Birch State Park Opens Public Floating Boat Dock and Pavilion
June 14, 2018
Hugh Taylor Birch State Park celebrated the opening of its new 230’ floating public boat dock and boating pavilion with a ribbon cutting ceremony along the Intracoastal Waterway. The project had been five years in the making and is a partnership between the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Inland Navigation District (F.I.N.D.), the Broward County Commission’s Broward Boating Improvement Program (B.B.I.P.), the staff of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park led by Park Manager Jennifer Roberts and Friends of Birch State Park with Jim Ellis as the chair of the board of directors.
Community Foundation of Broward
June 12, 2018
The Friends of Birch State Park hosted representatives of the Community Foundation of Broward (CFB) to witness first-hand the difference their $37,000 ECO Broward grant made in cleaning out the long-neglected moat at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. CFB board chair Steve Hudson was joined by vice chairman Bacardi Jackson, board member Paige Hyatt and CFB staff members Annette Bauer, Dana Filetti, Amanda Kah, Justine Morgan, Angelica Rosas and Nancy Thies for a tour of the newly cleaned 800-foot moat that is part of the park’s coastal dune Long Lake.
Birdies for Birch
April 26, 2018
The Friends of Birch State Park’s second “Birdies for Birch” golf tournament was held at Fort Lauderdale Country Club where 94 golfers got the chance to meet the park’s live animals up close, enjoy lunch provided by Georgia Pig and spend the afternoon on the course. This year’s tournament was chaired by Stephen Botek, Tyler Chappell and Stephen Tilbrook with back-up from a hard-working committee that included Andy Caldwell, Lilia Ciciolla, Patrick Daoud, Laura Elmore, Ginny Fujino, Ginny Miller, Dawn Read and Nancy Thies. Sponsors included LaCroix, Gray Robinson, Ellis Diversified, B&M Marine Construction, Gale Residences, Botek Thurlow Engineering, The Chappell Group, Water Taxi, Resolve Marine, Tom Krips Construction, Best Rental, Miller Construction, Roselli & Associates, Lochrie & Chakas PA, JM Family Enterprises, Shooters Waterfront, Blue Martini, LauderAle, 360 Vodka, Hickory Sticks BBQ, Southern Wine & Spirits, Tito’s Vodka, Gold Coast Magazine, Daoud’s Fine Jewelry, Bill and Nancy Thies and American National Bank.
An Evening by the Sea
March 23, 2018
The oceanfront lawn of Terramar — Hugh Taylor Birch’s historic home with the park – was the setting for the third annual “An Evening by the Sea” fundraiser. Hundreds of guests attended to honor community leaders including I. Lorraine Thomas – “Birch Lifetime Achievement Award”; Carlos and Lisa Rodriguez – “Birch Legacy Award”; Winterfest, Inc. – “Birch Partnership Award”; and Bryan Moser – “Birch Above and Beyond Award.” Major sponsors included: Ellis Diversified, ACURE, JM Family Enterprises, Ultimate Software, Florida Community Bank, Gale Residences, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Nova Southeastern University, Shooters/Grateful Palate, Daoud’s Fine Jewelry, LaCroix, Advanced Roofing, Akerman and Gold Coast Magazine. With the help of auctioneer Gordon Latz, “An Evening by the Sea” raised more than $90,000 to support the Friends of Birch State Park and its efforts to enhance Hugh Taylor Birch State Park.
Department of Environmental Protection District 5 Volunteer Recognition Event
March 27, 2018
The Friends of Birch State Park and Hugh Taylor Birch State Park hosted the Department of Environmental Protection’s District 5 Volunteer Recognition event. Festivities included the use of the park’s many amenities, a Water Taxi tour, a pig roast capped off with s’mores and a lakefront awards ceremony. Special guest speakers included Eric Draper, the Director of the Florida State Parks System, and Chuck Hatcher, the System’s Assistant Director. Volunteers from various parks throughout District 5 were recognized for outstanding service and Friends of Birch State Park board chair Jim Ellis received a special “Chairman’s Award” for his continued efforts to “Bring Birch Back.”
A Toast to the Terramar Society
December 12, 2017
The Terramar Society is a donor-giving program for those individuals and businesses that want to take their giving to the next level to help preserve, conserve, enhance and promote Hugh Taylor Birch State Park for current and future generations. Members of the Terramar Society help the Friends carry on Mr. Birch’s legacy by pledging $1,000/$3,000/$5,000 per year and earn access to exclusive events with other donors, such as this wine-tasting event held at Wine Watch in Fort Lauderdale.
A Garden Party
October 25, 2017
175 guests joined us for the 2nd annual “A Garden Party,” which was held at the Garden Center at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. This year’s event was chaired by Ginny Miller with assistance from her hostesses Mimi Bauer, Pamela Baynes, Nancy Blosser, Lori Chevy, Tracy Dunn, Lisa Scott-Founds, Peggy Fucci, Ginny Fujino, Karen Genovese, Alice Jackson, Janet Jordan, Lisa Kitei, Julie Saumsiegle, Jane Smith, Jamie Stiles, Nancy Thies and LaDonna Vieweg. Sponsors included ACURE, I. Lorraine Thomas, Moss Construction, Ellis Diversified Inc., Grateful Palate, AutoNation, Stiles Construction, Miller Construction, Daoud’s Fine Jewelry and One World Properties.
Birdies for Birch
May 18, 2017
The Friends of Birch State Park’s first-ever “Birdies for Birch” golf tournament – presented by Florida Community Bank — was held at Fort Lauderdale Country Club where 90 golfers enjoyed the opportunity to get up close and personal with the live animal show from Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. Golfers also picked up great goody bags, Oakley sunglasses, a delicious boxed lunch from Red Chair Catering and enjoyed a variety of on-course food and beverage stations. Tyler Chappell and Stephen Tilbrook chaired the event with a hard-working committee supporting them. Major sponsors also included Ellis Diversified, Inc., Gray Robinson, Boatyard, Resolve Marine Group, and Botek Thurlow Engineering.
An Evening by the Sea
February 3, 2017
The Friends of Birch State Park, Inc. hosted its 2nd Annual “An Evening by the Sea” event on the lawn of Terramar, Hugh Taylor Birch’s home within the park. Almost 180 guests attended to honor the following community leaders: Ken Evans, Camp Live Oak – “Children’s Champion Award”; Tyler Chappell, The Chappell Group, Inc. – “Bring Birch Back! Award”; Linda Carter, Community Foundation of Broward – “Community Leadership Award”; and Joe and Wini Amaturo, The Amaturo Foundation – “Community Lifetime Achievement Award”. Major sponsors included: ACURE/The Hudson Family Foundation, Ellis Diversified, Inc., JM Family Enterprises, Ultimate Software, I. Lorraine Thomas, Bank of America, Nova Southeastern University, The Las Olas Company and Paramount Refreshment Solutions. Special thanks to Gordon Latz for serving as our auctioneer and helping us to net $85,000 for special projects in the park.
Light Up Birch! Terramar Society Reception
December 8, 2016
The Friends of Birch State Park honored its Terramar Society members on December 9th with a holiday-themed reception at Terramar, Hugh Taylor Birch’s historic oceanfront home located within the park. Hosts for this event included Peter & Janet Buhl, John & Fran Custer, Steve and Jeannie Hudson, Dominick & Meike Miniaci, Bob Swindell & John Cotter, and Jim Ellis and Olya Salehi.
A Garden Party
October 19, 2016
The Friends of Birch State Park held “A Garden Party” on Wednesday, October 19th at the Garden Center in Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. Nearly 200 attendees gathered to raise matching funds provided by an anonymous donor for a meditation garden within the park. The event was chaired by Marti Huizenga and a hostess committee that included Pamela Huizenga Alexander, Mimi Bauer, Pamela Baynes, Nancy Blosser, Peggy Fucci, Barbara Grevior, Fonda Huizenga, Jennifer Huizenga, Alice Jackson, Janet Jordan, Ginny Miller, Ellen Murton, Jamie Stiles and Kim Sweers. Sponsors of the event included Lorraine Thomas, AutoNation, Bank of America, Ellis Diversified, ACURE, Bahia Mar Hotel & Marina, Rick Case Auto Group, My Own Cruising Journal, Stiles Corporation, Daoud’s Jewelers, The Grateful Palate and Water Taxi. The event featured a champagne bar as well as silent and live auction items.
An Evening by the Sea
January 22, 2016
The Friends of Birch State Park’s first-ever event held on the lawn of Terramar, chaired by Suzanne Watson with assistance from Seagull Committee Chair Janet Buhl, brought in over $90,000 net for special projects in the Park. Almost 200 guests braved the stormy weather and enjoyed a Silent Auction during the reception and a Live Auction during the program honoring three outstanding community leaders: Commissioner Chip LaMarca, Marti Huizenga and Jim Ellis. Thank you to our wonderful sponsors: AutoNation, Hudson Family Foundation, JM Family, Southern Wine & Spirits, Bahia Mar, NSU, BB&T, The Las Olas Company, Tripp Scott, Paramount Refreshment Solutions, The Amaturo Foundation, The Chappell Group, Circle of Friends Foundation, Express Lending Services, and Zimmerman. Special thanks goes to Gordon Latz who donated his time as auctioneer.
S.E.A by the Sea 2015
June 17, 2015
The Seagull Society, chaired by Janet Buhl, hosted a successful reception for hotel concierges in the breezeway at the beach entrance on Wednesday, June 17, complete with catering and live music entertainment. Thank you to Rosa Reyes of Capital Grille who donated the catering and to John Magee of Southern Wine and Spirits as well. Also a thank you to Adorned Photography for their great pictures. Over 120 people attended. One of the highlights of the event was the viewing of the beautiful mural on the north side of the breezeway building. Artist Todd Michael created a mosaic of Helen’s Tree, the huge Banyan tree by Pavilion One. It is stunning and colorful and depicts some of our Park critters in it. A big thank you to Bill Feinberg of Allied Kitchen and Bath who donated the special one-square inch tiles for the piece of artwork.
Night of History & Legacy
May 5, 2015
On Tuesday, May 5th, at the beautiful home of Wayne and Marti Huizenga on the New River, over 100 community leaders gathered to hear more about the plans the Friends of Birch State Park have to “Bring Birch Back!”. The rain held off just long enough for the guests to enjoy being outdoors on the river and watch a video on the legacy of Hugh Taylor Birch and the historical significance of the gifts of land he gave to both the City of Fort Lauderdale (3 miles of open beach!) and the state of Florida (180 acres between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway for a state Park). During a brief program, President of the Board of Directors, Jim Ellis, and Gale Butler, executive director of Friends, recognized the contributions of Birch Willey, nephew of Hugh Taylor Birch, for his willingness to help promote the Park, and William Walker, CEO of the Water Taxi, thanking him for the Park’s new partnership which made Birch Park an official Water Taxi stop. Our heartfelt thanks go to Wayne and Marti for their graciousness in hosting the gathering.
Terramar Membership Reception
February 12, 2015
Our thanks to Marshall and Suzanne Watson for, once again, hosting our annual Terramar Society Membership reception at their private home in Harbor Beach. Almost 85 members and guests attended and listened to a progress report by Friends of Birch State Park Board President Jim Ellis. Guests also were able to meet and welcome our new Park Manager David Dearth and new Assistant Park Manager Jennifer Roberts
December 6, 2014
The Seagull Society of the Friends of Birch State Park hosted the First Annual Christkindlmarkt, a holiday gift fair, at the Garden Center of the Fort Lauderdale Garden Club located in Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. In addition to gift displays from major sponsor Macy’s Aventura and a Clay Couture fashion show by Artist Steven Sylvester, the St. Anthony’s School choir and the New River Middle School jazz band entertained the guests. The Ambry German American Restaurant brought German specialties and baked goods. The Christkindlmarkt was inspired by the Christkindlmarkt held in Nuremburg, Germany since 1545.
October 22, 2014
On Wednesday, October 22nd, the Seagull Society, our support group for the Friends of Birch State Park, organized an evening hosted by GALLERYone – A DoubleTree Suites by Hilton as a fundraiser and to introduce Gale Butler, our new executive director. The evening included a cruise on the Intracoastal donated by Sun Dream Yacht with entertainment provided by a string quartet from the Symphony of The Americas. Part of the celebration was the announcement of a $2 million state grant to repair the seawall on the Intracoastal side of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park won with help from Senator Maria Sachs, Senator Eleanor Sobel, and Representative George Moraitis.
S.E.A. by the Sea 2014
July 10th, 2014
On July 10th, 2014, Friends of Birch State Park held their first “Sea by the Sea” event. Professionals from the hospitality industry of Fort Lauderdale were invited to explore and appreciate our lovely park and all its amenities. Everyone had a lot of fun learning about our local park, riding on segways and bikes available through M. Cruz Rentals, the park’s concessionaire, and discovering why it is considered one of South Florida’s most important historical sites! We’d like to thank The Capital Grille, Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi, Premier Beverage Company and M. Cruz Rentals at Birch State Park for their support and contribution to this event.