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Sun Times Feature Story


Hollywood Getting Ready For The Winter Season


• Cooler weather up north signals that it’s time for South Florida to welcome the return of our snowbirds as well as other birds

By Joann Hussey

    HOLLYWOOD - Cooler weather up north signals that it’s time for South Florida to welcome the return of our snowbirds, but it’s not just seasonal residents who make their way south each year.  The cooler weather also signals a return of some of the most beautiful and unique wildlife to Hollywood.

   The City has many lakes, ponds, creeks and rivers along with miles of ocean, canals and habitat-friendly parks that provide a winter home for a variety of feathered friends.  Every fall Hollywood’s parks come alive with the latest arrivals from up north.  Dozens of city-operated parks along with TY Park, West Lake Park and Anne Kolb Nature Center play host to Merlin’s, Peregrine Falcons, Red-Breasted Merganser Ducks, Warblers and Northern Pintails.  Hollywood’s North Beach, on both sides of A1A, hosts Coastal Sandpipers, Greater Blackback and Lesser Blackback Gulls, Ringbilled Gulls and a variety of Heron. 

   Hundreds of species of migratory birds choose Hollywood to spend their winter.  And when wildlife is this easily accessible to pro and amateur alike, Hollywood is a must stop for every birder. Joanne Howes, Park Naturalist at the Anne Kolb Nature, encourages those just starting to get into birding to contact groups like the South Florida Audubon Society.  “They host activities throughout South Florida such as organized fieldtrips and informational meetings,” says Howes.  “Meetings are held the third Thursday of every month at 7:30 p.m. at the Anne Kolb Nature Center here in Hollywood and the Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek.” 

   Joanne says early-risers are typically rewarded with sightings of these seasonal visitors when wildlife is just starting to get active.  Birders can also catch a glimpse in the early evening hours when wildlife is returning to roost for the night.  West Lake Park and Anne Kolb Nature Center are known as the best place in Broward County to take a canoe or kayak trip at sunset for the chance to see the spectacular Roseate Spoonbill flying overhead.  

   Over the next few months take an opportunity to visit one of the parks in Hollywood.  Look up!  Look around!  Every day is another chance to spot a colorful, distinct and rare visitor to our beautiful backyard. 

 

Joann Hussey is the Public Information Manager for the City of Hollywood.

 

Hollywood Celebrates Great Neighborhoods Challenge Winners 
By Raelin Storey

   Dozens of homeowners won cash prizes for taking part in the City of Hollywood’s Great Neighborhoods Challenge II and making significant improvements to their homes.  The five month challenge began on April 1 and ended on September 2.  Property owners were challenged to improve the curb appeal of their property by making visible exterior improvements.       Those with the most impactful changes were awarded prizes ranging from $2500 for first place to $100 gift cards for those receiving an honorable mention.  

   Three neighborhoods with the highest participation in the contest also were awarded grants to fund an improvement to a public area for the benefit of their neighborhood.   More than $23 thousand dollars in prizes were awarded to homeowners who made the effort to improve their homes helping to improve the overall appearance of their neighborhoods.  The Lawn    Acres neighborhood, located just south of Hollywood Boulevard and east of US-441 had the highest participation with nearly 25% of homeowners making property improvements.

 

Raelin Storey is the Public Affairs Director for the City of Hollywood.