnificent green space nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway. Birch State Park offers natural communities to explore; whether hiking the hammock trails, exploring ecological niches or enjoying a picnic along the 1.8 mile seawall along Fort Lauderdales intracoastal waterway, Birch State Park is a tropical oasis for all to enjoy! Visitors may choose from many fun activities: Canoeing and Kayaking Fishing Biking and Skating Hiking and Swimming Wildlife Viewing Ranger Tours and Reptile Encounters Group Camping at the Elks Lodge or Primitive Camp Ground All children, all families and all communities need nature. ~Richard Louv Co-founder and Chairman Emeritus, Children & Nature Network 6

7 Why Invest In Our Citys Natural Resources What makes Birch State Park unique is its richness in biological diversity. In the simplest of terms, biological diversity is the variety of life and its processes; and it includes the variety of living organisms, the genetic differences among them, and the communities and ecosystems in which they occur. The value of GREEN spaces: Provides environmental benefits Provides psychosocial and economic benefits Produces educational opportunities Green space helps to reverse some of the harmful effects of carbon emissions in the atmosphere It would cost over 3 trillion dollars to replicate the processes of air and water purification that trees and plants are able to perform naturally. ~Jennifer Trowbridge 7

8 Birch State Parks Ecosystems Coastal Dune Lake This endangered system is historically an entrapment of water between dunes that over time transferred into a fresh water community through rain and runoff. The public currently has limited access due to overgrowth of cattails and aquatic vegetation. Funding is required to dredge the lake which will make it more accessible to visitors. Maintained Beach Birch State Park owns 400 ft. of beach just outside of the Parks East entrance. In the summer, the beach serves as a prime habitat for endangered nesting sea turtles. It is open to the public to rent chairs/umbrellas and snorkel gear.

9 Birch State Parks Ecosystems Maritime Hammock The last tropical hardwood hammock in Broward County, this ecosystem provides solace to a variety of animals including gopher tortoises, corn snakes, red shouldered hawks, and opossums. Visitors can hike the hammock trail to view the wildlife and see Gumbo Limbo, Mastic, Sea Grape and Oak trees. Estuarine Tidal Swamp This extended habitat has a mix of red, black and white mangroves as well as green buttonwood trees that surround a network of canals connecting to the intracoastal waterway. Birds are attracted to this rich community including osprey, ibis, and egrets.

10 Wildlife at Birch State Park 60 Species of Fish Blue Gill 100 Species of Birds Red Shouldered Hawk 17 Species of Reptiles 17 F Corn Snake 10

11 Wildlife at Birch State Park 240 Plant Species Beach Peanut (endangered) 30 Invertebrates Golden Silk Orb-Weaver 15 Mammals Raccoon 11

12 Education Matters Birch State Park is a favorite destination for teachers and students. During the school year, 2,000 students visit to learn first hand about the Parks natural and historical resources. They also enjoy touring the trails and learning about its unique ecosystems. Interpretive programming is delivered by Park Specialists with content that is in line with Broward County Schools Common Core. Educating Students About Nature Birch Park welcomes New River Middle Schools marine biology program in 2013. 60 students will participate in the State of Floridas LIFE Program. Camp Live Oak has been a partner with Birch State Park since 1987. Annually, over 400 campers attend Camp Live Oak whether for summer camp or other special programs offered throughout the year. 12

13 Connecting Kids With Nature Friends of Birch State Park provides support for events, programs, and activities in Birch Park that inspire children to become actively engaged with the natural environment. Whether through family friendly events, recreational activities or simply unstructured play in the natural environment, there is plenty of opportunity for kids to connect with nature and have quality family time. The Impact of Nature on Children: Develops a sense of wonder and joy for the natural world Increase awareness that nature is everywhere Builds knowledge of the interconnectedness of natural systems Helps develop the critical scientific and social skills necessary to address environmental issues, both locally and globally Theres a deep instinctive need in humans, especially children, to bond with nature and living systems, a need thats being obstructed by our modern way of life. ~Professor Stephen Kellert / Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies 13

14 Friends of Birch State Park, Inc. Mission Friends of Birch State Park is dedicated to the preservation and conservation of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. Through citizen and volunteer engagement, the organization builds a community that supports Parks natural and cultural resources, enhances the park visitors experience, and is dedicated to fundraising to sustain one of Floridas State Parks for future generations. Goals Create a blueprint that ensures Friends of Birch State park is financially viable to provide funding and resources in support of the Parks short and long term goals. Protect the Park through support of habitat restoration and preservation. Ensure the Park is relevant and accessible for residents and tourists to enjoy memorable outdoor experiences. Promote environmental literacy and instill a sense of environmental stewardship by developing and sponsoring interpretive and educational programming. 14

15 Changes On the Horizon With a dedicated Board of Directors and staff, Friends of Birch State Park is reorganizing to create an organization that is prepared to help take Birch State Park to a new level. A stronger membership and donor base, better concessions, and more environmental literacy programs/projects will help to increase funding that go directly back into the park. Proposed Projects: Infrastructure UpgradesPavilion Upgrades / Expansion Restoration of Terramar HouseNew Playgrounds Sea Wall ReplacementRestoration of Lake Helen Trail Upgrades (Trestles to Trails Project)Expand Concessions Water Taxi StopEducation Center Scientists have found that outdoor activities even help your decision-making, your self-confidence and your ability to observe things. 15

16 Dedicated Volunteer Leadership Committed To Change Leadership Team Executive Board -Jim Ellis - Ellis DiversifiedPRESIDENT -Joe Holland – Discovery Engineering, Inc.VICE PRESIDENT -Tyler Chappel – The Chappell Group, Inc.SECRETARY -Tracy M. RoloffEXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Board of Directors -Janet Buhl – Community Advocate -Dave Cundy – Cundy Insurance -Ken Evans - Camp Live Oak -Honorable Katherine Katie Leach - School Board Member - District 3 -Kimberly Miller – GalleryOne Double Tree Hotel -Robert Roselli, Esq. - Roselli Law -Carlos Suarez – Whitehaus Media Group -Andy Taubman - Kaufman & Rossin -Phil Thornburg – City of Fort Lauderdale / -Steve Tilbrook, Esq. - Shutts & Bowen -Gwen Zimmer – The Capital Grille Research shows that in order to truly care about being green, one must actually have meaningful exposure to nature. ~Eva Selhub MD Author of Your Brain on Nature 16

17 Signature Events / Partnerships in Hugh Taylor Birch State Park Birch State Park is hosts to a number of Fort Lauderdales preeminent community events. Winterfest, Inc.s Grand Stand Viewing Party in the Park Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show Waterway Clean-Up Air Lauderdale Howling Hammock Adventure 17 Winterfest Boat Parade 2013

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