Marti’s Meditation Garden 2017
The Friends of Birch State Park has raised the funds necessary to install a meditation garden and labyrinth at the park. This project was spearheaded by the late Marti Huizenga, who understood the need for a relaxing area within the park where visitors could sit peacefully and enjoy the surroundings. Installation is expected to be completed in early 2018.
230’ Floating Public Boat Dock 2017
Grant funding secured by the Friends of Birch State Park through the Broward Boating Improvement Program with matching funds from the Florida Inland Navigational District will soon allow the installation of a 230’ floating boat dock; this dock, which will include a shaded pavilion, will allow park access to boaters.
Loop Road Widening 2017
Advocacy by the Friends assisted in the widening of the park’s nearly 2-mile long loop road; once completed in the spring of 2018, this project will provide a safe, striped pathway for use by pedestrians and bicyclists and allow for ample room for vehicular traffic.
Phase I Clean-Out Long Lake 2017
The park’s Long Lake is part of a freshwater coastal dune lake system that once spanned nine miles along the coast of southeast Florida. Funding secured by Friends through the Community Foundation of Broward, private donations, Broward County and the City of Fort Lauderdale enabled the first phase of invasive plant species removal, making the full length of the nearly one-mile lake navigable once again for kayakers and other non-motorized pleasure craft.
1-Mile Seawall Restoration 2017
Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is home to one of the southeast’s longest public seawalls. Built by Hugh Taylor Birch more than 75 years ago, the 1.2 mile concrete structure was in dire need of repair. The Friends of Birch State Park applied for grant funding to raise and replace the seawall; construction is currently underway and is expected to be complete in the spring of 2018.
Limitless Playground 2016
Thanks to the generosity of a local donor, the play area at the north end of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is now home to a limitless playground that provides entertainment opportunities for children in clear view of neighboring picnic pavilions.
Opening of Terramar as Visitor Center 2015
For nearly a dozen years, Hugh Taylor Birch’s historic home – Terramar – was boarded and closed to the public. With help from the Friends of Birch State Park, it was restored and is now open to the public as a visitor center where guests can learn more about Birch’s legacy and what it was like to live there in the early 20th century.
Restaurant and Concessions 2015
Park & Ocean is a main attraction at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. This recently opened oceanfront, casual style eatery features live music and craft beer and is adjacent to the concessions area, where guests can rent anything from jet skis to beach umbrellas and everything in between. Both are conveniently located to the beach via tunnel as well as a dedicated crosswalk complete with traffic signal for safety.
Some of the Friends Accomplishments
In 2014 and 2015, Friends donated 5 golf carts to the park to be used for tram service for park visitors as well as park tours. The tram service is run by volunteers and has been very successful! Friends also funds all of the golf cart parts and supplies needed to keep the carts in good working condition.
Volunteers are the Park’s most valuable natural resource! Friends funds tools and supplies used by the park’s volunteers in their day-to-day activities at the park. Please visit The Volunteer Page for information about volunteering at the park.
New Brushcutter at the Park!
In 2015, Friends donated a brand new brushcutter to the park to help keep the 2-mile loop and trails clear of brushes for all to enjoy.
Terramar House Lives!
In 2015, Friends completed the first step in the renovation of Terramar-Hugh Taylor Birch’s home. The house was cleared out of old exhibits, carpet and furniture and painted and repaired to be inhabited by the Friends staff on the first floor and Park staff on the second floor. Eventually, the ground floor of Terramar will re-open as a Visitor’s Center and exhibit space.
Friends funds the purchase of food, supplies and veterinary services for the park’s animals. Meet Picasso, the newest member of the Birch State Park family! Check out all the Park’s animals at one of the Live Animal Presentation at 1 pm every Friday and Saturday at the Beach Gate Entrance.
In 2015, Friends donated a washer, dryer and freezer for the Park’s resident volunteers who donate hundreds of hours to the park each month.
Water Taxi Stop inside the park – Launched April 2014
STOP #10 right in the park!
LIFE Program – Learning in Florida’s Environment
LIFE is a statewide program of the Department of Environmental Protection that brings middle school students to public conservation lands for science-based environmental education. Since 2014, New River Middle School has taken part in the program with support provided by Friends.
Living Well Program
Our monthly Wellness Program consists of short seminars that enlighten and educate on the benefits of natural resources for our well-being. Please inquire for dates and times or visit the Living Well Program Page