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BLOG: Six tips to safely enjoy our parks

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Planning a visit to a Palm Beach County-operated park? Check out these tips to help make your visit a happy, healthy one.

1. Lock your car and secure your belongings:
Park rangers and law enforcement are present at select county parks for your safety. However, leave your valuables at home if arriving by car. Don’t leave bags, boxes, cell phones and other electronics or money on display in your vehicle. Be sure to lock them safely in your trunk out of view before you arrive. Finally, lock all your doors and windows when leaving your car.

 2. Use sun protection and stay hydrated:
Sun protection and hydration are especially important in South Florida’s climate. Follow these tips for proper sun protection:

  • The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so be especially cautious during these times.
  • If you run out of water, most county parks have drinking fountains near restroom buildings.
  • Apply and re-apply sunscreen. Coconut Cove Waterpark west of Boca Raton and select Palm Beach County beach parks offer sunscreen dispensers for patrons to have access to free sun protection.
  • Wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts and long pants, when possible.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
  • Wear flip-flops or shoes when walking on sand.

3. Learn trash-in, trash-out locations:
The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department has designated certain parks with trash-in, trash-out policies, including Riverbend Park in Jupiter and many neighborhood parks. We ask park visitors to dispose of their trash outside the park. This ensures a clean habitat for the animals living in our parks and helps maintain an aesthetic environment for park visitors while reducing maintenance costs.

4. Coexist with animals:
Hundreds of animal species call our parks home. From birds and tortoises to bobcats and alligators, every animal plays an important role in each ecosystem. Disturbing these animals may harm them and their ecosystems, yourself and the people around you. Please maintain a safe distance and don’t approach animals when you encounter them.

The parks department discourages feeding wildlife because it reduces animals’ natural fear of humans and could create safety issues. Please notice signs in many of our parks denoting safety recommendations for areas that may be home to alligators.

See our blog for a video on coexisting with our parks’ animals.

5. Know where you can bring your dog:
Dogs are permitted in most county parks if they’re on a leash no longer than six feet. However, dogs are not allowed at county beaches, pools, water parks, splash parks and these other locations.

The parks department operates three spacious, well-maintained dog parks for your furry friends to run, jump and play. Big or small, your pooch will have fun at these three dog parks.

6. Stay on designated paths:
The parks department makes it easy to explore our natural areas with park and trail maps. Veering off into areas not meant for exploration may disturb animals and plants and could pose a safety risk to you and your family. Please observe these areas from the designated trails and paths, using maps and guides for assistance.

As the saying goes, #pbcParks asks that you “take nothing but pictures, leave nothing by footprints, kill nothing but time” to fully enjoy our parks.

Park rangers are nearby to assist you and watch out for your well-being. Call 561-252-1714 or email pbcparkrangers@pbcgov.org if you have a question for a Palm Beach County park ranger.


Bibi Baksh is PR specialist for Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department.

 

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