Hugh Taylor Birch State Park Providing resource-based recreation while preserving, interpreting, and restoring Florida’s natural and cultural resources. . Founded 1949. Florida State Park System 171 Parks, Trails and Historic Sites. State of Florida Park Districts.
Hugh Taylor Birch State ParkProviding resource-based recreation while preserving, interpreting, and restoring Florida’s natural and cultural resources.
State of Florida Park Districts
Southeast District - 24 Parks
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. Florida’s parks are special places that help make the state unique offering the very best of the state’s natural, cultural, and recreational resources.
Total Revenue: $52,512,359
Economic Impact: $1,165,624,554
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.
State of Florida Division of Recreation and Parks
Fiscal Year Recap 2012/2013
Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
*5% increase from 2011/2012
*24th highest attended park in the State
Each year, over 260,000 visitors enjoy Fort Lauderdale’s 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 Lauderdale’s intracoastal waterway, Birch State Park is a tropical oasis for all to enjoy!
Visitors may choose from many fun activities:
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
“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
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.
Birch State Park owns 400 ft. of beach just outside of the Park’s 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.
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.
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 Park’s 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 School’s
marine biology program in 2013. 60 students will
participate in the State of Florida’s 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.
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
“There’s a deep instinctive need in humans, especially children, to bond with nature and living systems, a need that’s being obstructed by our modern way of life.”
~Professor Stephen Kellert / Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
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 Park’s natural and cultural resources, enhances the park visitor’s experience, and is dedicated to fundraising to sustain one of Florida’s State Parks for future generations.
Create a blueprint that ensures Friends of Birch State park is financially viable to provide funding and resources in support of the Park’s 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.
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.
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.
-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”
Birch State Park is hosts to a number of
Fort Lauderdale’s preeminent community events.
Winterfest, Inc.’s Grand Stand Viewing Party in the Park
Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show
Howling Hammock Adventure
Winterfest Boat Parade 2013