nature preserves

Crystal Lake Sand Pine Scrub
3299 N.E. Third Ave., Pompano Beach, FL 33064
Very rare sand pine scrub community. Canopy of sand pine or scrub oaks and subcanopy of saw palmetto, small scrub oaks, and hog plum. Reindeer lichen, spike moss, prickly pear, pawpaw, scrub mint, rosemary, and staggerbush can be found in open areas. Wildlife includes gopher tortoise, five-lined skink, six-lined racerunner, and zebra swallowtail butterfly. 24.2 acres of paved and unpaved trails, interpretive signage, shelter, and kiosk.

Helene Klein Pineland Preserve
4701 W. Hillsboro Blvd., Coconut Creek, FL 33073
At approximately 13 acres, the Helene Klein Pineland Preserve in Coconut Creek is small in size but retains valuable natural features and diversity. Up to 55 species of wildlife have been observed in the preserve, including giant swallowtail butterflies, Florida brown snakes, spotted skunks, blue-gray gnatcatchers, and pileated woodpeckers. While the site boasts an abundance of slash pines, it also includes a combination of cypress swamp and two small marl prairies. Scattered throughout the open canopy of the flatwoods community are tall slash pines intermixed with a thick understory of saw palmetto, as well as outcroppings of surface limestone. You'll find seating areas, a covered information kiosk, a covered picnic table, interpretive signage, a covered overlook, and 2,250 feet of nature trails, including a boardwalk.

Highlands Scrub
4050 N. Dixie Hwy., Pompano Beach, FL 33064
Fragment of a very rare scrub community remaining in Broward County. Canopy of sand pine or scrub oaks with a subcanopy of saw palmetto, small scrub oaks, gopher apple, and prickly pear cactus. Other groundcovers found in more open areas include Jester lichen, scrub mint, deer moss, rosemary, pawpaw, and staggerbush. Five-lined skink, six-lined racerunner, gopher tortoise, gray fox, northern cardinal, and migratory bird species. 1,800 feet of concrete trail, interpretive signage, benches, and shelter.

Hillsboro Pineland
5591 N.W. 74th Pl., Coconut Creek, FL 33073
56.3 acres in size. Mosaic of natural vegetation communities including both pine upland and wetland habitats. The site features pine flatwoods common to this part of Broward County, with surface rock outcroppings and a variety of grasses and wildflowers. Slash pine, saw palmetto, myrsine, gallberry, staggerbush, beautyberry, cypress, swamp fern, sword fern, wax myrtle, muhly grass, and yellowtop. Several species of hawks, various wood warblers, owls, woodpeckers, different species of wading birds, and various species of butterflies including zebra longwing. Covered overlooks, concrete walkway, benches, interpretive signage, 2,334 feet of elevated boardwalk and nature trail.

Military Trail Natural Area
4600 NW 9th Ave/Military Trail, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442
19.9 acres. The scrubby habitat dominating this site has become one of the rarest plant communities in Broward County. Since the Florida scrub was the highest and driest habitat in South Florida, development focused first in these areas as the region was colonized, leaving very little of the habitat intact. This site contains a mosaic of scrubby flatwoods, oak-dominated scrub, and sand pine scrub. A small remnant dome swamp is located on the north boundary. Military Trail was originally built as a dirt access road for soldiers during the Second Seminole War (1835-1842). In 1890, the site was part of a larger land parcel deeded to the Florida Coast Line Canal and Transportation Company as payment for work on the Intracoastal Waterway. In 1897, the land parcel was sold to the company most commonly known as the Florida East Coast Railway Company, controlled by Henry Flagler. Broward County purchased the site through the 1989 Environmentally Sensitive Lands Bond program, which was dedicated to preserving sites with significant habitat. The site was opened for the public's enjoyment in 2011.

Pine Island Ridge
3900 S.W. 100th Ave., Davie, FL 33328
101.2 acres in size. High hammock forest dominated by live oaks and slash pines. At an elevation of 29 feet above sea level, Pine Island Ridge has the highest natural elevation in Broward County. Live oak, slash pine, hackberry, marlberry, wild coffee, beautyberry, swamp fern, and giant sword fern. Gopher tortoises, great horned owls, migratory warblers, red-bellied and pileated woodpeckers, Cooper's hawks, and atala butterflies. Pine Island Ridge is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail, which is a collection of 489 sites throughout Florida selected for their excellent bird watching or bird education opportunities. Interpretive signage throughout. Paved trail originating in Tree Tops Park leads to an interpretive shelter in Pine Island Ridge. Equestrian trails on the site link Tree Tops Park with Westridge, a Town of Davie park. Additionally, the Forest Ridge community is connected at its main entrance to Tree Tops Park by a paved walking path that meanders across Pine Island Ridge.

Snake Warrior's Island
3601 S.W. 62nd Ave., Miramar, FL 33023
53.3 acres in size. Atlantic coastal ridge, archaeological islands, lake, and eight created wetlands.Vegetation: Live oak, gumbo limbo, redbay, strangler fig, cypress, red maple, wild coffee, beautyberry, fire bush, pickerel weed, eel grass, alligator flag, spatterdock, duck potato, and rushes. Great site to observe wading birds and ducks, wood storks, little blue and tricolored herons, anhinga, white ibis, and osprey. Snake Warrior's Island is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail, which is a collection of 489 sites throughout Florida selected for their excellent bird watching or bird education opportunities. Concrete trail, interpretive signage, shelter, benches, and picnic tables.

Tall Cypress Natural Area
3700 Turtle Run Blvd., Coral Springs, FL 33065
66 acres in size. Last remaining stands of basin swamp and pine flatwoods. Tall Cypress contains a dense, continuous canopy of cypress trees that transitions to slash pines. Interspersed within this canopy are shallow willow and pond apple depressions, sabal palm heads, red maples, and strangler fig trees. The understory of sword and leather ferns, saw palmetto, swamp lily, soft-leaved wild coffee, beautyberry, and other basin swamp plants is so thick that it is extremely difficult to traverse this urban forest by foot. In terms of animal species, the site is one of the most diverse purchased through the 1989 Environmentally Sensitive Lands (ESL) Bond program. Due to the density of vegetation and the lack of disturbance, the site is ideal habitat for heavily forested woodland species. Mammals, birds, and reptiles are particularly numerous. Tall Cypress also presents an ideal habitat for resident and migratory birds, including the great horned owl, pileated woodpecker, great egret, little blue heron, cardinal, bluejay, and many species of warbler. Among the plentiful reptiles are land turtles, snakes, and lizards. The site is also home to many species of butterflies, including white peacock, malachite, gulf fritillary, and Julia. 2090 foot elevated boardwalk with two covered overlooks, concrete trail, restrooms, interpretive signage, seating areas, and parking.

Woodmont Natural Area
7250 N.W. 80th Ave., Tamarac, FL 33321
21.1 acres in size. Pine flatwoods and cypress stand. South Florida slash pines and wetland of cypress and red maples. Understory of fern, beautyberry, fire bush, wild coffee, and wild lime. Several species of hawks, various wood warblers, owls, woodpeckers, and wading birds. Great place to see warblers and great crested flycatchers in spring and fall. Concrete walkway, 2154-foot elevated boardwalk, nature trails, interpretive signage, and benches.