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Press Releases – Brevard County, Florida
Brevard County Courthouse, Titusville, FL

NBBD Calendar of Events


Brevard County, Florida
Press Releases 2010 - 2015

Brevard County Board of County Commissioners
Phone: 321.633.2000 • www.brevardcounty.us

www.facebook.com/BrevardCountyGovt
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December 30, 2015

January Calendar full of Free outdoor events at Enchanted Forest

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- An exciting month is planned at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary! Please join us for one of the many programs and events offered. All events are free!

The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary will be closed Friday, Jan. 1 in celebration of the New Year!

Every Saturday at 10 a.m. - Guided Walk
Enjoy a 45-minute guided hike. Please bring hat, water and walking shoes. No reservations needed, unless you are a group of 5 or more.

Volunteer Orientation — Saturday, Jan. 2, 3 p.m. — Tuesday, Jan. 19, 10 a.m.
The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is looking for dynamic individuals with a passion for the environment! Come learn about the various volunteer opportunities.

Sanctuary School – Field Botany — Friday, Jan. 8, 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Homeschoolers ages 6-10 and their families study and explore the plants and trees of the Enchanted Forest through a hike and hands-on activities. Spots limited. Please call (321) 264-5185 to register.

Yoga in Nature — Saturday, Jan. 9, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Enjoy a traditional yoga class for all levels on the screened porch. Wear loose fitting clothes and do not eat an hour before class. Please bring water and a mat if you have one. Please call (321) 264-5185 to register.

Nature Time for 2-3 year olds — Wednesday, Jan. 13, 10 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
January's theme is Reptiles! We will read a story and do hands-on activities to explore the snakes, lizards, turtles, and more of Florida! Spots limited. Please call (321) 264-5185 to register.

Photography Club — Saturday, Jan. 16, 9 a.m.- 11 a.m.
All levels of photographers welcome. View photographs and learn helpful tips. This program is free and reservations are not required.

Reptile & Snake Presentation — Saturday, Jan. 16, 2 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Learn about some of the Enchanted Forest's reptile residents and meet a red rat snake!

Forest Funday – Mythology of Birds — Sunday, Jan. 17, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Children and families are invited to learn about how humans have revered, feared, and even worshiped birds through the ages and create a mythological craft between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival — Wednesday, Jan. 20. through Monday, Jan. 25.
The Festival's hub is in Titusville, but it takes place throughout the Central Florida area. Several activities will take place at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary and other Brevard County Environementally Endangered Lands Sanctuaries. For a full listing of festival activities, to register, or for more information please visit www.spacecoastbirdingandwildlifefestival.org.

Flutes & Friends — Saturday, Jan. 23, 10 a.m. to noon
Enjoy Native American style flute music in the amphitheater.

Kid's Birding Activity Center — Saturday, Jan. 23, noon – 3 p.m.
Children with their families are invited to explore hands-on activities and crafts related to birds and birding.

FNPS Sea Rocket Chapter Meeting – "Enhancing Home Landscapes with Florida Native Plants" — Wednesday, Jan. 27, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Some believe native plants are just weeds and that offer no value to gardens and home landscapes. But nothing could be farther from the truth! Find out why, and how to use native plants in your landscape. Presented by Shari Blissett-Clark. Light refreshments served at 6:30 p.m., meeting and presentation will start at 7 p.m.

Rain Barrel Workshop with Brevard County Natural Resources Management — Saturday, Jan. 30, 10 a.m. to noon
The workshop cost is $50 and covers all the supplies and instructions to create your very own Rain Collection Device. Registration required – please visit www.brevardcounty.us/NaturalResources/Watershed/RainBarrelWorkshops to register.

Movies in the Forest – "Secrets of the Longleaf Pine" — Saturday, Jan. 30, 7 p.m.
Enjoy a screening of the new documentary "Secrets of the Longleaf Pine" produced by Rhett Turner and Greg Pope. The film explores the unique plants and animals found in the Southeastern longleaf pine habitats. For more information on the film please visit: http://longleafpine.org/.

For more information on the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary and the EEL Program please visit our website www.eelbrevard.com and don't forget to check us out on Facebook and Twitter!

The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is located at 444 Columbia Blvd, Titusville.


December 18, 2015

Space Coast Area Transit Announces Holiday Bus Schedule

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Area Transit will operate on the following bus service schedule during the Christmas and New Year's holidays:
  • Thursday, Dec. 24: fixed route service will be operating on a Saturday Service schedule ending by 6 p.m.
  • Friday, Dec. 25: no bus service.
  • Thursday, Dec. 31: fixed route service will be operating on a regular service schedule ending by 6 p.m.
  • Friday, Jan. 1: no bus service.
Questions or requests for additional information should be directed to the Bus Information Line at (321) 633-1878 or online at www.RideSCAT.com.


December 18, 2015

13th Annual Sea Oats Sale Underway; Quantities Limited

VIERA, Fla. -- Attention beachside residents! It is time again to pre-purchase sea oats for dune planting through the annual sea oats sale offered by Brevard County's Natural Resources Management Department and Keep Brevard Beautiful, Inc.

Liner size sea oats are for sale in trays of 96 for $48 while supplies last. Quantities are limited this year, so please order early. Sea oats must be ordered and paid for by Friday, Jan. 29, and will be available for pickup on Saturday, Feb. 6.

Sea oats are native to Brevard's coastal communities and stabilize sand quickly by developing an extensive root and rhizome system that holds onto sand and slows erosion. Sea oats also have the ability to build dunes, as the grassy foliage and tall seed plumes trap windblown sand, which builds up at the plant base and stimulates the plants to grow taller. The dunes that are formed are an important feature of our coastal ecosystem, as they provide habitat for wildlife and protect upland property during wind and storm events.

For more information, call Paula Berntson at (321) 633-2016 ext. 52431, e-mail paula.berntson@brevardcounty.us or visit the following link: http://www.brevardcounty.us/docs/default-source/natural-resources-documents/2015-sea-oats-info-and-order-form.pdf?sfvrsn=4.


December 11, 2015

You're Invited: Free Winter Solstice Sunrise Paddle on Fox Lake

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Celebrate the Winter Solstice with a free Sunrise Paddle at Fox Lake Sanctuary!

Mike Knight, program manager for the Environmentally Endangered Lands program, will lead the Sunrise Paddle beginning at 6:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 20. Enjoy a 6-mile, round-trip paddle, campfire, and refreshments as the sun rises over Fox Lake. A limited number of kayaks are available to borrow or guests can bring their own kayak or canoe. Registration is required. Please call (321) 264-5185 to reserve your spot by Thursday, Dec. 17.

Guests are asked to please meet at the Fox Lake Boat Ramp at 6 a.m. The paddle will begin promptly at 6:30 a.m.

Fox Lake Sanctuary is located at 4400 Fox Lake Road, in Titusville. For more information on the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program, Fox Lake Sanctuary, or other EEL Sanctuaries throughout Brevard County, please visit www.eelbrevard.com or find us on Facebook!


December 08, 2015

Active Shooter Training/Grant Readies BCFR Casualty Recovery Team

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Training efforts designed to prepare Brevard County Fire Rescue and the Brevard County Sheriff's Office in responding to an active shooter scene have been bolstered by a $13,000 grant from Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation that will outfit each of the county's five fire districts with Kevlar helmets and bulletproof vests.

Each county fire district now possess an Active Shooter kit that includes ballistics protection as well as triage gear, including tourniquets and hemorrhage control devices. The Brevard County Sheriff's Office is additionally equipping approximately 400 deputies with trauma readiness kits containing triage, CPR, tourniquets and hemorrhage control devices that were acquired through generous community based donations.

"Active shooter situations are more commonplace now, unfortunately. We have to be ahead of the curve," BCFR Chief Mark Schollmeyer said. "We have to be better prepared. It's not a prevention program, but it helps us deal with casualties involved. It also enables us to prepare with Brevard County Sheriff's Office to plan for the worst and come up with a common game plan."

BCFR and BCSO have partnered to train for active shooter scenarios. The training took place at the vacant Gardendale Elementary School on Merritt Island, and involved the firing of live blanks in the building. All BCFR field personnel were involved in the drills.

"If they respond to an emergency call, they went through the training," said Assistant Chief of Fire Operations Scott Gold. "The training was modeled after Columbine High School. It involved entry into an active shooter environment, treatment of victims and action protocols. We would go through a scenario, get into formation and make entry and perform triage."

Sheriff Wayne Ivey said, "It was a pleasure training directly with our BCFR Public Safety counterparts. This is an important awareness and training program that we initiated several years ago and additionally provide for Eastern Florida State College and the Brevard Public School system. Time and preparation are of the absolute essence and there is no doubt that by coordinating these efforts with BCFR, lives will be saved." Schollmeyer credited District Chief Geanine Dotson, who formerly worked in law enforcement, as being instrumental in getting the training program in place. She started the program after seeing a national trend toward active shooter programs.

"In the case of an active shooter, usually fire rescue stands back and, unfortunately, people die because no one is getting help to the victims while law enforcement works to clear every room as they try to isolate the shooter. Now, working as a Casualty Recovery Team, we can go in with law enforcement and do rapid triage on victims who are saveable but would not be saveable hours later," Dotson said. "Any Brevard County firefighter, once on the scene, can team up with BCSO and we can go in and render aid to victims."

Had it not been for the support of Firehouse Subs, "we would still be looking for funding to pay for the gear," Dotson said.

"The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation is honored to provide life-saving equipment to departments in need," said Meghan Vargas, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Senior Manager of Foundation Development. "It's a great feeling to know we're positively impacting the lives of those heroes who keep our communities a safer place." Each kit contains four vests and four helmets as well as potentially life-saving triage gear.

"This is something we put on the truck hoping we never have to pull out and use," Dotson said.

ABOUT FIREHOUSE SUBS PUBLIC SAFETY FOUNDATION
In 2005, Firehouse Subs created the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation with the mission of providing funding, life-saving equipment, and educational opportunities to first-responders and public safety organizations. Through the non-profit 501(c)(3), Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation has given more than $15 million to hometown heroes in 44 states and Puerto Rico, including more than $2.9 million in Florida.


December 02, 2015

Sea Level Rise Workshop Dec. 9 at the Sams House

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. -- Join the Florida Public Archaeology Network to learn how sea level rise could affect historic structures, archaeological sites and other cultural resources.

The workshop will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 9, at Sams House, located at 6195 North Tropical Trail, Merritt Island.

Learn about ongoing research and modeling efforts, discuss options for mitigation and try your hand at planning for rising waters in our area. Joining FPAN to offer additional insights will be: Dr. Randall Parkinson, director, Division of Coastal Zone Watershed Management at Environmental Remediation and Recovery, Inc.; Dr. Paulett McFadden, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida; and Thomas Penders, M.A., 45th Space Wing Cultural Resources Manager.

Register online at https://fpan-slr-samshouse.eventbrite.com. For more information, contact Kevin Gidusko at KGidusko@flagler.edu or by phone at (904) 392-8065.


November 30, 2015

Florida Master Naturalist Training Offers January/February Class

Rockledge, Fla - Learning more about Florida's natural environment now is possible through the Florida Master Naturalist Program (FMNP), an environmental education extension program being offered in partnership with the University of Florida-Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF-IFAS) and participating organizations throughout the state. The FMNP both informs and prepares persons to share information about Florida's natural world and environmental history.

The upcoming class is the Wetlands Module and will be available at Riverwalk-A Family Park, 5355 U.S. Highway 1, Rockledge. Completion of the 40-hour program results in registration in the UF-IFAS Master Naturalist Program database as a FMNP Wetlands Systems Naturalist. Additional modules will be available in the future, including Uplands and Coastal Systems.

The FMNP is not a degree-seeking program. The program is appropriate for both the novice and the highly skilled environmental professional.

Certified FMNP Provider: Brandon Smith will be the principal instructor. He has been teaching environmental education for Brevard County Parks and Recreation for more than 10 years and is the Environmental Program Coordinator for Riverwalk-A Family Park, a 6.37-acre nature preserve and center, located at 5355 US Hwy 1 in Rockledge. The park is open Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Nature Center is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information on this and other programs, contact the Nature Center at (321) 433-4490 or email riverwalk@brevardparks.com.

Course Dates are: Jan. 9, 16 and 30; Feb. 6, 13, 20, and 27. Refer to FMNP Web site, www.MasterNaturalist.org, and click on "Course Offerings" for specific class times.

Registration: Register by visiting www.MasterNaturalist.org and clicking on the "Registration" link. The final day for Registration is Tuesday, Jan. 5.

Cost: $225, which includes 40 contact hours of instruction, a comprehensive student reference workbook, and, upon completion, registration in the UF FMNP database as an Wetlands Naturalist. A UF-IFAS certificate of achievement, embroidered FMNP patch, and FMNP Coastal lapel pin also will be provided at completion. Certified teachers attending the course may be able to receive 40 hours of in-service credit.

Program: Training for the Wetland System Module includes classroom instruction, field trips, and practical interpretive experience related to the general ecology, habitats, vegetation types, wildlife, and conservation issues of Wetlands areas of Florida, which include field trips to marsh, swamp, and riverine systems. In addition, the program addresses the role of society in wetlands conservation, develops naturalist interpretation skills, and discuss environmental ethics.br />

Target Audience: Volunteers and staff members of nature centers, preserves, sanctuaries, and other environmental education facilities. Ecotourism operators and guides, teachers seeking opportunities for environmental educational contact hours, and anyone who has an enthusiastic interest in learning more about Florida's environment is encouraged to participate.

For more information about the Wetlands System Module training or about the FMNP in general, contact the individuals listed above or log on to the official FMNP Web site at www.MasterNaturalist.org.


November 30, 2015

Fox Lake Park hosts Titusville Breakfast With Santa, Dec. 12

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Breakfast with Santa will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, at the Fox Lake Park main pavilion, 4400 Fox Lake Road, Titusville.

A pancake breakfast will be served and children will be given a candy-filled goodie bag, a visit with Santa, a make and take craft, and hayride. Parents who want a photo of their child with Santa should bring their own cameras. Santa will arrive at 9:30 a.m.

Tickets are $5 for children under 12 years of age and $3 for adults. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Advance purchase of tickets at Sandrift Community Center, 585 North Singleton Avenue, Titusville, is recommended. The event is limited to 150 children.

This activity is sponsored by Brevard County North Area Parks and Recreation. Call (321) 264-5037 for more information or to register for this event.


November 28, 2015

Santa Calling: Sign-up Underway in Titusville Area for Calls from Santa

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Special arrangements have been made for Santa to telephone children from his headquarters at the North Pole.

Calls will be made Wednesday, Dec. 16, and Thursday, Dec. 17, between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. to phones in the local dialing area for Titusville. There is no charge for this service.

Request forms are available at the following locations: Campbell Community Center at 701 South Street in Titusville; Cuyler Community Center at 2329 Harry T. Moore Avenue in Mims; Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Park Cultural Center at 2180 Freedom Avenue in Mims; Port St. John Community Center at 6650 Corto Roadin Port St. John; Sandrift Community Center at 585 North Singleton Avenue in Titusville; Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice G. Jackson Park at 4201 N. US Highway 1 in Cocoa (Sharpes); and the North Area Parks Operations office at 475 North Williams Avenue in Titusville.
Forms can be downloaded here.

Call (321) 264-5105 for more information about this and other activities provided by Brevard County North Area, Parks and Recreation.


November 27, 2015

38th Annual Holiday Hoedown Dec. 13 at Kiwanis Island Park

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. -- Brevard County Parks and Recreation Central Area is hosting the 38th Annual Holiday Hoedown from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13, at Kiwanis Island Park Community Center, 951 Kiwanis Island Park Road, Merritt Island.

Since 1977, the second Sunday in December has been an important day in the lives of Brevard residents with disabilities. The Holiday Hoedown, formally known as Country Christmas, is a free event for persons with disabilities, their families and friends. It is the largest community event in the county's history.

This year will be the 38th year the Indian River Cloggers and the South Wind Band will be performing and the Merritt Island Elks Club will be providing, preparing and serving the food.

For more information about the Holiday Hoedown, or programs for persons with disabilities in the central area, please call Nancy Watkins (321) 633-1874.

(For more information about the Holiday Hoedown, or programs for persons with disabilities in the north area, please call Andrea Chestnut (321) 264-5058. - webmaster)


November 25, 2015

December Calendar Full of Free Events at the Enchanted Forest

Brevard County, Fla. -- An exciting month of December is planned at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. Please join us for one of the many programs and events offered. All events are free!

Every Saturday at 10 a.m. – Guided Walk:
Enjoy a 45-minute guided hike. Please bring hat, water and walking shoes. No reservations needed, unless you are a group of 5 or more.

Guide Training Series (continued from November)
Classroom Sessions: Thursdays, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. (Dec. 3 & Dec. 10)

Hike Sessions: – Saturdays 10 a.m. – noon (Dec. 5 & Dec. 12)
Discover local flora and fauna, learn interpretive tips, meet new people, and more. Training includes a classroom session with an accompanying hike. Spots limited. Call (321) 264-5185 to register.

Volunteer Orientation – Saturday, 3 p.m. (Dec. 5) and Wednesday, 10 a.m. (Dec. 16)
The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is looking for dynamic individuals with a passion for the environment! Come learn about the various volunteer opportunities.

Saturday, Dec. 5 – Star Party! – 5 p.m. to 10 a.m.
Multiple telescopes will be set up for guests to view various constellations and other celestial bodies with the Brevard Astronomical Society. Children and families are invited to further explore space through hands-on activities and crafts in the Discovery Room.

Tuesday, Dec. 8 – Friends of the Enchanted Forest Annual White Elephant Dinner – 5:30 p.m.
Celebrate the holidays with the Friends of the Enchanted Forest. Bring a dish to share and a white elephant gift.

Wednesday, Dec. 9 – Nature Time for 2-3 year olds – 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
December's theme is Nature Senses! We will read a story and do hands-on activities to explore how animals use their senses to survive! Spots limited. Please call 321.264.5185 to register.

Saturday, Dec. 12 – Yoga in Nature – 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Enjoy a traditional yoga class for all levels on the screened porch. Wear loose fitting clothes and do not eat and hour before class. Please bring water and a mat if you have one.Please call 321.264.5185 to register.

Rain Barrel Workshop with Brevard County Natural Resources Management – 10 a.m.– noon
The workshop cost is $50 which covers all the supplies and instructions to create your very own Rain Collection Device. Registration required – please visit http://www.brevardcounty.us/NaturalResources/Watershed/RainBarrelWorkshops to register.

Sunset Drum Circle – 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Find your beat! Guests are invited to join in on a family-friendly drum circle facilitated by Carol Crystal Woman. Please bring your favorite drum or rattle. There will be limited instruments to share.

Wednesday, Dec. 16 – Lunch with Nature – "Endangered Tilandsia and the Mexican Bromeliad Weevil" – 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Bring a packed lunch and enjoy a special presentation by Dr. Teresa Cooper, who is currently researching the Mexican bromeliad weevil at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. Dr. Cooper's research is timely, and needed to protect the native bromeliads.

Saturday, Dec. 19 – Photography Club – 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
All levels of photography welcome. View the photographs and learn helpful tips. This program is free and reservations are not required.

Reptile & Snake Presentation – 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Learn about some of the Enchanted Forest's reptile residents and meet a red rat snake!

Sunday, Dec. 20 – Winter Solstice Sunrise Paddle at Fox Lake Sanctuary – 6:30 a.m.
Enjoy a sunrise paddle (6 miles round-trip), campfire, and refreshments at Fox Lake Sanctuary. Please meet at the Fox Lake Park boat ramp at 6:00am. Guests may bring their own kayak/canoe or a limited number of kayaks are available. Please RSVP by Thursday, Dec. 17, by calling (321) 264-5185.

Forest Funday – Winter in the Forest – 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Children and families are invited to create a holiday craft and learn about how animals in the forest prepare for winter and spend the cooler months between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary will be closed the following dates this holiday season: Thursday, Dec. 24; Friday, Dec. 25; and Friday, Jan. 1.

For more information please visit our website www.eelbrevard.com and don't forget to check us out on Facebook and Twitter!

The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is located at 444 Columbia Blvd., Titusville.


November 19, 2015

Get Star Struck at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- The Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program and the Brevard Astronomical Society will host a free Star Party from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary on Saturday.

Numerous telescopes will be set up for guests to view various constellations and other celestial bodies through the evening. Children and families are invited to further explore space through hands-on activities and crafts in the Discovery Room.

For more events or information on the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program, visit www.eelbrevard.com or call (321) 264 - 5185.

The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is located at 444 Columbia Blvd., Titusville. Also, don't forget to find us on Twitter and Facebook!


November 18, 2015

22nd Annual Fox Lake Christmas Festival of Crafts Set for Nov. 21

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- The 22nd Annual Fox Lake Christmas Festival of Crafts will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, at Fox Lake Park in Titusville.

Only handmade and homemade crafts will be offered for sale at the event, which is sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations. Concessions will be available for purchase and the event is free to attend.

Fox Lake Park is located at 4400 Fox Lake Road in Titusville. For more information about this and other recreation programs in North Brevard, call (321) 264-5037.


November 13, 2015

Brevard County Seeks Citizen Input Through 'Speak Up Brevard'

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Once again it's time to "Speak Up Brevard."

In an effort to provide a formal process for citizens to submit recommendations to Brevard County government, and as a result of charter amendment, Brevard County is implementing a web-based application called "Speak Up Brevard."

The online form will be available Dec. 1 through Dec. 31 at www.brevardcounty.us. It allows citizens to submit ideas which would assist county government in conserving energy, saving costs, eliminating duplication, generating revenue, increasing productivity, or preventing waste. A hard-copy version of the form may also be submitted, and is available through the County Manager's office.

The process requires submissions to meet a deadline of Jan. 1, after which the County Manager's office has 45 days to evaluate and comment on the recommendation, and then forward it to the Board of County Commissioners for review. The Board of County Commissioner must take a final vote to either approve, reject, or revise and accept the recommendation within 120 days. The sponsor of the recommendation will be given at least a week's notice prior to it being heard and voted on by the Board. A listing of all recommendations, including disposition, will be posted on the County website.

Visit www.brevardcounty.us, click on the e-Government tab and then, in the category labeled "Provide Feedback," recommendations can be posted under the heading "Speak Up Brevard."


November 13, 2015

Brevard County Emergency Management, Rockledge Team Up for Active Shooter Preparedness Class

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County Emergency Management is partnering with Rockledge Police Department on an "Active Shooter" Preparedness Class on Tuesday, Nov. 17, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Brevard County Emergency Operations Center in Rockledge.

Click here for a PRINT & SHARE flyer.

The event, which focuses on what actions should be taken if you find yourself in harm's way, is open to the public. Pre-registration is required at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/activeshooterprepcourse.

"Mass casualty and active-shooter incidents have been on a steady and continuous rise over the past decade. Most situations last less than 12 minutes and can occur anywhere – not just in school," said Rockledge Police Chief Joseph LaSata. "Having an understanding of why these events occur and how to prevent them, coupled with a foundation of civilian tactics, is crucial to a civilian's safety."

LaSata added: "The Rockledge Police Department and Brevard County Emergency Management recognize the importance this topic has to our community. The training is a testament to our commitment to public safety, and is another example of the culture of cooperation we enjoy with our residents."

Brevard County Emergency Management Director Kimberly Prosser said the best time to make a plan for an emergency is before the situation happens.

"You can think more clearly and logically when you're not under the stress of whatever that emergency is," Prosser said. The preparedness class will focus on three "Fast and Decisive" actions one can take in an active shooter incident. Those actions are:

  • Run – If a safe path is available, do not hesitate; get out; leave your belongings; prevent others from entering the area; and call 9-1-1 when you are safe
  • Hide – If you can't get out safely, stay out of the shooter's view and be quiet; silence your phone; lock/barricade doors; and call 9-1-1 when you area safe
  • Fight – As a last resort, fight with an all-out commitment; be physically aggressive; use improvised weapons; and fight to incapacitate the shooter.
Other topics to be covered include:
  • Define what a Mass Casualty/Active Shooter event is
  • Understand statistical data and frequency of events
  • Familiarization of the effects of an event on society
  • Understand deficiencies in our culture that contribute to these events.
The Brevard County Emergency Operations Center is located at 1746 Cedar St., in Rockledge.


November 05, 2015

Space Coast Area Transit: No Veterans Day Bus Service

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Area Transit has announced there will be no fixed-route bus service on Wednesday, Nov. 11, in observance of Veterans Day.

All normal bus service will resume on Thursday, Nov. 12. For more information, call the bus information line at (321) 633-1878 or log onto RideSCAT.com.


2015-2016 Charter Review Commission to Examine Home Rule Charter

BREVARD COUNTY, FL -- The public is invited to attend the upcoming meeting of the 2015-2016 Charter Review Commission, which will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, at the Viera Brevard County Government Center, Building C, 3rd Floor - Florida Room. Additional meetings will be held at 3 p.m. in the same location on Thursday, Nov. 19; Thursday, Dec. 3; and Thursday, Dec. 17. Future meeting dates will be announced soon and all meetings are open to the public.

Attorney Kendall Moore is the chairman of the 15-member panel, which is made up of three appointees by each Brevard County Commissioner to represent their commission district. The Home Rule Charter requires that every six years a Charter Review Commission be elected for the purposes of reviewing the existing Charter. If any individual, group or organization has a desire to comment on the Charter or offer any amendments, you are encouraged to contact the Charter Review Commission office to be added to the agenda.

For more information, contact the Charter Review Commission office at (321) 617-7248 or email sandy.smith@brevardcounty.us. "Under Florida Law, email addresses are Public Records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to public record requests, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing."


BREVARD COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, TITUSVILLE PD, COCOA BEACH PD, COCOA PD, ROCKLEDGE PD, AND WEST MELBOURNE PD PARTICIPATE IN FIRST EVER "REVERSE CHRISTMAS PARADE"

This coming Friday, November 6th, our agency along with the Titusville Police Department, the Cocoa Beach Police Department, the Cocoa Police Department, Rockledge Police Department, and the West Melbourne Police Department will host the first ever "Reverse Christmas Parade" that is designed to collect toys for kids in need this coming Christmas. Historically, events such as the Annual Toy Run have helped generate enough toys to make sure that those in need in our community have a Merry Christmas however this year the Toy Run is not taking place and our agency and others are trying to help fill the void.

The "Reverse Christmas Parade" is a new concept and opportunity we came up with to ask our community to help us meet our goal of making sure that every kid in Brevard County has a Merry Christmas. As everyone is aware during a parade the participants in the parade throw candy and other items to those lining the streets. In the "Reverse Christmas Parade" we are asking our citizens and businesses to partner with us by lining the below listed Parade route with new unwrapped toys. As your Law Enforcement Officers march by we will collect the toys to make sure that Brevard County's children in need have a great Christmas morning.

As I always say "it takes a community to protect a community" and the "Reverse Christmas Parade" is yet anther way for us all to partner together to help those in need. I hope to see you along the Parade route as we all work together to show why Brevard County is an awesome place to call home!!

Sheriff Wayne Ivey

8:30 A.M - 9:30 A.M.
Downtown Titusville
Start at US1 and Grace then go northbound to Broad Street.
Call 321-264-7755 for other community locations.
Click for flyer.


October 26, 2015

UF/Brevard Extension Service is Recruiting for Rabbits

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Calling all Lops, Rexes and Angoras ... Our Rabbit Club is looking for new members!

Join us for fun and informative forays with your favorite fluffy friends. The club meets on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at the UF/IFAS Extension Brevard Office, 3695 Lake Drive, in Cocoa.

For more information, contact Vanessa Spero-Swingle at (321) 633-1702.


October 26, 2015

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Nov. 9 for Sams House Nature Pavilion

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Nature Pavilion at Sams House Pine Island Conservation Area will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 9. The public is invited.

The event, which will be held at 6195 N. Tropical Trail on Merritt Island, is sponsored by Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Parks and Recreation Department and the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Light refreshments will follow the ceremony. For more information, contact Jenny Ashbury at (321) 369-8169.


October 26, 2015

North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation meets Nov. 12

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation will hold its next monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Ave. in Titusville. The meeting is open to the public.

The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center–North. For more information, call Jeff Davis at (321) 264-5105.

If a person desires to appeal any decision made by this commission with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of this proceeding and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of this proceeding is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which any such appeal is to be based. Section 286.0105, Florida Statutes.

In accordance with the Americans and Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, Florida Statutes, persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notice Parks and Recreation North Area no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting by contacting Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


October 22, 2015

Free Forest Festival at the Enchanted Forest in Titusville

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Guests are invited to explore the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary and celebrate autumn during the annual Forest Festival, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 7.

During this free event, guests can enjoy guided hikes, special presentations, meet Florida native wildlife, explore environmental exhibitors, listen to live music, and more. This year's Forest Festival will also have more children's activities than ever before. Children and families can participate in hands-on activities exploring forest animals and autumn, listen to Native American storytelling, make a craft, and more!

Special presentations will include a talk with live American Alligators with Gator Bill; "The Art of Maintaining a Florida Landscape" with author Ginny Stibolt; "Common Birds of the Forest" with biologist Becky Bolt, and many more.

For more events or information on the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program, visit www.eelbrevard.com or call (321) 264 - 5185.

The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is located at 444 Columbia Blvd., Titusville. Also, don't forger to find us on Twitter and Facebook!


October 20, 2015

Fox Lake Playground Reopens Ahead of Schedule in Titusville

TITUSVILLE, Fla.-- Fox Lake Park Playground, located at 4400 Fox Lake Road, Titusville, is now open following early completion of equipment replacement and repairs, according to Brevard County Parks and Recreation.

The project closed the playground for nearly a month, with completion initially targeted for Oct. 23. For more information, contact North Area Parks Operations (321) 264-5105.


October 20, 2015

Space Coast Government Television now on AT&T U-verse, Channel 99

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Government Television has expanded its broadcasting network and is now available to AT&T U-verse customers on Channel 99.

Space Coast Government Television (SCGTV) is a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week government-access cable television channel. Viewers can tune into live Brevard County Government meetings, or catch up on local government action through broadcasts of recorded municipal and other area government meetings. SCGTV also airs Florida Channel state government-related meetings.

AT&T U-verse TV is a new addition to airing SCGTV programming on Channel 99. The Brighthouse cable network broadcasts SCGTV programming on channel 499, and Comcast airs SCGTV on Channel 51 in North Brevard; Channel 13 in South Brevard.


October 16, 2015

Annual Fish Fry Nov. 13 at Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- The community is invited to enjoy a free fish fry at the Isaac Campbell, Sr. Community Center, 701 South Street in Titusville, on Friday, November 13, from noon to 2 p.m.

This event is co-sponsored by the Isaac Campbell Seniors Club and Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Parks & Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations. For more information, please call Tommy Myers at (321) 264-5040.


October 14, 2015

Lifeguard Training Course Offered at the Palm Bay Aquatic Center

PALM BAY, Fla. -- The Palm Bay Aquatic Center will offer an American Red Cross Lifeguard Training Course beginning Friday, Nov. 2. The center is located at 420 Community College Parkway, just south of the Eastern Florida State College Campus.

Class dates and times are as follows: Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from Nov. 2 - 19, from 4:30-8:30 p.m. The cost is $250 and includes book and a CPR mask.

The course will certify participants in life-guarding, CPR, and first aid. Participants must be 15 years of age to participate and pass a swim test consisting of a 300-yard swim, 10-pound brick retrieval at a depth of 10 feet, and two minute treading water (legs only.) Participants must be present for all class days and times.

This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department. For more information, call the aquatic center at (321) 952-2232.


October 13, 2015

Brevard County Libraries to Host Bookmobile National Tour Event

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Digital Bookmobile National Tour (www.digitalbookmobile.com) will showcase the digital content services available from Brevard County Libraries at the Eau Gallie Public Library on Friday, Oct. 16, from noon to 6 p.m.

At this free event, readers of all ages will learn how to access eBooks from their library through interactive demonstrations and high-definition instructional videos. The Gadget Gallery—featuring a variety of ereaders and tablets—will help visitors discover portable devices that are compatible with the library's digital service.

The Digital Bookmobile is a community outreach vehicle and a high-tech update of the traditional bookmobile that has served communities for decades. The vehicle is equipped with broadband Internet-connected PCs, high definition monitors, premium sound systems, and a variety of portable media players, all of which help visitors explore Brevard County Libraries' digital service. Interactive learning stations give visitors an opportunity to search the library's digital media collection, use supported mobile devices, and sample eBooks, audiobooks, and video.

Patrons can take advantage of the elibrary service 24/7 when they visit the library's website. From there, they can browse the growing collection of bestselling, new release, and classic titles, and check out a digital title with a valid library card. In just moments, patrons can download free ebooks and digital audiobooks to their mobile device. At the end of the lending period, titles will automatically expire and are returned to the digital collection. There are never any late fees or damaged items.

With 17 branches and our elibrary, the Brevard County Library System has something for everyone. We are proud to announce that our Overdrive elibrary has reached over 650,000 check-outs since it began in 2011. In August 2015, we reached over 5,000 users through Overdrive with over 25,000 check-outs. Explore this free service from your library today!

The Digital Bookmobile is a service of Brevard County Libraries and is operated by OverDrive, Inc. To check out digital books and more, visit http://brevard.lib.overdrive.com/


October 13, 2015

October Remains Packed with Free Events at the Enchanted Forest

There are plenty of exciting events through the end of October at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. All events are FREE!

Every Saturday at 10 a.m. - Guided Walk: Enjoy a 45-minute guided hike. Please bring a hat, water and walking shoes. No reservations needed, unless you are a group of 5 or more.

Wednesday, Oct. 21, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. - Volunteer Orientation: The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is looking for dynamic individuals with a passion for the environment! Come learn about the various volunteer opportunities.

Wednesday, Oct. 14, 10 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. - Nature Time for 2-3 Year olds: October's theme is Nocturnal Nature! We will read a story and do hands-on activities as we explore the creatures of the night! Spots limited. Please call (321) 264-5185 to register.

Thursday, Oct. 15, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. - Friends of the Enchanted Forest Meeting - "EEL North Region Update": Join the Friends of the Enchanted Forest for an update from Xavier de Seguin des Hons & EEL North Region Land Manager, on the land management activities of the North Region of the EEL Program and a report on the species cataloged during Bioblitzin May. Light refreshments served at 6:30pm, meeting and presentation begins at 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 17, 9 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. - Scottsmoor Flatwoods Sanctuary Exploration Ride: Enjoy a leisurely trailer bench ride through Scottsmoor Flatwoods Sanctuary, exploring plants and wildflowers of East Central Florida Pine Flatwoods and Oak-Saw Palmetto Scrub with Plant Ecologist Dr. Paul Schmalzer. Spots limited, call (321) 264-5185 to preregister. Please wear closed-toed shoes, a hat, sunscreen, and bring water. Please meet at Scottsmoor Parrish Park (4055 Magoon Ave., Scottsmoor) at 8:45 a.m.

Saturday, Oct. 17, 9 a.m.- 11 a.m. - Photography Club: Program for all levels of photography. View photographs and learn helpful tips.

Sunday, Oct. 18, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. - Forest Funday -Nocturnal Nature: Children and their families are invited to learn about nocturnal animals and make a craft between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 21, noon - 1:00 p.m. - Lunch with Nature - "Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About Florida Black Bears": Bring a brown-bag lunch and enjoy a special presentation by Tom Shupe, FWC District Wildlife Biologist on Florida black bear biology, history, and environmental importance.

Saturday, Oct. 24, 2 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. - Reptile & Snake Presentation: Learn about some of the Enchanted Forest's reptile residents and meet a red rat snake!

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. - FNPS Sea Rocket Chapter Meeting - "Edible Plants of Florida": Enjoy a special presentation by Peggy Lantz on edible plants of Florida. Light refreshments served at 6:30pm, meeting and presentation will start at 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 31, 11 a.m. - "From Burke and Hare to the Body Farm: The History of Anatomical Teaching Material": Enjoy a spooky presentation! Patrisha Meyers, Director of FHSAI and the Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science will discuss the curious history of anatomical teaching material. The need to advance scientific knowledge of the human body requires detailed study of human anatomy. However, at times this need has conflicted with ethical issues surrounding the utilization of human remains, engendering heated debate for over two hundred years. Join us for a discussion of past practices and current issues regarding the acquisition of human bodies for teaching purposes.

For more information please visit our website www.eelbrevard.com and don't forget to check us out on Facebook and Twitter!

The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is located at 444 Columbia Blvd, Titusville.


October 09, 2015

Space Coast Government Television now on AT&T U-verse, Channel 99

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Government Television has expanded its broadcasting network and is now available to AT&T U-verse customers on Channel 99.

Space Coast Government Television (SCGTV) is a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week government-access cable television channel. Viewers can tune into live Brevard County Government meetings, or catch up on local government action through broadcasts of recorded municipal and other area government meetings. SCGTV also airs Florida Channel state government-related meetings.

AT&T U-verse TV is a new addition to airing SCGTV programming on Channel 99. The Brighthouse cable network broadcasts SCGTV programming on channel 499, and Comcast airs SCGTV on Channel 51 in North Brevard; Channel 13 in South Brevard.


October 09, 2015

Brevard County Government Leadership Team to 'Yellow Belt' Train

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - County Manager Stockton Whitten and more than 30 Brevard County Government department directors and senior staff will participate Monday, Oct. 12, in the Lean Six Sigma "Yellow Belt" leadership training program.

The all-day program will be held at the U.S. Rep. Bill Posey Conference Center at the county Health Department, 2555 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, in Viera.

"We are initiating Lean Six Sigma training to further our organization's current continuous improvement efforts," Whitten said. "By undertaking this initiative, we will be focusing on providing employees opportunity to participate and know they can make a difference and improve our operations. Introducing Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques will place us in the position to self-correct, identify and eliminate waste or unnecessary processes and procedures and help us further improve operations."

"Yellow Belt" training will provide an overview of Lean Six Sigma concepts, provide a logical improvement map, an understanding of management's role in the execution of any Lean transformation as well as management considerations for strategic project selection.

In the weeks ahead, a core group of Brevard County Government staff has been selected for a week-long "Green Belt" training initiative. This group will become Lean Six Sigma leaders who will become Lean Six Sigma certified after leading our initial improvement projects under this initiative.


October 09, 2015

Fall Festival and Free Movie in the Park Oct. 24 at Sandpoint Park

TITUSVILLE, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, is hosting a fall festival to include a free movie in the park.

The event begins at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at at Sandpoint Park, 101 N. Washington Ave., in Titusville. Activities will include a costume contest, children's games, trunk n' treat, face painting, food trucks, and a movie in the park. The free movie will be "Maleficent" and is rated PG. The movie will be shown on a giant 23-foot outdoor movie screen beginning at approximately 8 p.m.

Patrons are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets for the movie. Concessions will be available for purchase. Call Clifford Lett at (321) 264-5105 for additional information.


October 07, 2015

Free Forest Festival to be held Nov. 7 at the Enchanted Forest

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Explore the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary and celebrate fall during our annual Forest Festival on Saturday, Nov. 7.

During this free event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., guests are invited to enjoy guided hikes, special presentations, meet Florida native wildlife, explore environmental exhibitors, listen to live music, and more! Children will have the opportunity to make a craft, participate in hands-on activities, and face painting!

Special presentations will include a talk about American Alligators with Gator Bill, Dr. Theresa Cooper discussing endangered bromeliads, Fire in the Urban Interface with Zack Prusak, Native American Storytelling with Carol Michaels, and Common Birds of the Forest with Becky Bolt.

Musicians will include Nature Song Sing Along, Sharon Osuna, Crystal Woman & Friends, and more!

For more events or information on the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program, visit www.eelbrevard.com or call (321) 264-5185.

The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is located at 444 Columbia Blvd., in Titusville. Also, don't forget to find us on Twitter and Facebook.


October 06, 2015

Brevard Schools to Participate in International Walk to School Day

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- On Wednesday, Oct. 7, a record number of Brevard Schools will participate in International Walk to School Day.

This year, students from 44 Brevard Schools will be walking to school with family members, teachers, and community leaders. The Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization (Space Coast TPO) has encouraged participation in the annual event for 16 years. The TPO and the world has watched the event grow from one school in 1997 to over 40 countries and 4,000 U.S. schools participating in the 2015 International Walk to School Day.

Born out of the simple joy of walking to school, the event serves to promote physical education, an opportunity to teach safe walking and bicycling skills and helps determine the walkability of a community. In addition, walking to school is better for the environment and helps reduce traffic congestion around schools.

Recently, United States Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx endorsed Walk to School Day and encouraged everyone to participate. That video message can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOthqO7ThVY&feature=youtu.be.

Each Brevard school recognizes this event differently. Some schools advertise the event through newsletters and morning announcements while others plan more organized events including special quest walkers, themed events and special healthy breakfast when the students arrive at school. To find out about a particular school's plans, contact that school directly or check out the Who's Walking page of the Walk to School Day webpage http://walkbiketoschool.org/go/whos-walking/2015.

Here are some notable events taking place this year in Brevard County:

Eau Gallie High School: The Eau Gallie High School football team, volleyball team, ROTC, Marching Band and Student Government will join fellow students as they walk to the school from McGrath Field.

Apollo Elementary: Members of the Titusville Fire Department will be present to celebrate the event with students.

Golfview Elementary: Cheerleaders, the Band and the Police Department will join these students on their walk to school.

Roosevelt Elementary: Cocoa Beach Mayor Dave Netterstrom, Commissioners Tim Tumulty, Mike Miller and Ben Malek will have to walk pretty fast to keep up with the special guest at this school. NASCAR Xfinity Series Driver Scott Lagassee Jr. will be joining the students for their walk to school. Once at school, the students will have a chance to check out one of Scott's racecars that will be on display. Scott Lagassee comes to us through the Alert Today Alive Tomorrow Program, a focused initiative by the Florida Department of Transportation to increase safety and awareness for bicyclists and pedestrians.

The Space Coast TPO applauds all the schools and is excited to see the increased participation in this year's event. For general information about Walk to School Day, contact Katrina Morrell, Space Coast TPO, at (321) 690-6890.


October 05, 2015

HUD Approves $3.2M Loan Guarantees to Brevard County

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Housing and Human Services has received notice of approval of two loan guarantees from Housing and Urban Development, one for $1.6 million to build a health clinic to serve low-income persons in the City of Melbourne, and one for $1,6 million to build a 3.8-mile potable waterline loop to connect the West Canaveral Groves area to the municipal water system.

HUD's Section 108 Loan Guarantee Assistance Program enables local governments to borrow money at reduced interest rates to promote economic development, stimulate job growth and improve public facilities. Such public investment is often needed to inspire private contributions, to provide seed money, or to simply boost confidence private firms and individuals may need to invest in distressed areas.

"HUD's Loan Guarantee Program can be a powerful public investment tool to drive economic development in under-served areas," said HUD Regional Administrator for the Southeast Ed Jennings, Jr. "The program will provide much-needed services to disadvantaged communities and provide jobs for Brevard County residents who need them most."

According to the applications to HUD, The Brevard County Health Department will operate the clinic, which will be located in a low-income community. The target population for the clinic has particular problems with securing transportation to receive services, so the Health Department Building's location is of particular importance. The West Canaveral Groves waterline will provide fire protection services for a residential service area in which approximately 77 percent of the residents are low and moderate income persons. The waterline will also include features to permit future direct access to residents along Satellite Boulevard and Chervan Avenue.


September 29, 2015

Brevard County Government Hosts Hispanic Heritage Celebration Oct. 2

Viera, Fla. -- Brevard County Government will celebrate the achievements, customs and legacies of Brevard residents with roots in Latin America during its second Hispanic Heritage Celebration on Friday, Oct. 2, at the Government Center in Viera.

The drop-in event, open to the public, will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Highlights will include cultural displays, artwork, literature, exhibits, live music and dancing and multiple food vendors that specialize in Hispanic cuisine.

Admission is free. This event is presented by Gold sponsors VITAS Innovative Hospice Care and Health First Health Plans, Silver sponsor Wells Fargo, and Brevard County Government. Vendor/exhibitor booths are still available. For questions or additional information, please contact Sandy Daughtry at (321) 633-2003, or by email at sandy.daughtry@brevardcounty.us.

The Government Center is located at 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Building C, Viera.


September 28, 2015

BCFR, Department of Health-Brevard Team Up For World Heart Day Event

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- In celebration of World Heart Day, Brevard County Fire Rescue and the Florida Department of Health in Brevard County (DOH-Brevard) are promoting heart health by hosting Hands-Only™ CPR training from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29, in the Bill Posey Room of the Health Department, 2555 Judge Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera.

World Heart Day is an annual event created by the World Heart Foundation to remind everyone that heart disease and stroke are the world's leading causes of death. The theme for 2015 is creating heart healthy environments.

"Hands-Only™ CPR performed by a bystander has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR with mouth-to-mouth breaths in the first few minutes of sudden cardiac arrest," said Florida Department of Health in Brevard County Director Dr. Heidar Heshmati. "Partnering with Brevard County Fire Rescue to offer free Hands-Only™ CPR training is a wonderful opportunity and helps ensure Brevard residents have the tools needed to be heart healthy."

In Florida, 23.4 percent of adults age 65 and older reported in 2013 that they had been told by a healthcare provider that they had a heart attack, coronary heart disease or stroke. Heart disease was the leading cause of death in Florida in 2014 and is the number one killer of women, taking more lives than all forms of cancer combined.

Hands-Only™ CPR is CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths. It is recommended for use by people who see a teen or adult suddenly collapse in an "out-of-hospital" setting (such as at home, at work or in a park). It consists of two easy steps:
1. Call 9-1-1 (or send someone to do that); and
2. Push hard and fast in the center of the chest.

"We are happy to work with the Department of Health-Brevard for this event," BCFR spokesman Don Walker said. "We believe lives can be saved if people have the right information. We invite everyone to come by."


Space Coast Pathways Project

Click to enlarge as printable PDF.
A project to devleop an Interactive Guide to Brevard's trails,
waterways, sidewalks, bike lanes and unique outdoor adventures
funded by the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization.


September 25, 2015

UF/Brevard Extension Family Fun Program Focuses on Local Seafood

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The UF/Brevard County Extension Service has added another opportunity to learn about local seafood. Join UF/FAS Extension Brevard County and Wild Ocean Seafood Market on both Wednesday, Sept. 30, from 3:00pm - 4:00pm, in Titusville and/or on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 4 p.m.-5 p.m. in Cape Canaveral for this fun early release day program learning about Florida Seafood.

Families will receive a tour of Wild Ocean Seafood Market's Titusville store and be able to participate in some fun activities. Ever wanted to learn how to peel a shrimp? Want to learn more about fish anatomy? How are your cast-netting skills? And you get to sample some yummy shrimp afterward!

Cost is $5 per person or $15 for a family of four.

Register today via our Eventbrite website or call Holly Abeels at (321) 633-1702 ext. 235 to register by phone.

Registrations are required to participate, so sign up today!


September 25, 2015

Hazard Mitigation Plan Will Help Brevard County Better Prepare for Natural Disasters

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County and its municipalities are better prepared for disasters with the recent approval of a local hazard mitigation plan.

The plan is a long-term strategy to reduce the community's vulnerability to natural disasters. Jurisdictions that adopted this plan include Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral, Grant-Valkaria, Indialantic, Indian Harbour Beach, Malabar, Melbourne, Melbourne Village, Rockledge, Palm Shores, Satellite Beach, Palm Bay, Titusville, West Melbourne and unincorporated Brevard County. The final city to consider adoption is Melbourne Beach, which is expected to consider the plan during its Oct. 21 town council meeting.

The plan, known as the Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS) identifies hazards and potential hazards in the communities, and creates a framework to help community officials make decisions that may ultimately protect lives and property.

The LMS also outlines a strategy for implementing mitigation projects in all of the jurisdictions involved. Through projects that make community infrastructure more resilient to natural disasters, these communities are taking proactive steps to lessen the impact of future disasters and the costly expenses associated with them. A study conducted by the Multi-hazard Mitigation Council shows that there is a four dollar savings for every dollar invested into mitigation measures.

"Brevard County has experienced natural disasters ranging from tropical cyclones to wildfires, tornadoes, severe flooding, and winter freezes," said Emergency Management Director Kimberly Prosser. "We are also vulnerable to other natural, human-caused and technological disasters. That's why it's important that we not only have plans in place for response, but that we have an approved Local Mitigation Strategy so that our community is eligible for federal funding following any federally declared disasters."

History shows that the physical, financial and emotional losses caused by disasters can be reduced significantly through hazard mitigation planning. The planning process encourages communities to integrate mitigation with day-to-day decision-making regarding land-use planning, floodplain management, site design and other activities.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency reviews local mitigation plans at least once every five years. A FEMA-approved LMS enables adopting counties and municipalities to access available funding for mitigation such as the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, Pre-Disaster Mitigation, Flood Mitigation Assistance, Severe Repetitive Loss, and Repetitive Flood Claims. An approved and adopted LMS is also a requirement for state and local governments, in order to receive federal funding following a Presidential Disaster Declaration, per the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief Act and the Code of Federal Regulations.


September 24, 2015

Brevard County Government Hosts Hispanic Heritage Celebration Oct. 2

Viera, Fla. -- Brevard County Government will celebrate the achievements, customs and legacies of Brevard residents with roots in Latin America during its second Hispanic Heritage Celebration on Friday, Oct. 2, at the Government Center in Viera.

The drop-in event, open to the public, will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Highlights will include cultural displays, artwork, literature, exhibits, live music and dancing and multiple food vendors that specialize in Hispanic cuisine.

Admission is free. This event is presented by Gold sponsor VITAS Innovative Hospice Care and Silver sponsor Wells Fargo, Health First Health Plans and Brevard County Government. Vendor/exhibitor booths are still available. For questions or additional information, please contact Sandy Daughtry at (321) 633-2003, or by email at sandy.daughtry@brevardcounty.us.

The Government Center is located at 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Building C, Viera.


September 24, 2015

North Area Parks Operations Seeks Yoga Instructor

TITUSVILLE, Fla.—Brevard County Parks & Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations, is seeking a Yoga instructor to teach at Sandrift Community Center, 585 North Singleton Ave., in Titusville.

Interested individuals should contact Jann Faiga by email at jann.faiga@brevardparks.com or by phone at (321)264-5037.


September 24, 2015

Brevard County Fire Rescue Streamlines EMS Response Process

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla – Brevard County Fire Rescue has implemented a Priority Dispatch Program that will streamline fire and emergency medical service response on ambulatory and non-emergency calls.

The program, called ProQA Priority Dispatch, officially rolled out Monday, Sept. 21, and is designed to align emergency resources and responses with the service requested. "This is a best-practice method of emergency response that has been implemented successfully across the country by many EMS systems over the past several years," said BCFR Chief Mark Schollmeyer. "It has proved to be a safe dispatch system for patient care and transport based on call prioritizations."

Until now, BCFR dispatch response for an ambulance or non-emergency situation has included 1 ambulance and 1 engine/ladder company. By improving our alignment of resources and response with the service requested, we will further improve efficiency and reduce the cost of services provided by sending only what's needed to the scene.

"This type of response is a more efficient and cost-effective way of allocating services," Schollmeyer said. "Dispatching emergency units with lights and sirens traveling above the speed limit to the scene of a non-emergency or low acuity patient, and going through intersections to arrive at the scene of a non-emergency request for service, is not an effective or efficient system for providing emergency services."

The goal, Assistant EMS Chief Orlando Dominguez said, is to ensure the necessary response personnel are dispatched and the customer is rendered appropriate care or services while the organization remains true to its core EMS business model. Through the use of ProQA software, Brevard County's Dispatch Center team will ascertain a caller's emergency level and dispatch the appropriate units. ProQA includes three different priority dispatch responses:

  • Alpha Response: Alpha refers to non-emergent response. This will require 1 rescue with no lights and sirens. (Cold Response.)
  • Bravo Response: Bravo refers to cautious emergency response. This will require a minimum of a 2 unit response; the closest unit to the scene will respond with lights and sirens (Hot Response) and the second unit will respond without lights and sirens (Cold Response.)
  • Charlie/Delta/Echo Response: Charlie refers to an emergency response by all responding units. This response requires a minimum of 2 units, both units responding with lights and sirens (Hot Response.)
Dominguez said the ProQA Dispatch Program will be routinely evaluated to ensure the department is truly aligning its resources appropriately and preparing for future challenges.


September 19, 2015

Free Family Fungus Day at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- There's a fungus among us at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary! Mushrooms will be taking over on Saturday, Oct. 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Discover local mushrooms on a Guided Fungus Hike, learn about some magnificent mushrooms with hands-on activities, and even make your own mushroom craft to take home!

This free event is sponsored by Toyota and the National Environmental Education Foundation through the Everyday Events Grant.

For more information, please call (321) 264-5185 or visit www.eelbrevard.com. Also, don't forget to find the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary or Facebook and Twitter.

The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is located at 444 Columbia Blvd, Titusville.


September 18, 2015

Fox Lake Park Playground Closed for Repairs and Renovations

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Brevard County Parks and Recreation has closed Fox Lake Park Playground for ongoing repairs and renovations.

The park, located at 4400 Fox Lake Road in Titusville, will be closed until Oct. 23. For more information, call North Area Parks Operations (321) 264-5105.


September 15, 2015

Brevard Libraries to Participate in International Read an eBook Day

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Libraries will take part and celebrate International Read an eBook Day, an annual holiday to celebrate and raise awareness for reading on digital devices, on Friday, Sept. 18.

In recent years, the popularity of eBooks has soared and readers are taking advantage of the eBook technology and popular titles available at their local library. Through July 2015, public library customers have borrowed 94.7 million eBooks and audiobooks, a 24 percent increase over the same period in 2014 (according to OverDrive). Readers with a library card can access eBooks from any Brevard County library on all major computers and devices, including iPhone, iPad, Nook, Android phones and tablets, Chromebook, and Kindle, anytime, anywhere by visiting http://brevard.lib.overdrive.com.

Read an eBook Day is a celebration of modern storytelling. Readers around the world are encouraged to take part in the largest digital reading event by choosing from thousands of free eBooks from county libraries. Users are encouraged to share what they are reading and how they are celebrating on social media and join the #eBookLove conversation. Readers can use the hashtag on Facebook and Twitter to tell their story and share their love of eBooks or comment directly at www.readanebookday.com.

eBooks have proven to be a convenient, beneficial complement to traditional, physical books. When physical books are not available or practical – such as when you'd like to carry many at once, or if you can't make it to a store or library – eBooks offer a great alternative for instant access to reading.

Read an eBook Day falls in the middle of Library Card Sign-up Month, a time when the American Library Association and public libraries nationwide join together to make sure that every student has the most important school supply of all – a free library card. To sign up for a library card, visit your area library and you can begin checking out digital titles immediately.

To participate in International Read an eBook Day or learn how to get started, visit www.readanebookday.com.


September 15, 2015

Celebrate National Public Lands Day with the EEL Program!

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program (EEL Program) will be celebrate National Public Lands Day on Saturday, Sept. 26, with a series of events at different locations throughout the County.

National Public Lands Day is a nationwide volunteer day focused on connecting the community to public lands, stewardship, and outdoor recreation. Events include:

At Fox Lake Sanctuary:

Explore Fox Lake by Kayak (8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.) Guided kayak tours of the lake will be available throughout the day. Learn about the Fox Lake Nature Sanctuary and how the EEL Program is working to protect our native wildlife habitats. Bring a hat, sunscreen, water, and a ziplock bag to keep your valuables dry. Children must be able to paddle on their own and must be accompanied by a parent.

  • Trip Times: 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m.
  • To preregister, please call (321) 264-5185.
Fox Lake Sanctuary is located at 4400 Fox Lake Rd., Titusville.

At the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary:

Garden and Grounds Workday (9 a.m. - noon) Help EEL Program Staff and the Florida Native Plant Society - Sea Rocket Chapter (FNPS) continue to beautify our butterfly gardens and ground. Please wear closed-toed shoes, a hat, and sunscreen. Please call (321) 264-5185 is you are interested in participating.

  • Guided Hike (10 a.m.) Enjoy a guided hike exploring the biodiversity of the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary.
  • Native Plant Sale (10 a.m. - 3 p.m.) FNPS will be offering a variety of Florida native plants for purchase.
The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is located at 444 Columbia Blvd., Titusville.

At Sams House at Pine Island:

Nature Journal Workshop (10 a.m. - noon) Learn about and create a nature journal during this workshop. The workshop will include a hike into surrounding areas to discover biofacts, observe wildlife, and gather information from varying habitats to write about, draw, and create memories in your own personal journals. For more information, please call (321) 449-4720.

Sams House at Pine Island is located at 6195 N. Tropical Trail, Merritt Island.

For More information on these events and other programs the EEL Program offers please visit www.eelbrevard.com and don't forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter!


August 19, 2015

New Tennis Instructor: Randy Alvut - Adult and Youth Tennis Lessons at Singleton Courts

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- North Area Brevard County Parks and Recreation has partnered with Randy Alvut, tennis instructor, to offer tennis lessons for youth and adults at Singleton Tennis Courts.

Group lessons are offered from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays (youth 10 and under) and 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (adults). The cost for youth lessons is $10 per person and adult lessons $15 per person. There are also private lessons that are available at the rate of $20 per lesson, which requires an email or phone call for scheduling a date and time. These are introductory prices and are subject to change. On Thursdays, the ball machine is available at $5 per person during the hours of 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday mornings is round robin play starting at 8:30 a.m. to approximately 11:30 a.m. Cost for Saturday mornings is $5 per person.

All tennis lessons and games are held at Singleton Tennis Courts, located on 665 N Singleton Ave., Titusville. For more information please contact North Area Parks Operations at (321) 264-5105 or the instructor Randy Alvut at (321) 537-9870 or via email singletontennis@gmail.com.


August 19, 2015

Tell Us Where You Are Running and Riding

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Do you track your running and bicycling performance? If so, consider using Strava - a free app for iPhone and Android - and you could help create better bicycle and pedestrian facilities throughout the Space Coast and Florida.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization (SCTPO) are using data from Strava. Personal information is not shared, but the data can highlight trends and routes, revealing the effectiveness of existing facilities and identifying where bike lanes or traffic calming measures are needed.

More information:


August 19, 2015

Crafters/Food Vendors Sought for Fox Lake Christmas Festival of Crafts

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Food vendors and crafters are sought for the 22nd Annual Fox Lake Christmas Festival of Crafts, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, at Fox Lake Park in Titusville.

Only handmade and homemade crafts will be offered for sale at the event, which is sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations. Registration for crafter spots begins Monday, Aug. 31. Outside open area is $25 plus tax and under pavilion is $35 plus tax. Concessions will be available for purchase and admission is free. The deadline for crafter applications is Friday, Nov. 20.

Office hours for all registrations are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, at Sandrift Community Center, 585 N Singleton Ave., Titusville. Applications for food vendors will be available beginning Monday, Aug. 31, at Sandrift Community Center, or by email at jann.faiga@brevardparks.com.

Selected food vendors will be notified Monday, Oct. 26. Vendor selection is based on, but not limited to, application submittal date, price of product(s) to the public, proper licensing, and appropriateness of the product(s) to the nature of the event. Special consideration is given to not-for-profit service organizations. The County reserves the right to limit vendors to one or two vendors per product.

There is no cost to submit an application. A $50 plus tax, non-refundable, special event fee, is due from food vendors selected by Friday, Nov. 6. For more information about this event, call (321)264-5037.


August 14, 2015

Guide Training at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Are you interested in teaching guests and students about the East Central Florida environment and Enchanted Forest Sanctuary? The Environmentally Endangered Lands staff will be hosting two Guide Trainings for Enchanted Forest Sanctuary Guides and Study Trip Guides.

On Saturday, Sept. 5, from 9 a.m. - noon, training focuses on giving a general hike to guests of the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. This will include basic animal and plant ID, safety, interpretive tips, and more.

On Friday, Sept. 25, from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., the training session will focus on curriculum taught to Brevard County students that come to the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary on study trips. This will include safety, interpretive tips, curriculum activities, and more.

Spots are limited and future guides must preregister for these classes. Call (321) 264-5185 to register.

Please bring a packed lunch, water, a hat, and wear closed-toed shoes and sunscreen.

For more information please visit our website www.eelbrevard.com and don't forget to check us out on Facebook!

The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is located at 444 Columbia Blvd., in Titusville.


August 11, 2015

Moore's hosts Return-to-School Event and Free Movie in the Park

MIMS, Fla. -- The Moore's Return-to-School Event will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, at The Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Memorial Park, located at 2180 Freedom Avenue, Mims.

A free movie in the park, "Black or White," will be shown, popcorn will be provided and free school supplies will be available while supplies last. Patrons are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, food and drinks to enjoy during the movie.

For more information, call Sonya Mallard at (321) 264-6595. This event is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations in partnership with Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Cultural Complex, Inc.


August 05, 2015

Sign-up Underway for Fall Adult Sports Leagues in North Brevard

TITUSVILLE/SHARPES, Fla. — Sign-up is underway for Fall leagues for coed softball teams, flag football and kickball, sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations.

The coed softball league will be held on Wednesdays, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, at a fee of $342 per team. This league will be held at Chain of Lakes, 2111 Chain of Lakes Drive in Titusville. Registration is now underway, with a deadline of 4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14.

The adult flag football league will be held Sundays, beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 20, at a fee of $492 per team, at the Space Coast Communities Sports Complex, 662 Canaveral Groves Blvd. in Sharpes. Registration for adult flag football is underway, with a deadline of 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17.

The co-ed kickball league will be held on Tuesdays, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday Sept. 22, at a fee of $200 per team. All kickball leagues will be held at Chain of Lakes, 2111 Chain of Lakes Drive in Titusville. Registration for all leagues is underway, with a fee deadline of 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18.

For more information or to register a team, please call (321) 264-5105.


August 05, 2015

Brevard County Recycling Rate Exceeds State Goal; No. 1 in Central Fla.

VIERA, Fla. – Brevard County's recycling rate of 55 percent has exceed the state recycling goal by 5 percent, ranking the County second-highest in the state for recycling and first in Central Florida.

New recycling data released by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection shows an increase in Brevard County's recycling rate for 2014. Brevard County has achieved a recycling rate of 55 percent, exceeding the State 2014 recycling goal by 5 percent. This impressive ranking compares to a recycling rate of 52 percent in 2013 and puts Brevard County in 2nd place in the State for recycling and also places Brevard County in the lead position in the Central Florida area. Martin County was the only other county to rank above Brevard for its recycling rate.

Florida's official recycling rate is now 50 percent, up one percent from last year. The Florida Legislature set an ambitious goal to recycle 75 percent of Florida's waste by 2020. One of the goals set to meet along the way: Recycle 50 percent by the end of 2014.

"Brevard County has consistently exceeded the recycling goals set by the State" says Hillary Arena, Recycling Coordinator for Brevard County Solid Waste Management. "This is no small feat but one that can be directly attributable to the dedicated recycling efforts of the citizens of Brevard County and our cities."

The County's aggressive recycling effort is ongoing.

"As we seek to promote recycling in our communities, efforts will continue to educate citizens about what to recycle and the proper way to get those items ready for recycling," said Euripides Rodriguez, Director, Brevard County Solid Waste Management Department.

Future efforts will focus on the next level of recycling – commercial recycling. Commercial waste accounts for approximately 55 percent of the total municipal solid waste in Florida. However, only about half of the commercial solid waste is recycled.

"We will need all Brevard County residents and businesses to step up their recycling efforts. By working together, the residents of Brevard County will reach the ultimate goal of recycling 75 percent of our waste by 2020," Rodriguez said.

For more information on recycling, contact Hillary Arena, at (321) 633-2042 or visit the Brevard County website at www.brevardcounty.us/solidwaste.



July 30, 2015

New Website Provides Teen-Friendly Digital Library Experience

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Libraries have expanded their services with a new digital collection website experience just for teens. The main digital collection, http://brevard.lib.overdrive.com, now has a separate site to provide a safe and easy browsing experience for teens.

Favorite teen authors such as John Green, Rainbow Rowell, Suzanne Collins and Veronica Roth are now available in our the digital collection. This appealing and user-friendly page contains eBooks and audiobooks. Browsing can be done by subject, interest level or reading level. Check this page out now, http://brevard.lib.overdrive.com/teens.

The Teen Collection site filters the overall digital collection to just show Young Adult content, which gets teens to the titles they want faster! This new service, powered by OverDrive, is free for users with a library card. Digital titles are available anytime, anywhere and expire automatically, so no need to worry about late fees.

Brevard County Libraries have used OverDrive as their digital platform for eBooks and audiobooks since August 2011 with patron checkouts surpassing 600,000 in June 2015.


July 30, 2015

August Calendar packed with Events at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- An exciting month is planned at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary! We hope you will join us in August for one of the many programs and events offered. All events are FREE!

Every Saturday at 10 a.m. - Guided Walk:
Enjoy a 45-minute guided, interpretive hike on the trails of the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. Please bring hat, water and walking shoes. No reservations needed. Groups of 5 or more, please RSVP.

Saturday, Aug. 1 and Wed, Aug. 19, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. - Volunteer Orientation:
The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is looking for dynamic individuals with a passion for the environment! Come learn about the various volunteer opportunities.

Saturday, Aug. 8, 2 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. - Reptile & Snake Presentation:
Learn about some of the Enchanted Forest's reptile residents and meet a red rat snake!

Saturday, Aug. 15, 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. - Photography Club:
Program for all levels of photography. View photographs and learn helpful tips. This program is free and reservations are not required.

Sunday, Aug. 16, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. - Forest Funday -Beat the Heat:
Children and families are invited to learn about how animals have adapted to live in the Florida heat and to make a craft anytime between 2 p.m and 4 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 29, 11 a.m. - "Surviving Florida: Human Adaptation To The Sunshine State":
Join Kevin Gidusko, Florida Public Archaeology Network, for a special presentation on how humans of the past survived the Florida climate and environment.

For more information please visit our website www.eelbrevard.com and don't forget to check us out on Facebook!

The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is located at 444 Columbia Blvd, in Titusville.


July 28, 2015

Mom to Mom 5th Saturday Sale Aug. 29 at Sandrift Community Center

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The Mom to Mom 5th Saturday Sale will be held at Sandrift Community Center, 585 N. Singleton Ave., Titusville, on Saturday, Aug. 29, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Only children's clothing and toys will be offered for sale at the event. This event is free to the public to attend.

Registration for vendors will begin Monday, Aug. 3, at Sandrift Community Center, 585 N. Singleton Ave., Titusville. A $20 plus tax, non-refundable, special event fee is due from vendors by Tuesday, Aug. 25. Applications will be available at Sandrift Community Center. Office hours are Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Parks & Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations. Call (321) 264-5037 for more information.


Partnership in the Park set for Aug. 23 at Isaac Campbell Sr. Park

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- The Partnership in the Park will be held at Isaac Campbell Sr. Park, 701 South Street in Titusville, on Sunday, Aug. 23, beginning at 2 p.m. This family friendly event will include music, water slide, bounce house, food (while supplies last), give aways and more. The event is free.

Partnership in the Park is co-sponsored by the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, Titusville Police Department, Titusville Fire Department, McDonald's and Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Parks & Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations. For more information, please call Tommy Myers at (321) 264-5040.


July 27, 2015

Brevard County Government/Budget Office Receive Distinguished Budget Presentation Award

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Government and its Budget Office have received top honors in governmental budgeting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA).

The GFOA's Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, the only national awards program in governmental budgeting, measures proficiency in 14 mandatory categories, and assesses how well a budget serves as a policy document; a financial plan; an operations guide; and as a communications device.

While Brevard County Government received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, the GFOA also recognizes the individual or department primarily responsible for having achieved the award. That recognition went to Brevard County Government's Budget Office, which is directed by Tom Rosenberg.

The GFOA, based in Chicago, is a professional association that provides training programs, services and products for skills enhancement and performance of those responsible for government finance policy and management.


July 23, 2015

North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation to meet Aug. 13

TITUSVILLE, Fla.-- The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation will hold its next monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 13, in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Ave. in Titusville.

The public is invited to attend. The Brevard Room is in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center-North. For questions call Jeff Davis at (321) 264-5105.


July 21, 2015

County Manager to host Developer's Roundtable Discussion July 23

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Manager Stockton Whitten will host the next "Developer's Roundtable" from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, July 23.

The meeting will be held in the Florida Room, third floor of Building C, at the Brevard County Government Center, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, in Viera.

The Developer's Roundtable is a discussion forum on growth issues, land use, development activities and building trends. The goal is to bring key County department heads to the table with members of the development community on a quarterly basis. The roundtables invite open and informal discussions on development processes, organizational approaches, processes and issues on both sides of the table.

Area developers, builders and/or representatives interested in taking part in the Developer's Roundtables should contact the County Manager's Office at (321) 633-2002.


July 10, 2015

EEL Program to hold Selection/Management Committee Meeting July 22

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 22, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


July 09, 2015

Sign-up begins for Florida Master Naturalist Program on Upland Habitats

COCOA, Fla. – Interested in learning more about the upland habitats in Brevard County? Then a Florida Master Naturalist Program Upland Habitats Module might be right for you! This course starts on Thursday, July 30, at the University of Florida IFAS Brevard County Extension Service, 3695 Lake Drive in Cocoa. Florida Master Naturalist courses are open to everyone 18 years and older.

The objective of the Florida Master Naturalist Program is to prepare participants to share their knowledge with others, to act in a positive manner, to help others feel a greater connection to the land and to help others develop their own personal land ethic. Information on the ecology of Florida's systems is an integral part of the program, and we hope to initiate what is for many a life-long process of learning, of observation, and of sharing with others.

Through classroom, field trip, and practical experience, this Uplands Habitats Module provides instruction on the general ecology, habitats, vegetation types, wildlife, and conservation issues of Upland Habitats in Florida – Hardwood Forests, Pinelands, Scrub, Dry Prairie, Rangelands and Urban Green Spaces. The program also addresses society's role in uplands, develops naturalist interpretation skills, and discusses environmental ethics. The total training consists of 40 contact hours. The only requirements of students are enthusiasm, attendance, and completion of group final projects. There is no comprehensive examination required. Classroom learning includes four instructional videos and 12 presentations.

To register and view the course schedule visit the following website: http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/fmnp/us15-14.htm For additional questions or information, contact Holly Abeels, Marine Science Extension Agent, at (321) 633-1702 ext. 235, or email habeels@ufl.edu.


July 09, 2015

Space Coast Area Transit: FDOT issues ADA Modifications for Riders

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Federal Department of Transportation has recently issued a "Reasonable Modification of Policies and Practices for the Transportation of Individuals with Disabilities" for customers that are certified under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The modifications are effective July 13, 2015, and include the following:
  • ADA Paratransit Transportation is now defined as "origin-to-destination." An ADA Paratransit customer may request assistance beyond "curb-to-curb."
  • Pick-up and drop-off at locations with multiple entrances.
  • Boarding separately from a wheelchair. A client may request this when the occupied weight of the device exceeds the design load of the vehicle lift.
  • Assistance opening building doors.
  • Assistance navigating an incline or around obstacles.
  • Five-minute notification of arrival call.
Whenever feasible, requests for modifications shall be made and determined in advanced, before the trip is made. There are also some limitations in the new regulations which clarify what transit agencies are not required to provide. There are other modifications to the policies and practices as well. Please call (321) 633-1878 if you have any questions or wish to make a request.


July 06, 2015

Get Out to the Park and Celebrate: It's Park and Recreation Month!

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- It's a great time to visit the park, and Brevard County Parks and Recreation invites residents in July to join the celebration during Park and Recreation Month.

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) created Park and Recreation Month in July 1985. This year marks the 30th Anniversary of Park and Recreation Month!

Public park and recreation systems are dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for residents of communities around the country through recreation programming, leisure activities, and conservation areas. These services play a vital role in creating active and healthy communities and providing opportunities for young people to live, grow and develop into contributing members of society. Parks and Recreation facilities foster a variety of activities that contribute to a healthier community, such as introducing those with physical disabilities to physical activities, connecting children with nature, and combating obesity.

Through these programs and activities, Parks and Recreation facilities are providing a safe place for children to play, maintaining community cohesion and pride, and creating an enormous economic value to the community.


July 01, 2015

Enchanted Forest Sanctuary hosts 4th Annual Creepy Crawly Day, July 11

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Come meet, greet and even EAT some creep crawly critters during our 4th Annual Creepy Crawly Day, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, July 11 at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary in Titusville.

Bring the whole family and enjoy a fun-filled free day discovering some of nature's most unique, spine-tingling, and sometimes misunderstood critters. Try edible insects, discover the importance of bats, unearth the world of reptiles and amphibians, learn and play in our Creepy Crawly Carnival and participate in an insect Olympics on this very special day dedicated to the creepy crawly critters of Central Florida. The day will also feature buggy crafts, insect hikes, hands-on stations, log dissections, and so much more!

For more information, please visit our website www.eelbrevard.com and don't forget to check us out on Facebook. The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is located at 444 Columbia Blvd., Titusville


July 01, 2015

North Brevard Commission on Parks & Recreation Cancels July 9 Meeting

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation has canceled its July 9 meeting.

The next regularly scheduled monthly meeting will be at 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 13, in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Ave., Titusville. The meeting is open to the public.

The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center-North. For questions call Jeff Davis at (321) 264-5105.


June 29, 2015

Coast Guard Monitoring Falcon 9 Rocket Debris Field

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Coast Guard is working in close coordination with SpaceX and partner agencies to monitor the Falcon 9 debris field currently located more than 150 miles off the Florida-Georgia coast. The Coast Guard is cautioning vessels transiting that area and asking the public to report any sightings of debris that may wash ashore. Currently, no impacts from debris are expected for Florida beaches, and authorities will continue to monitor for any changes to this estimate.

"As with any incident involving spacecraft wreckage, debris should not be handled by members of the public," said Capt. Jeffrey Dixon, commander Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville. "These critical pieces of evidence are important in the investigation process and should be reported immediately to SpaceX or U.S. Coast Guard."

The SpaceX debris recovery hotline is 1-866-392-0035.


June 29, 2015

Coast Guard Monitoring Falcon 9 Rocket Debris Field

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Coast Guard is working in close coordination with SpaceX and partner agencies to monitor the Falcon 9 debris field currently located more than 150 miles off the Florida-Georgia coast. The Coast Guard is cautioning vessels transiting that area and asking the public to report any sightings of debris that may wash ashore. Currently, no impacts from debris are expected for Florida beaches, and authorities will continue to monitor for any changes to this estimate.

"As with any incident involving spacecraft wreckage, debris should not be handled by members of the public," said Capt. Jeffrey Dixon, commander Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville. "These critical pieces of evidence are important in the investigation process and should be reported immediately to SpaceX or U.S. Coast Guard."

The SpaceX debris recovery hotline is 1-866-392-0035.


June 24, 2015

Marina Park Closed for Fireworks July 3rd and July 4th

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Marina Park will be closed beginning at 8 p.m. Friday, July 3, through 11 p.m. Saturday, July 4, for fireworks. The boat ramp, skate park, dog park and all park facilities will be closed.

Marina Park is located at 501 Marina Road in Titusville.

During this closure, the following boat ramps in Titusville are available: Kennedy Point Park, 4915 S. Washington Ave.; and Parrish Park, 1 A. Max Brewer Memorial Parkway.

Fireworks can be viewed from SandPoint Park, 101 N. Washington Ave. and Parrish Park, 1 A. Max Brewer Memorial Parkway, both in Titusville.

For information on North Area parks owned or operated by Brevard County, from the Volusia County line on the North to SR 528 on the South, please call (321) 264-5105.


June 24, 2015

Space Coast Area Transit Bus Service Change for Independence Day

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- In observance of the July Fourth holiday, Space Coast Area Transit has announced there will be no fixed route bus service on Saturday, July 4.

For more information, please call the bus information line at (321) 633-1878 or visit on-line at www.ridescat.com.


June 17, 2015

Brevard County sheds 'Light' on lighting rules for Sea Turtle Nesting Season

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- It's 'Lights Out' for sea turtles in Brevard County.

Thousands of endangered and threatened sea turtles nest on Brevard County's beaches each summer. Leatherback sea turtles begin nesting in March followed by Loggerhead and Green sea turtles. After 50 to 70 days of incubation in buried nests, hatchlings begin to emerge from the beach and dunes and orient themselves toward the brightest visible horizon in an attempt to find the sea.

Lights from beachfront structures that shine or reflect onto the beach can disrupt this instinctive process and cause hatchlings to crawl toward the upland lights instead of crawling to the sea. These disoriented hatchlings often get tangled in dune vegetation, eaten by predators, die from exhaustion or dehydration, or are occasionally run over by vehicles.

Even those who eventually find the ocean may have used up so much energy on the beach that they die before they find food. It is estimated that only 1 out of every 1,000 hatchlings manages to survive to adulthood.

To prevent hatchling disorientation, all indoor and exterior lights that are visible from the beach should be shielded, repositioned, replaced, or turned off after 9 p.m. during sea turtle season. Because adult nesting females can also be disoriented by improper lighting, lighting ordinances apply from May 1 - Oct. 31.

For questions regarding beachfront lighting, copies of educational brochures, a demonstration of turtle friendly lighting fixtures, or to discuss available lighting options, please call (321) 633-2016 ext. 52431 or email paula.berntson@brevardcounty.us.


June 17, 2015

Brevard County Government to Host All-American Celebration

VIERA, Fla. -- Brevard County Government will host an All-American community celebration from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, June 26, at the Government Center, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Building C, in Viera.

The drop-in event, open to the public, will include live music, contests/games and patriotic-themed displays. There will also be grilled hamburgers and (2) hotdogs with chips, cookie and drink (water or soda) for $5.

The event will feature an Apple Pie Bake-Off, and public entries are welcome. The enter, contact Sandy Daughtry at (321) 633-2003 or sandy.daughtry@brevardcounty.us. The winner will receive an award. Samples will be provided at a cost of $1 for 5 small sample cups for judging

This event is hosted by Brevard County Government employee Diversity Team.


June 02, 2015

North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation meets June 11

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation will hold its next monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, June 11, in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Avenue in Titusville. The public is invited to attend.

The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center-North. For questions call Jeff Davis Jr. at (321) 264-5105.


May 29, 2015

Mom to Mom Garage Sale Canceled

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- The Mom to Mom Garage Sale scheduled at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 30, at the Fox Lake Park main pavilion, 4400 Fox Lake Road, Titusville, has been canceled due to lack of registered vendors. We apologize for any inconvenience.

In an effort to gain more participation, we will hold the event again from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29. The event is scheduled to be held at Sandrift Community Center, 585 N. Singleton Ave., Titusville. Please call the center (321) 264-5037 for additional information.


May 28, 2015

BREVARD COUNTY'S 2014 CRIME RATE CONTINUES TO DECLINE


May 26, 2015

Local Transportation Coordinating Board Seeks Volunteer Members

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Brevard County Local Coordinating Board for Transportation Disadvantaged Services is seeking applications for volunteer members.

The Local Coordinating Board (LCB) was established by Chapter 427 of the Florida Statutes to provide direction and advise to Space Coast Area Transit in the provision of Transportation Disadvantaged services in Brevard County. The LCB consists of 17 members from various state and local agencies and general interest groups.

The LCB is seeking volunteer members and alternates for the following seats: Citizen Advocate; Citizen Advocate (Alternate); Citizen Advocate – System User. The term of appointment is 3 years and the LCB meets quarterly at the Viera Government Center.

Once all the applications are received, a subcommittee will review the applications and make a recommendations to the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization for approval. The deadline for receipt of applications is June 30. If you are interested in serving on the Board and would like an application or have any questions, please contact Jim Liesenfelt from Space Coast Area Transit at (321) 635-7815 x601.


May 26, 2015

Local Transportation Coordinating Board Seeks Volunteer Members

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Brevard County Local Coordinating Board for Transportation Disadvantaged Services is seeking applications for volunteer members.

The Local Coordinating Board (LCB) was established by Chapter 427 of the Florida Statutes to provide direction and advise to Space Coast Area Transit in the provision of Transportation Disadvantaged services in Brevard County. The LCB consists of 17 members from various state and local agencies and general interest groups.

The LCB is seeking volunteer members and alternates for the following seats: Citizen Advocate; Citizen Advocate (Alternate); Citizen Advocate - System User. The term of appointment is 3 years and the LCB meets quarterly at the Viera Government Center.

Once all the applications are received, a subcommittee will review the applications and make a recommendations to the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization for approval. The deadline for receipt of applications is June 30. If you are interested in serving on the Board and would like an application or have any questions, please contact Jim Liesenfelt from Space Coast Area Transit at (321) 635-7815 x601.


May 20, 2015

Brevard County Emergency Management to Participate May 21 in Annual Hurricane Exercise

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. -- Brevard County Emergency Management will host its annual hurricane exercise on Thursday, May 21, to gear up for the upcoming hurricane season, which begins June 1.

As part of the exercise, local emergency managers will monitor the progress of "Hurricane Scott" and respond to simulated impacts, obstacles and challenges that would face the Space Coast.

Officials from various Brevard County government agencies, along with other area organizations, will respond to the Emergency Operations Center in Rockledge to participate in the drill and take appropriate actions that would be necessary in a real weather emergency. The daylong exercise is used to strengthen existing partnerships, familiarize those with new or added responsibilities and identify opportunities for improvement.

"This exercise is not only the time for public and private sector agencies to coordinate, but residents should also use this time to prepare themselves," said Kimberly Prosser, Brevard County Emergency Management Director.

As hurricane season approaches, it's recommended residents stock up with various storm supplies that includes fresh batteries, flashlights, food and water for 72 hours and a weather radio.

"I encourage every Brevard County resident to Make a Plan, Get a Kit and Stay Informed," Prosser said.

Residents can stay informed this season by visiting www.embrevard.com, following @BrevardEOC on Twitter or via text messaging, or liking "Brevard County Emergency Management" on Facebook.

Hurricane season runs June 1 through Nov. 30. The Brevard County Commission will recognize May 24-30 as Hurricane Preparedness Week at its meeting Tuesday, May 26.


May 19, 2015

Brevard County Gets Permit to Dredge Muck to Help Indian River Lagoon

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Brevard County Natural Resources Management Office has received a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit to allow muck removal from the mouth of Turkey Creek. With this permit in hand, the Turkey Creek project will be the first muck removal funded by the Florida Legislature to benefit the Indian River Lagoon.

The Lagoon is suffering from the cumulative impacts of more than a century of various types of pollution. There is no quick or simple solution. Sustainable lagoon restoration is possible but requires a multi-faceted approach that includes Reducing current sources of pollution, Removing old deposits of pollution, and Restoring the lagoon's natural filters. The specific actions we take to Reduce, Remove and Restore should be based on Research.

Old pollution deposits can be removed by dredging out the muck. Due to the regional and national importance of this estuary, the County continues to seek financial assistance from outside Brevard County for dredging costs. After successfully obtaining the federal permit, the first muck dredging project is anticipated to begin in July at the mouth of Turkey Creek, funded by the Florida Legislature. Up to 240,000 cubic yards of muck will be removed, subject to available funding.

Muck dredging in Cocoa Beach will begin a bit later, pending federal permits. Dave Netterstrom, Mayor of Cocoa Beach said, "the City of Cocoa Beach is looking forward to partnering with Brevard County and the Florida Legislature to help the Indian River Lagoon through muck removal." The city continues to work diligently toward acquiring the necessary federal permit. Additional funds are being sought through the state legislature to assure completion of the Turkey Creek project and also remove muck from other priority sites throughout the lagoon.

Beyond the muck dredging efforts, Brevard County has embarked on an aggressive restoration strategy for the lagoon to reduce excess nutrient inputs, restore the filtration system (oysters, clams and wetlands) and ensure that sound research is the basis of the effort. As part of this restoration strategy, the removal of the legacy load (muck) is critical to overall success.


May 14, 2015

Brevard Libraries eBooks Exceed 500,000 Downloads

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Libraries' online library platform OverDrive has achieved 500,000 downloads or checkouts from the eBook and eAudio collections since OverDrive's introduction in September 2011.

OverDrive is easily accessible via the libraries' website at www.brev.org and is available to any Brevard County resident with a valid library card. New media items are added monthly and can be downloaded to your mobile device or to your laptop. OverDrive is open 24/7 and downloaded media is automatically returned at the end of its borrowing period.

In January 2014, the eLibrary for Kids was added to OverDrive. This provides children and young adults a place to browse the ebook collection specific to their interests and reading levels. It is also a great place for parents to 'borrow and read' to their children on their browser if they can't get to the library.

OverDrive and Audiofile have partnered this summer for the SYNC Program offering two free Young Adult audiobooks, one classic title and one current title that share similar themes, each week starting May 7. Once downloaded, the users can keep the titles for as long as they like.

For more information, visit or call your local library, or go to the library website at www.brev.org.


May 13, 2015

Brevard County Fire Rescue Named Top EMS Provider in Florida

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Fire Rescue has been selected EMS Provider of the Year (2015) by the State of Florida Division of EMS.

The Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Provider of the Year Award recognizes EMS organizations for outstanding commitment to EMS service delivery. The prestigious award honors a licensed EMS provider that:

  • participates in the Florida Pre-hospital EMS Tracking and Reporting System (EMSTARS);
  • currently has no administrative action pending from the Department of Health;
  • has assumed a leadership role in the Florida EMS system and community;
  • has demonstrated outstanding initiative in the area of public education and/or training; and
  • has demonstrated excellence in the areas of quality assurance/improvement and medical control protocol development/implementation.
"This is statewide recognition of the hard work, dedication and professionalism of our EMS Division and of our commitment to the welfare, well being and safety of our community," Fire Rescue Chief Mark Schollmeyer said.


May 04, 2015

North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation meets May 14

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation will hold its next monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 14, in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Avenue in Titusville. The public is invited to attend.

The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center-North. For questions call Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


May 02, 2015

Jess Parrish Medical Foundation Funds Help 'Greatest Baby Shower'

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The World's Greatest Baby Shower will be held May 9 at The Gibson Youth Center in Titusville, with an expected attendance of over 500 moms, dads, and family members.

This educational event seeks to inform and educate expectant and pre-conceptual couples on the services, products, etc., available within Brevard County to assist with a successful pregnancy and to help build positive infant/child relationships.

The event includes vendors from local non-profit agencies and businesses who provide information to all registered participants, as well as educational workshops and information throughout the day. This year's workshops include SIDS prevention, Post-Partum Depression, Water Safety, Car Seat Safety, and an "Ask a Doc" panel.

The event is a joint venture of University of Florida/IFAS Extension - Brevard County, Kiwanis Club of Titusville, The Children's Center, Parrish Medical Center, and B.E.T.A of Titusville. Funds for this years' event were provided in part by Jess Parrish Medical Foundation.

For more information, please contact the UF/IFAS Extension office at (321) 633-1702 ext. 0.


May 01, 2015

Proper Palm Tree Pruning Focus of Lunch with Nature, May 20 -- CANCELLED

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Proper Palm Tree Pruning will be the topic for the monthly Lunch with Nature program, noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 20, at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, 444 Columbia Boulevard, Titusville. Guest speaker is Bill Klein of the Native Plant Society.

Lunch with Nature is held the third Wednesday of the month with speakers that cover topics effecting our Space Coast and Central Florida such as conservation, water management, historical sites, plants, sea turtles and other areas of interest. There is no fee for this program and participants provide their own lunch.

This program is offered by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations and the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Contact Andrea Chestnut at (321) 264-5105 for further information.


April 27, 2015

Babysitting Boot Camp Offered at Viera Regional Community Center

VIERA, Fla. -- Brevard County Parks and Recreation will host a Babysitting Boot Camp course from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 16, at the Viera Regional Community Center, 2300 Judge Fran Jamieson Way in Viera.

The class is for ages 11-17 at a cost of $85 and will be instructed by Jennifer Dossett, Certified Professional Life Skills Coach. During this fun-filled 6-hour course, participants will learn how to run their own babysitting business safely and successfully. In addition, participants will be taught CPR and first aid, resume building, interviewing techniques, and other life skills.

The course will be conducted by Ms. Dossett and supervised by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Staff. For additional information please call the Viera Community Center at (321) 433-4891 or Dossett at (321) 418-6886.


April 25, 2015

Brevard County Parks & Rec. Offers Summer Food Service Program

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Parks and Recreation will be participating in the Summer Food Service Program, June 2-Aug. 11.

Nutritionally balanced meals will be provided to all children regardless of race, color, sex, disability, age or national origin during summer vacation when school breakfasts and lunches are not available. All children 18 years old and younger are eligible for meals at no charge, and there will be no discrimination throughout the course of the meal service. The programs are only approved for geographical areas of need where 50 percent or more of the children qualify for free and reduced-price meals during the school year.

The following sites will be participating in the Summer Food Service Program:

Cuyler Park Community Center, 2329 Harry T. Moore Ave., Mims. (321) 264-5045. Breakfast, 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.; Lunch, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; Dates, June 2 - Aug. 11.

Isaac Campbell Community Center, 701 South Street, Titusville. (321) 264-5040: Breakfast, 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.; Lunch, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; Dates, June 2 - Aug. 11.

Port Saint John Community Center, 6650 Corto Road, Port St. John. (321) 633-1904. Breakfast, 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.; Lunch, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Dates, June 2 - Aug. 11.

Sandrift Community Center, 585 North Singleton Ave., Titusville. (321) 264-5037. Breakfast, 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.; Lunch, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; Dates, June 2 - Aug. 11.

Walter Butler Community Center, 4201 North Cocoa Blvd., Sharpes. (321) 433-4448. Breakfast, 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.; Lunch, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; Dates, June 2 - Aug. 11.

Cocoa West Community Center, 230 South Burnett Road, Cocoa. (321) 633-1987. Breakfast, 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.; Lunch, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; Dates, June 2 - Aug. 11.

Joe Lee Smith Community Center, 419 Washington Ave., Cocoa. (321) 633-1872. Breakfast, 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.; Lunch, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; Dates, June 2 - Aug. 11.

McLarty Park Community Center. 790 Barton Blvd., Rockledge. (321) 633-1870. Breakfast, 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.; Lunch, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; Dates, June 2 - Aug. 11.

Travis Park Community Center, 2003 Michigan Ave., Cocoa. (321) 633-1871. Breakfast, 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.; Lunch, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; Dates, June 2 - Aug. 11.

Woody Simpson Community Center, 1590 Schoolhouse Street, Merritt Island. (321) 455-1379. Breakfast, 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.; Lunch, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; Dates, June 2 - Aug. 11.

Max K Rhodes Community Center, 3410 Flanagan Ave., West Melbourne. (321) 952-3215. Breakfast, 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.; Lunch, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; Dates, June 2 - Aug. 11.

Palm Bay Regional Community Center, 1951 Malabar Road, NW, Palm Bay. (321) 952-3231. Breakfast, 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.; Lunch, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; Dates, June 2 - Aug. 11.

South Mainland Community Center, 3700 Allen Ave., Micco. (772) 663-8748. Breakfast, 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.; Lunch, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; Dates, June 2 - Aug. 11.

*Meals are served Monday - Friday throughout the dates indicated. No meal service on July 3.

In accordance with Federal law, and US Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.

To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call toll free (866) 632-9992 (Voice). Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


April 25, 2015

2015 Water Safety Instructor Course offered at McLarty Aquatic Center

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. -- Brevard County Central Area Parks and Recreation will offer a Water Safety Instructor course May 4 - May 15 at McLarty Aquatic Center, located at 790 Barton Boulevard in Rockledge. Course dates and times are as follows:
  • Monday, May 4, from 5 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 6, from 5 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
  • Friday, May 8, from 5 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 9, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Monday, May 11, from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Friday, May 15, from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Participants will need access to the internet as this course has online components. All classes must be attended. Cost is $250 and must be paid upon successful completion of the skills test on May 4. Class size is limited. Pre-registration is recommended. A minimum of five participants is needed to hold the class.

Interested candidates must be 16 years of age, maintain position on back for one minute, tread water for one minute and be able to swim 25 yards of front crawl, back crawl, breaststroke, sidestroke, elementary backstroke and 15 yards of butterfly.

Upon successful completion, participants will receive American Red Cross certification as a Water Safety Instructor, be able to teach swim lessons and water safety presentations.

For additional information or to register, call (321) 633-1874 or email Debbie Bowling, Recreation Leader, at debbie.bowling@brevardparks.com


April 24, 2015

Mom to Mom 5th Saturday Sale May 30 at Fox Lake Park

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- The Mom to Mom 5th Saturday Sale will be held 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 30, at the Fox Lake Park main pavilion, 4400 Fox Lake Road, Titusville.

Only children's clothing and toys will be offered for sale at the event.

Registration for vendors will begin Monday, April 27, at Sandrift Community Center, 585 N. Singleton Ave, Titusville. A $20 plus tax, non-refundable, special event fee is due from vendors by Friday, May 29. Applications will be available at Sandrift Community Center, 585 N. Singleton Avenue, Titusville. Office hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Friday; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operations. Call (321) 264-5037 for more information on this and other recreation programs in North Brevard.


April 17, 2015

TPO Recognized for Noteworthy Achievements

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization (SCTPO) was recognized for a number of noteworthy achievements during a review of the program's federal certification. Reviews are held annually and on a four year cycle by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

The SCTPO successfully completed the federal certification review and the following were identified as noteworthy achievements:

  • Use of Strategic Planning Priority Matrix as a performance measuring tool
  • Finalization of Complete Streets Feasibility Studies for three new complete street projects in Cocoa, Melbourne and Titusville and the investment of over $18 million in the program over the next three years
  • Continued efforts in Bicycle/Pedestrian planning including the adoption of a Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility Plan
  • Efforts related to transit initiatives including development of an ADA accessible bus stop plan; on-board surveys; one of the largest vanpool operations in the US and implementation of QR Code and Smart Phone applications for fixed route buses
  • Launch of new useful and visually appealing website, www.spacecoasttpo.com, and public outreach campaign
About the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization:
The Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization (SCTPO) is responsible for reviewing and administering all policies and procedures applicable for state and federal transportation funding. Information on the above programs is detailed on the organization's website, www.spacecoasttpo.com. A full certification report is available for download at: http://spacecoasttpo.com/plan/certification/.


April 16, 2015

Last Chance to Be First on the Trail

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Don't miss this rare opportunity to explore the future East Coast Regional Rail Trail on Saturday, May 2. This 7-mile stretch through pine flatwoods and hammocks is not yet open to the public. Participants may choose between primitive hiking or mountain biking and there are two start times to choose from: 7:30 a.m. or 8:30 a.m.

Hosted by the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization, Florida Today and Brevard County Parks and Recreation, the cost is $18. Proceeds go toward trail maintenance. Participants will receive a T-shirt, goody bag and bus transportation.

Pre-registration is required and space is limited. Register at https://registration.brevardcounty.us; Go to North Area Parks, then search for "Space Coast Connector Hike or Bike."

Participants will meet at the Harry T. and Harriet V. Moore Memorial Park at 2180 Freedom Ave., in Mims. A bus will transport participants and their mountain bikes to the North end of the future Rail Trail and will return participants to the Moore Center once they have finished.

Participants must be at least 16 years of age and those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

In the case of rain, May 9 has been set as an alternate date.

About the East Central Florida Regional Rail Trail:
The East Central Florida Regional Rail Trail will be a paved multi-use trail in North Brevard. It is part of the planned 55 mile Space Coast Loop Trail, the 250 mile Coast to Coast Connector, the 260 mile St. Johns River to Sea Loop, and the East Coast Greenway from Maine to Key West. Construction of the Rail Trail is estimated to be completed in 2017.

About the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization:
The Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization (SCTPO) is responsible for reviewing and administering all policies and procedures applicable for state and federal transportation funding. The East Central Florida Regional Rail Trail is being constructed with state funds.


April 12, 2015

North Area Parks Operations offers Summer Aquatic Programs

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operations is offering swim lessons, private swim lessons and open swim at Titusville High Pool, 150 S. Terrier Trail, in Titusville.

Swim lessons level 1 - 5 are offered in five sessions beginning June 2 and ending Aug. 7. Each session consists of 8 classes held over a two-week period. Classes are offered in the morning and evening with each class lasting 45 minutes. The cost is $45 per child ages 3 years and up. Private swim lessons are available at a cost of $25 per half hour and are based on availability.

Parent and Child classes are $35 per session and classes are 30 minutes. This class is only for children ages 6 months – 36 months. Parent or guardian must be in the pool with the child at all times. Each session consists of 8 classes held over a two week period. Open swim is offered on Saturday, Sunday and holidays June 6 through Aug. 16, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., at a fee of $2 per person. Pool rentals are available based on availability.

Registration for all aquatics activities is available at North Area Parks Operations office, 475 North Williams Ave., Titusville, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additional information can be obtained by calling Mike Herman (321) 264 5105.


April 11, 2015

TPO Presents Bicycle, Pedestrian and Trails Advisory Committee Awards

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization (SCTPO) presented the annual Bicycle, Pedestrian and Trails Advisory Committee (BPTAC) Awards at the April 9 TPO Board meeting.

BPTAC Awards are given to individuals or organizations that have excelled in promoting safe bicycling and walking in the community.

This year's recipients are:

  • The Valerie Harville Education Award – Manatee Elementary teacher Tabitha Best and Tropical Elementary teacher Andrew Klausman
  • Outstanding Accomplishments in Encouragement – Grant-Valkaria Town Council and University Park Elementary Principal Donna Entsminger
  • Get on a Trail Award – Canaveral National Seashore Superintendent Myrna Palfrey and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Manager Layne Hamilton
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – City of Cape Canaveral Mayor Rocky Randels
About the Bicycle, Pedestrian and Trails Advisory Committee: The BPTAC reviews SCTPO plans and policies regarding bicycle, pedestrian and multi-use trail projects and serves an advisory role to TPO Board and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Education Program. Members represent a wide array of interested groups and citizens. Meetings are generally held the third Monday of the month at 5:30 pm, as needed.

About the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization: The SCTPO is responsible for reviewing and administering all policies and procedures applicable for state and federal transportation funding.


April 11, 2015

North Area Parks hosts High School Boys Summer Basketball League

SHARPES, Fla.—North Area Parks Operations is hosting a high school boys summer basketball league, for ages 13 and up, at Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice G. Jackson Park, 4201 North U.S. Highway 1, Cocoa (Sharpes). The fee is $250 per team for an 8-week season. Games will be held on Mondays, starting June 1.

This event is sponsored by Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Parks & Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations. Contact Clifford Lett at (321) 433-4448 for further information on this Brevard County Parks and Recreation sponsored program.


Friday, April 10, 2015

Great Job, Brevard: Your Votes Count for Parks!

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- In the first week of voting for the Parks Build Community Project, the National Recreation and Parks Association sent out an email informing the 15 communities involved of the top three locations with the most project votes. Brevard County is currently at No. 2!

Way to go making your vote count! Great job Brevard County for getting involved! It is because of our strong community that Brevard County is successful! Remember to vote every day for your favorite park at www.NRPA.org/BeInspired.

By providing safe places to get active, enjoy nature, preserve the environment and bring people together, our parks are essential to our health and well being. From April 1 through April 30, Brevard County residents can cast votes to help one of three county park projects capture $20,000 in grant funding for improvements.

The Brevard County projects are:

  • Bernice Jackson / Walter Butler Soccer Field in Sharpes
  • EEL Program's Sams House Nature Pavilion at Pine Island Conservation Area on Merritt Island
  • Wickham Park Community Garden in Melbourne
To cast your vote, visit www.NRPA.org/BeInspired. Park supporters can vote daily for their favorite park project. At the end of April the project with the most votes will receive the grant funding.

Here's how the national votes stack up to this point:

  1. Philadelphia
  2. Brevard County
  3. Seattle

Click here for more information.


Friday, April 10, 2015

Public Input Sought for Transportation Disadvantaged Service Plan

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Area Transit announces the following public workshop to which all persons are invited from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, April 17, at Space Coast Area Transit 401 S. Varr Ave., in Cocoa.

Space Coast Area Transit, as the Community Transportation Coordinator for Brevard County, is working to develop the Brevard County Transportation Disadvantaged Service Plan (TDSP) Major Update. Please join us at an open house-style workshop to find out more information about the TDSP development process and provide your input regarding the county's transportation needs and how to make public transportation work better for the community. Come out and share your thoughts so we can better serve you.

People who would like to offer comments, but are unable to attend a workshop, may do so by submitting written comments to the attention of Patricia Whitton at Tindale Oliver, 135 W Central Boulevard, Suite 450, Orlando, Florida 32801.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, persons needing a special accommodation at the workshop because of a disability or physical impairment should contact Carmen Baez at Space Coast Area Transit, 401 South Varr Avenue, Cocoa, Florida 32922 or (321) 635-7815, ext. 201 not later than 48 hours before the workshop.

In accordance with the Space Coast Area Transit Title VI Program and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) guidelines, this workshop is open to everyone without regard to race, color, or national origin. Persons with limited English proficiency may request translation assistance by contacting Carmen Baez at Space Coast Area Transit, 401 South Varr Avenue, Cocoa, Florida 32922 or (321) 635-7815, ext. 201 not later than 48 hours before the workshop.


April 10, 2015

American Red Cross Lifeguard Training Course offered in North Parks

TITUSVILLE, Fla -- North Area Parks Operations will offer a Lifeguard Training Course starting June 6.

The swimming portion of the class will be held at Titusville High School pool and the classroom portion will be held at Sandrift Community Center.

Class dates and times are as follows: June 6, 7, 13, and 14 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The cost is $250 and must be paid at the first class, June 6, at 6 p.m. Class size is limited to 10 and pre-registration is required.

Interested candidates must be 15 years of age, able to swim 300 yards nonstop (freestyle and breaststroke), swim 20 yards, pick up a 10-pound object and return to the start point in 1 minute and 40 seconds and tread water with legs only for 2 minutes.

Registration for all aquatics activities is available at North Area Parks Operations office, 475 North Williams Ave., Titusville, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additional information can be obtained by calling Mike Herman (321) 264 5105.


April 10, 2015

Tom Statham Park Closed April 13-26 for Construction

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Tom Statham Park, located at 7101 South US Highway 1, in Titusville, will be closed beginning Monday, April13, through Sunday, April 26, for construction work.

All areas or the park will be closed. Signs will be posted. Gates will be locked.

For information on North Area parks owned or operated by Brevard County, from the Volusia County line on the North to SR 528 on the South, please call (321) 264-5105.


April 07, 2015

Earth Day Festival April 18 at Enchanted Forest Sanctuary

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- The Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program and the Friends of the Enchanted Forest invite the public to the annual Earth Day Festival, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, April 18, at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary Management and Education Center.

This is a fun event for all ages and free of charge. Activities will include Florida wildlife, bird and reptile exhibitors, Bat Belfrys with live Florida bats; live music, guided hikes, Florida Native Plant Society gardening info and native plant sales, environmental booths, artists painting on site. There will also be children's activities, crafts, and face painting.

Musicians performing at: 10 a.m., Sheryl Paige; 11 a.m., Sharon Osuna; 12 p.m. (noon,) Laura Covel Clark and Scott Taylor; 1 p.m., Crystal Woman; and 2 p.m., Kurt and Rene Nall.

Presentations of wildlife will be at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.; Earth Day presentation at 11 a.m.

The Friends of the Enchanted Forest will be in the Gift Shoppe with information and sale items. Food will be available for purchase. For more information, call the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary at (321) 264-5185, visit our website: www.eelbrevard.com; or find us on facebook.

The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is located in Titusville on the north side of S.R. 405, ½ mile west of U.S. 1.

This is a good opportunity to capture photographs of wildlife and people interacting.


April 07, 2015

North Area Summer Day Camps Now Offering Online Registration

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operation is offering summer day camps from June 2 through Aug. 14 for children entering first grade through eighth grade.
  • Camp registration is being held at the following community centers during operating hours:
  • Cuyler Community Center, 2329 Harry T. Moore Ave., Mims (321) 264-5045
  • Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center, 701 South Street., Titusville, (321) 264-5040
  • Port St. John Community Center, 6650 Corto Road, Port St. John (321) 633-1904;
  • Sandrift Community Center, 585 North Singleton Ave., Titusville (321) 264-5037
  • Sharpes at the Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice G. Jackson Park, 4201 North US 1, Cocoa (321) 433-4448.
You can also register online at registration.brevardcounty.us

Camp hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The weekly fee is $90 for the first child $81 for each additional child in the same household. The daily fee is $30 for the first child and $27 for each additional child in the same household. Discounts are available to qualifying families, please call a community center in your area for further information on discounted rates.

Additional information can be obtained by calling the community center in your area.


March 30, 2015

Pickle Ball at Singleton Tennis Courts in Titusville

TITUSVILLE, Fla.—North Area Parks Operations is offering Pickle Ball for all ages at Singleton Tennis Courts, 665 North Singleton Ave., in Titusville.

This free activity is a great way to exercise and have fun with friends and family. Pickle ball is best described as a combination of ping-pong, tennis, and badminton. This ongoing activity will be available through May. The activity will be held Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. - noon.

This event is sponsored by Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, North Area Parks Operations. Contact Bob Levoy at (321) 289-5274 for Tuesday and Thursday play. Contact Donna Nunnally at (207) 504-0681 for Wednesday and Sunday play. For further information on Brevard County Parks and Recreation sponsored programs, please call (321) 264-5105.


March 30, 2015

EEL Program to hold Selection/Management Committee Meeting April 20

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, April 20, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


April 01, 2015

Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Course Offered at Palm Bay Aquatic Center

PALM BAY, FL – The Palm Bay Aquatic Center will offer an American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor course beginning April 25.

Classes will be held 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 25 & 26, and May 2 & 3. The cost is $250. The center is located at 420 Community College Parkway, just south of the Eastern Florida State College campus.

Interested candidates must be at least 16 years of age and must show proficiency in 25 yards each of Freestyle, Back Crawl, Breaststroke, and 15 yards each of Butterfly and Sidestroke. This activity is sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department. For more information, call the aquatic center at (321) 952-2232.


March 31, 2015

Your Vote Could Help Brevard Parks Score Improvements Grant

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Local parks make Brevard County a better place to live.

By providing safe places to get active, enjoy nature, preserve the environment and bring people together, our parks are essential to our health and well being. From Wednesday, April 1, to Thursday, April 30, Brevard County residents can cast votes to help one of three county park projects capture $20,000 in grant funding for improvements.

The projects are:

  • Bernice Jackson / Walter Butler Soccer Field in Sharpes
  • EEL Program's Sams House Nature Pavilion at Pine Island Conservation Area on Merritt Island
  • Wickham Park Community Garden in Melbourne
To cast your vote, visit www.NRPA.org/BeInspired. Park supporters can vote daily for their favorite park project. At the end of April the project with the most votes will receive the grant funding.


March 23, 2015

'Plant Polinator's' to be Topic at Lunch with Nature

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- The topic for the monthly Lunch with Nature program at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, 444 Columbia Boulevard, Titusville, will be "Plant Polinator's" with Kari Ruder of The Green Market Place as the guest speaker. The program will be held at noon Wednesday, April 15.

Lunch with Nature is held the third Wednesday of the month with speakers that cover topics about our Space Coast and Central Florida such as conservation, water management, historical sites, plants, sea turtles and other areas of interest. There is no fee for this program and participants provide their own lunch.

This program is offered by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations and the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Contact Andrea Chestnut at (321) 264-5105 for further information.


March 21, 2015

North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation to meet April 9

TITUSVILLE, Fla.-- The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation will hold its next monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 9, in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Ave. in Titusville. The public is invited to attend.

The Brevard Room is in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center-North. For questions call Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


March 20, 2015

Lifeguard Training Course Offered at the Palm Bay Aquatic Center

PALM BAY, Fla. -- The Palm Bay Aquatic Center will offer an American Red Cross Lifeguard Training Course beginning April 10.

The center is located at 420 Community College Parkway, just south of the Eastern Florida State College Campus. Class dates and times are April 10 and 17, from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; April 11, 12, 18 and 19, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost is $250 and includes book and a CPR mask.

The course will certify participants in lifeguarding, CPR, and first aid. Participants must be 15 years of age to participate and pass a swim test consisting of a 300 yard swim, 10lb. brick retrieval at a depth of 10 feet, and two minute treading water (legs only). Participants must be present for all class days and times.

This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department. For more information, call the aquatic center at (321) 952-2232.


March 18, 2015

Easter Activities in North Brevard

MIMS, TITUSVILLE, PORT ST. JOHN, SHARPES, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation is offering Easter activities in North Brevard in April.

The 5th Annual Easter Day of Fun at Walter Butler Community Center located at Bernice G. Jackson Park, 4201 North U.S. Highway 1, Cocoa (Sharpes), on Wednesday, April 1, starting at 3:00 p.m. Participants can enjoy a free egg hunt, face painting, crafts and more! All participants should bring their own egg carriers. This event is cosponsored with North Cocoa Civic League. Call (321) 433-4448 for more information.

There will be two free egg hunts and a movie at Fay Park, 6315 Depot Road in Port St. John, on Saturday, March 28th. Children ages five and under will hunt eggs starting at 6:00 p.m. Children ages six through twelve years should bring a flashlight for the egg hunt starting at 8:30 p.m., and all participants should bring their own egg carrier. Immediately following Brevard County Parks and Recreation would like to welcome everyone to see a free movie in the park, the movie is Big Hero 6. Call (321) 633-1904 for more information.

Isaac Campbell, Sr. Park will host a free egg hunt on Friday, April 3rd, starting at 2:00 p.m., and all participants should bring their own egg carrier. Call (321) 264-5040 for more information.

Cuyler Park will host a free egg hunt on Sunday, April 5, starting at 5:00 p.m., and all participants should bring their own egg carriers. Call (321) 264-5045 for more information.

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny, for children ten years of age and under, will be held on Saturday, April 4, starting at 9 a.m., at Sand Point Park, 101 N. Washington Avenue, Titusville. There will be a pancake breakfast, crafts and egg hunt. Remember to bring your own egg carrier and camera. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets are $3 for each adult and $5 for each child. Space is limited to the first 150 children. Pre-registration is recommended at Sandrift Community Center, 585 N. Singleton Avenue, Titusville. Call (321) 264-5037 for more information.


March 18, 2015

Free Movie in the Park Planned April 18 at Chain of Lakes Park

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, is hosting a free movie in the park on Saturday, April 18, at Chain of Lakes, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, in Titusville.

The movie will be shown on a 23-foot outdoor movie screen beginning at approximately 8 p.m. The free movie will be "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day." The movie is rated PG.

Patrons are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, food and drinks to enjoy during the movie. Concessions will be available for purchase. Call Mike Herman (321) 264-5105 for additional information.


March 17, 2015

Brevard Ocean Rescue to Host Tryouts for Lifeguards

BREVARD COUNTY -- Brevard County Ocean Rescue will host an open tryout for seasonal lifeguards on Saturday, March 21, looking to fill 40 positions. Ocean Rescue had a less-than-expected turnout for the Jan. 17 tryout.

Those hired on as ocean lifeguards will work from March to October this year.

Those trying out should be at the Rockledge High School swimming pool by 7 a.m. Candidates will not be permitted to test if they are late. While no lifeguarding experience is necessary, candidates must be over the age of 16 on the day of the tryout and possess strong swimming skills. All candidates must bring a valid driver's License, Social Security card, appropriate swim attire, a towel and running shoes.

Candidates will be required to swim 500 meters in less than 10 minutes, complete a 1-mile run on a track in under 10 minutes and perform a physical agility test that includes push-ups. Advanced registration is not required; however applicants are reminded that testing will begin promptly and anyone arriving after testing begins will not be permitted to try out.

If selected, completion of the hiring process is dependent on the candidate's ability to pass a background test and successful completion of Ocean Rescue's paid training academy. The starting pay for ocean lifeguards is $9.46/hour.

For additional information on the tryouts and Brevard County Ocean Rescue, please visit the department's page at www.brevardfire.com or contact the Ocean Rescue staff at (321) 633-2056.


March 16, 2015

Dodge IT Dodge Ball Games Offered at Port St. John Community Center

PORT ST. JOHN, Fla. – Come out and join the fun at Port Saint John Community Center, 6650 Corto Road, Port Saint John, at 6 p.m. Friday, April 17, for dodge IT night.

Children will participate in different variations of the dodge ball game. Teams will be chosen randomly and changed throughout the day of the event. Players are encouraged to wear loose, comfortable clothing and sneakers for this activity. The fee is $3 per child ages 8 – 12. There is limited space of 50, registration is recommended.

This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations. Call (321) 264-5105 for information on other recreation programs in North Brevard.


March 11, 2015

Brevard County Government Hosts Women's History Month Celebration

VIERA, Fla. -- Brevard County Government will host its first community celebration of Women's History Month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, at the Government Center, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Building C, Viera.

The brown-bag lunch event is open to the public and features presentations by Holocaust survivor Gerda Stokler, Craig Technologies Founder Carol Craig and Brigadier General (Retired) Mary Ann Epps, three Brevard County women who have made a mark through personal, professional and historical perseverance and achievement. The event, "Weaving the Stories of Women's Lives," will be held in the boardroom of the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, first floor, Building C. Presentations will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

A brown-bag lunch is available for event attendees for $5.50 on-site through Complex Café and will include chicken, egg or tuna on a croissant roll, chips, soda or bottled water, and a cookie. Please request your preference in advance by emailing sandy.daughtry@brevardcounty.us or by calling (321) 633-2003.

On March 3, the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners adopted a resolution recognizing March as Women's History Month in Brevard County.


March 13, 2015

Mom to Mom 5th Saturday Sale at Fox Lake Park

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- The Mom to Mom 5th Saturday Sale will be held at the Fox Lake Park main pavilion, 4400 Fox Lake Road, Titusville, on Saturday, May 30, at 9 a.m. Only children's clothing and toys will be offered for sale at the event.

Registration for vendors will begin Monday, April 27, at Sandrift Community Center, 585 N. Singleton Ave, Titusville, FL 32796. Applications will be available at Sandrift Community Center, 585 N. Singleton Avenue, Titusville. Office hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Friday; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

There is no cost to submit an application. A $20 plus tax, non-refundable, special event fee is due from vendors by Friday, May 29.

This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operations. Call (321) 264-5037 for more information on this and other recreation programs in North Brevard.


March 04, 2015

'Next Stop: Job' Workshop Instructs Teens on How To Secure a Job

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Have a youngster who is interested in learning about the working world? UF/Brevard County Extension Service will hold a six-hour class that will give youth the opportunity to prepare for the future.

Participants will learn how to write a resume, write a cover letter, how to interview, how to dress for success, and how to manage money! Class is open to all youth ages 14-18 and will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, March 13, at the UF/Brevard County Extension Office, 3695 Lake Drive, in Cocoa. The cost is $10, and lunch is included. Space is limited to 20 participants, so sign-up early!

Contact Vanessa Spero-Swingle at (321) 633-1702 ext 231 for additional information.


March 04, 2015

10th Annual Fox Lake Spring Festival of Crafts to be held March 14

TITUSVILLE -- The 10th Annual Fox Lake Spring Festival of Crafts will be held at Fox Lake Park in Titusville from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 14.

Only handmade and homemade crafts will be offered for sale at the event, which is sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations. Concessions will be available for purchase and the event is free to attend.

Fox Lake Park is located at 4400 Fox Lake Road in Titusville. For more information about this and other recreation programs in North Brevard, call (321) 264-5105.


March 02, 2015

Spring Break Day Camp Online Registration Under Way Starting March 3

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Parks and Recreation launches online registration for Spring Break Day Camp on Tuesday, March 3. Register online at https://registration.brevardcounty.us.

Spring break day camp is offered throughout Brevard County at various community centers from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., March 23 through March 27. The weekly fee is $90 for the first child and a 10 percent discount for each additional child in the household if you are not receiving any other discounts. Daily fee is $30.

Please contact your local Brevard County Parks and Recreation Community Center (North Brevard) with questions regarding spring break day camp.


March 02, 2015

Viera Wetlands Nature Festival to highlight 'Art of the Wetlands'

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - "Art of the Wetlands" has been selected as the theme for this year's 6th Annual Viera Wetlands Nature Festival, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 11, at the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands at Viera, 3685 Charlie Corbeil Way, Viera.

In addition to art displays, exhibits will feature local wildlife, native plants, and butterflies. Scheduled activities include guided walking and van tours of the wetlands, tours of the adjacent water treatment facility, and introductory workshops in both wildlife photography and birding. Recognition awards will be presented to the Viera Voice, the Titusville Art League, and the Brevard Lions Club for their past support of the wetlands and its activities.

The event's walking and van tours will be led by volunteer Wetland Rangers, who will share their knowledge and experience of the wetlands and its inhabitants. An introductory birding workshop will be led by Tom Dunkerton of Nikon Optics, and a photography workshop will be led by award-winning photographer Nancy Ellwood, of naturesportal.com. Additional nature-themed activities will be scheduled for younger visitors.

More than a dozen related exhibitors will be present, and food vendors will also be available. Artists and photographers have provided donations for a silent auction to help raise funds to benefit the wetlands. The festival is free to the public.

Additional information about the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands at Viera is available at the Natural Resources Management Department's wetlands website, http://www.grissomwetlands.org; for more information, please contact Raleigh Berry at (321) 633-2016 or email raleigh.berry@brevardcounty.us


March 02, 2015

Hi-5 Community Festival March 14 at Isaac Campbell Sr. Park

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The Hi-5 Community Festival will be held at Isaac Campbell Sr. Park, 701 South Street in Titusville, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 14.

This family friendly event will include music, dance, education and more. The event is free to attend, concessions will be available for purchase.

This event is co-sponsored by the Taking Dominion Now and Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Parks & Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations. For more information, please call Kenneth Brown at (321) 267-6278 or (321) 501-5166.


February 27, 2015

Spring Break Camp Available at Walter Butler Community Center

SHARPES, Fla. -- Spring Break Day Camp, for children in kindergarten through eighth grade, is available at Walter Butler Community Center, 4201 North Cocoa Blvd (US 1), in Sharpes, March 23-27, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The weekly fee is $90 for the first child and $81 for each additional child in the same family. The daily rate is $30 per child when the child is attending three or fewer days during the week. Fees are due at the time of registration or on the first day a child attends. For further information, call Clifford Lett at (321) 433-4448.

Spring Break Camp is sponsored by Brevard County Parks & Recreation's North Area Parks Operations.


February 25, 2015

North Brevard Commission on Parks & Recreation meets March 12

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation will hold its next monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 12, in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Avenue in Titusville. The public is invited to attend.

The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center-North. For more information, call Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.

If a person desires to appeal any decision made by this commission with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of this proceeding and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of this proceeding is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which any such appeal is to be based. Section 286.0105, Florida Statutes.

In accordance with the Americans and Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, Florida Statutes, persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notice Parks and Recreation North Area no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting by contacting Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


February 24, 2015

Officials work to secure Beach Funding/EOC support in Washington, D.C.

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Government officials are headed to Washington, D.C., today to meet with members of Brevard County's Congressional delegation for continued funding for beach renourishment and support for construction of a new Emergency Operations Center and Communications Center.

District 2 Commissioner Jim Barfield, Tourism and Development Commission Director Eric Garvey, Emergency Management Director Kimberly Prosser and Michael McGarry, beach project coordinator and environment scientist with Natural Resource Management Department, are attending the 2015 Coastal Summit and will meet this week with legislative aides for Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio and Rep. Bill Posey. Separate meetings are scheduled on beach renourishment funding and on the need for a co-located Emergency Operations and Communications Center.

Florida's Space Coast officials are working with federal officials to secure an additional $5.4 million to finish the Mid Reach section of the Space Coast, the third and final phase of the project. The Mid Reach phase includes Indian Harbour Beach, Satellite Beach and Melbourne. The project uses a combination of matching federal, state and local tourism tax investment. Those meetings are scheduled through Thursday.

This week, the county's efforts to protect its 72-mile-long coastline from threats posed by beach erosion will receive national recognition as one of four U.S. beaches named a 2014 "Best Restored Beach" by the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association. An estimated $39 million in federal funds have helped restore North and South Reaches of Space Coast beaches, including Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral and Indialantic, creating healthy habitats for coastal wildlife and tourist recreation. Beach tourism provides direct and indirect benefits in Brevard of an estimated $1.6 billion annually. Since 2000, more than $134 million in county, state and federal dollars have been spent on sand replacement along Brevard County beaches.

Earlier this month, the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution that asked for state and/or federal funding to construct an Emergency Operations facility that will enhance local and regional public safety, as well as national security.

Brevard County's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is the most frequently activated in the state and second-most-activated in the nation, primarily due to rocket launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The county, however, is also vulnerable to storm surge, tornadoes, flooding and high winds resulting in severe property damage and to potential loss of life from the effects of a hurricane or tropical storm, among other hazards.

Brevard has the second-oldest Emergency Operations Center of Florida's 67 counties, as well as the oldest and smallest EOC in the region, at 50 years old and 11,000 square feet. It is an initiative of the State of Florida to co-locate and consolidate 911 communication centers, but Brevard County has 11 different public safety answering points. A spatial needs analysis has already been completed for a facility which would encompass an EOC floor, co-located law enforcement/fire 911 communications dispatch center, traffic management center, 800 MHz public safety radio system administration, E911 administration, Emergency Management administration and logistical space.

Based on approved travel by the Board of County Commissioners, airfare, hotel, 2015 Coastal Summit registration and rental car amounts to about $1,000 per person.

"This is a trip in which we're working to secure millions of dollars for completion of Mid Reach beach restoration and also financial support for a new Emergency Operations Center, so the ultimate gain for Brevard County will far exceed the cost of the trip," said County Manager Stockton Whitten.


February 24, 2015

Residents Invited to Help Develop Long Range Transportation Plan

Brevard County residents are invited to participate in a Corridor Planning Workshop towards the development of the 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan.

The workshop will be held from 8:30 am to Noon on Tuesday, March 3rd at the Brevard County School Board Main Board Room, 2700 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera, FL 32940. Sponsored by the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization, the workshop will focus on the following key corridors:

  • US 1
  • SR 528
  • SR 520
  • SR A1A
  • Fiske Boulevard
  • Stadium Parkway
  • Wickham Road/Minton Road
  • Ellis Road
  • Babcock Street
Results from the workshop will be used to budget state and federal transportation funds.

Interested citizens may register at: www.SpaceCoastTPO.com/registration. For more information, call (321) 690-6890 or email tpostaff@spacecoasttpo.com.

About the Long Range Transportation Plan: The 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) provides a common vision for the community's transportation needs and guides the investment of public funds over a timeline of 20 or more years. It provides a framework for choosing projects across all transportation modes.

The LRTP is updated every five years. Public involvement is critical in putting the plan together. Public input thus far has included:

  • Four workshops with over 340 participants total
  • Two public surveys with over 820 participants
  • The development of a website, www.spacecoast2040.com, with over 4,000 views
The 2040 Transportation Vision was adopted by the Space Coast Transportation Planning Board this past fall. The next step is to take a closer look at specific corridors and identify projects that will increase economic vitality, protect natural resources and provide future generations choices in how they live and travel.

Learn more about the LRTP by visiting our website, http://spacecoasttpo.com/plan/long-range-transportation-plan/.


February 18, 2015

Free Birding Events at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Join Environmentally Endangered Lands staff and volunteers for an enjoyable weekend of birding!

The events are free, but registration is required.

  • Birding Kayak Trip at Fox Lake Sanctuary, Friday, Feb. 20, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.: Leisurely paddle with EEL guides and go birding by boat. Learn to identify some of the common species of birds that live at Fox Lake Sanctuary. Limited number of kayaks available, guests may bring their own kayak. Please bring your own binoculars, sunscreen, hat, and water. Please meet at the boat ramp by 8:45 a.m. Trip will start promptly. Registration is required by calling (321) 264-5185.
  • Beginning Birding with David Simpson, Saturday, Feb. 21, 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.: Take an avian adventure with birder Dee Fairbanks and David Simpson. Learn identification tips, practice binocular skills, and observe Central Florida birds! Please bring binoculars, water, and wear closed-toed shoes. Register by calling (321) 264.5185.


February 17, 2015

Harry T., Harriette V. Moore Vote Records part of Black History Event

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Voter registration records bearing the names of Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore, Florida's most influential civil rights activists, will be among the highlights of kickoff ceremonies Wednesday of Brevard County Government's Black History Month Celebration.

Brevard County Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott discovered the Moore's names among a century's worth of voting records, in the 1888-1948 Official Register of Electors for Mims. On March 29th, 1934, the Moore's names were recorded in the official records of the Brevard County Supervisor of Elections Office.

Scott will present the historic official record book, containing the Moore's voter registration, to the Moore Cultural Center during the Black History Month Celebration, which will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 18, at the Brevard County Government Center, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, in Viera. The record will remain on loan to the Cultural Center for the next year. Scott's presentation is planned for 11 a.m.

The Black History Month event is open to the public. The celebration features artwork, literature, music, cultural displays, special guests, and a soul food lunch ($6) from Loyd Have Mercy and desserts by Marilyn and Monroe Soul Food. Sponsors are Webster University, Sherrie Roberts-Spears, Realtor/Coldwell Banker, Vitas Innovative Hospice Care, Health First and Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q.


February 17, 2015

North Area Parks Operations announces Caretaker Openings

TITUSVILLE, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area Park Operations, has openings for caretakers at:
  • Space Coast Communities Sports Complex, located at 662 Canaveral Groves Blvd., in Sharpes
  • Stuart Park, located at 4260 Stuart Ave., in Titusville
  • Holder Park, located at 2650 Glendale Blvd, in Mims
  • Parrish Park Scottsmoor, located at 4055 Magoon Ave., in Scottsmoor.
As it is desired to have the presence of law enforcement officers in our parks, any interested law enforcement officer is encouraged to apply. Applications are available at the North Area Parks Operations Office, 475 North Williams Ave., Titusville.

Space Coast Communities Sports Complex, Stuart Park, Holder Park and Parrish Park Scottsmoor do not currently have a home on site, the caretaker would need to provide a mobile home.

Send completed applications to Terry Lane, Operations Manager, 475 N. Williams Ave., Titusville, FL 32796, or email to terry.lane@brevardparks.com. Applications need to be received no later than Monday, March 16.

For more information, contact Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


February 17, 2015

North Area Parks Operations Seeks Certified Tennis Instructor

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Brevard County Parks & Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations, is seeking a USTA, USPTA- certified instructor or equivalent to teach tennis lessons at Singleton Courts, 665 North Singleton Ave., in Titusville.

Interested individuals should contact Mike Herman by email at mike.herman@brevardparks.com or by phone at (321)264-5105.


February 17, 2015

Spring Break Camp Offered At Sandrift Community Center

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Spring Break Day Camp. for children in kindergarten through eighth grade, is being offered at Sandrift Community Center, 585 North Singleton Ave., in Titusville, March 23-27, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The weekly fee is $90 for the first child and $81 for each additional child in the same family. The daily rate is $30 per child when the child is attending three or fewer days during the week. Fees are due at the time of registration or on the first day a child attends.

Spring Break Camp is sponsored by Brevard County Parks & Recreation's North Area Parks Operations. For more information, call Jann Faiga at (321) 264-5037.


February 08, 2015

24-hour 'Bioblitz' survey planned for Enchanted Forest Sanctuary

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary Management & Education Center is hosting a bioblitz starting at 1 p.m. May 23 through 1 p.m. May 24 at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary in Titusville.

A bioblitz is a 24-hour survey of the biological diversity in a specified area. The purpose of this event is to catalog the species positively identified within a 24-hour period at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, increase the public awareness of the biological diversity in Brevard County, provide a fun and educational recreation activity to the general public, for field experts to have the opportunity to share their passions and knowledge with each other and the general public, and to celebrate International Biological Diversity Day.

We are seeking scientists, experts, and naturalists that would be interested in participating by leading surveys of a specified taxa, helping in the identification of species, and/or hosting talks/tables to educate the public on the species and biodiversity of Brevard County.

If you are interested in participating or have any questions, please contact Sarah Kraum by phone (321.264.5185) or email (sarah.kraum@brevardparks.com) by Feb. 20.


February 08, 2015

2015 Junior Lifeguard Camp offered at Joe Lee Smith Aquatic Center

COCOA, Fla. -- Joe Lee Smith Aquatic Center in Cocoa will host a Junior Lifeguard camp March 23-27.

Classes will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Course participants will learn the basics of water safety and emergency response in the classroom and at the pool. Cost is $90. Interested candidates must be currently enrolled in 6th through 9th grade.

Participants who attend all classes will receive American Red Cross certification in Junior Lifeguard, First Aid and CPR. Participants will also be invited to serve as a Junior Lifeguard at Central Area Parks & Recreation summer aquatics programs.

For additional information or to register, call (321) 633-1874 or email Debbie Bowling, Recreational Leader, at debbie.bowling@brevardparks.com


February 06, 2015

Virginia Barker named Interim Natural Resources Management Director

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Virginia Barker, who has played a pivotal role in the restoration of Brevard County beaches and dunes, has been named Interim Director of Brevard County Government's Natural Resources Management Department. The position is being vacated Feb. 20 by Director Ernie Brown, who is moving home to his native state of Virginia.

Barker has been with Brevard County Government for 17 years in a variety of roles with Natural Resources, including the county's beach management program, stormwater utility program and numerous other environmental initiatives. She is currently the Watershed Program Manager, supervising staff, consultants and contractors to prepare and implement innovative, comprehensive and scientifically-based environmental regulations, management and master plans. These regulations and plans are designed to protect public health and ensure the long-term conservation of Brevard's natural amenities while fostering local economic development, tourism and recreational opportunities for Brevard's citizens and visitors.

Barker has represented the County's interests during the design, construction, monitoring and maintenance of over $180 million in beach and dune restoration, flood control and water quality improvement projects. Her efforts have been repeatedly recognized through awards from local and state organizations, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Barker earned a Master of Environmental Management degree from Duke University.

As Interim Director, Barker will direct a Natural Resources Management Department staff of 93 employees. The department is responsible for environmental resources management, including environmental review, ecosystem management and boating and waterway management; remediation and compliance, which includes petroleum cleanup and remediation, pollutant storage systems compliance and hazardous waste compliance; watershed management, which includes beach and coastal management, stormwater engineering and design and water quality; and mosquito control, which includes air operations and aquatic weed control.

Barker said her priorities include sandy beaches, a healthy Indian River Lagoon, applying sound science and engaging the public in sustainable management of Brevard's rich natural heritage, as well as ensured public safety through mosquito control.

Brown, hired as Natural Resources director in November 2004, is moving to Loudoun County, Va. This month he will begin his role as director of General Services, overseeing the county's Stormwater program, Environmental Compliance programs, Public Works, Solid Waste and Hazardous Waste operations as well as the county's Fleet, Facilities and Surplus Asset Management programs.


February 05, 2015

2015 Lifeguard Course offered at McLarty Aquatic Center, Rockledge

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. -- Central Area Parks and Recreation will be offering a lifeguard course March 6-20 at McLarty Park, 790 Barton Blvd., in Rockledge. Course dates and times are as follows:
  • March 6: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • March 11: 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • March 13 and 14: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • March 18 and 20: 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Participants will need access to the internet as this course has online components. All classes must be attended. Cost is $250 and must be paid upon successful completion of a skills test on March 6. Class size is limited. Pre-registration is recommended with a minimum of five participants to hold the class.

Interested candidates must be 15 years of age, able to swim 300 yards nonstop (freestyle and breaststroke), complete a timed 10-pound brick retrieval, and tread water for two minutes using legs only.

Upon successful course completion, participants will receive American Red Cross certification in Lifeguard, First Aid and CPR for Professional Rescuer.

For additional information or to register, call (321) 633-1874 or email Debbie Bowling at debbie.bowling@brevardparks.com


February 05, 2015

Brevard County Government to Host Black History Month Celebration

VIERA, Fla. -- Brevard County Government will host its second community celebration of Black History Month from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 18, at the Government Center, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Building C, Viera.

The drop-in event, open to the public, will include cultural displays, artwork, literature, music and activities that recognize the significant contributions of African Americans. There will also be Soul food ($6 per plate) from Loyd Have Mercy.

This event is hosted by Brevard County Government. On Feb. 3, the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners adopted a resolution recognizing February as Black History Month in Brevard County.


February 04, 2015 Ocean Rescue Chief: Education is Key to Safety and Life

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Like any impressionable young child growing up on the Space Coast, Brevard County Ocean Rescue Chief Jeff Scabarozi dreamed of one day launching in a rocket toward outer space.

Since 2004, when Scabarozi began working with Brevard County Ocean Rescue, he's more likely to encounter star fish than those of a galactic nature. But that hasn't derailed his pursuit. Scabarozi, who at age 24 became chief of Ocean Rescue in 2008, continues to shoot for the stars both on professional and personal levels. As a child, "I wanted to be an astronaut," said Scabarozi, who's from a family of engineers. "My dad works at the Space Center. Any rocket or shuttle that went up shook the windows of the house."

Scabarozi was born at Cape Canaveral Hospital and was raised on Merritt Island, graduating from Merritt Island High School in 2000. In 2005, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from the University of Central Florida, and is about to graduate with a second bachelor's degree, this one in mechanical engineering.

Scabarozi was taught how to swim at a very young age by his grandmother. When he turned 16, his plans to spend the summer on the beach swimming and surfing were dashed when his father took Scabarozi "kicking and screaming," Scabarozi said, to lifeguard tryouts. But he liked it and ultimately turned his lifelong passion into a career.

In 2010, he met his wife, Laura, on the beach. "She was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen and it was love at first sight," he said. "I walked up and gave her my business card and asked her out. I was lucky enough to get a call from her that night and we went to dinner and have been inseparable since. They were married at Disney World in 2012. Laura is studying at UCF to become a psychologist. "We spend our evenings side by side doing school work," he said. "Education is key. You never want to stop learning. I tell my guys, 'Don't sell yourself short. Go get your education.'"

From the vantage point atop a lifeguard tower at Lori Wilson Park, Scabarozi may possibly have the most scenic "office" view in the county.

It's one of 5 lifeguard towers that are manned year-round by Ocean Rescue at various beachfront parks. On a recent cool morning, Scabarozi was here only to touch base with one of the 17 full-time ocean rescuers who help protect the multitude of bathing suit-clad visitors who flock annually to the beaches of Brevard County. Between the end of March and the end of October - essentially from the start of Spring break to the start of cooler temperatures -- the number of lifeguard towers jumps to 24 (5 year-round and 19 seasonal towers,) and seasonal lifeguards brought on board to protect the masses boosts the number of additional ocean rescuers to 100.

The Brevard County Ocean Rescue Division provides for the safe swimming and beach protection to all Brevard County residents, visitors and tourists in designated areas of Brevard County. The five areas protected full time have lifeguards on duty from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 365 days a year. The key to success for Brevard County Ocean Rescue is a focus on prevention, said Scabarozi, who spearheads Ocean Rescue and its $1.1 million budget not from a lifeguard tower but from a virtual tool shed-turned-makeshift office in a remote corner of the parking lot at Lori Wilson Park.

"We work to be proactive lifeguards. We work to warn the public before they get into trouble," he said. "A big thing is education. We look out for people who may not be accustomed to the beach environment, and the big thing is to inform them of the dangers of the day."Those dangers are evaluated by the individual Ocean Rescuers at the beginning of each day. They physically get into the water to gauge ocean conditions. They then work to pass that knowledge onto the public.

According to USLA, there have been nearly 5,000 rescues on Brevard County beaches since 2007, with the majority of those a result of swimmers encountering rip currents. There have been an estimated 500,000 preventative actions, which means Ocean Rescuers were able to ward off trouble before it happened. This past year, Brevard County Ocean Rescue was named 2013 Beach Patrol of the Year by the Florida Beach Patrol Chiefs Association. "We've made it pretty far in the course of six or seven years," Scabarozi said.

For more information on Brevard County Ocean Rescue, visit: http://www.brevardcounty.us/firerescue/oceanservices


February 03, 2015

Parent's Night Out Offered in North Brevard Parks

TITUSVILLE, SHARPES, MIMS, PORT SAINT JOHN, Fla. — Parent's Night Out events will be offered in the weeks ahead at multiple locations in North Brevard parks for children ages 5-12. Cost: For first child, $12; additional children in the same household $10. Pre-registration is required 7 days prior to event. Space is limited.

Events scheduled:

  • Cuyler Community Center, 2329 Harry T. Moore Ave., Mims, will offer Parent's Night Out on the first Friday of each month, from 6 – 11 p.m. Dates include Feb. 6, March 6, April 3, and May 1. There will be games, arts and crafts, and pizza. Please call (321) 264-5045 for more information.
  • Sandrift Community Center, 585 N. Singleton Ave., Titusville, will offer Parent's Night Out on the third Friday of each month, from 6 – 11 p.m. Dates include Feb. 20, March 20, April 17 and May 15. There will be games, arts and crafts, and pizza. Please call (321) 264-5037 for more information.
  • Walter Butler Community Center, 4201 N. Cocoa Blvd (US Hwy 1), Sharpes, will offer Parent's Night Out on the fourth Friday of each month, from 6 – 11 p.m. Dates include Feb. 27, March 27, April 24, and May 22. There will be games, arts and crafts, and pizza. Please call (321) 433-4448 for more information.
  • Port Saint John Community Center, 6650 Corto Road, Port Saint John, will offer Parents Night Out from 6-11 p.m. on Feb. 13 and March 20. There will be games, arts and crafts, and pizza. Please call (321) 633-1904 for more information.
  • Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center, 701 South Street, Titusville, will offer Parents Night Out on the second Friday of each month, from 6–11 p.m. Dates include Feb. 13, March 13, April 10, and May 8. There will be games, arts and crafts, and pizza. Please call (321) 264-5040 for more information.
Parents Night Out is sponsored by Brevard County Parks & Recreation's North Area Parks Operations.


February 03, 2015

Space Coast Government Television Moves to Channel 499 on March 2

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Effective March 2, 2015, Space Coast Government Television (SCGTV) programming will move from channel 199 to channel 499 on the Brighthouse cable network.

The move is part of a channel lineup initiative by Brighthouse to standardize Public, Education and Government programming across Central Florida.

SCGTV, which airs live broadcasts of Brevard County Board of County Commission meetings as well as taped municipal government meetings, Public Service Announcements and Florida Channel programming, will continue to air 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. SCGTV can also be found on Comcast on channel 51 (North Brevard) and channel 13 (South Brevard.)


February 03, 2015

EEL Program to hold Selection/Management Committee Meeting Feb. 18

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 18, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


February 02, 2015

Canine Wilderness Run Set for March 7 in Port St. John

PORT ST. JOHN, Fla. — Bring your canine friend to the Canine Wilderness Run, which will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 7, at Fay Lake Wilderness Park Dog Park, 6300 Fay Boulevard.

The fee is $2 per participating canine and all owners of participants must provide current vaccination records. Canine lovers will have the opportunity to let their pet's skills and instincts run wild in a dog luring course. Interested vendors are invited to purchase a space at a cost of $25 plus tax. Space is limited.

This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations and is co-sponsored by Brevard County Animal Control and the SPCA. Call (321) 264-5105 for information on other recreation programs in North Brevard.


January 30, 2015

County Manager to host First Developer's Roundtable Discussion Feb. 9

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County Manager Stockton Whitten will host a "Developer's Roundtable" from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 9, for a discussion with community developers on growth issues, land use, development activities and building trends.

The meeting will be held in the Florida Room, third floor of Building C, at the Brevard County Government Center, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, in Viera.

The goal of the Developer's Roundtable is to bring key County department heads to the table with members of the development community on a quarterly basis. The roundtables invite open and informal discussions on development processes, organizational approaches, processes and issues on both sides of the table.

"The emphasis is to share information and obtain external industry input as the County seeks to address potential and appropriate improvements that will reduce misunderstandings, enhance communications and increase efficiencies," Whitten said. "We look forward to hearing from development industry participants about their experiences with Brevard County as well as their experience in other Florida cities and counties that can help us in performing better service to our customers and residents."

Whitten is asking area developers, builders and/or their representatives interested in taking part in future Developer's Roundtables to contact the County Manager's Office at (321) 633-2002.


January 28, 2015

Mom to Mom Garage Sale Canceled

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The Mom to Mom Garage Sale scheduled at the Fox Lake Park main pavilion, 4400 Fox Lake Road, Titusville, on Saturday, Jan. 31, at 9 a.m. has been canceled due to lack of registered vendors.

We apologize for any inconvenience.


January 24, 2015

'Next Stop: Job' Workshop Instructs Teens on How To Secure a Job

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Have a youngster who is interested in learning about the working world? UF/Brevard County Extension Service will hold a six-hour class that will give youth the opportunity to prepare for the future.

Participants will learn how to write a resume, write a cover letter, how to interview, how to dress for success, and how to manage money! Class is open to all youth ages 14-18 and will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 16, at the UF/Brevard County Extension Office, 3695 Lake Drive, in Cocoa.There is no charge, and lunch is included! Space is limited to 20 participants, so sign-up early!

Contact Vanessa Spero-Swingle at 321-633-1702 ext 231 for additional information.


January 24, 2015

North Brevard Commission on Parks & Recreation meets Feb. 12

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation will hold its next monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Avenue in Titusville. The public is invited to attend.

The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center-North. For more information, call Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.

If a person desires to appeal any decision made by this commission with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of this proceeding and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of this proceeding is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which any such appeal is to be based. Section 286.0105, Florida Statutes.

In accordance with the Americans and Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, Florida Statutes, persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notice Parks and Recreation North Area no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting by contacting Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Get an Angle on the Fishing Business with Inaugural 'For Hire' Fishing Workshop

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Attention charter captains and fishing guides! Join the UF/IFAS Extension Brevard County and Florida Sea Grant for an exciting new opportunity. The inaugural "For-Hire" fishing workshop will give you new ideas and proven advice that will help you grow your fishing business.

The workshop connects you with experts in the community, shows you how to get involved in fisheries research opportunities, and helps you get answers to the business questions and challenges that will keep you ahead of the competition. Workshop topics will include: developing a winning business plan, essentials of social media marketing, and latest fisheries research in the Indian River Lagoon and East Coast.

The workshop will be held on Friday, Feb. 27, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the UF/IFAS Extension Brevard County, 3695 Lake Drive, Cocoa. The workshop is $25 and includes materials, lunch, and refreshments. Please register at http://forhirefishing-brevard.eventbrite.com. Questions? Please contact your local Florida Sea Grant agent, Holly Abeels, habeels@ufl.edu, (321) 633-1702 x235.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Green on the Green Golf Tournament March 7 Supports 4-H Program

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The UF/Brevard County Extension Service will host a Green on the Green Golf Tournament on March 7 in support of the Brevard County 4-H Program.

This year's tournament promises to be as big a hit as it has in previous years. Players will once again be swinging to support youth, so we hope you'll join us.

This year we're trying both a new location and price, in addition to the name change for our tournament. Players will be putting at Duran Golf Club, and fees have been reduced to $100 per person. Duran will also be handling registration, so please register at www.durangolf.com. We will no longer have a barbeque the night before, but players can expect a continental breakfast and lunch with their registration fee.

Come join us for a fantastic tournament and a wonderful cause!


Friday, January 16, 2015

4th Annual Pioneer Day Festival Celebrates Local History

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. -- Celebrating the history of Merritt Island on "Pioneer Day" is an annual event that has an exciting appeal for history, art, music, and nature lovers, and children of all ages.

The Feb. 7 event is a partnership between Sams House at Pine Island and St. Luke's Episcopal Church located on a sleepy little stretch of North Tropical Trail just north of the Barge Canal on North Merritt Island. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Sams House and St. Luke's will host a wide variety of activities, most of which are free. Complete information can be found by visiting, www.mipioneerday.com and www.facebook.com/pioneerdaymerrittisland

Kevin Gidusko of the Pine Island Preservation Society, and Joyce Young from St. Luke's are co-coordinators. Both were involved in Pioneer Day activities last year and have added some new attractions and are bringing back many of the favorites from past years.

Events at Sams House (ongoing from 10 am to 4 pm) include:

  • Living History Demonstrations and Educational Exhibits (including Confederate Sons Association, Florida History Display, Central Florida Fossils, Florida Public Archeology Network, Florida Wildlife Hospital, and the Florida Historical Society Archaeology Institute
  • Crafts Fair and Farmer's Market (including Better by Candlelight, Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation, Coiled Vessels by Teresa Camarata, Mrs. Mango & Company, Spade & Trowel Garden Club, and We Be Jammin'
  • Historic House and Cabin Tours by guides in period clothing
  • Display of Sams Family Artifacts and Historic Clothing
  • Florida Folk Music by Chris Kahl, the Celery City String Band and Scott Taylor
  • Children's Crafts and Games
  • Food by Slow & Low Bar-b-que
Events at St. Luke's (10 am to 4 pm):
  • On-going Self-guided Historic Chapel and Cemetery Tours
  • 10:30: Merritt Island's Cow Hunters - Bud Crisafulli
  • Noon: Homemade soups ($5)
  • 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Molly Thomas, Historic Preservation of Cemeteries
  • Additional talks about the history of Indian River Citrus, Merritt Island's Ostrich Farm and more
  • Fish Fry Dinner -- $9 advance ticket sales; call (321)-452-5260
About Sams House at Pine Island:
The Sams House at Pine Island is an historical complex owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. The 1875 Sams Cabin onsite is the oldest standing home in Brevard County. A larger 1888 two-story home is also onsite. John Sams, a citrus-grower and the first Superintendent of Brevard County Schools, built both houses. The Center is located at 6195 N. Tropical Trail, ? mile west of SR 3 and 5 miles north of SR 528. For information, call (321) 449-4720.

About St. Luke's Episcopal Church:
The historic chapel onsite was built in 1888 with the help of Sams, LaRoche, and Porcher families. Many early pioneers, including John Sams, are buried in the church's cemetery. The Church is located at 5555 N. Tropical Trail, just 1.1 miles south of Sams House at Pine Island. For information, call (321) 452-5260.


January 06, 2015

Volunteers Sought for 2015 Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The 18th Annual Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival is looking for volunteers for this year's event, which is scheduled for Jan. 21-Jan. 26 on the Titusville campus of Eastern Florida State College.

Several interesting tasks are available for those who wish to volunteer. The festival provides opportunity to meet visitors from throughout the United States and many foreign countries.

For more information, please contact Rhonda Harris at (321) 268-5224 or rhonda@brevardnaturealliance.org.


December 29, 2014

Men's Adult Baskeball League Planned at Cuyler Community Center

MIMS, Fla. — A seven-week Men's Adult Basketball League will be held at Cuyler Community Center, 2329 Harry T. Moore Avenue, Mims, on Tuesdays, starting Jan. 20, with games beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The league will include five regular season games and one tournament game. The cost is $210 per team.

Contact Sammy Fairclough at (321) 264-5045 for further information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in the Mims area.


December 29, 2014

Brevard County 4-H/Dog Training Club to Host Jan. 25 Canine Event

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County 4-H and the Brevard County Dog Training Club (BCDTC) are partnering to hold a canine lure coursing event on Sunday, Jan. 25.

The event is open to the community and will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the 4-H Equine facility, located at 4905 North Tropical Trail on Merritt Island.

The BCDTC and 4-H Island Dogs club will operate the Swift Paws lure coursing equipment. Order of go will be determined the day of the event and is first-come, first-served. Cost is $10 for the first run and $5 for each additional run. Concessions for the event will be sold by the Island Riders 4-H club, and will include barbeque sandwiches and baked beans from Skinny BBQ. All proceeds from the event will benefit Brevard County 4-H and the BCDTC.


December 22, 2014

Men's Over-40 Softball League Offered at Cuyler Community Center

MIMS, Fla.—A 12-week Men's Over-40 Softball League will be held at Cuyler Community Center, 2329 Harry T. Moore Avenue, Mims, on Thursdays, starting Jan. 22, with games beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The league will include 10 regular season games and one tournament game. The cost is $342 per team.

Contact Sammy Fairclough at (321) 264-5045 for more information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in the Mims area.


December 22, 2014

North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation meets Jan. 8

TITUSVILLE, Fla.—The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation will hold its next monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 8.

The meeting will be held in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Avenue in Titusville. The public is invited to attend.

The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center-North.

For questions call Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


December 22, 2014

Kid's Nutritional Program Planned at Walter Butler Community Center

SHARPES, Fla.—North Area Parks Operations and UF/ IFAS- Family Nutrition Program will be hosting a kid's nutritional program beginning at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 12, at Walter Butler Community Center.

This is a free event for children ages 10-13 and will show children how to make nutritional meals. The Walter Butler Community Center is located at Bernice G. Jackson Park, 4201 North U.S. Highway 1, Cocoa (Sharpes).

This event is co-sponsored by Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, North Area Parks Operations, and UF/ IFAS- Family Nutrition Program. Contact Clifford Lett at (321) 433-4448 for further information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in the Sharpes area.


December 18, 2014

Space Coast Area Transit Announces Christmas Holiday Bus Schedule

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- In observance of the upcoming Christmas Holiday, Space Coast Area Transit will be operating on the following bus service schedule:
  • Wednesday, Dec. 24: Fixed-route bus service will operate on a Saturday Service schedule ending by 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, Dec. 25: No bus service will operate.
  • Friday, Dec. 26: fixed-route bus service will operate on a regular schedule.
Questions or requests for additional information should be directed to the Bus Information Line at (321) 633-1878 or online at www.RideSCAT.com.


December 15, 2014

Local Mitigation Strategy Update -- Public Comment Period

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Draft 2015 Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS) will be available for public comment online and at the Brevard County Emergency Operations Center upon request from Dec. 15, 2014, through Jan. 5, 2015. For interested parties, a presentation on the LMS will be held on Dec. 17 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Brevard County Emergency Operations Center, located at 1746 Cedar St., in Rockledge. To download the Draft LMS please go to the Emergency Management webpage, http://www.embrevard.com
  • In 1998, public and private sector interests of Brevard County joined together as Brevard Prepares to pre-identify critical facilities, and projects and programs that could be done to help reduce the impacts of future disasters. The projects and programs are called "mitigation initiatives."
  • Every 5 years the State reviews and approves updates to the LMS using state and federal guidance documents.
  • Circulating the draft is required as part of the plan, inviting the public to participate and comment in the review process.
  • Currently the Brevard Prepares Steering Committee hears new initiative applications and guides the local mitigation process on an annual basis.
  • Please send comments on the Draft LMS to debbie.coles@brevardcounty.us
Together we can build a disaster-resistant community.

Stay informed by following @BrevardEOC on Twitter, liking "Brevard County Emergency Management" on Facebook or signing up for text messages (Text Follow BrevardEOC to 40404).


December 15, 2014

12th Annual Sea Oats Sale Underway; Quantities Limited

VIERA, Fla. – Attention beachside residents! It is time again to pre-purchase sea oats for dune planting through the annual sea oats sale offered by Brevard County's Natural Resources Management Department and Keep Brevard Beautiful Inc.

Liner size sea oats are for sale in trays of 96 for $48 while supplies last. Quantities are limited this year so please order early. Sea oats must be ordered and paid for by Friday, Jan. 30, and will be available for pickup on Saturday, Feb. 7.

Sea oats are native to Brevard's coastal communities and stabilize sand quickly by developing an extensive root and rhizome system that holds onto sand and slows erosion. Sea oats also have the ability to build dunes, as the grassy foliage and tall seed plumes trap windblown sand, which builds up at the plant base and stimulates the plants to grow taller. The dunes that are formed are an important feature of our coastal ecosystem, as they provide habitat for wildlife and protect upland property during wind and storm events.

For more information, call Paula Berntson at (321) 633-2016 ext. 52431, e-mail paula.berntson@brevardcounty.us or visit the following link: http://www.brevardcounty.us/docs/default-source/natural-resources-documents/2015-sea-oats-info-and-order-form.pdf?sfvrsn=4.


December 14, 2014

Registration Kicks Off for Florida Master Naturalist Training Program

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. -- Learning more about Florida's natural environment now is possible through the Florida Master Naturalist Program (FMNP), an environmental education extension program offered in partnership with the University of Florida-Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF-IFAS) and participating organizations throughout the state. The FMNP both informs and prepares participants to share information about Florida's natural world and environmental history.

The upcoming class is the Upland Habitats Module and will be available at Riverwalk - A Family Park, 5355 U.S. Highway 1, Rockledge. Completion of the 40-hour program results in registration in the UF-IFAS Master Naturalist Program database as a FMNP Upland Habitats Naturalist. Additional modules will be available in the future, including Freshwater Wetlands and Coastal Systems.

The FMNP is not a degree-seeking program. The program is appropriate for both the novice and the highly skilled environmental professional.

Certified FMNP Provider: Brandon Smith will be the principal instructor. Smith has been teaching environmental education for Brevard County Parks and Recreation for over six years and now oversees Riverwalk-A Family Park, a 6.37-acre nature preserve and center, located at 5355 US Hwy 1 in Rockledge. For more information on this and other programs, call the nature center at (321) 433-4490 or email riverwalk@brevardparks.com.

Course Dates: Classes run on select Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., from Jan. 10 to Feb. 28. Registration closes Jan. 5. Refer to FMNP Web site, www.MasterNaturalist.org, and click on "Course Offerings" for specific class dates and times.

Registration: Available online by visiting www.MasterNaturalist.org and clicking on the "Course Offerings" link.

Cost: $225, which includes 40 contact hours of instruction, a comprehensive student reference workbook, and, upon completion, registration in the UF FMNP database as an Upland Habitats Naturalist. A UF-IFAS certificate of achievement, embroidered FMNP patch, and FMNP Coastal lapel pin also will be provided at completion. Certified teachers attending the course may be able to receive 40 hours of in-service credit.

Program: Training for the Upland Habitats Module includes classroom instruction, field trips, and practical interpretive experience related to the general ecology, habitats, vegetation types, wildlife, and conservation issues of Upland Habitats in Florida, which include prairie, scrub, forests, rangeland and urban green space. In addition, the program develops naturalist interpretation skills, and discusses environmental ethics.

Target Audience: Volunteers and staff members of nature centers, preserves, sanctuaries, and other environmental education facilities. Ecotourism operators and guides, teachers seeking opportunities for environmental educational contact hours, and anyone who has an enthusiastic interest in learning more about Florida's environment is encouraged to participate.

For more information about the Upland Habitats Module training or about the FMNP in general, contact the individuals listed above or log on to the official FMNP Web site at www.MasterNaturalist.org.


December 04, 2014

Brevard County Seeks Citizen Input Through "Speak Up Brevard"

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Once again it's time to "Speak Up Brevard."

In an effort to provide a formal process for citizens to submit recommendations to Brevard County government, and as a result of charter amendment, Brevard County is implementing a web-based application called "Speak Up Brevard."

The online form will be available through December at www.brevardcounty.us. It allows citizens to submit ideas which would assist county government in conserving energy, saving costs, eliminating duplication, generating revenue, increasing productivity, or preventing waste. A hard-copy version of the form may also be submitted, and is available through the County Manager's office.

The process requires submissions to meet a deadline of Jan. 1, after which the County Manager's office has 45 days to evaluate and comment on the recommendation, and then forward it to the Board of County Commissioners for review. The Board of County Commissioner must take a final vote to either approve, reject, or revise and accept the recommendation within 120 days. The sponsor of the recommendation will be given at least a week's notice prior to it being heard and voted on by the Board. A listing of all recommendations, including disposition, will be posted on the County website.

Visit www.brevardcounty.us, click on the e-Government tab and then, in the category labeled "Provide Feedback," recommendations can be posted under the heading "Speak Up Brevard."


December 01, 2014

Port St. John Christmas Magic Show Scheduled for Dec. 20

PORT ST. JOHN, FLA. -- The Christmas Magic Show will be held at the Port St. John Community Center, 6650 Corto Road, at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20.

This event is a magic show that will last approximately 50 minutes. A magician will provide balloon characters and there will be train rides for children. Light refreshments will be provided. The cost is $5 per adult and $3 per child.

This event is sponsored by Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, North Area Parks Operations. Please call Dan Cook at (321) 633-1904 for additional information on this and other recreational programs in the Port Saint John area.


November 26, 2014

Free Movie in the Park on Dec. 13 at Fay Park

PORT ST. JOHN, Fla. — Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, is hosting a free movie in the park on Saturday, Dec. 13, at Fay Park, 6315 Depot Ave., in Port St John.

The movie will be "How To Train Your Dragon 2" and is rated PG. The movie will be shown on a 23-foot outdoor movie screen beginning at approximately 7 p.m.

Patrons are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, food and drinks to enjoy during the movie. Concessions will be available for purchase. Call Mike Herman (321) 264-5105 for additional information.


November 26, 2014

North Brevard Commission on Parks & Rec. Cancels Dec. 11 Meeting

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation has canceled its meeting scheduled for Dec. 11.

The next regularly scheduled monthly meeting will be at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 8, in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Ave., in Titusville. The public is invited to attend.

The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center-North.

For more information, call Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


November 24, 2014

Space Coast Area Transit Announces Thanksgiving Holiday Bus Schedule

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- In observance of Thanksgiving Day, there will be no bus service operating on Thursday, Nov. 27.

On Friday, Nov. 28, fixed-route bus service will operate on a Saturday Service schedule only. The offices will be closed from Thursday, Nov. 27, until Monday, Dec. 1.

Questions or requests for additional information should be directed to our Bus Information Line at (321) 633-1878 or access us online at www.RideSCAT.com.


November 21, 2014

North Area Winter Day Camps offered in North Brevard

TITUSVILLE, Fla.—Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operations is offering winter day camps for children in first through eighth grade from Dec. 22 through Jan. 5.

The camps meet from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. There will be no camp on the following days due to holidays, Dec. 24, Dec. 25, and Jan. 1.

Week one will include, Dec. 22, 23, and 26. Week two will include, Dec. 29, 30, 31, and Jan. 2. Week three is Jan. 5.

You may register for winter camp at, Sandrift Community Center, 585 North Singleton Avenue, Titusville, or Walter Butler Community Center, 4201 N. Cocoa Blvd (US Hwy 1) Cocoa.

The weekly fee is $90 per child, with reductions for additional children in the same family. A daily rate of $30 is available when the child is attending three or fewer days during the week. Late pickup fee (15 minutes after conclusion of program) is $25 per child/per time. Fees are due at the time of registration or on the first day a child attends.

Each camp requires a minimum of 12 participants.

Additional information on these activities can be obtained by calling or emailing Jann Faiga (Sandrift) at (321) 264-5037, jann.faiga@brevardparks.com, or Clifford Lett (Walter Butler Community Center) at (321) 433-4448, Clifford.lett@brevardparks.com.


November 17, 2014

Enjoy Breakfast with Santa at Fox Lake Park in Titusville

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Breakfast with Santa will be held at the Fox Lake Park main pavilion, 4400 Fox Lake Road, Titusville, at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 13.

A pancake breakfast will be served and children will be given a candy-filled goodie bag, a visit with Santa, a make-and-take craft and hayride. Parents who want a photo of their child with Santa should bring their own cameras. Santa will arrive at 9:30 a.m.

Tickets are $5 for children under 12 years of age and $3 for adults. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Advance purchase of tickets at Sandrift Community Center, 585 North Singleton Avenue, Titusville, is recommended. The event is limited to 150 children.

This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operations. Call (321) 264-5037 for more information on this and other recreation programs in North Brevard.


November 18, 2014

Santa Will Make Calls in North Brevard

Santa calling TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Special arrangements have been made for Santa to telephone preschool through second-grade children from his headquarters at the North Pole.

Calls will be made Wednesday, Dec. 17, and Thursday, Dec. 18, between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. to phones in the local dialing area for Titusville. There is no charge for this service.

Request forms are available at Campbell Community Center at 701 South Street in Titusville; Cuyler Community Center at 2329 Harry T. Moore Avenue in Mims; Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Park Cultural Center at 2180 Freedom Avenue in Mims; Port St. John Community Center at 6650 Corto Road; Sandrift Community Center at 585 North Singleton Avenue in Titusville; Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice G. Jackson Park at 4201 N. US HWY 1 in Cocoa (Sharpes); and the North Area Parks Operations office at 475 North Williams Avenue in Titusville. Request forms are available here.

Call (321) 264-5105 for more information about this and other activities provided by Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operations.


November 16, 2014

Winter Gospel Celebration Planned at Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- The Winter Gospel Celebration will be held at the Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center, 701 South Street in Titusville, from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6.

There will be face painting, a bounce house and a live stage act. The event is free to attend.

This event is sponsor by Love Center Church and Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Parks & Recreation Department, and North Area Parks Operations. For more information, please call Tommy Myers at (321) 264-5040.


November 14, 2014

County Manager Plans Quarterly 'Developer's Roundtables' Initiative

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - County Manager Stockton Whitten invites members of the development community to take part in "Developer's Roundtables" for discussions on growth issues, development activities and building trends in the county.

Whitten's goal is to bring key County department heads to the table with members of the development community on a quarterly basis. The roundtables invite open discussions on processes and issues on both sides of the table. The emphasis is to address potential and appropriate improvements that will reduce misunderstandings and increase efficiencies, Whitten said.

The initial step in the process is to plan the date and time of the first Developer's Roundtable. Whitten is asking area developers interested in taking part to contact his office so the meeting can be coordinated and scheduled. Notices will then be sent out. Please contact the County Manager's Office at (321) 633-2002.


November 12, 2014

Brevard County Transportation Impact Fee Moratorium to End Dec. 31

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County's moratorium on the collection of Transportation Impact Fees is scheduled to automatically expire on Dec. 31.

In accordance with Ordinance No. 13-12 enacted on April 30, 2013, any construction project for which a building permit has not been issued by Brevard County or participating municipality before Dec. 31, 2014, as well as any project which has not received at least a temporary certificate of occupancy by Dec. 31, 2015, will be required to pay transportation impact fees, unless either of these deadlines is extended by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners.

If you anticipate undertaking a qualifying construction project in unincorporated Brevard, note that building permit plan review is currently taking approximately 2 weeks (14 calendar days) for a first review on most projects. Since it has been our experience that the majority of projects require at least one additional review in order to receive approval for building permit issuance, expect that each subsequent submittal will take up to 2 weeks for review. These estimated timeframes may vary dependent upon the nature of the construction project and the completeness/quality of the submittal. Therefore, customers desiring to qualify for the Transportation Impact Fee Moratorium should have a complete and accurate permit package submitted to Building Code Compliance no later than Dec. 1, 2014. This moratorium has been in effect for 5 years and 8 months.

The review time frames set forth in this notice are estimates and actual review times may be longer than anticipated if required plans and documents submitted by a person or firm are not complete or insufficient under applicable county ordinances. Therefore, the review time frames set forth above cannot be relied upon for the purposes of vesting a project under the moratorium ordinance currently in effect.

The expiration of the Transportation Impact Fee Ordinance on Dec. 31, 2014, will cause the county to begin collecting transportation impact fees after Jan. 1, 2015. Any person or firm seeing a building permit prior to Dec. 31, 2014, and obtaining a temporary certificate of occupancy prior to Dec. 31, 2015, for the purpose of avoiding the payment of impact fees should submit the required plans and documentation immediately.


November 10, 2014

21st Annual Fox Lake Christmas Festival of Crafts to be held Nov. 15

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – The 21st Annual Fox Lake Christmas Festival of Crafts will be held at Fox Lake Park in Titusville from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15.

Only handmade and homemade crafts will be offered for sale at the event, which is sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations. Concessions will be available for purchase and the event is free to attend.

Fox Lake Park is located at 4400 Fox Lake Road in Titusville. For more information about this and other recreation programs in North Brevard, call (321) 264-5037.


November 07, 2014

Senior's Thanksgiving Luncheon Nov. 20 at Walter Butler Community Center

COCOA (SHARPES), Fla. — The North Cocoa Civic League, Brown Catering, Raising the Joy Entertainment, the Walter Butler Community Center staff and volunteers invite the community to a Senior's Thanksgiving luncheon at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 20.

The event will be held at the Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice G. Jackson Park, 4201 North U.S. Highway 1, Cocoa. The event is free to attend.

Call the center at (321) 433-4448 for reservations or further information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in the Sharpes area.


November 07, 2014

8th Annual Fish Fry Nov. 14 at Isaac Campbell Community Center

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- The community is invited to the 8th Annual Fish Fry at the Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center, 701 South Street in Titusville, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14. This is a free event.

The Fish Fry is sponsored by the Isaac Campbell Seniors Club and Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Parks & Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations. For more information, please call Tommy Myers at (321) 264-5040.


November 04, 2014

Space Coast Area Transit: No Veterans Day Bus Service

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Area Transit has announced there will be no fixed-route bus service on Tuesday, Nov. 11, in observance of Veterans Day.

All normal bus service will resume on Wednesday, Nov. 12. For more information, call the bus information line at (321) 633-1878 or log onto RideSCAT.com.


November 02, 2014

Cuyler Community Center to host Thanksgiving Luncheon for Seniors

MIMS, Fla. — Cuyler Community Center, 2329 Harry T. Moore Avenue, in Mims will be hosting a Giving Thanks Senior Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 13. This event is free to attend and will include lunch.

Call LaShawn Stevens at (321) 264-5045 to pre-register or for further information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in the Mims area.


October 31, 2014

America Recycles Day Focuses Nation's Attention on Recycling Efforts

VIERA, Fla. - Brevard County will participate with a variety of activities during America Recycles Day, which is observed on Nov. 15. This is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to encouraging citizens to recycle, buy recycled products, and to raise awareness about the importance of recycling.

Started by the National Recycling Coalition in 1997, America Recycles Day is a program of the national nonprofit organization Keep America Beautiful. On this day, thousands of events are held across the country to inform citizens about the benefits of recycling and asking them to make conscientious decisions on waste reduction, reuse of products and materials, as well as purchasing products made from recycled content.

Here in Brevard County, we recognize the importance of protecting and preserving our natural resources and we have committed to adopt recycling habits that result in a more sustainable environment by:

  • Implementing a single-stream recycling program with automated carts making it more convenient for citizens to recycle.
  • Converting to recycling trucks that run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), thereby, improving the lives of our citizens with a cleaner, safer environment.
  • The opening of a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Brevard County making it a shorter distance to transport recycling materials and being able to process those materials for markets utilizing local labor and creating jobs.
  • Providing community outreach and educational programs to schools, community organizations, and businesses to help further our mission of educating citizens on the benefits of recycling.
Several local events are planned on Saturday, Nov. 15, as part of this year's America Recycles Day and they include:
  • 3 R's & Beyond Family Festival, A Celebration of Sustainability, to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at POW/MIA Park on US 1 in Melbourne (just north of Pineda Causeway.)
  • Forest Festival, to be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Enchanted Forest, 444 Columbia Boulevard, Titusville.
  • Eco Living Jubilee, to be held from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Kiwanis Park in Merritt Island.
  • In addition, various recycling activities will be held at the Kennedy Space Center for employees of the Center.
For more information on recycling or events, contact Hillary Arena, Brevard County Recycling Coordinator, at 633-2042.


October 30, 2014

Commissioner Fisher's Office Drop-Off Site for 'Toys For Tots' Drive

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – Brevard County Commissioner Robin Fisher's District 1 Office in Titusville is a drop-off point for this year's Toys for Tots program.

Toys will be collected until Dec. 12, and will then be delivered to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve as part of the Let It Snow Downtown Street Party in Historic Downtown Titusville. The Dist. 1 Office is located at 400 South St., Suite 1-A, in Titusville.

The Toys for Tots Program hopes to distribute new, unwrapped toys as holiday gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted. The primary goal is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive and patriotic citizens.

The Let It Snow event will be held from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Dec. 12. The event includes falling snow, holiday lights, live music and performances, as well as vendors, arts & crafts, food trucks and Santa Claus.

"We're happy to take part in the annual Toys for Tots program and a mission that we hope brightens the holiday season for our area youngsters in need," Fisher said. "We're collecting unwrapped and new toys now, and it's our hope to bring smiles to these young faces and to celebrate this wonderful Let It Snow annual holiday tradition in downtown Titusville. Everyone's invited."


October 21, 2014

Celebrate Native American Heritage Month at Sams House in November

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – There's something for everyone at Sams House at Pine Island in November, including a celebration in recognition of Native American Heritage Month. Our best outdoor seasons are approaching. Discover (or rediscover) what this little hidden gem has to offer!

Saturday, Nov. 1, from 10 a.m. to noon: Recycled/Homemade Paper Workshop
Join us as we recycle used paper to create our own lovely homemade paper. Several techniques will be demonstrated and each participant will be able to make paper to take home.
Saturday, Nov. 8, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Self-guided tours of Sams House and the Pine Island Conservation Area
Take your time to explore Pine Island and Sams Cabin. Learn about the extensive history by visiting the extensive interpretive signage. Learn about land management techniques and why conservation land is so important to our community.
Saturday, Nov. 15, from 10 a.m. to noon: Celebrating Native Americans at Sams House
Explore the Native American village and learn about the life ways of our ear lies residents. Start with a 3/4 mile guided "Native Ways" hike to the Lagoon Overlook and back. Get a sense of space and time while observing the natural world.
Saturday, Nov. 22, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Archaeologists for Autism will be held at Sams House.
Pre-registration is required and more information can be found at: archaeologistsforautism.org; email arch4autism@gmail.com; phone (321) 576-3225 or (321) 567-4335.
Saturday, Nov. 29, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.: After Thanksgiving Family Hike
Gather the family together and hit the trails with a guide for an easy paced trip to the Salt Marsh Overlook and back on the Garnet Trail. Extend the holiday! Wear close-toed shoes and bring food and drink. Picnic tables are available for lunching afterwards.
Every Thursday and Saturday at 3 p.m.: Sams House and Cabin Tour
Tour the inside of Brevard County's oldest standing home (Sams Cabin, 1875) and the adjacent 1888 Florida vernacular-style home and learn about the Sams Family.


October 16, 2014

Fall Festival planned Oct. 25 at Sand Point Park

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – Brevard County Parks and Recreation is hosting a Fall Festival in North Brevard beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, at Sand Point Park, 101 N. Washington Ave., in Titusville. The festival will include a costume contest, children's games, trunk n' treat, hay ride, glitter tattoos and a free movie in the park.

North Area Parks Operations is currently seeking sponsorship from local businesses to take part in the trunk n' treat portion of the event. Local businesses can promote their organization by providing and handing out candy to the children participating in the event. For more information on sponsorship or to pre-register for this event, please contact Mike Herman by email at Mike.Herman@brevardparks.com or by phone at (321)264-5105.


October 03, 2014

Pickle Ball for all ages at Walter Butler Community Center

SHARPES, Fla. – North Area Parks Operations is offering Pickle Ball for all ages at Walter Butler Community Center, located at Bernice G. Jackson Park, 4201 North U.S. Highway 1, Cocoa (Sharpes.)

This free event is a great way to exercise and have fun with friends and family. Pickle ball is best described as a combination of ping-pong, tennis, and badminton. This event will be held 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 6.

This event is sponsored by Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, North Area Parks Operations. Contact Clifford Lett at (321) 433-4448 for further information on this Brevard County Parks and Recreation sponsored program.


October 03, 2014

Rain Barrel Workshops Offered This Fall

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County residents who are interested in putting rainwater to use on their landscapes and gardens will have the opportunity to create their own rain barrels at a workshop in October and November.

The workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 11, at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Visitor's Center on State Road 406 on Merritt Island, and on Saturday, Nov. 15, at Rockledge Gardens, located at 2153 U.S. Highway 1, Rockledge.

Participants will learn about the benefits of collecting rain while enjoying hands-on construction of 55-gallon rain barrels. The workshops are sponsored by Brevard County Natural Resources Management Department, University of Florida Cooperative Extensive, Marine Resources Council and Community Matters Inc.

The rain barrel kit includes the 55-gallon barrel, hose bib, flexible downspout extender, leaf filter, and a DVD of instructions for building, installing, and painting the barrel. Seating is limited and pre-registration is required to ensure that all materials are available. Open-top or closed-top barrel should be specified.

To pre-register for the workshop, call Elizabeth Melvin at (321) 633-2016 ext 56721, email elizabeth.melvin@brevardcounty.us, or register online at http://www.brevardcounty.us/NaturalResources/Watershed/RainBarrelWorkshops.


September 30, 2014

Brevard County Offers Free Sandbags to Residents

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- In response to citizen concerns about potential rainfall in the area over the next 24 to 48 hours, Brevard County will be distributing free sandbags to residents today at two locations:
  • Kings Park, 995 Chase Hammock Road, north Merritt Island, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Brevard Sheriff''s Farm, 2955 Pluckebaum Road, Cocoa, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Brevard County Sheriff's Office will supervise jail inmates who will be on hand to fill and load sandbags into residents' cars with a limit of 10 per vehicle.

For more information, call Brevard County Public Works at (321) 637-5438.


September 30, 2014

Brevard County 4-H Students Embark on 'Rockets to the Rescue' Mission

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- This fall, Brevard County youth will participate in the 2014 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD) experiment, Rockets to the Rescue.

Each year, 4-H designs an experiment for NYSD that provides a hands-on opportunity for young people. The idea is to practice solving a problem similar to one that could occur in the real world by applying skills in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM).

This year's experiment focuses on designing a simple rocket to deliver food to a fictional island devastated by a natural disaster. Youth from Golfview Elementary, McNair Magnet School, Stone Magnet School, and Walter Butler Community Center are participating in this year's event. Brevard County 4-H was able to partner with NASA, who graciously helped provide 125 NYSD kits -- enough for at least 1,250 youth to participate!

For more information on 4-H and its programs, contact a 4-H agent at UF/IFAS Extension Brevard at (321) 633-1702.


September 29, 2014

Lifeguard Training Course Offered at McLarty Pool in Rockledge

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. - A lifeguard training course will be held Oct. 4-18 at McLarty Park Pool in Rockledge.

Classes will be held from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 4; 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 10; and noon to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 11, 17 1nd 18. The cost is $250 and must be paid upon successful completion of a skills test at 4 p.m. Oct. 4. Preregistration is recommended as class size is limited. A minimum of five participants is required to hold the class. McLarty Park Pool is at 790 Barton Blvd., Rockledge.

This course has an online component. In addition, all classes must be attended. Interested candidates must be 15 years of age or older, able to swim 300 yards nonstop doing freestyle or backstroke, complete a timed 10-pound brick retrieval, and tread water for two minutes using legs only.

Upon completion, candidates will receive American Red Cross certification in Lifeguard, First Aid and CPR for Professional Rescuer.

For more information, call Debbie Bowling at (321) 633-1874 or email debbie.bowling@brevardparks.com.


September 29, 2014

4-H Club Kicks Off Fall Season at Joe Lee Smith Community Center

COCOA, Fla. – Brevard County Parks and Recreation, Central Area, in partnership with The University of Florida IFAS Extension, will be kicking off the fall season of the United Friends 4-H Club at the Joe Lee Smith Community Center. The first meeting of the club will be 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7. The center is located at 419 Washington Street, in Cocoa.

4-H is a national youth development program that teaches youth life skills. Youth learn teamwork, citizenship, and leadership skills while participating in hands-on activities. As part of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Brevard County Extension, 4-H focuses on science, technology, engineering, mathematics, healthy lifestyles, and workforce preparation programs.

The children at the Joe Lee Smith Community Center will be continuing their 4-H gardening club as well. Gardening is an excellent way for youth to learn about agriculture. The hands-on science behind gardening gives youth an opportunity to build their science skills while the healthy eating lessons allow youth to practice cooking and understanding nutrition. Youth are able to grow, harvest, and consume what they garden, all while getting dirty!

For more information, please call (321) 633-1872.


September 28, 2014 Cocoa Beach Library to Host 19th Annual Sea-Bean Symposium

COCOA BEACH, Fla. -- The 19th Annual International Sea-Bean Symposium and Beachcombers' Festival will convene at the Cocoa Beach Public Library from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17, an 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18.

Dedicated sea-beaners, amateur and professional driftologists, and beach-lovers hailing from all corners of the world will again descend on the Cocoa Beach Library for two days of fascinating displays and engaging presentations. This is a weekend dedicated to world currents, sea-beans, messages in bottles, spirula, glass fishing floats, rafts, sea pigs, and the famous LEGO toys from a ship spill in the Atlantic.

The two-day festival offers talks on basic beachcombing, how to handle stranded marine animals, sand composition, sea turtles, and a documentary on beachcombing abroad, as well as chances to meet the artists and authors who use the ocean's treasures as inspiration. There will also be a Bean-A-Thon beachcombing bonanza on Saturday morning and an Odd Bean Contest to be judged Saturday afternoon. Curtis Ebbesmeyer will give the keynote speech about "Flotsam in Florida: Arrivals from Around the Atlantic" at 7:45 p.m. Saturday.

The Sea-Bean Symposium is a gathering for novices and professionals, for the curious and the expert, for anyone interested in a fun, inclusive atmosphere for learning about and enjoying our coastal home.

More information about presenters and the schedule of events can be found at the Cocoa Beach Public Library or at the website www.seabean.com/symposium/2014. The library is located at 550 N. Brevard Ave., Cocoa Beach, FL 32931. For more information call (321) 868-1104.


September 26, 2014

Community Fun Day this Saturday at Cuyler Park in Mims

MIMS, Fla. — Cuyler Community Center, 2329 Harry T. Moore Ave. in Mims, will be hosting Community Fun Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27.

Come join the festivities! This free event will include family games, bounce houses, health and wellness village, and free food.

Call Sammy Fairclough at (321) 264-5045 for further information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in the Mims area.


September 24, 2014

Brevard County Government Hosts Hispanic Heritage Celebration

Viera, Fla. – Brevard County Government will celebrate the achievements, customs and legacies of Brevard residents with roots in Latin America during a Hispanic Heritage Celebration on Tuesday, Sept. 30, at the Government Center in Viera.

The drop-in event, open to the public, will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Highlights will include cultural displays, artwork, literature, exhibits, live music and dancing and multiple food vendors that specialize in Hispanic cuisine.

Admission is free. This event is presented by Gold sponsors VITAS Innovative Hospice Care and Thrifty Produce & Meat, Silver sponsor Health First and Brevard County Government. Vendor/exhibitor booths are still available. For questions or additional information, please contact Sandy Daughtry at (321) 633-2003, or by email at sandy.daughtry@brevardcounty.us.

The Government Center is located at 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Building C, Viera.


September 24, 2014

North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation meets Oct. 9

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation will hold its next monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9 in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Ave. in Titusville. The meeting is open to the public.

The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center–North. For more information, call Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.

If a person desires to appeal any decision made bythis commission with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of this proceeding and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of this proceeding is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which any such appeal is to be based. Section 286.0105, Florida Statutes.

In accordance with the Americans and Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, Florida Statutes, persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notice Parks and Recreation North Area no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting by contacting Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


September 24, 2014 Lifeguard Training Course Offered at McLarty Pool in Rockledge

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. - A lifeguard training course will be held Oct. 4-18 at McLarty Park Pool in Rockledge.

Classes will be held from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 4; 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 10; and noon to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 11, 17 1nd 18. The cost is $250 and must be paid upon successful completion of a skills test at 4 p.m. Oct. 4. Preregistration is recommended as class size is limited. A minimum of five participants is required to hold the class. McLarty Park Pool is at 790 Barton Blvd., Rockledge.

This course has an online component. In addition, all classes must be attended. Interested candidates must be 15 years of age or older, able to swim 300 yards nonstop doing freestyle or backstroke, complete a timed 10-pound brick retrieval, and tread water for two minutes using legs only.

Upon completion, candidates will receive American Red Cross certification in Lifeguard, First Aid and CPR for Professional Rescuer.

For more information, call Debbie Bowling at (321) 633-1874 or email debbie.bowling@brevardparks.com.


September 17, 2014

Fall Festival and Free Movie in the Park Oct. 25 at Sand Point Park

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, will host a fall festival and free Movie In The Park on Saturday, Oct. 25, at Sandpoint Park, 101 N. Washington Ave., in Titusville.

The festival kicks off at 4 p.m. Activities will include a costume contest, children's games, trunk n' treat, hay ride and glitter tattoos. The free movie will be "Hocus Pocus," which is rated PG. The movie will be shown on a giant, 23-foot outdoor movie screen beginning at approximately 8 p.m.

Patrons are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, food and drinks to enjoy during the movie. Concessions will be available for purchase. Call Mike Herman (321) 264-5105 for additional information. Click for PRINT & SHARE flyer.


September 16, 2014

Celebrate 'Our Wonderful World' at Sams House at Pine Island in October

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. -- Visit Sams House at Pine Island in October and learn the lost art of basketmaking, explore ways that scientists investigate ancient animals that once roamed Florida, examine a massive collection of ancient fossils that contributed to the historic biological diversity of Florida, and take a close look at our magnificent dragonflies and friends through some amazing photography. Events are family friendly and the only cost in October is for the basketmaking class ($30 for materials and personalized instruction).

Sams House is open Thursday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This Environmentally Endangered Lands sanctuary promotes history as well as the conservation of biological diversity. Visit the oldest-standing home in Brevard County (1875) and explore our nature trails.

Sams House at Pine Island is at 6195 N. Tropical Trail, Merritt Island. For more information, call (321) 449-4720 or visit on the web at www.eelbrevard.com or www.facebook.com/samshousepineisland.

Events in October include:

  • Saturday, Oct. 4, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: The Lost Art of Basketmaking -- Becky Selman will teach participants how to make a gorgeous melon basket from natural materials in this hands-on, take home your magnificent and functional work-of-art activity. Participants will be working in the screen room. Bring hand garden clippers and a towel and wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Class size is limited to 15 participants; $30 will cover cost of materials. Call Sams House to reserve your spot: (321) 449-4720.
  • Saturday, Oct. 11, 10 a.m. to noon: Fossil Making Workshop and Megafauna Meander -- Visit the site of ancient animals of the Ice Age and come face to face with the Giant Ground Sloth and Glyptodont. Children will make a fossil replica to take home and explore the ways that scientists investigate the ancient animals that once roamed our area. We will also practice with atlatls, just as the earliest native people did when they hunted Megafauna. Please call to reserve your spot: (321) 449-4720.
  • Saturday, Oct. 18, 10 a.m. to noon: A Taste of Paleontology -- David Celli will display his impressive collection of fossils and answer questions about the ancient critters that contributed to the historic biological diversity of Florida.
  • Saturday, Oct. 25, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.: The Beauty and Diversity of Dragonflies -- Expert birder, Jim Eager will be presenting a program on dragonflies and damselflies with amazing photography taken in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. Learn about these amazing predators who we often think of as aerial wizards of the insect world, but who actually spend much of their lives in the aquatic environment.
Every Thursday and Saturday at 3 p.m.: Sams House and Cabin Tour -- Tour the inside of regard County's oldest standing home (Sams Cabin, 1875) and the adjacent 1888 Florida vernacular-style home and learn about the Sams Family.



September 15, 2014

4th Annual Edible Garden Festival Offers Yummy Plants

COCOA, Fla. – Autumn gardeners are invited Saturday, Sept. 20, to join University of Florida/IFAS Extension Brevard County Agents, members of the Brevard Botanical Garden, and Brevard County Master Gardeners for the fourth annual Edible Garden Festival.

The event will be held at the extension's Cocoa office, 3695 Lake Drive, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Edible and ornamental plants will be sold, and profits will benefit the Brevard Botanical Garden. Free classes also are offered.

Herbs for sale include two types of basil, borage, dill, and two types of fennel. Gardeners who enjoy growing their own vegetables may also purchase broccoli, broccoli raab, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, Chinese and red cabbage, eggplant, Swiss chard, sweet and hot peppers, and heirloom tomatoes. Edible and sweet-smelling flowers plus a wide variety of ornamentals, succulents, cactus, natives and bog plants have been grown by Brevard County Master Gardeners for the sale as well.

Informative classes such as Growing Vegetables 101 at 9:30 a.m. and Growing Culinary Herbs at 11 a.m. are offered. This year the Edible Garden Festival will feature garden-related vendors, music, and many unique items for several drawings.

The Brevard Botanical Garden (BBG) was formed in May 2010 as a 501 (c)(3) by UF/IFAS Extension Brevard County, garden enthusiasts, and environmentally concerned citizens who want to improve the quality of life in Brevard County by opening a research-based botanical garden for demonstrations, collections, and displays. Its mission is to promote an increased appreciate of the environment.

To learn more about the garden, visit www.brevardbotanicalgarden.org.


September 10, 2014

Open House This Saturday At Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — An open house will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, at Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center, 701 South Street, Titusville.

The community is invited to attend this event to learn about upcoming programs and activities offered at the center. This event is free to attend and refreshments will be provided. Contact Tommy Myers at (321) 264-5040 for more information on this and other recreational activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in the Titusville area.


September 10, 2014

Sponsors Needed for Movies in the Park Series in North Brevard

PORT St. JOHN, MIMS, TITUSVILLE, Fla. – Advertising opportunities are available and sponsors are being sought for Brevard County Parks and Recreation's free movie series in North Brevard.

Movies are shown on a giant, 23-foot, outdoor movie screen beginning at dusk in a selected north area park. The events are for all ages and are free to attend. Patrons are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, snacks, and drinks to enjoy during the movie. Concessions are available for purchase.

Advertising opportunities are available as local sponsors will help make this a continual event. We will show a minimum of four movies per year. Sponsors will be advertised prior to the movie on the movie screen. For more information on sponsorships and vending, please contact Mike Herman by email at mike.herman@brevardparks.com or by phone at (321) 264-5105.


September 09, 2014

Brevard County Government to Host Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration

Viera, Fla. -- Brevard County Government will celebrate the achievements, customs and legacies of Brevard residents with roots in Latin America during a Hispanic Heritage Celebration on Tuesday, Sept. 30, at the Government Center in Viera.

The drop-in event, open to the public, will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Highlights will include cultural displays, artwork, literature, exhibits, live music and dancing and multiple food vendors that specialize in Hispanic cuisine.

Admission is free. This event is presented by Gold sponsor VITAS Innovative Hospice Care, Silver sponsor Health First and Brevard County Government. Vendor/exhibitor booths are still available. For questions or additional information, please contact Sandy Daughtry at (321) 633-2003, or by email at sandy/daughtry@brevardcounty.us.

The Government Center is located at 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Building C, Viera.


September 05, 2014

September Hopes to See You In The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- The September calendar at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary in Titusville includes activities for young and old alike, and extends an invitation to volunteers with a passion for the outdoors to become part of the Enchanted Forest family.

Activities for the month include:

  • Guided Nature Hikes - 10 a.m. Saturdays: A 45-minute, interpretive hike offered every Saturday on the trails of the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. Bring hat, water and walking shoes. No reservations needed. Groups of five or more, please RSVP.
  • Volunteer Orientation - 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, and 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17: The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is looking for dynamic individuals with a passion for the environment! Come learn about the various volunteer opportunities available.
  • Program for Homeschoolers - Scrub Explorers - 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12: Discover unique scrub habitats through an interactive hike and hands-on activities. Also enjoy a puppet show and fun-filled game or two of Scrub Bingo! Designed for ages 6-10. Adults must accompany child. Registration is required.
  • Reptile & Snake Presentation - 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13: Learn about some of the Enchanted Forest's reptile residents and meet a red rat snake!
  • Photography Club - 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 20: Program for all levels of photography. View photographs and learn helpful tips. This program is free and reservations are not required.
  • Forest Funday - 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21: Nature program for children and their families. Come enjoy a Sanctuary Search and an art project. This program is free and fun for all.
  • Florida Native Plant Society - Sea Rocket Chapter - 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24: "Landscaping with Florida Native Plants. Lois Harris, landscape designer, will outline the Do's and Don'ts of using native plants in home landscapes. Arrive at 6:30 p.m. and program begins at 7 p.m.
  • National Public Lands Day - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27: A day to assist staff to remove trash from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.; help beautify the garden from 9 a.m. to noon; guided hike from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.; native plant sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and live music from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please wear closed-toed shoes, hat and sunscreen. We hope to see you in the Forest!
Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is located at 444 Columbia Blvd., in Titusville. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Closed on Mondays. Join the Friends of the Enchanted Forest, a non-profit volunteer organization committed to assisting the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program with conservation of The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, and educating visitors about the unique biodiversity at the Sanctuary. For more information, call (321) 264-5185, or visit www.eelbrevard.com.


September 05, 2014

Local Business Sponsors Needed For Fall Festival at Sand Point Park

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – Brevard County Parks and Recreation is hosting a Fall Festival in North Brevard beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, at Sand Point Park, 101 N. Washington Ave., in Titusville. The festival will include a costume contest, children's games, trunk n' treat, hay ride, glitter tattoos and a free movie in the park.

North Area Parks Operations is currently seeking sponsorship from local businesses to take part in the trunk n' treat portion of the event. Local businesses can promote their organization by providing and handing out candy to the children participating in the event. For more information on sponsorship or to pre-register for this event, please contact Mike Herman by email at Mike.Herman@brevardparks.com or by phone at (321)264-5105.


September 04, 2014

Celebrate National Public Lands Day at the Enchanted Forest

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary will host a series of activities from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27, to celebrate National Public Lands Day.

Activities include:

  • EFS Trash Bash (9 a.m. - 11 a.m.) Explore parts of the Forest that are not usually open to visitors while assisting staff in cleaning the Sanctuary!
  • Garden Workday (9 a.m. - noon) Help the Florida Native Plant Society – Sea Rocket Chapter (FNPS) continue to beautify our butterfly gardens.
  • Native Plant Sale (10 a.m. - 3 p.m.) FNPS will be offering a variety of Florida native plants for purchase.
  • Live Music on the Porch (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.) Enjoy live music highlighting Florida's Flora and Fauna.
  • Snack & Social (11 a.m. - noon) Refreshments provided for volunteers by the Friends of the Enchanted Forest.
Please wear closed-toed shoes, a hat, and sunscreen. For more information, visit www.eelbrevard.com, or call (321) 264-5185, and don't forget to check us out on Facebook and Twitter! The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is located at 444 Columbia Blvd., Titusville.


September 02, 2014

Bidding Underway For Brevard County Surplus Auction

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- From office furniture to utility trucks and trailers to tools and mowers, the bidding is underway during the County Surplus Sale Auction, which ends Monday, Sept. 8.

County surplus is available for sale. Bidders will need to go to Rene Bates Auctioneer's Inc, https://www.renebates.com/a main.php?id=198 in order to bid on the items.

The sale contains miscellaneous items as well as vehicles and heavy equipment. The auction began Aug. 25.

Bidders may inspect the items either by viewing the pictures posted online at the auction website or by going to the respective locations listed for each item. The next inspection date will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5. More information can be obtained on the Asset Management website: http://www.brevardcounty.us/CentralServices/AssetManagement, or by going to the Rene Bates Auctioneer's website: https//www.renebates.com/a main.php?id=198.

Among items up for auction: 2000 GMC Lift-All 50' Articulated Aerial Bucket Truck, 4) 2003 J and J 48' Keith Aluminum Walking Floor Trailers, Trolley, 2) Utility Body Pickups, 7) Pickups, SUV, 5 Trailers, 3) ATVs, 4) Utility Carts, Jet Ski, Mowers and Lawn Maintenance Equipment, Generators, OCE TDS 860 Pro Printer/Server, Tools and Shop Related Items, Vehicle and Truck Accessories, Police and Emergency Gear, Office Furniture and Equipment, Computers and Related, Electronics and Related, Phones and Related, Safety Related, Shelving, Sports and Recreational, Heavy Equipment Parts, Tires, Tubes and Rims, Appliances, Musical Instruments and Accessories, Restaurant and Kitchen Equipment, Janitorial Equipment and Supplies, Plumbing Equipment and Supplies, Building and Construction Related, Safe, HVAC Equipment, Gas Industry Related Items, Automotive and Truck Parts, Emergency Vehicles Accessories and Equipment


August 29, 2014

Brevard County Campgrounds Now Offer Online Registration

VIERA, Fla.— The Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department is pleased to announce online registration for campsites at Manatee Hammock, 7275 South U.S. Highway 1, Titusville; Wickham Park, 2500 Parkway Drive, Melbourne; and Long Point Park, 700 Long Point Road, Melbourne Beach.

Patrons can register online for stays of two to 29 days. Those wishing to stay longer can register by calling the campground office. Reservation changes and cancellations cannot be done online, and must be handled through the campground office.

To reach a campground by phone, call (321) 264-5083 for Manatee Hammock; (321) 255-4307 for Wickham Park; and (321) 952-4532 for Long Point Park. Please visit https://registration.brevardcounty.us to book campsites online.


August 29, 2014

Spin the Wheel for Reduced Adoption Fees for Dogs and Cats in September

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Are you in the market for adopting a pet? Want a chance to adopt one for free? Brevard County Animal Services is offering the popular "Wheel of Adoption" for the entire month of September.

Those adopting a pet from the County's Animal Care Centers in Melbourne or Titusville can spin the Wheel of Adoption for a chance at winning prizes, reduced adoption fees or to get the adopted pet for free, according to Karla Torpy, director of Animal Services and Enforcement.

Adopters are eligible to spin the wheel after they have been approved for adoption. There are several potential incentives that adopters can land on when they give it a spin. These include adoption fees significantly less than the normal fees of $80 for dogs and $70 for cats. Pets included in this promotion are dogs, puppies, cats under 3 years old and kittens. Adoption fees for cats over 3 years old are $10, which covers the County's annual license fee.

All animals are spayed/neutered, vaccinated and microchipped before adoption.

The shelter has plenty of adoptable cats and dogs who are looking for good homes like yours. Check them out by visiting the Brevard County Animal Care Centers at 5100 W. Eau Gallie Blvd. in Melbourne or 2605 Flake Road in Titusville or go to the website at www.brevardcounty.us/AnimalServices. The Animal Care Centers are open from Noon to 6 p.m. every day but Wednesday. Labor Day hours are Noon to 4 p.m.


August 27, 2014

Space Coast Area Transit: No Labor Day Bus Service

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Area Transit has announced there will not be fixed-route bus service on Monday, Sept. 1, in observance of Labor Day.

All normal bus service will resume on Tuesday, Sept. 2. For more information, call the bus information line at (321) 633-1878 or log onto RideSCAT.com.


August 26, 2014

New Rip Current Signs Give Beachgoers Quick Access to Safety Information

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Beachgoers in Brevard County will have access to important safety information with a simple scan of their cell phones starting Friday, and just in time for the Labor Day holiday weekend.

A press conference will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 29, at Howard E. Futch Memorial Park in Indialantic to unveil the county's new Rip Current Warning Signs. The signs not only display instructions on how to escape a rip current, but also provide computers apps and a telephone number that will allow beach patrons to find out which beaches in Brevard County have lifeguards present. There's information also on a myriad of other beach safety measures including weather updates and text warnings via cell phones of any approaching storms.

With three deaths already this year on Brevard County beaches attributed to rip currents, and with upwards of 24 deaths within the last 10 years, Brevard County – working in conjunction with the private sector and other governmental agencies – has come up with this state-of-the-art warning system that will be posted at 219 public access ways to Brevard County beaches.

Lifeguard stations cover only 7 percent of Brevard County's beaches. With all the rip current drowning deaths in the last 10 years occurring where there are no lifeguards present, using state of the art communication techniques is the only line of defense available to better safeguard our beach going patrons who frequent our beaches where there are no lifeguards presence.

Thanks to funding received from the Tourist Development Council (TDC), Brevard County's cities, along with federally and state controlled beach parks (Canaveral National Seashore, Patrick Air Force Base and Sebastian Inlet State Park), will now post uniform state of the art Rip Current Warning Signs that will help bring beach safety to a new level.

In addition, a push is also being made through the TDC to get as many hotels/motels on the beach to also display these new Rip Current Warning Signs and encourage their guests to heed the warnings and download the sign-provided apps so that their stay in Brevard County will be a safe one.


August 22, 2014

Author Jay Barbree Sets Follow-up Book Signing at Cocoa Beach Library

COCOA BEACH, Fla. -- New York Times bestselling author Jay Barbree will return to the Cocoa Beach Library to sign copies of his new book, Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight, at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6. Copies will be available for sale at the event and a portion of the proceeds will go to the library for books sold at the program.

Barbree introduced his new book at the Cocoa Beach Library on Aug. 2, with his first local appearance in support of Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight. The book sold out at that event, but anyone who missed him has another chance to participate in a brief Q&A with the author and get an autographed copy of the story of Armstrong's remarkable journey as a pilot and an astronaut. This is event is free and open to the public. The library is located at 550 N. Brevard Ave., Cocoa Beach.

Space enthusiasts locally and the world over are familiar with Barbree, the only reporter to cover all 166 American astronaut flights and moon landings. Throughout the course of his 50-plus years of reporting on the space program for NBC, he broke stories such as the cause of the Challenger explosion, he received an Emmy Award for his coverage of the moon landing, and he became close friends with the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong.

Over the course of their friendship, Barbree repeatedly urged Armstrong to collaborate on a book about the astronaut's flights and experiences until finally Armstrong replied, "You're a pilot, you've covered every flight, you're one of us. You just do it." And so, after Armstrong's death in 2012, Barbree decided that it was time to write.

Barbree, a longtime resident of Brevard County and a New York Times bestselling author, has written nine books and is widely celebrated as an authority in his field. He was lead writer, with Alan Shephard, Deke Slayton, and Neil Armstrong, for the bestseller Moon Shot: The Inside Story of America's Apollo Moon Landings. Larry King has called Barbree "arguably the best correspondent to ever cover the space program." His expertise on the space program and his skill at writing about it are unsurpassed.

For more information, call (321) 868-1104.


August 22, 2014

"Getting Outside" is the theme for September at Sams House at Pine Island

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. -- September programs at Sams House provide a variety of opportunities to learn about and enjoy the cultural and biological diversity of Brevard County. Join us as we explore hiking and camping, historic uses of natural resources for surviving and thriving, native plant gardening, and the incredible diversity of our little friend, the mosquito. All events are free and family-friendly.

Saturday, Sept. 6, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.: Learning to Enjoy Nature -- Outdoor enthusiasts Rex and Colleen Derin will demonstrate how they overcame obstacles and learned to enjoy hiking and camping in our natural areas. This entertaining and informative duo will share practical stories and information that makes the act of getting outside seem less daunting and oh so fun.

Saturday, Sept. 13, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.: The Diversity of Nature's Toolbox -- Join us for a hands-on program to discover how Native Americans utilized our area's natural resources to make tools and other items necessary for everyday life. David McDonald will bring his collection of replica and authentic tools to demonstrate the resourceful and creative nature of past populations.

Saturday, Sept. 20, 9:30 am to 11 a.m.: What Influences the Biodiversity of Gardens? -- Come and enjoy an interactive morning among the many growing residents of our Flagpole Garden. Wear work clothes, bring gloves, hand tools and enthusiasm as we deadhead and investigate the workings of a native plant garden. Pack a picnic and enjoy lunch afterwards under the oaks!

Saturday, Sept. 27, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.: The Surprising Biodiversity of Skeeters in Florida -- Spend National Public Lands Day at Sams House and learn about the mosquitoes that have impacted life around Sams House, the Pine Island Conservation Area, and beyond. Family-friendly, informative fun with a craft and song after the presentation.

Sams House and Cabin Tour is offered every Thursday and Saturday at 3 p.m. This 30 minute tour allows you to explore the inside of Brevard County's oldest standing home (Sams Cabin, 1875) and the adjacent 1888 Florida vernacular-style home. You will also learn about the pioneering family that helped establish the community of Courtenay on North Merritt Island.

Sams House at Pine Island is located at 6195 North Tropical Trail, Merritt Island. Hours are Thursday - Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (321) 449-4720 or email patricia.tierney@brevardparks.com


North Brevard Commission on Parks & Recreation meets Sept. 11

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation will hold its next monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Avenue in Titusville. The public is invited to attend.

The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center–North. For more information, call Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


August 21, 2014

EEL Program to hold Selection/Management Committee Meeting Sept. 25

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 25, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


August 15, 2014

BREVARD COUNTY OCEAN RESCUE LAUNCHES BEACH SAFETY MOBILE WEBSITE

Brevard County Ocean Rescue, in cooperation with Brevard County Information Technology, has launched an innovative mobile website that takes ensuring beachgoers' safety to the next level.

Rip current, severe weather, marine life, sun and heat are all factors that visitors to Brevard County beaches need to be educated about and prepared to understand so everyone has an enjoyable visit to the Space Coast. Brevard County Ocean Rescue – named 2013 Beach Patrol of the Year in Florida -- is proud to now offer a beach safety website that is easily accessible from mobile devices.

Visit www.brevardcounty.us/beachsafety to access information on:

  • Surf forecast
  • Rip current warnings
  • Hours and locations of Brevard County's lifeguard towers, with clickable maps
  • Beach safety tips touching on marine life, warning flags, lightning, sun and sand and rip currents
  • Brevard County Fire Rescue and Brevard County Ocean Rescue's social media accounts
"Brevard County Ocean Rescue is excited to launch our new mobile website," said Ocean Rescue Chief Jeff Scabarozi. "This addition to the organization will not only save lives, but give great information to the residents, visitors and tourists who visit Brevard County's beautiful beaches."

One of the most important things beachgoers can do is make sure they swim and play on the beach near a lifeguard. This ensures someone is watching the conditions and the weather and can communicate safety messages. Be sure to check in with lifeguards when you arrive at the beach and ask about conditions before entering the water.


August 14, 2014

Manatee Hammock Campground Now Offering Online Registration

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, is pleased to announce online registration for camping at Manatee Hammock, 7275 South U.S. Highway 1, Titusville.

Patrons can register online for 2 to 29 days. Any patron who would like to stay longer than 29 days can register by calling the campground office at (321) 264-5083. Cancellations and changes to reservations cannot be done online, you must call the campground office. Patrons can register online at https://registration.brevardcounty.us


August 14, 2014

Kiwanis Island Park Host Site of Stroll-N-Roll Benefit Car Show

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. - Brevard County Parks and Recreation Central Area is hosting "Stroll-N-Roll 1st Annual Benefit Car Show" from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, at Kiwanis Island Park, 951 Kiwanis Island Park Road, in Merritt Island.

The Karen Rood Memorial Stroll-N-Roll has been a countywide fundraiser for Special Olympics of Brevard for over 10 years. This year, Brevard County Central Area Parks and Recreation is partnering with High Performance Promotions to provide a car show and entertainment. High Performance Promotions will be donating 100 percent of all the car registration and vendors fees to Special Olympics of Brevard County. All monies raised will go to Special Olympics of Brevard. Food will be available for purchase.

The car show starts at 11 a.m. Please show your support by sponsoring an athlete for the stroll around Kiwanis Island at 1:30 p.m. Awards for the cars will be at 3 p.m.

For more information about this event or to sponsor an athlete, please contact Nancy Watkins at (321) 633-1874.


August 12, 2014

Brevard County Government to Host Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration

Viera, Fla. -- Brevard County Government will celebrate the achievements, customs and legacies of Brevard residents with roots in Latin America, South America and Spain during a Hispanic Heritage Celebration on Tuesday, Sept. 30, at the Government Center in Viera.

The drop-in event, open to the public, will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Highlights will include cultural displays, artwork, literature, exhibits, live music and dancing and multiple food vendors that specialize in Hispanic cuisine.

Admission is free. This event is sponsored by Brevard County Government, but sponsorship packages and vendor/exhibitor booths are still available. For questions or additional information, please contact Sandy Daughtry at (321) 633-2003, or by email at sandy/daughtry@brevardcounty.us.

The Government Center is located at 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Building C, Viera.


August 05, 2014

BPS Superintendent To Talk Sales Tax at N. Brevard Parks Commission

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Brevard Public Schools Superintendent Brian Binggeli will be guest speaker during the North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation's monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14.

The meeting will be held in the Brevard Room, 518 South Palm Ave., Titusville. Binggeli will speak at 5:30 p.m., time certain, on the proposed sales tax initiative. The public is invited. The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center–North.

For questions call Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.

If a person desires to appeal any decision made by this commission with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of this proceeding and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of this proceeding is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which any such appeal is to be based. Section 286.0105, Florida Statutes.

In accordance with the Americans and Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, Florida Statutes, persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notice Parks and Recreation North Area no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting by contacting Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


August 05, 2014

Vendors Sought for 21st Annual Fox Lake Christmas Festival of Crafts

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – Registration for crafts vendors for the 21st Annual Fox Lake Christmas Festival of Crafts begins Monday, Aug. 18.

The Fox Lake Christmas Festival of Crafts will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fox Lake Park in Titusville on Saturday, Nov. 15. Only handmade and homemade crafts will be offered for sale at the event, which is sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations. Registration for crafter spots will begin Monday, Aug. 18. Please be advised there has been a fee increase for crafter spots, outside open area is $25 plus tax and under pavilion is $35 plus tax. Concessions will be available for purchase and admission is free.

Office hours for all registrations are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, at Sandrift Community Center, 585 N Singleton Avenue, Titusville. Applications for food vendors will be available beginning Monday, Sept. 15, at Sandrift Community Center, or by email at jann.faiga@brevardparks.com.

Selected food vendors will be notified by Friday, Oct. 17. Vendor selection is based on, but not limited to, application submittal date, price of product(s) to the public, proper licensing, and appropriateness of the product(s) to the nature of the event. Special consideration is given to not-for-profit service organizations. The County reserves the right to limit vendors to one or two vendors per product.

There is no cost to submit an application for food vendors. A $50 plus tax, non-refundable, special event fee, is due from food vendors selected by Monday, Nov. 3. For more information about this event, call (321) 264-5037.


July 29, 2014

Get Back To School With Cool Animal Adoptions

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Summer vacation is almost over and school will soon be in session! The Academic Advisors at the Brevard County Animal Care Centers have done the math and will be offering all cats, kittens, dogs and puppies to approved adopters for just $35.

Don't be late for class because the "Cool Back to School" Adoption Promotion takes place starting Friday, Aug. 1, and runs through Sunday, Aug. 31.

Normal adoption fees are $70 for cats/kittens and $80 for dogs/puppies. The entire adoption package is valued at hundreds of dollars and includes initial vaccinations and rabies vaccinations for animals three months and older, spay/neuter surgery, deworming, microchipping with free lifetime registration, and a one year Brevard County Animal License tag.

A new furry friend will teach the entire family lessons that can't be learned in school. To see dogs or cats available for adoption, visit the Brevard County Animal Care Centers at 5100 W. Eau Gallie Blvd. in Melbourne or 2605 Flake Road in Titusville or go to the shelter website at www.brevardcounty.us/AnimalServices. The Animal Care Centers are open from noon to 6 p.m. every day but Wednesday.


July 29, 2014

EEL Program to hold Selection/Management Committee Meeting on Aug. 11

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 11, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


July 24, 2014

'Name Your Price' Pet Adoption Continues at Brevard County Shelters

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County's Animal Care Centers are filled with lovable pets of all shapes, colors and sizes. If you're looking for a new pet, Brevard County Animal Services is letting you name your own adoption fee for the shelter's dogs, cats, kittens and puppies during the month of July.

Prospective animal adopters can pay any price they choose for their new pet starting Tuesday at the shelters in Melbourne and Titusville as part of the shelter's "Name Your Price" adoption promotion, which runs July 1 through 31.

All of the dogs and cats housed at the County's animal care centers, which are the only open admissions shelters in Brevard County, are included in the month-long promotion and will come spayed/neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. Adopters will also need to purchase a County animal license for their new pet, which is $10 per year.

"Adopters are encouraged to make a donation they can afford when adopting a shelter pet," said Karla Torpy, Director of Animal Services & Enforcement. "When you adopt from the County shelters, your pet has already received hundreds of dollars of free pet services, including vaccines, spay/neutering, deworming, flea treatment feline leukemia test, heart worm testing and prevention medication."

To see dogs or cats available for adoption, visit the Brevard County Animal Care Centers at 5100 W. Eau Gallie Blvd. in Melbourne or 2605 Flake Road in Titusville or go to the shelter website at www.brevardcounty.us/AnimalServices. The Animal Care Centers are open from Noon to 6 p.m. every day but Wednesday. Holiday hours for Friday, July 4 are Noon to 4 p.m.


July 09, 2014

Brevard County Recycling Rate Exceeds Milestone Goal Set for 2014

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County has reached a goal of 52 percent recycling, exceeding the 2014 recycling goal set by the state Legislature. The recycling rate puts Brevard County in the top 5 Florida counties with a traditional recycling rate of 50 percent or higher.

According to the latest recycling data (2013) released by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida's official recycling rate is now 49 percent, up one percent from last year. This represents a substantial increase in the amount of solid waste recycled – from 9.7 million tons in 2012 to 11.8 million tons in 2013.

"We have exceeded the goal for 2014 and will continue to work hard to meet further recycling goals" said Hillary Arena, Recycling Coordinator for Brevard County Solid Waste Management Department. "We need to reach out to our commercial businesses to 'step up to the plate' and help us achieve the ultimate goal of recycling 75 percent by 2020."

Residents are encouraged to recycle at home and to find out what recycling efforts are underway at their local schools, their workplace and their community groups. DEP continues to promote its Recycling Recognition Program and is working to raise awareness and interest.

"Thank you" to the citizens of Brevard County, said Euripides Rodriguez, director of the Brevard County Solid Waste Management Department. "We thank them for their efforts and help in achieving this goal; we could not do it without them."

The top 10 counties based on traditional recycling rates are:
1. sarasota, 58 percent
2. alachua, martin, collier, 54 percent (three-way tie)
5. brevard, 52 percent
6. manatee, 48 percent
7. orange, 47 percent
8. lee, 46 percent
9. duval, leon, 45 percent (tie)

To see the complete solid waste management report, visit: 2013 FDEP Recycling Report


July 03, 2014

Enchanted Forest Sanctuary hosts 3rd Annual Creepy Crawly Day, July 12

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Come meet, greet and even eat some creepy crawly critters during the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary's 3rd Annual Creepy Crawly Day on Saturday, July 12.

Bring the whole family and enjoy a fun-filled day discovering some of nature's most unique, spine-tingling, and sometimes misunderstood critters.

Try edible insects, discover the importance of bats, unearth the world of reptiles and amphibians and participate in an insect Olympics on this very special day dedicated to the creepy crawly critters of Central Florida! The day will also feature buggy crafts, insect hikes, hands-on stations, log dissections, and much more.

For more information, visit www.efs.eelbrevard.com and don't forget to check us out on Facebook!

The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is at 444 Columbia Blvd., Titusville.


July 01, 2014

Tropical Storm Arthur Good Reason to Clear Stormdrains, Debris

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- County residents are encouraged to clear stormwater drains and to clear and remove loose debris from their property -- not only because Tropical Storm Arthur is churning in the Atlantic, just off the East Coast -- but as routine preparation for hurricane season.

Property owners are advised to visually inspect their home and property. Make any repairs necessary. Check the roof for loose shingles; the gutters and drains to ensure proper drainage; the trees for loose branches; the grounds for debris or items such as lawn furniture that could blow away.

Tropical Storm Arthur is making a slow trek northwest along the East Coast, prompting a Tropical Storm Watch for Brevard County. Wind gusts of 25 to 25 mph outside of squalls, 40 to 60 mph inside squalls, are possible. Some areas could receive heavy rain of 1 to 3 inches, and possibly 5 inches along coastal regions, but the storm is expected to remain off shore, according to the National Weather Service in Melbourne.

During hurricane season, residents are also encouraged to become familiar with the drainage system in their neighborhoods: where the stormwater drains are located, where there could be problems, who is responsible for maintenance, and how to contact them. To prevent flooding, residents should make sure storm drains are free of debris so water can drain freely.

Blockages should be reported to the appropriate authority: their homeowners' association, their city's Public Works Department or the Brevard County Public Works Department. County contacts are:

  • North area -- from the Volusia County line south to Gus Hipp/Roy Wall Boulevard on the mainland: call 321-264-5084
  • Central area -- All of Merritt Island and south to the Pineda Causeway on the beaches: call 321-455-1389
  • South Area -- from Gus Hipp/Roy Wall Boulevard to the Indian River County line on the mainland, and from Pineda Causeway south to the Sebastian Inlet on the beaches: call 321-255-4310
Being proactive can reduce potential flooding problems when storm events occur. Stormwater management systems are typically designed for a 25-year storm and extreme events can overwhelm the capacity of any system. Even if the system is operating properly, it may take days to drain, due to inundation of surrounding areas.

Many homeowners have automatic timers on their sprinkler systems. Brevard County residents can help to reduce flooding by installing a rain sensor for their irrigation system or by turning off sprinklers after significant rainfall events. This will avoid adding more water to flood-prone areas. Homeowners associations who receive re-use water and have valves internal to their systems are also requested to cease use until irrigation is needed.


June 27, 2014

July is 'Name Your Price' Pet Adoption Month at Brevard County Shelters

Dog & Cat adoption specials BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- If you're looking for a new pet, Brevard County Animal Services is letting you name your own adoption fee for the shelter's dogs, cats, kittens and puppies during the month of July.

Prospective animal adopters can pay any price they choose for their new pet starting Tuesday at the shelters in Melbourne and Titusville as part of the shelter's "Name Your Price" adoption promotion, which runs July 1 through 31.

All of the dogs and cats housed at the County's animal care centers, which are the only open admissions shelters in Brevard County, are included in the month-long promotion and will come spayed/neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. Adopters will also need to purchase a County animal license for their new pet, which is $10 per year.

"Adopters are encouraged to make a donation they can afford when adopting a shelter pet," said Karla Torpy, Director of Animal Services & Enforcement. "When you adopt from the County shelters, your pet has already received hundreds of dollars of free pet services, including vaccines, spay/neutering, deworming, flea treatment feline leukemia test, heart worm testing and prevention medication."

To see dogs or cats available for adoption, visit the Brevard County Animal Care Centers at 5100 W. Eau Gallie Blvd. in Melbourne or 2605 Flake Road in Titusville or go to the shelter website at http://www.brevardcounty.us/AnimalServices. The Animal Care Centers are open from Noon to 6 p.m. every day but Wednesday. Holiday hours for Friday, July 4 are Noon to 4 p.m.


June 27, 2014

Space Coast Area Transit Buses Will Not Operate on Independence Day

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Area Transit has announced there will be no bus service on Independence Day, Friday, July 4th.

Regular bus service will resume on Saturday, July 5th. Questions or requests for further information should be directed to the Bus Information Line at (321) 633-1878 or online at www.RideSCAT.com.


June 27, 2014

Brevard County Recycled Paint Giveaway set for Saturday, June 28

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Recycled paint will be available to residents of Brevard County at five Richard Paint stores, two Ace Hardware stores and the South Patrick Hardware & Lumber this Saturday, June 28.

The paint is free to homeowners in limited quantities only. Homeowners will be able to receive up to 10 gallons of one color for the shell of the house, up to three gallons of a second color for trim and two gallons of floor paint.

Paint will be available on a first come first served basis only. Proof of home ownership will be required in order to obtain paint (i.e. valid driver's license with the current residential address or property tax notice). The recycled paint is available in five colors and one floor paint.

COLORS
Off white (Rain Dance) | Gray (Deer Path) | Green (Evening Concert) | Light Beige (Sweet Home) | Dark Beige (Summer Fun) | Texture floor paint (Gray)

Available at the following locations only – Saturday, June 28

Richard's Paint
2900 Post Road, Melbourne | 1510 Cheney Highway, Titusville | 230 East Merritt Island Causeway (520) Merritt Island 1950 Viera Boulevard, Viera | 5000 Stack Road, Suite A-1, Palm Bay

Ace Hardware
Ace Hardware of Satellite Beach, 1024 Highway A1A | Ace Hardware/Beach Discount Plumbing/Supply, 866 North Highway A1A, Indialantic

South Patrick Hardware & Lumber
1847 South Patrick Drive, Indian Harbour Beach

For more information regarding the recycled paint call 633-1888, 633-2042 or visit us at www.brevardcounty.us/Solidwaste


June 20, 2014

North Brevard Commission on Parks & Recreation Cancels July 10 Meeting

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation has canceled its July 10 meeting.

The next regularly scheduled monthly meeting will be at 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14, in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Ave., Titusville. The meeting is open to the public.

The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center–North. For questions call Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


June 19, 2014

Juneteenth Celebration June 28 at Cuyler Park

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The anniversary of Juneteenth will be celebrated at Cuyler Park, 2329 Harry T. Moore Ave., in Mims from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 28.

The event is for all ages and will include games, fun, music, soul line dancing, live entertainment, softball game, and community service presentations. The festival will offer an array of cultural traditions and diversity through food, arts, and music. Admission is free.

Craft and food vendors can register by visiting Cuyler Community Center. The cost for craft vendors is $25 plus tax and the cost for food vendors is $50 plus tax. For more information, please call LaShawn Stevens (321) 264-5045.


June 13, 2014

BCFR IN-HOUSE BRUSH TRUCK BUILD PROGRAM WINS NATIONAL RECOGNITION

Brevard County Fire Rescue (BCFR) has received national recognition as a 2014 National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award winner for the success of its in-house building of 19 brush trucks. BCFR received recognition in the "Financial Management" category for having built 19 brush trucks in-house, saving Brevard County millions of dollars.

In 2010, BCFR identified the need to replace its aging brush truck fleet. This coincided with a time when the nationwide economic recession caused operating revenues to decline due to depressed property values.

Tasked with managing the brush truck fleet, Wildfire Mitigation Capt. Ryan Sumlin and then Fleet Manager Tom Hare seized the opportunity to expand the use of free military surplus vehicles by having the department's own fleet personnel do the full builds of 14 Type 4 trucks and five Type 6s. At a time when operational efficiencies were critical, the uncommon practice of doing all the work in-house allowed BCFR to custom-build the vehicles to fit their needs while saving the county $3 million.

The program is a model of how a department can manage its resources and personnel to produce quality products customized to its needs all while saving the county a substantial amount of money. BCFR essentially tapped a new revenue source by using its own people.

The leadership of the fleet manager, who transitioned into a role where he led the fabricators in the fleet build, demonstrates how identifying and encouraging the staff to use their talents can lead to proven measureable results. BCFR produced its own fleet of top-quality customized brush trucks that will best serve the community.

ABOUT NACo:
The NACo Achievement Award Program started in 1970 and is a non-competitive awards program that recognizes innovative county government programs. Awards are given in 21 different categories including children and youth, criminal justice, county administration, environmental protection, information technology, health, and many more.

Click here for a link to a map showing the location of all the winners nationwide this year.
Click here for a PDF version of this release with before and after photos.


Friday, June 13, 2014

Brevard 2040 Transportation 'VISION' Workshop Set for July 10

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- You participated. We listened. Now, come see the VISION.

The Brevard County Transportation and Planning Organization will hold a Transportation VISION Workshop at 7:45 a.m. on Thursday, July 10, in the Board of County Commissioners boardroom at the Government Center in Viera, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way.

Topics include:
    • Economic Prosperity
-- Leverage what's uniquely Brevard
    • Invest in ports
    • High tech industries
    • Address population growth and protect environment
-- Find the right balance for growth
    • More compact communities
    • Less reliance on autos
    • Improve the way we live and travel
-- Provide a wider range of community and travel options
    • Wider variety of housing
    • More transportation choices


June 13, 2014

Marina Park to Close for Fourth of July Fireworks

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Marina Park at 501 Marina Road, Titusville, will be closed from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Thursday, July 3, to accommodate set up for Fourth of July Fireworks. The boat ramp, skate park, dog park and all park facilities will be closed.

The public can view the fireworks display from Sandpoint Park, 101 N. Washington, Ave., Titusville.

During the Marina Park closure, the following boat ramps in Titusville are available: Kennedy Point Park, 4915 S Washington Ave, Titusville, and Parrish Park, 1 A. Max Brewer Memorial Parkway, Titusville.

For information on North Area parks owned or operated by Brevard County, from the Volusia County line on the North to SR 528 on the South, please call (321) 264-5105.


June 12, 2014

Positions Available for Caretakers for North Area Parks Operations

TITUSVILLE, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area Park Operations, has openings for caretakers.

Caretakers are needed at the following locations:

  • Space Coast Communities Sports Complex, 662 Canaveral Groves Blvd., Sharpes
  • Stuart Park, 4260 Stuart Ave., Titusville
  • Holder Park, 2650 Glendale Blvd, Mims
  • Parrish Park Scottsmoor, 4055 Magoon Ave., Scottsmoor
As it is desired to have the presence of law enforcement officers in our parks, interested law enforcement officer may apply. Applications are available at the North Area Parks Operations Office at 475 North Williams Ave., Titusville.

Space Coast Communities Sports Complex, Stuart Park, Holder Park and Parrish Park Scottsmoor do not currently have a home on site, the caretaker would need to provide a mobile home.

Send completed applications to Terry Lane, Operations Manager, 475 N. Williams Ave., Titusville, Fla., 32796, or email to terry.lane@brevardparks.com. Applications need to be received no later than Monday, June 30. For more information call Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


June 06, 2014

Boaters Reminded to Prepare for Hurricane Season

VIERA, Fla. – Brevard County Boating & Waterways Program reminds boaters to prepare for hurricane season by having a plan to secure and protect their vessels. Hurricane season is June 1- Nov. 30.

Boaters should develop a plan for securing their boats; inspect their marinas or docks for stability and piling height; collect vessel records; check lines to ensure no weaknesses have developed; outfit their boats with chafe gear and fenders, extra cleats, appropriate anchors and chains, and exhaust pipe plugs; and check bilge pumps, batteries, exterior lights, and radio.

A guide titled "Your Boat and Hurricanes," provided by the Coast Guard, provides an extensive checklist for protection against hurricane damage. It is available on the Natural Resources Management Office website under the Boating & Waterways section.

For more information, contact Matt Culver at 321-633-2016 or email matt.culver@brevardcounty.us.


June 06, 2014

World's Largest Swimming Lesson June 20 at Merritt Island High School Pool

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – On Friday, June 20, tens of thousands of kids and adults at aquatic facilities around the world unite for a fifth year in a row to set a new Guinness World Record.

The global record attempt for The World's Largest Swimming Lesson will take place at 11 a.m. at Merritt Island High School Pool, 100 E. Mustang Way. To learn more about this phenomenal event visit www.worldslargestswimminglesson.org.

Merritt Island High School pool, as operated by the Central Area of Brevard County Parks & Recreation, will be serving as an official Host Location Facility for this record-setting event. This event is free to the public. On-site check-in will begin at 10 a.m. with the event promptly starting at 11 a.m. Participants are encouraged to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start time. Pre-registration is recommended. To register please call the Central Area Operations Office at (321) 633-1874.


June 06, 2014

Sams House at Pine Island July Events "Explore Your History"

All Events this month are FREE!

Paddles, Sails, and Steam-Early Travels on the Indian River Lagoon
Saturday, July 5th from 11am to noon

Explore the history of water travel on the Lagoon, as well as the impacts on natural and human resources, from the comfort of the air-conditioned cabin. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy afterwards.

Searching Sand and Surf: The Origins of Archaeology in Florida (Dr. Rachel Wentz)
Saturday, July 12th from 11am to noon

Archaeology as a discipline is well established in Florida. But that wasn't always the case. Travel back to when archaeological sites were curiosities on the landscape and speculation as to their origins thrived. Searching Sand and Surf explores the roots of modern archaeology in the state, as seen through articles published in the Florida Historical Quarterly. Witness the evolution of contemporary archaeology in Florida and trace the development of the discipline through some of its most influential voices.

The Episcopal Church Comes to Courtenay
Saturday, July 19th from 1pm to 2pm

St. Luke's Episcopal Church was established with the help of local pioneer families that relocated here primarily from South Carolina. Peek back into time to consider the history of the Episcopal Church in Florida prior to the Civil War, and then specifically in the community of Courtenay on North Merritt Island. Learn about the architecture, personalities, and worship preferences reflected by the historic chapel and contemporary church that is located just down the road from Sams House.

Historic Marker Tour Presentation
Saturday, July 26th from 11am to noon

Where are some of the historic places found right in our backyards (Central Brevard)? This informative presentation will be held in the cabin and is based on the route and stops that we have previously visited during our Historic Marker Van Tours.

Sams House and Cabin Tours - Every Thursday and Saturday at 3pm
Tour the inside of Brevard County's oldest standing home (Sams Cabin, 1875) and the adjacent 1888 Florida vernacular-style home and learn about the Sams Family.

Sams House at Pine Island - Open Thursday through Sunday from 9am to 5pm
6195 N Tropical Trail
Merritt Island, FL 32953
321-449-4720
www.eelbrevard.com - www.facebook.com/samshousepineisland


June 06, 2014

Brevard Health Officials Confirm Case of Mosquito-borne Chikungunya Fever

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health in Brevard County today confirmed an imported case (travel associated) of chikungunya (\chik-en-gun-ye) fever, a disease spread by bites from infected mosquitoes. If a person is infected and bitten by a mosquito, that mosquito may later spread the infection by biting another person.

"Avoiding mosquito bites is the key to preventing infection with chikungunya and other mosquito-borne diseases," said Heidar Heshmati, Director, DOH-Brevard. "Floridians and visitors are encouraged to take precautionary measures to help reduce the chance of being bitten. Remember to drain and cover."

DRAIN standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.

  • Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected.
  • Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren't being used.
  • Empty and clean birdbaths and pet's water bowls at least once or twice a week.
  • Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don't accumulate water.
  • Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
COVER skin with clothing or repellent.
  • Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeves.
  • Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing.
  • Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus and IR3535 are effective.
COVER doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out.
  • Keep mosquitoes out of your house. Repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches, and patios.
People at increased risk for severe disease include newborns, older adults (≥65 years), and people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, etc. Symptoms of chikungunya include sudden onset of high fever (>102°F), severe joint pain mainly in the arms and legs, headache, muscle pain, back pain and rash. Symptoms appear on average three to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Most patients feel better after a few days or weeks, however, some people may develop long-term effects.

If you experience symptoms of chikungunya fever, consult with your health care provider immediately and protect yourself against further mosquito bites. Avoiding mosquito bites while you are sick will help to protect others from getting infected.

For more information on chikungunya, visit the Florida Department of Health at http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/mosquito-borne-diseases/chikungunya.html or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/.

The Department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

The Health Department is coordinating with Brevard County Mosquito Control to increase spraying efforts and educational outreach. More information is available at www.brevardcounty.us and chikungunya detailed flyer.


June 05, 2014

State OKs $2M for Commissioner Fisher's Field of Dreams Sports Park Effort

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – A mission by Brevard County Commissioner Robin Fisher and other community and business leaders to build a sports park that caters to the needs of children with disabilities has hit a home run, scoring more than $2 million in funds from the state.

The group led by Commissioner Fisher has lobbied for more than two years to fund a 5-acre "Field of Dreams" sporting complex at West Melbourne Community Park, which is located outside of Fisher's Commission District 1 in North Brevard County. State Reps. Tom Goodson and Steve Crisafulli and Sen. Andy Gardiner were instrumental in getting the funding approved through the governor's office, Fisher said Thursday. The project also received widespread support from West Melbourne Mayor Hal Rose and City Manager Scott Morgan, the Economic Development Commission of the Space Coast, and the 14-member Field of Dreams Board of Directors, which is chaired by Fisher and made up of parents of children with disabilities, parks and recreation officials, special needs service advocates, a lawyer, an accountant and other community leaders.

"I believe we achieve our best when we work collaboratively for the good of our entire community," Fisher said. "I knew in these tough economic times the city and county were going to have a difficult time funding this project by themselves. It makes me extremely satisfied to know that this park is being made possible by public/private partnerships and will help fill a gap for this special population."

Brevard County has 108 parks to serve 550,000 residents. There are more than 87,000 adults and children with disabilities.

"As a county we've done a great job creating a world class parks system and, while they are ADA compliant, there isn't one park in our system that is equipped to specifically address the needs of persons with disabilities," Fisher said. The need to have a park of this type was brought to the board's attention by Jim Tapp, who had been working on the concept for several years, Fisher said.

Field of Dreams will cost an estimated $4.2 million, but much of the money is either in hand through corporate contributions or committed through private donors. The City of West Melbourne has a $50 per year 50-year lease on the property through the county, which also contributed funding for engineering survey work. Field of Dreams is currently in the planning/permitting stages and, when built, will feature rubberized playing surfaces for baseball, soccer and basketball. Commissioner Fisher said he is appreciative of Commissioners Bolin Lewis, Nelson, and Anderson for supporting the sale of the park to the City of West Melbourne.

"Facilities will be designed to accommodate wheelchairs and other mobility equipment used by these courageous athletes, most of whom have never had the opportunity to participate in organized sports before, and never been on a field before that was designed for them," Fisher said.

As part of his efforts to gain State funding support, Fisher said he highlighted the mission and the statewide economic impact this community park will have.

"Based on other models around the country we expect to become a welcoming destination for families throughout the state," Fisher said. "Field of Dreams is a natural complement to Promise in Brevard less than two miles down the road. Promise in Brevard is Betsy Farmer's dream becoming a reality, an all-inclusive residential/vocational training community providing independent living and on-site vocational training and job opportunities for individuals with varying levels of ability."

For more information on Field of Dreams, visit www.BrevardFieldofDreams.org


June 04, 2014

Space Coast Area Transit Announces Fare Increase

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Area Transit has announced an increase in fares effective July 1.

Full fares for fixed route bus service will increase from $1.25 to $1.50 per ride. Reduced fares will be raised from 60 cents to 75 cents. Monthly passes will be $42 for full fare and $21 for reduced fare. Qualified reduce fare recipients are persons over the age of 60, veterans, active military personnel, students (grades K-12), college students with current ID and disabled citizens. Children under age 5 ride free.

Space Coast Area Transit has not experienced a fare increase since 2006. However, due to the rising operating costs, Brevard County Board of County Commissioners approved the increase on May 13, 2014. Space Coast Area Transit held six public comment sessions and received over 170 customer comments.

For additional fare increase information please visit www.RideSCAT.com or contact a Customer Service Representative at (321) 633-1878.



June 01, 2014

Hurricane Season Reminder: Register for Emergency Alert Notifications

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- As hurricane season begins, Brevard County Emergency Management stresses the three keys to preparedness: build a hurricane preparedness kit, make an evacuation/communication plan, and stay informed.

The "Stay Informed" component is being emphasized this year, and residents are encouraged to register for Emergency Management's new mass notification system.

Cell phone numbers that are registered to the FirstCall Emergency Notification Service will have the ability to receive automated message alerts to brush fires, hazardous material incidents, boil-water notices, flood concerns, or other incidents that would directly affect county residents.

The free service offered through Brevard County Emergency Management is something all residents should take advantage of, said Emergency Management Director Kimberly Prosser.

"We want to get to as many people as we can by using the notification system," Prosser said, "and we're sharing the system with Brevard County Fire Rescue and the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, as well."

For years, Brevard County has used an automated emergency notification system that provided alerts by telephone via landlines of natural or man-made emergencies that occurred in their area.

However, both the previous system and the new system have access only to telephone numbers that are assigned to home or business phones, and the previous system had access to only published numbers.

Because many people no longer use landlines, and instead use only cellular phones, the system is not as effective as it could be, Prosser said.

The emergency notification system, which is commonly but incorrectly referred to as a "Reverse 911," does not actually utilize the 911 system; the database contains the telephone numbers and addresses for all landline phones. As cellular and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) phones -- such as Vonage -- are not associated with an address, they are not included in that database.

"That's why we're encouraging people to go to our website, www.EMBrevard.com, click on 'Alert Signup', and register," Prosser said. Those who don't use computers or don't have internet access can call FirstCall directly at 866-484-3264 to register their information.

The new system, operated by FirstCall Emergency Notification Service, provides digital emergency notifications via cell phones, text messages or e-mail as well as notifications over landlines. Users also have the ability to select from a variety of weather notifications on the site as well, ranging from severe thunderstorm warnings to tropical storm watches to tornado warnings.

Prosser said cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses entered into the FirstCall database won't be shared with telemarketers or other entities.

"This is not a published list – in fact, Florida Statute explicitly exempts information provided for the purposes of emergency notification from public records," she said.

The emergency notification system is able to pinpoint whom to notify based on addresses entered into the system, or by an area that is selected on a map.

"This is another tool in our toolbox, for us to use in helping to keep our community safe," said Prosser. "We have an automated mass call notification system; we have Twitter and Facebook; we have email and text messaging. We're working to keep people informed, so that they can make good decisions."


May 30, 2014

Brevard County Libraries To Participate In Big Library Read Program

COCOA, Fla. – Brevard County Libraries announced today it will be taking part in the Big Library Read program. Library card holders will be able to borrow and read the mystery eBook, "A Pedigree to Die For," Book 1 of the Melanie Travis Mystery Series by Laurien Berenson, starting June 3 and concluding the morning of June 18 by visiting http://brevard.lib.overdrive.com.

Big Library Read is an international program that gives libraries and library patrons unlimited simultaneous access to a popular title during the program dates, creating a virtual, global book club. Interested patrons will be able borrow A Pedigree to Die For using a valid library card, and read on all major computers and devices, including iPhone, iPad, Nook, Android phones and tablets, and Kindle without worrying about wait lists or holds. Titles will automatically expire at the end of the lending period, and best of all, there are no late fees!

The Big Library Read program is made possible through a partnership between OverDrive, the leading supplier of eBooks and more to libraries, and Kensington Publishing Corp., publisher of Laurien Berenson's unusual and fascinating mystery. To borrow the eBook version of A Pedigree to Die For as part of Big Library Read, patrons can visit http://brevard.lib.overdrive.com.

About OverDrive:
OverDrive is a leading multichannel digital distributor of eBooks, digital audiobooks, music and video. We supply a secure lending platform for 28,000 libraries, schools and retailers worldwide with support for all major computers and devices, including iPhone, iPad, Nook, Android phones and tablets, and Kindle. OverDrive has been named to the EContent 100 as a company that matters most in the digital content industry and is a member of the 2012 Technology Fast 500. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, Ohio. www.overdrive.com


May 29, 2014

EEL Program to hold Selection/Management Committee Meeting on June 23

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, June 23, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


May 28, 2014

Unincorporated Brevard County Fertilizer Restrictions Take Effect June 1

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The deadline to apply fertilizer to lawns is fast approaching.

Unincorporated Brevard County and many municipalities ban the application of fertilizer containing nitrogen and phosphorus from June 1 to Sept. 30. Also, most ordinances specify that no phosphorus can be applied unless a soil test indicates a phosphorus deficiency.

To determine if a fertilizer contains phosphorus, simply look for the three numbers on the fertilizer label. If the middle number is zero, the fertilizer contains no phosphorus. The first number is always nitrogen, and the last number is always potassium. For example, a fertilizer labeled 0-0-27 contains no nitrogen or phosphorus.

Many ordinances also require that fertilizers contain at least 50 percent slow-release nitrogen.

Visit http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu/ordinances.shtml to find your local ordinance. If you need more information on how to select or apply fertilizer, contact the UF/IFAS Extension in Brevard County at 321.633.1702.


May 28, 2014

Brevard County Animal Shelters Showcase Black Dogs, Cats Throughout June

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- "Back in Black" is a monthlong adoption promotion at Brevard County's Animal Care Centers dedicated to increasing awareness and adoptions of black cats and dogs.

"Although they're every bit as adorable and sweet as other animals, pets in black often wait longer for homes than their lighter-colored pals," said Karla Torpy, director of Animal Services and Enforcement. The promotion, which begins June 1 and runs through June 30, is to shine a spotlight on these often-overlooked pets and help them find good homes.

More and more animals are arriving daily in the shelters who need new homes.

"From puppies and kittens to senior dogs, from mutts to purebreds, and everything in between, we have a huge selection of pets who are all waiting for their new home," said Torpy. She urges residents to come in and save a life.

The special adoption in June's promotion is for mostly black dogs and cats. The adoption fee of $30 for cats and $35 for dogs covers all age-appropriate vaccinations, spay or neuter surgery, a microchip and a County animal license tag. The normal adoption fee is $70 for cats and $80 for dogs.

To see dogs or cats available for adoption, visit the Brevard County Animal Care Centers at 5100 W. Eau Gallie Blvd. in Melbourne or 2605 Flake Road in Titusville or go to the shelter website at www.brevardcounty.us/AnimalServices. The Animal Care Centers are open from noon to 6 p.m. every day but Wednesday.



May 23, 2014

Parent's Night Out Events Scheduled at North Area Brevard Parks

TITUSVILLE, SHARPES, Fla. — Parent's Night Out events are planed at two North area Brevard Parks in June.

Sandrift Community Center, located at 585 N. Singleton Ave., Titusville, will host Parent's Night Out from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on June 20. There will be games, arts and crafts and pizza for children ages 5-12. Please call (321) 264-5037 for more information. Cost: $12 for first child; $10 for second child.

Walter Butler Community Center, located at 4201 N. Cocoa Blvd. (US Hwy 1) Sharpes, offers a Parent's Night Out from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on June 27. There will be games, arts and crafts and pizza for children ages 5- 12. Please call (321) 433-4448 for more information. Cost: $12 for first child; $10 for second child.

Parents Night Out is sponsored by Brevard County Parks & Recreation's North Area Parks Operations.


May 23, 2014

Space Coast Area Transit Offers Free Rides on 'Dump the Pump Day,' June 19

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Area Transit will again join public transportation systems nationwide to participate in the 9th annual national "Dump the Pump Day."

Space Coast Area Transit's website, RideSCAT.com, features a printable coupon on its home page, allowing passengers to ride the bus free on Dump the Pump Day, Thursday, June 19.

Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA,) the one-day even encourages residents to try riding public transportation and save money, instead of driving a car.

"With the high price of gasoline, saving money is on everyone's mind," said Jim Liesenfelt, director of Space Coast Area Transit. "Public transportation is the quickest way to beat high gas prices, and Dump the Pump Day is an excellent opportunity for our residents to try transit for free."

According to the latest APTA Transit Savings Report, individuals who switch from driving to taking public transit can save, on average $9,854. For bus maps and schedules, call the Space Coast Area Transit RideLine at (321)633-1878. Interactive maps and schedules, a Google Transit trip planner, and a new savings calculator are all available on RideSCAT.com desktop and mobile websites.


May 23, 2014

Under 18? Ride The Bus For Free All Summer With A Library Card

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- On May 30, the day after school ends, Space Coast Area Transit will roll out "Read to Ride," a program that offers free bus fare all summer to youth under the age of 18 who show their free-of-charge Brevard County Library Card.

Since its inception in 2001, Read to Ride has provided public transportation to thousands of Brevard County students. Read to Ride, which runs until the day before school begins, emphasizes the importance of using Brevard County Libraries as a resource to enhance reading skills during the summer months, as well as encouraging transit as a choice mode of transportation.

"We want kids to know that they can get to a library – and other locations as well – for free all summer long," said Jim Liesenfelt, director of Space Coast Area Transit. "RideSCAT.com makes it easier than ever to navigate a bus trip to a final destination and back home again."

For many local youth, taking the bus is an alternative to being homebound during the summer. Bikes and surfboards are welcome, based on space availability. Read to Ride participants can speak with a customer service representative regarding bus transportation by calling the RideLine at 321-633-1878. Interactive maps, schedules, and a Google Transit trip planner are also available on-line at RideSCAT.com desktop and mobile websites. To locate the nearest library, log on to MyLibraryWorld.com.


May 21, 2014

Space Coast Area Transit Buses Will Not Operate on Memorial Day

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Area Transit has announced there will be no bus service on Memorial Day, Monday, May 26.

Regular bus service will resume on Tuesday. Questions or requests for further information should be directed to the Bus Information Line at (321) 633-1878 (952-4672 for South Mainland Residents) or online at www.RideSCAT.com


May 19, 2014

Brevard County Animal Services: Orphaned Kittens Need Your Help

VIERA, Fla. -- Brevard County Animal Services is asking residents with time on their hands to lend a helping hand to very young kittens that have come into the shelter without their mother. The youngsters, sometimes only days old, must be bottle fed in order to survive.

"We currently need residents who are able to bottle feed kittens which cannot eat on their own," said Mary Thompson, manager of the County's South Animal Care Center on West Eau Gallie Boulevard in Melbourne. "The kittens must be fed around the clock every two-to-three hours in order to stay healthy and grow."

Animal Care Center staff will teach prospective Foster Parents how to bottle feed. Foster parents typically provide formula and bottles, tubes or eyedroppers that can be purchased from local pet supply stores. Foster parents must be able to commit the time and care to ensure the health and survival of the foster pet. In addition, parents are also required to bring the litter into the shelter's clinic for any scheduled veterinary visits.

Foster Parents who are interested in adopting any of the pets in their care may do so once the foster care process is complete and the kitten is deemed healthy and old enough to be adopted.

Applicants must be 18 years of age and a Brevard County resident to apply to become a Foster Parent. In addition, a Foster Care Parent Application must be completed and approved by Brevard County Animal Services.

To learn more about the Foster Care Program, and to access a copy of the application, visit www.brevardcounty.us/AnimalServices/AdoptablePets/Information.


May 19, 2014

Brevard County North Reach One of America's Best Restored Beaches in 2014

BREVARD COUNTY – The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) announced today that Brevard County's North Reach beach restoration is a winner of its 2014 Best Restored Beach Award.

"ASBPA created the Best Restored Beach Award in 2001 as a way of highlighting the value of America's restored beaches," said Harry Simmons, mayor of Caswell Beach, N.C., and ASBPA president. "As Americans flock to our coastline during the upcoming beach season, most don't even realize they may be enjoying a restored beach."

Brevard County's North Reach restoration focused on 9.4 miles of shoreline, including Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach. Previous restoration efforts of the once highly eroded beach area exceeded expectations in the face of extraordinary storm events in 2004 and 2012 and helped turn a shoreline lined with seawalls and rock revetments into one of wide beaches and flourishing dunes, drawing tourists and turtles alike to its inviting sandy shores. Recovery projects implemented in 2005 and 2014 have helped sustain the integrity of the project initially begun in the fall of 2000.

"Brevard Beach caught our eye because it established wide dunes and beaches where in previous years erosion had completely eliminated the beaches and dunes," said Lee Weishar, chair of the Best Restored Beach Committee. "The new beach is absolutely fabulous. Additionally, many thousands of people using these beaches most likely have no clue that this is a restored beach. This will provide Brevard a chance to educate the many lucky folks that get to use the beaches."

The 2014 North Reach renourishment placed nearly 1 million cubic yards of sand at a cost of roughly $15 million, which was virtually 100 percent federally funded, though some state dollars and Brevard County bed tax revenues generated by overnight hotel stays were also used. Brevard County officials say the cost for renourishment is balanced by the $1.6 billion estimated economic impact to Brevard's economy each year by beach-related tourism.

"Beach renourishment benefits tourists, residents, business owners, and the environment, I'm proud of the great job our Natural Resources Department has done to build a great relationship with the Army Corps of Engineers and the Canaveral Port Authority in order to construct one of the best beach renourishment projects in the Country," said Rob Varley, director of Brevard County's Space Coast Office of Tourism. "This is one of the top reasons the beaches of Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach are so popular with visitors."

Brevard was among four winners recognized nationally by ASBPA. The others were Aquia Landing County Park in Stafford County, Va.; Iroquois Point Beach, Oahu, Hawaii; and North Topsail Beach, N.C.

"I have known for more than 20 years that Brevard's Beach Program was the best in the world, now the rest of the world knows!" said Mary Bolin Lewis, chairman of the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners.

Commissioner Chuck Nelson, whose district includes the City of Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral, said in a statement: "With the success of the North Reach Project spanning from Cocoa Beach to Cape Canaveral, we have successfully created a way to keep sand on the beach and continue to protect our homes, businesses and communities from the devastating effects of storms. The North Reach Project is a perfect example of a beach nourishment project that has proven its worth over and over again, sustaining our tourism, environment and driving our economy upward year after year."

For the last 40 years, beach restoration has been the preferred method of shore protection in coastal communities. Beach restoration is the process of placing beach-quality sand on dwindling beaches to reverse or offset the effects of erosion.

According to ASBPA, the three main reasons for restoration are:

  • Storm protection – A wide sandy beach helps separate storm waves from upland structures and infrastructure.
  • Habitat restoration – Numerous species rely on wide, healthy beaches as a place to live, feed and nest.
  • Recreation – America's beaches have twice as many visitors annually as all of America's national parks combined.
Every year, there are more than 2 billion visitors to America's beaches. Beaches contribute an estimated $322 billion annually to the America's economy. More importantly, for every dollar the federal government spends on beach nourishment, it gets an estimated $320 back in tax revenues.

Coastal communities have restored more than 370 beaches in the United State, including such iconic beaches as Cocoa Beach, Jones Beach in New York, Ocean City in Maryland, Virginia Beach, Miami Beach, Galveston Island in Texas and Waikiki Beach in Hawaii.

During times of economic hardship, the beach can be an even more desirable vacation destination than other domestic and foreign alternatives, offering families and visitors an accessible and affordable getaway.


May 16, 2014

"Get Outside" in June at Sams House at Pine Island

Summer is here and there are plenty of opportunities to get outside to discover and enjoy Brevard County. Sams House at Pine Island is rich with history and nature. We have something for everyone in June. All events are free unless specified (**)

Next time you visit, please notice the newly planted native garden at our entrance. Keep Brevard Beautiful helped provide funds and volunteers provided labor for that beautification project, which adds color to our entrance as well as cover, a food source and a meeting area for local pollinators!

EVENTS:

Saturday, June 7th - 10am - 11am
Birds of the Indian River Lagoon - Sit in the air-conditioned comfort of the cabin and enjoy photographer Bob Montanaro's highlights of the common birds, wildlife, and scenery of the Indian River Lagoon in a program made up of digital stills and video. Viewers will come away with a better appreciation and understanding of this amazingly diverse and beautiful Florida water body.

Saturday, June 14th - 10am - 1pm
Sams House Nature Trading Post - Bring in an item you found while exploring nature and trade it for another natural item that others found. Be prepared to tell Sams House staff about your item. Nothing living, or purchased or from a protected species. We are looking for shells, rocks, fossils, driftwood, pressed flowers, etc. Check Sams House Facebook Events link for more details.

Sunday, June 15th - 10am - noon
**Paint a Pot for Dad - Personalize a terra cotta pot for Dad and take home a potted herb. $5 donation covers materials. Spaces limited. Call 321-449-4720 to reserve your spot.

Saturday, June 21st, 10am - noon
**Gone Fishing, the Old-Fashioned Way - We will teach children how to craft their own cane poles (to keep), as they did many years ago. This activity helps build self-confidence and teaches a useful skill. Limited to 12 participating children, ages 7-12 years old (one child per family). Siblings are welcome to watch and learn. $4 donation covers materials. Call to reserve your spot at 321-449-4720.

Saturday, June 28th, 10am - 11am
Brevard's Best Hikes - Explore Brevard, via a presentation in the air-conditioned cabin. Miles of trails throughout the county's EEL sanctuaries will be highlighted.

Every Thursday and Saturday at 3pm
Sams Cabin and House Tour - Tour the inside of the oldest standing home in Brevard County, the 1875 Sams Cabin and the 1888 Sams House while learning about the pioneer family.

Sams House at Pine Island
Open Thursday through Sunday, 9am to 5pm
6195 North Tropical Trail, Merritt Island, FL 32953 (off SR 3, north of SR 528)
321-449-4720
www.facebook.com/samshousepineisland and www.eelbrevard.com


May 08, 2014

Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED Course Offered at Sandrift, Titusville

TITUSVILLE, Fla -- Come and join us for the Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED course at the Sandrift Community Center, 585 N. Singleton Avenue, Titusville, on Saturday, May 17, from 9 a.m. to noon.

The fee is $50. Registration deadline is May 15. Maximum class size is 10.

This event is sponsored Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, North Area Parks Operations. For more information, please call Mike Herman (321) 264-5105.


May 06, 2014

Brevard Public Schools Participate in National Bike To School Day

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Schools will join schools from around the country to celebrate National Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 7.

Students, in participating schools, will be riding to school on Wednesday, May 7, along with parents, teachers and community leaders.

In its third year as a national event, Bike to School Day encourages a nationwide bike-focused celebration for students in the month of May and builds on the popularity and success of Walk to School Day, which is celebrated across the country – and the world – each October. The May date is also significant in that it is National Bicycle Month.

Bike to School Day events raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for bicycling and walking and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, bicycle/pedestrian safety, reducing traffic congestion and concern for the environment. The events build connections between families, schools and the broader community.

The Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization promotes Bike to School Day as part of their Safe Routes to School Program and encourages all schools to participate and while some cannot we are excited that Brevard Schools represent about 24 percent of the schools participating in Florida.

Local schools participating in the event are:

Roy Allen Elementary
Johnson Middle
Apollo Elementary
Jupiter Elementary
Atlantis Elementary Manatee Elementary Audubon Elementary Oak Park Elementary
Cape View Elementary Palm Bay Elementary Challenger 7 Elementary Port Malabar Elementary
Columbia Elementary Quest Elementary Croton Elementary Roosevelt Elementary
DeLaura Middle School Sea Park Elementary Discovery Elementary Sherwood Elementary
Endeavor Elementary Stevenson Elementary Enterprise Elementary Suntree Elementary
Fairglen Elementary Surfside Elementary Harbor City Elementary Tropical Elementary
Holland Elementary West Melbourne Elementary Imperial Estates Westside Elementary
Indialantic Elementary Williams Elementary

For additional information, please visit these websites:
Walk and Bike to School Day: www.walkbiketoschool.org
National Center for Safe Routes to School: www.saferoutesinfo.org

About National Bike to School Day:
National Bike to School Day, coordinated by the National Center for Safe Routes to School, provides the opportunity for communities across the country to join together to bicycle to school on the same day. The event builds on the excitement surrounding National Bike Month, led by the League of American Bicyclists each May, as well as the popularity of Walk to School Day, coordinated by the National Center for Safe Routes to School every October.

National Bike to School Day is based on the Walk to School Day model. Walk to School Day was founded in 1997 as a way to bring community leaders and children together to build awareness for communities to be more walkable. The one-day event has now grown to a month-long celebration. In 2011, students and parents from more than 4,000 U.S. schools joined millions of Walk to School Day and Month participants worldwide. The reasons for walking have grown just as quickly as the event itself. For more information on bike and walk to school activities in the United States, visit www.walkbiketoschool.org.

For more information on activities being planned by each school, contact that school directly.


May 01, 2014

Pet Adoption Promotion Offers Pets Priced According to Day of Month

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Adopt a pet from Brevard County Animal Services today, May 1, and it will cost you just $1. May 2 it will cost you $2. And May 3 ... well, you get the idea.

In addition to the adoption fee, everyone pays $10 for a current Brevard County animal license tag.

Considering regular adoption fees are $70 for cats and $80 for dogs, that's a pretty good deal. There are kittens and puppies available, too.

The promotion is good throughout the month of May and for any animal in either of the two County shelters. The adoption fee includes a microchip, vaccines, and spay or neuter surgery.

"The sooner you come in, the lower the fee," says Karla Torpy, Director of Animal Services & Enforcement. "Our goal is to empty kennels and cages. We hope all the animals that are lost go home, and all of the animals that are homeless find new families."

To see dogs or cats available for adoption, visit the Brevard County Animal Care Centers at 5100 W. Eau Gallie Blvd. in Melbourne or 2605 Flake Road in Titusville or go to the shelter website at www.brevardcounty.us/AnimalServices.

The Animal Care Center hours are 12 pm to 6 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The shelters are closed on Wednesday.


May 01, 2014

Spring Fling this Saturday at Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Spring Fling will be offered at the Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center, 701 South Street, Titusville, from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 3.

This is an all-inclusive family fun day for Persons with Disabilities co-sponsored by the Women's Round Table. The carnival atmosphere is to promote family time, playing games and spending time together. Activities will include food, music, kickball, basketball soccer, bean bag toss and more.

The event is free to attend. Please call the center for additional information and fees at (321) 264-5040.

This event is sponsored Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Parks & Recreation Department and North Area Parks Operations.


May 01, 2014

Coed Adult Kickball League Sign-up Underway in North Brevard (corrected)

CANAVERAL GROVES, Fla. — Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, is hosting an Adult Coed Kickball League beginning on Tuesday, June 3 , at 6:30 p.m., at Chain of Lakes, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, in Titusville.

The fee of $200 per team is due by 4 p.m. Friday, May 30, at the North Area Parks Operations Office, 475 North Williams Avenue in Titusville.

Call Mike Herman at (3210 264-5105 to register and for information on this and other athletic activities in North Brevard.


May 01, 2014

Fox Lake Park in Titusville Reopens after Brushfire

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Fox Lake Park, located at 4400 Fox Lake Road, in Titusville reopened this morning, two days after it was closed due to a wild fire.

Brevard County Fire-Rescue temporarily used the site as a command post. The park was closed to the public on Tuesday and Wednesday.

For information on North Area parks owned or operated by Brevard County, from the Volusia County line on the North to State Road 528 on the South, please call (321) 264-5105.


May 01, 2014

Brevard County sheds 'Light' on lighting rules for Sea Turtle Nesting Season

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- It's 'Lights Out' for sea turtles in Brevard County.

Thousands of endangered and threatened sea turtles nest on Brevard County's beaches each summer. Leatherback sea turtles begin nesting in March followed by Loggerhead and Green sea turtles. After 50 to 70 days of incubation in buried nests, hatchlings begin to emerge from the beach and dunes and orient themselves toward the brightest visible horizon in an attempt to find the sea.

Lights from beachfront structures that shine or reflect onto the beach can disrupt this instinctive process and cause hatchlings to crawl toward the upland lights instead of crawling to the sea. These disoriented hatchlings often get tangled in dune vegetation, eaten by predators, die from exhaustion or dehydration, or are occasionally run over by vehicles.

Even those who eventually find the ocean may have used up so much energy on the beach that they die before they find food. It is estimated that only 1 out of every 1,000 hatchlings manages to survive to adulthood.

To prevent hatchling disorientation, all indoor and exterior lights that are visible from the beach should be shielded, repositioned, replaced, or turned off after 9 p.m. during sea turtle season. Because adult nesting females can also be disoriented by improper lighting, lighting ordinances apply from May 1 - Oct. 31.

For questions regarding beachfront lighting, copies of educational brochures, a demonstration of turtle friendly lighting fixtures, or to discuss available lighting options, please call (321) 633-2016 ext. 52431 or email paula.berntson@brevardcounty.us.


April 29, 2014

BCFR PARTNERS TO EDUCATE ON NATIONAL WILDFIRE COMMUNITY PREPAREDNESS DAY

Brevard County Fire Rescue, Volusia County Fire Services, Florida Forest Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife fire staff at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge are partnering in a grass-roots effort to spread awareness about wildfire prevention.

It's important for home and business owners to be educated about how to be "Firewise" and how they can play an active role in reducing wildfire threat. While efforts will be ongoing throughout the year, the National Fire Protection Association is launching its inaugural National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day on May 3. Because we currently are in wildfire season, it's the perfect time to remind our communities what they can do to help minimize wildfire risk.

To see what cooperative efforts will be undertaken on May 3, please read this PDF for more information.


April 28, 2014

Brushfire Temporarily Closes Fox Lake Park in Titusville

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Fox Lake Park, located at 4400 Fox Lake Road, in Titusville will be closed through Tuesday, April 29, due to a wild fire.

Brevard County Fire-Rescue will be using the site as a command post. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

For information on North Area parks owned or operated by Brevard County, from the Volusia County line on the North to State Road 528 on the South, please call (321) 264-5105.


April 27, 2014

American Red Cross Lifeguard Training Course Offered In North Brevard

TITUSVILLE, Fla -- North Area Parks Operations will offer a Lifeguard Training Course starting May 30. The swimming portion of the class will be held at Titusville High School pool and the classroom portion will be held at Sandrift Community Center.

Class dates and times are as follows: May 30, 31, and June 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and June 2 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The cost is $250 and must be paid upon successful completion of a skills test on May 30 at 9 a.m. Class size is limited to 10 and pre-registration is required.

Interested candidates must be 15 years of age, able to swim 300 yards nonstop (freestyle and breaststroke), swim 20 yards, pick up a 10-pound object and return to the start point in 1 minute and 40 seconds and tread water with legs only for 2 minutes.

Registration for all aquatics activities is available at North Area Parks Operations office, 475 North Williams Avenue, Titusville, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additional information can be obtained by calling Mike Herman (321) 264?5105.


April 27, 2014

North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation meets May 8

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation will hold its next monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 8. The meeting will be held in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Avenue in Titusville. The public is invited to attend.

The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center–North.

For questions call Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.

If a person desires to appeal any decision made by this commission with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of this proceeding and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of this proceeding is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which any such appeal is to be based. Section 286.0105, Florida Statutes.

In accordance with the Americans and Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, Florida Statutes, persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notice Parks and Recreation North Area no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting by contacting Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


April 22, 2014

Community Campout Scheduled May 3 for F. Burton Smith Regional Park

COCOA, Fla. – The Community Campout is scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday, May 3, through 9 a.m. Sunday, May 4, at F. Burton Smith Regional Park, 7575 West King St., in Cocoa.

The campout will follow the Second Annual My Florida Festival. This is a family friendly event. Patrons need to bring a tent and Brevard County Parks and Recreation staff will provide crafts, hayrides, a campfire, astronomy 101, s' mores and more. A light breakfast will be provided in the morning. The cost of this program is $35 per family and registration is required.

For more information or to register, please call 321-455-1385.


April 22, 2014

Second 'My Florida' Festival to be held May 3 in Cocoa

COCOA, Fla. – Central Brevard County Parks and Recreation is hosting its Second Annual My Florida Festival, a family friendly event with exhibits and activities from the Past, Present, and Future.

The event will be held from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 3, at F. Burton Smith Regional Park, 7575 W. King St., in Cocoa.

The festival will feature a variety of food trucks including Kona Ice, Mayan Grill, Back en BBQ and Tippy's Hot Dogs, the Dixie Wranglers 4-H line dancers, live music with Wild Cards Band, Safari Todd, Twister Airboat Rides, and the Brevard County Sheriff's Department K-9 unit. Activities will include bounce houses, crafters, exhibitors, hayrides and old fashioned games. Admission and parking to the festival is free.

For information regarding this event visit www.brevardcounty.us/parkscentral or call 321-455-1385.


April 21, 2014

Special Rates Encourage Pet Adoptions for Earth Day

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Celebrate Earth Day the pet-friendly way by adopting a hybrid. Brevard County Animal Services is offering all mixed breed dogs and cats in the shelters for $22.

"In honor of Earth Day, April 22, we're holding an adoption special," said Karla Torpy, director of Animal Services & Enforcement. "Our dogs and cats can be adopted for $22. The special runs through April 27."

The adoption fees cover all age-appropriate vaccinations, spay or neuter surgery, a microchip, and a County Animal License Tag. The normal adoption fee is $70 for cats and $80 for dogs.

To see dogs or cats available for adoption, visit the Brevard County Animal Care Centers at 5100 W. Eau Gallie Blvd. in Melbourne or 2605 Flake Road in Titusville or go to the shelter website at www.brevardcounty.us/AnimalServices

The Animal Care Center hours are noon to 6 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The shelters are closed on Wednesday.


April 21, 2014

Animal Services & Enforcement Launches Online Pet Licensing Service

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Online pet licensing is now available in Brevard County.

Brevard County Animal Services & Enforcement has added a feature to its website so pet owners can purchase new or renew existing licenses for their pets via the internet.

According to County Code, owners of dogs and cats must obtain an animal license tag for each dog or cat annually. The web address is www.brevardcounty.us/AnimalServices/Home

"We are thrilled that this important service is now available online to Brevard County pet owners, " said Karla Torpy, Director of Brevard County Animal Services & Enforcement. "We see many dogs come through the shelters that have clearly been cared for, but arrive here with no identification and no way to return them to their owner."

"If your pet is wearing its license and it shows up at the shelter, we will notify you that your pet is here. Or, if one of our staff finds your licensed pet roaming free, we'll return it to you instead of bringing it to the shelter. And, often an injured animal wearing a license is more likely to receive veterinary care if you're not around," Torpy said.

"Having licensing available online will make it easier for families to keep their pets up to date," Torpy said.

A one-year license for altered cats or dogs is $10. Unaltered cats and dogs are $16. Failure to license or renew your pet's license could result in a $120 citation.

In order to use the online service, dog owners will need a current rabies vaccination certificate, a spay/neuter certificate, if applicable, and a credit card. Once the animal license is processed, it will be mailed to the pet owner's home in approximately two weeks. Dog licenses may be purchased annually. In addition to online, dog licenses can also be purchased by phone (321-633-2024,) mail or in person at the South Brevard County Animal Care Center, 5100 W. Eau Gallie Blvd., Melbourne or the North Brevard County Animal Care Center, 2605 Flake Road,Titusville, or through many veterinary clinics.


April 06, 2014

EEL's Recreation & Education Advisory Committee meets May 8

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Recreation & Education Advisory Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, May 8, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review proposed recommendations for public access, passive recreation, and environmental education plans on EEL Program-managed conservation lands. Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Brad Manley, EEL Public Access/Volunteer Coordinator at (321) 255-4466 or bmanley@brevardparks.com.


April 04, 2014

EEL Program to hold Selection/Management Committee Meeting on May 5

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, May 5, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


April 03, 2014

EEL Program to hold Procedures Committee Meeting on May 1

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Procedures Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 2-4 p.m. Thursday, May 1, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of the meeting is to review policies and procedures of the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


April 03, 2014

Space Coast Area Transit Plans Public Outreach on Bus Fare Increase

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Area Transit will be conducting public outreach to distribute information and receive comments from citizens regarding a possible fare increase. The proposed fare increase is being requested due to increased ridership and the need to better serve the community.

The outreach will be conducted in an informal atmosphere and citizens can arrive any time between the designated times. The times and locations will be as follows:

  • Monday, April 14, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
    Melbourne Square Mall – at Transfer Station
    1700 W. New Haven Avenue
    Melbourne
  • Tuesday, April 15, 7:15 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.
    Hammock Landing – at Transfer Station
    225 Palm Bay Road
    Palm Bay
  • Tuesday, April 15, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
    Space Coast Area Transit – Cocoa Terminal
    401 S. Varr Avenue
    Cocoa
  • Monday, April 21, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
    Shepard Park – at Transfer Station
    179 E. Cocoa Beach Causeway
    Cocoa Beach

  • Monday, April 21, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
    North Brevard Library – at Bus Stop
    2121 S. Hopkins Avenue
    Titusville
If you are unable to attend any of these dates, further information can be obtained by accessing www.RideSCAT.com.


April 03, 2014

Brevard County Offers Pet Adoption Special to Sweeten Tax Days

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Don't let TAX DAY get you down! Come celebrate at Brevard County's Animal Care Centers with $15 pet adoptions from April 12-15.

The adoption fee of $15 covers all age-appropriate vaccinations, spay or neuter surgery, a microchip and a County animal license tag. The normal adoption fee is $70 for cats and $80 for dogs.

To see dogs or cats available for adoption, visit the Brevard County Animal Care Centers at 5100 W. Eau Gallie Blvd. in Melbourne or 2605 Flake Road in Titusville or go to the shelter website at www.brevardcounty.us/AnimalServices. The Animal Care Centers are open from Noon to 6 p.m. every day but Wednesday.


April 03, 2014

Sites Announced for Summer Food Service Program, June 2-Aug. 15

Brevard County Parks and Recreation will be participating in the Summer Food Service Program starting June 2nd until Aug. 15.

Nutritionally balanced meals will be provided to all children regardless of race, color, sex, disability, age or national origin during summer vacation when school breakfasts and lunches are not available. All children 18 years old and younger, if open site, are eligible for meals at no charge, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service. The programs are only approved for geographical areas of need where 50 percent or more of the children qualify for free and reduced-price meals during the school year.

Sites that will be participating in the Summer Food Service Program are attached. CLICK HERE

In accordance with Federal law, and US Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.

To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call toll free (866) 632-9992 (Voice). Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


April 02, 2014

Water Safety Instructor Course offered at McLarty Aquatic Center

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. - A Water Safety Instructor course will be held at McLarty Aquatic Center, 790 Barton Blvd., in Rockledge.

Classes will be held May 6-18 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday May 10, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and final testing on Sunday, May 18, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Participants must attend all classes. Cost is $250 and must be paid upon successful completion of the skills test on May 6. Class size is limited and pre-registration is required.

Interested candidates must be 16 years of age, maintain position on back for 1 minute, tread water for 1 minute, and be able to swim 25 yards of freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, sidestroke, elementary backstroke, and 15 yards of butterfly.

Upon completion, participants will receive American Red Cross certification as a Water Safety Instructor, and be able to teach swim lessons and water safety presentation. For additional information, call Claire Cawthon at 321-633-1874.


April 01, 2014

Registration Begins for North Brevard Summer Day Camps

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operation is offering summer day camps for children entering first grade through eighth grade from May 30 through Aug. 15.

Camp registration is being held at the following community centers during operating hours: Cuyler Community Center 2329 Harry T. Moore Avenue, Mims (321) 264-5045, Isaac Campbell, Sr. Community Center, 701 South Street, Titusville, (321) 264-5040, Port St. John Community Center, 6650 Corto Road, Port St. John (321) 633-1904, Sandrift Community Center, 585 North Singleton Avenue, Titusville (321) 264-5037, and in Sharpes at the Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice G. Jackson Park, 4201 North US 1, Cocoa (321) 433-4448.

Camp hours are from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The weekly fee is $90 per child or $25 per day. Discounts are available to qualifying families, please call a community center in your area for further information on discounted rates.

Additional information can be obtained by calling the community center in your area.


April 01, 2014

9th Annual Fox Lake Spring Festival of Crafts to be held April 5

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The Ninth Annual Fox Lake Spring Festival of Crafts will be held at Fox Lake Park in Titusville on Saturday, April 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Only handmade and homemade crafts will be offered for sale at the event, which is sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations. Concessions will be available for purchase and the event is free to attend.

North Area Parks Operations is seeking a non-profit organization to sell concessions in the kitchen. Any interested groups should contact Jill Hill by email jill.hill@brevardparks.com.

Fox Lake Park is located at 4400 Fox Lake Road in Titusville. For more information about this and other recreation programs in North Brevard, call (321) 264-5105.


March 27, 2014

Egg Hunts, Breakfast with Easter Bunny Among April Activities in N. Brevard

MIMS, TITUSVILLE, PORT ST. JOHN, SHARPES, Fla. — Brevard County Parks and Recreation is offering a variety of Easter activities in North Brevard in April.

Events include:

  • The 4th Annual Easter Day of Fun at 3 p.m. Friday, April 11, at Walter Butler Community Center, located at Bernice G. Jackson Park, 4201 North U.S. Highway 1, Cocoa (Sharpes.) Participants will enjoy a free egg hunt, face painting, crafts and more. Participants should bring egg carriers. This event is co-sponsored with North Cocoa Civic League. Call (321) 433-4448 for more information.
  • There will be two free egg hunts and a movie at Fay Park, 6315 Depot Road in Port St. John, on Saturday, April 12. Children ages 5 and under will hunt at 5 p.m. Children ages 6 through 12 should bring a flashlight for the egg hunt starting at 8:15 p.m., and all participants should being their own egg carrier. Immediately following Brevard County Parks and Recreation would like to welcome everyone to see the movie "Frozen." Call (321) 633-1904 for more information.
  • Isaac Campbell Sr. Park will host a free egg hunt starting at 2 p.m. Friday, April 18. All participants should bring their own egg carrier. This event is co-sponsored by the Isaac Campbell Sr. Group and local Community Churches. Call (321) 264-5040 for more information.
  • Cuyler Park will host a free egg hunt at 4 p.m. Friday, April 18. All participants should bring their own egg carriers. Call (321) 264-5045 for more information.
  • Breakfast with the Easter Bunny, for children 10 years of age and under, will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 19, at Sand Point Park, 101 N. Washington Avenue, Titusville. There will be a pancake breakfast, crafts and egg hunt. Remember to bring your own egg carrier and camera. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets are $3 for each adult and $5 for each child. Pre-registration is recommended at Sandrift Community Center, 585 N. Singleton Ave., Titusville. Call (321) 264-5037 for more information.


March 26, 2014

BPS Superintendent Guest Speaker at N. Brevard Commission on Parks and Rec.

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Brevard Public Schools Superintendent Brian Binggeli will be guest speaker during the North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation's monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 10.

The meeting will be held in the Brevard Room, 518 South Palm Ave., Titusville. Binggeli will speak at 5:30 p.m., time certain, on the proposed sales tax initiative. The public is invited to attend.

The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center-North.

For questions call Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


March 21, 2014

EEL Program Seeks Volunteer for Selection/Management Committee

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) Program is seeking a volunteer to serve on the Selection and Management Advisory Committee. The committee serves as an expert scientific advisory committee to the County Commission on all issues involving the acquisition and management of environmentally endangered lands acquired under the EEL Program.

Applicant qualifications:

  • Two-year appointment.
  • Graduate degree or demonstrated expertise in biological or environmental sciences.
  • Background in environmental conservation.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of Brevard County Ecosystems.
  • Residency in Brevard County.
Interested individuals may obtain a Committee Member Application on the EEL website at the following link http://tiny.cc/eelsmcapp and submit the application along with their resume to the EEL Program Office at 91 East Drive, Melbourne, FL 32904. Attention Mike Knight, 321-255-4466. Or via email at mike.knight@brevardparks.com.

Submittal deadline is April 10.

For additional information on committee responsibilities see the EEL Land Acquisition Manual at the following link: http://tiny.cc/eellam


March 21, 2014

'Find Yourself In Nature' During April 3-13 Expedition in Brevard

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- For eleven days in April, the Space Coast will be host to hikers, bikers, paddlers, horseback riders and more during Expedition Brevard, which runs April 3-13.

The Space Coast of Florida boasts a variety of habitats to explore, from coastal scrub and forested uplands to open prairies and maritime hammocks. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy an amazing diversity of ecosystems during specially planned treks and tours during Expedition Brevard.

Inspired by the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition that completed in April 2012, the Brevard Wildlife Corridor Expedition will feature the active involvement of many expert guides, residents and visitors.

The motto of the Expedition Brevard is "find yourself in nature." The event is designed to build awareness of conservation lands and wildlife corridors in Brevard County, Florida (the Space Coast.)

The Expedition will offer a variety of activities that relate to the natural areas of Brevard County. These activities will appeal to a wide range of interests, ages and fitness levels. Some of the activities include: eco-tours on horseback, by kayak or canoe and fat tire bikes; stand up paddleboarding in the Indian River Lagoon; a nocturnal nature hike; a night critter watch ride; pontoon boat guided excursions; wildlife photography, surf fishing, multi-day off-road biking events and plant identification instruction; oyster mat making for the Indian River Lagoon Program at the Indian River Festival on Saturday, April 12, and much, much more.

The Expedition is being organized by local volunteers and has received support from sponsors and experts on the lands and outdoor recreation of the area, including special support from the Titusville Chamber of Commerce as a partner during the Indian River Festival and the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands program.

Pre-register online for your favorite treks before they fill up at www.ExpeditionBrevard.com. Follow us on facebook at www.facebook.com/ExpeditionBrevard. For more information, call (321) 268-5224.

About Brevard Nature Alliance:
The Brevard Wildlife Corridor Expedition is presented by the Brevard Nature Alliance, a voluntary group of individuals and organizations associated for the purpose of raising the awareness of citizens and visitors to the value and importance of the natural resources of Brevard County, Florida. The group is dedicated to serving the community through educational outreach, environmental program development, strategic planning, and the sharing of information and expertise with all interested parties.

The Mission of the Brevard Nature Alliance is to build public awareness and appreciation of the value of Brevard County's natural resources by fostering and promoting ethical nature-based ecotourism.


March 20, 2014

April is "Garden Month" at Sams House at Pine Island

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Spring is here and April is "Garden Month" at Sams House at Pine Island. All events are free, unless noted, and open to the public.

Owl Prowl - Thursday, April 3, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Join staff naturalists as we walk the woods at night, looking and listening for our resident Barred owls. This special program is part of the Brevard Wildlife Expedition. Register at www.expeditionbrevard.com.

Scrub-Jay Walk and Talk - Friday, April 4, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Join Patricia Tierney and Vince Lamb in an up-close encounter with the endangered Florida Scrub-Jay. This one-mile hike through Cruickshank Sanctuary in Rockledge is part of the Brevard Wildlife Expedition. Register at www.expeditionbrevard.com.

The Secret Life of the Florida Scrub-Jay - Saturday, April 5, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.: In "The Secret Life of the Florida Scrub-Jay," Pelican Island Audubon Society office manager and wildlife photographer Bob Montanaro brings to life the often elusive behavior of these birds and why the preservation of their habitat is one of the best ways to preserve this unique species.

Help Our Garden Grow! - Saturday, April 12, 9 a.m. to noon: We've been awarded a second Keep Brevard Beautiful Native Landscape Grant! Help us put in our new entrance garden at this fun community work day. Please wear close-toed shoes. Bring water, gloves, a hand shovel (if you have one) and picnic lunch.

Conservation Lands Work! - Sunday, April 13, 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.: In this informative slideshow, we'll learn how we all benefit from conservation lands - even if we are not active users of them. This special program is part of the Brevard Wildlife Expedition. Register at www.expeditionbrevard.com.

Overland & Into The Water! Homeschool Program - Thursday, April 17, 10 a.m. to noon: Observe first hand how small changes in the elevation of our Florida topography makes a difference in the soil types and plants that are found here. Hike from the higher, sandy ridge where the Sams House and Cabin and located, down to the waterline at the Indian River Lagoon overlook. Learn about some of the fish and critters found in and around our waterways.

Butterflies! - Saturday, April 19, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Learn about native butterflies as we stroll through our beautiful gardens. Butterflies we are likely to see include the Peacock, Great Southern White, and Zebra Longwing. April Flowers Brings Showers of Pollinators! - Saturday, April 26, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.: Join us for a fun, outdoor family activity! Take a close look at flower structures and different pollinators. Compare various seeds, nuts and fruits that are the results of pollination. Create a work of art to take home. Ideal for ages 5-12 and their families.

The Sams House at Pine Island is a historic complex and nature center within the 1,000-acre Pine Island Conservation Area. Owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program, the Center is located at 6195 N. Tropical Trail in North Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open Thursdays to Sundays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours of the 1875 Sams Cabin and 1888 Sams House are given every Thursday and Saturday at 2 p.m. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


March 19, 2014

BREVARD COUNTY OCEAN RESCUE NEEDS TO FILL 35 MORE SEASONAL POSITIONS

BREVARD COUNTY – The best beach patrol in the state wants you!

Brevard County Ocean Rescue – named Florida's Beach Patrol of the Year for 2013 – hosts its second open tryout on Saturday, March 22 for seasonal lifeguards. The department is looking to fill 35 positions in order to be at full strength on the beaches.

Those hired on will work through October this year.

Those trying out should be at the Rockledge High School swimming pool by 7 a.m. While no lifeguarding experience is necessary, candidates must be over the age of 16 on the day of the tryout and possess strong swimming skills. All candidates must bring a valid driver's License, Social Security card, appropriate swim attire, a towel and running shoes.

To read more detailed press release information, click here.

For additional information on the tryouts and Brevard County Ocean Rescue, please visit the department's page at www.brevardfire.com or contact the Ocean Rescue staff at 321-633-2056


March 18, 2014

Brevard Animal Shelters Extend Discount on Adoption Fees

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Adoption fees for dogs and cats at the Brevard County Animal Shelters will be $17 through the end of March.

The reduced fee was originally offered through St. Patrick's Day, but Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement has decided to extend the discount through the end of the month because customers appreciate the discount and there are an increasing number of dogs in the shelters.

The adoption fee of $17 covers all age-appropriate vaccinations, spay or neuter surgery, a microchip and a county animal license tag. The normal adoption fee is $70 for cats and $80 for dogs.

To see dogs or cats available for adoption, go to the Brevard County Animal Care Centers at 5100 W. Eau Gallie Blvd. in Melbourne or 2605 Flake Road in Titusville or go to the shelter website at www.brevardcounty.us/AnimalServices. The Animal Care Centers are open from noon to 6 p.m. every day but Wednesday.


March 14, 2014

Lifeguard Training Course offered at McLarty Pool in Rockledge

ROCKLEDGE, Fla - A Lifeguard training course will be held April 22-May 4 at McLarty Park Pool in Rockledge.

Classes will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with final testing on Sunday, May 4, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. All classes must be attended. The cost is $250 and must be paid upon successful completion of a skills test on April 22 at 5 p.m. Pre-registration is recommended. McLarty Park Pool is located at 790 Barton Blvd., Rockledge.

Interested candidates must be 15 years of age, able to swim 300 yards non stop doing freestyle or backstroke, complete a timed 10-pound brick retrieval, and tread water for 2 minutes using legs only.

Upon completion, candidates will receive American Red Cross certification in Lifeguard, First Aid and CPR for Professional Rescuer.

For additional information, call Claire Cawthon at (321) 633-1874.


March 11, 2014

Isaac Campbell Sr. Park Hosts March 28-29 Community Festival

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Festival will be held at Isaac Campbell Sr. Park, 701 South Street, in Titusville, on Friday, March 28, and Saturday, March 29.

Friday's activities begin at 6 p.m. and include a community meeting and recognition ceremony. Saturday's activities get underway at 10 a.m. and include music, games and entertainment. This event is free to attend; concessions will be available for purchase.

The Community Festival is co-sponsored by the Taking Dominion Now and Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Parks & Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations. For more information, please call Tommy Myers at (321) 264-5040.


March 11, 2014

Free 'Monster's University' Movie in the Park at Fay Park, March 22

PORT ST. JOHN, Fla. — Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, is hosting a free Movie in the Park featuring "Monster's University" on Saturday, March 22, at Fay Park, 6315 Depot Road, in Port St. John.

The movie will be shown on a giant, 23-foot outdoor movie screen beginning at approximately 8 p.m. The movie is rated G. Please check the movie hotline for inclimate weather updates (321) 264-5109.

Patrons are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, food and drinks to enjoy during the movie. Concessions will be available for purchase. Call Mike Herman 264-5105 for additional information.


March 11, 2014

Ribbon-Cutting Marks Opening of Solid Waste Vehicle Maintenance Facility

VIERA, Fla. – The Brevard County Solid Waste Management Department announces a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8:30 a.m. Friday, April 4, for the new Solid Waste Vehicle Maintenance Facility located at the Central Disposal Facility (CDF), 2250 Adamson Road, in Cocoa.

The old Vehicle Maintenance Building was over 40 years old and was constructed as part of the initial development of the Central Disposal Facility in the late 1960's. As part of the Capital Improvement Plan adopted by the Board of County Commissioners, a new Vehicle Maintenance Facility was constructed on the site.

This pre-engineered, energy-efficient, $2.6 million state-of-the-art facility has over 19,000 square feet, three 110-foot-deep maintenance bays with rolling service doors, a 7.5-ton capacity overhead bridge crane system, tire storage area, a fully automatic fire protection alarm and sprinkler system, and a parts stock room.

The project was a collaborative effort between Brevard County Departments – Dave Trafton, Construction Coordinator for Solid Waste, the Road & Bridge Construction group and the Survey group; Project Manager, Ron Beladi, of Neel-Schaeffer, Inc., and the General Contractor, Doug Wilson Enterprises. The flexibility of coordinating many aspects of construction utilizing internal working groups contributed to streamlining the project, which came in on time and under budget. The new facility is able to service six vehicles at a time as compared to two in the old building. It also offers a separate tire service area, storage for lubricants and fluids, a secure records storage area and inventory stockroom, as well as a workshop for the Facility Maintenance crews.

For more information, contact Euripides Rodriguez, director of Solid Waste, Brevard County Solid Waste Department, at (321) 633-2042.


March 05, 2014

Spring Break Camp Offered at Sandrift Community Center in Titusville

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Spring Break Day Camp, for children in kindergarten through eighth grade, is being offered at Sandrift Community Center, 585 North Singleton Avenue, in Titusville, March 24-28, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The weekly fee is $90 for the first child and $75 for each additional child in the same family. The daily rate is $25 per child when the child is attending three or fewer days during the week. Fees are due at the time of registration or on the first day a child attends.

Spring Break Camp is sponsored by Brevard County Parks & Recreation's North Area Parks Operations. For more information, call Jann Faiga at (321) 264-5037.


March 05, 2014

Walter Butler Community Center Hosts Spring Break Camp

SHARPES, Fla. — Spring Break Day Camp, for children in kindergarten through eighth grade, is being offered at Walter Butler Community Center, 4201 North Cocoa Blvd (US 1), in Sharpes, March 24-28, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The weekly fee is $90 for the first child and $75 for each additional child in the same family. The daily rate is $25 per child when the child is attending three or fewer days during the week. Fees are due at the time of registration or on the first day a child attends. For more information, call Clifford Lett at (321) 433-4448.

Spring Break Camp is sponsored by Brevard County Parks & Recreation's North Area Parks Operations.


March 05, 2014

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony April 4 Marks Opening of Brevard Zoo Linear Park

MELBOURNE, Fla. – Brevard County District 4 Commissioner Mary Bolin Lewis, the South Area Parks Advisory Board and the Brevard County Parks & Recreation Department will host the grand opening of the Brevard Zoo Linear Park on Friday, April 4.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony begins at 10 a.m. Brevard Zoo Linear Park is located at 8215 N. Wickham Road, in Melbourne. The public is invited to attend. For more information, please call Greg Minor at (321) 255-4400.


March 04, 2014

North Area Parks Announce Summer Break Job Opportunities

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The North Area Parks Operations has several openings for various seasonal recreation workers and lifeguards to be employed during Summer Break 2014.

Needed are Day Camp Counselors, Lifeguards, Water Safety Instructors and experienced Bus Drivers. Please call (321) 264-5105 for more information.


March 04, 2014

UF/Brevard Extension Courses Offer Job Search Skills for Youth

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- UF/IFAS Extension Brevard County 4-H is offering two job search-related classes for youth in March and April.

Market Me For Teens will teach youth how the skills they learn in school will transfer to college or to the job market. Youth will learn about problem solving, team-building, and communication skills in order to gain valuable marketing skills. The class is 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 18.

Interviewing and Resume Building Tips for Teens will assist youth who are looking to secure a job or scholarship, but are not sure how to accomplish their goals. Youth will learn how to improve resume and interview like a pro. The class is 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 24.

Both classes are geared toward youth ages 14-18, cost is $1 or free for 4-H members. Classes are held at 3695 Lake Drive, Cocoa. Pre-registration suggested at http://www.eventbrite.com/o/brevard-county-4-h-2251439523?ref=eorgbtn.

For more information contact Vanessa Spero-Swingle, 4-H Agent, at (321) 633-1702 ext. 231 or Vspero@ufl.edu.


February 28, 2014

Families observe Brevard County Fire Rescue's inaugural fire academy recruits do live-burn training

Brevard County Fire Rescue's inaugural Fire Academy class, which includes mostly veterans who served in the Armed Forces, did live-burn training as family and friends watched on Wednesday, Feb. 26. It was a milestone day for the class, which is nearing the end of five months of intense training, both in the classroom and in the field.

The unique training class was made possible by a federal grant approved by Brevard County's Board of County Commissioners. The federal Assistance To Firefighters SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grant provides Brevard County Fire Rescue an estimated $3.6 million to pay full salaries and benefits for the new firefighters for a period of two years. The grant puts emphasis and priority on hiring post-9/11 military veterans returning home from active duty in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

Once graduated on March 14, some will head to the field directly while others start EMT school. Another group with more veterans will be starting in April, on the heels of this first graduating class.

To read more about the class and the training event and download photos, please click here.

For a photo gallery of images from the training, please visit our Facebook page by clicking here.


February 28, 2014

EEL Program to hold Selection/Management Committee Meeting on March 21

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, March 21, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


February 27, 2014

News You Can Use: Brevard County Press Release System Invites Subscribers

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- From parks programs to Space Coast Area Transit Services to Farmer's Markets, Brevard County Government's press release information system invites subscribers to identify and select the types of information they would like to receive.

The database-driven system, accessible at http://web.brevardcounty.us/PublicInformationReleases/, allows subscribers to sign up, change e-mail addresses, or unsubscribe, as well as select the categories of information they'd like to receive. Department-oriented categories include: Agriculture & Extension, Animal Services, Commissioners, Emergency Management Fire-Rescue, General Announcements, Human Services, Libraries, Natural Resources & EEL, and Parks & Recreation. A category called Free Stuff will provide the recipient with information about no-cost events, activities and services from any department; and a category called TV will indicate that the information has a visual aspect, appropriate for television, videographers or photographers.

"This system was first implemented in 2011, but peoples' interests change and newer county residents may not be aware they can simply subscribe to receive information about the various services and programs the county offers," said Communications Director Don Walker. "If you're a parent, looking for activities to keep your children busy, or if you're only concerned about information updates in the case of a hurricane or other emergency, you'll want to subscribe. It's free, and it allows subscribers to manage for themselves the information they want to receive."

Each e-mailed news announcement from Brevard County includes a link at the bottom of the document that allows the receiver to access the website and manage their own subscription, as well as links to the County's Facebook and Twitter accounts for those who prefer social media avenues.


February 25, 2014

TPO Plans Workshop On Brevard County Transportation Needs Through 2040

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization will hold a workshop from 8 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Feb. 26, to consider long-range transportation needs and issues -- no matter whether it's bicycles, boats, buses or rockets -- in Brevard County.

The Brevard 2040 Transportation Choices Workshop will be held at the Brevard County School Board Office, 2700 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera. The event is free and open to Brevard County residents, elected officials, business leaders, government officials, planners, engineers and consultants and anyone who plans to travel in Brevard during the next 20-plus years.

The workshop will cover areas dealing with the anticipated growth of the county, future modes of transportation and transportation options that work best for individuals, families, businesses and the community at large.

Register for Transportation Choices today at www.SCTPO.com/registration. Learn more about the 2040 Long Range Plan at www.SpaceCoast2040.com. The event is free and open to the public. For more information call (321) 690-6890 or email tpostaff@spacecoasttpo.com.


February 25, 2014

Brevard County Government Hosting Black History Month Celebration

VIERA, Fla. -- Brevard County Government will host its first community celebration of Black History Month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, Feb. 25, at the Government Center, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Building C, Viera.

The drop-in event, open to the public, will include cultural displays, artwork, literature and video presentations that recognize the significant contributions of African Americans. There will also be music and special guests, including artists R.L. Lewis and the Rev. Arthur C. Blatch III. A Soul Food lunch will be available for purchase ($5) from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This event is sponsored by Brevard County Government, Brevard Cultural Alliance, Health First, Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q, Ptani Eastern Caribbean Cuisine, WellCare, Space Coast Human Resource Association and Vitas.

The Brevard County Board of County Commissioners has adopted a resolution recognizing February as Black History Month in Brevard County.


25, 2014

Brevard County Promotes World Spay Day 2014 with Free Spay/Neuter Event

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement Department is offering free spay/neuter services for pet cats of income-qualifying residents at its South Animal Care Center on Wednesday, Feb. 26.

This promotion runs in conjunction with The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International's World Spay Day (Feb. 25,) an annual campaign that shines a spotlight on the importance of spaying and neutering.

Fifty cats of Brevard County residents who qualify as low income (residents of Section 8 Housing, obtain assistance through the County's Community Action Agency or are recipients of food stamps) will be spayed/neutered at the South Animal Care Center, 5100 West Eau Gallie Boulevard, Melbourne on Wednesday, Feb. 26, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

"Our clinic typically provides sterilization surgeries for pets adopted from the shelter, which is thousands of dogs and cats each year," said Animal Services Director Karla Torpy. "In support of World Spay Day, we are reaching out to pet owners who would not otherwise be able to have their cats spayed or neutered due to financial limitations."

"Spaying and neutering dogs and cats leads to better health and improved behavior, and reduces the number of animals entering area shelters," said Torpy. She estimated that Spay Day surgeries could prevent the births of thousands of kittens in the next year.

Pre-registration is required, as there are a limited number of slots for the free service for qualifying cat owners. To make an appointment, contact the South Animal Care Center by calling 253-6608 or email Tracey.Breen@brevardcounty.us.


February 20, 2014

'Find Yourself In Nature' During April 3-13 Expedition in Brevard

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- For eleven days in April, the Space Coast will be host to hikers, bikers, paddlers, horseback riders and more during Expedition Brevard, which runs April 3-13.

The Space Coast of Florida boasts a variety of habitats to explore, from coastal scrub and forested uplands to open prairies and maritime hammocks. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy an amazing diversity of ecosystems during specially planned treks and tours during Expedition Brevard.

Inspired by the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition that completed in April 2012, the Brevard Wildlife Corridor Expedition will feature the active involvement of many expert guides, residents and visitors.

The motto of the Expedition Brevard is "find yourself in nature." The event is designed to build awareness of conservation lands and wildlife corridors in Brevard County, Florida (the Space Coast.)

The Expedition will offer a variety of activities that relate to the natural areas of Brevard County. These activities will appeal to a wide range of interests, ages and fitness levels. Some of the activities include: eco-tours on horseback, by kayak or canoe and fat tire bikes; stand up paddleboarding in the Indian River Lagoon; a nocturnal nature hike; a night critter watch ride; pontoon boat guided excursions; wildlife photography, surf fishing, multi-day off-road biking events and plant identification instruction; oyster mat making for the Indian River Lagoon Program at the Indian River Festival on Saturday, April 12, and much, much more.

The Expedition is being organized by local volunteers and has received support from sponsors and experts on the lands and outdoor recreation of the area, including special support from the Titusville Chamber of Commerce as a partner during the Indian River Festival and the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands program.

Register to participate in multiple events at www.ExpeditionBrevard.com. Follow us on facebook at www.facebook.com/ExpeditionBrevard.

About Brevard Nature Alliance:
The Brevard Wildlife Corridor Expedition is presented by the Brevard Nature Alliance, a voluntary group of individuals and organizations associated for the purpose of raising the awareness of citizens and visitors to the value and importance of the natural resources of Brevard County, Florida. The group is dedicated to serving the community through educational outreach, environmental program development, strategic planning, and the sharing of information and expertise with all interested parties.
The Mission of the Brevard Nature Alliance is to build public awareness and appreciation of the value of Brevard County's natural resources by fostering and promoting ethical nature-based ecotourism.


February 18, 2014

Virtual Business Training Summit To Tackle Issues of Internet-Driven World

VIERA, Fla. -- Brevard County Government will play host to a Spring 2014 Virtual Business Training Summit that focuses on Internet-based business solutions, business/industry expansion and improvement, business start-ups and economic development.

This free summit will be held from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Thursday, March 20.

Internet-based tools and strategies have taken center stage in the world of business and commerce. Through this event, Brevard area businesses will learn how to "thrive and survive" in a fast-changing Internet-driven world.

Just some of the topics participants will learn about are high impact online communications; powerful Internet marketing methods; savvy social media techniques; ways to capture online visibility; and Internet-based tools for economic development.

Experts from The Virtual Solutions Center, GIS Planning, Inc., Grow FL and the Economic Gardening Institute are among the faculty members for this power-packed event.

Attend online (by computer or portable device) or in person at one or more locations being planned in the Brevard area, including Cocoa, Titusville and the FIT campus.

Those who register and attend will also receive the chance to win a $3,500 scholarship from CareerSource Brevard for a Strategic Research Engagement. Go here for this valuable bonus.

The Summit is being hosted by Brevard County Government with the support of area partner organizations, including CareerSource Brevard (formerly Brevard Workforce), onsite hosts (City of Titusville and City of Cocoa) and others.


February 20, 2014

March is "Archeology Month" at Sams House at Pine Island

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- March events at Sams House at Pine Island celebrate National Archeology Month. All events are free, unless otherwise indicated. Donations are accepted.
  • From Ice Age Megafauna to Ancient Peoples of Pine Island - Saturday, March 8, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.: Did you know that mastodons and giant ground sloths once called Pine Island home? Enjoy a presentation on these Ice Age megafauna and then take a short walk to the Native American burial mound where we'll discuss the ancient peoples who lived here.
  • Paleo Plant Hike - Saturday, March 15, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.: Learn about some of the Florida native plants that have been around for ages and were used by very early Native Americans. We'll be outside, completing a 1/2-mile hike on the white loop trail. Bring a picnic lunch if you have time to stay afterward.
  • Prehistoric Peoples of Eastern Florida - Saturday, March 22, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.: Local archeologist and Indian River Anthropological Society President, Elaine Williams, will present on the Prehistoric Peoples of Eastern Florida. How did native people live and adapt to the land? Who were traders and who were farmers?
  • Alternative Household Products - Make and Take - Saturday, March 29, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Make and take natural and safer household products. Join us in the screen room to mix cleaning products such as countertop cleaner and laundry detergent. Bring a few small containers and take home some samples. Recipes will be printed and distributed. Cost of $2 for materials.
  • Sams House and Cabin Tour - Every Thursday and Saturday, 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Tour the inside of the oldest-standing home in Brevard County, the 1875 Sams cabin and the 1888 Sams house. Learn about the Sams Family.
The Sams House at Pine Island is a historical complex and nature center within the 1,000-acre Pine Island Conservation Area. It is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. The Center is located at 6195 N. Tropical Trail in North Merritt Island and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays to Sundays. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


February 19, 2014

U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs Names New National Cemetery in Brevard

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced the names of two new VA national cemeteries planned in Florida -- the Cape Canaveral National Cemetery in Scottsmoor and the Tallahassee National Cemetery in Tallahassee.

"These two new cemeteries are a priority for the growing Veterans' community in Florida," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki. "As VA moves forward with these new cemeteries, Veterans, their spouses and families can have peace of mind knowing that they have a final resting place in a nearby national shrine."

The Cape Canaveral National Cemetery is planned for a 318-acre parcel located in close proximity to U.S.1 in northern Brevard County, approximately two miles from Interstate 95 and 12 miles north of Titusville. The cemetery will serve more than 163,000 Veterans, spouses and their eligible dependents living in the central eastern Florida area. The initial phase of construction will provide more than 17,000 gravesites. VA purchased the property, formerly known as Acosta Groves, for $2.1 million on July 31, 2012.

The Tallahassee National Cemetery is planned for a 250-acre parcel in Leon County,and will serve 83,000 Veterans and their eligible dependents in the Tallahassee area, as well as southwestern Georgia and southeastern Alabama. VA purchased the Tallahassee property for $6.8 million on Aug. 14, 2012.

Veterans with a qualifying discharge, their spouses and eligible dependent children can be buried in a VA national cemetery. Also eligible are military personnel who die on active duty. Other burial benefits available for eligible Veterans, regardless of whether they are buried in a national cemetery or a private cemetery, include a burial flag, a Presidential Memorial Certificate, and a government headstone or marker.

In the midst of the largest expansion since the Civil War, VA operates 131 national cemeteries in 39 states and Puerto Rico and 33 soldiers' lots and monument sites. More than 3.8 million Americans, including Veterans of every war and conflict, are buried in VA's national cemeteries.

Information on VA burial benefits can be obtained from national cemetery offices, from the Internet at www.cem.va.gov, or by calling VA regional offices toll-free at 800-827-1000. To make burial arrangements at any VA national cemetery at the time of need, call the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 800-535-1117.


February 19, 2014

Registration Open for Free Ecology Homeschool Series at Sams House

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Registration is now open for free Homeschool Ecology Study Trips at Sams House at Pine Island. Each program is designed for ages 5 to 12 and is limited to 20 students.
  • Seeds! Diversity and Dispersal Studies in the Woods - Friday, March 14, 10 a.m. to noon: Check out a wide variety of seed types and how they are dispersed in the wild. Study examples of different types of seeds. Hike in the woods and look for seeds and how plants are dispersed. Create an art project to take home.
  • Overland and Into the Water! - Thursday, April 17, 10 a.m. to noon: Observe first hand how small changes in the elevation of our Florida topography makes a difference in the soil types and plants that are found there. Hike from the higher, sandy ridge where the Sams House and Cabin is located, down to the waterline at the Indian River Lagoon overlook. Learn about some of the fish and critters found in and around our waterways.
  • Pollination! It's the Bees Knees! - Friday, May 9, 10 a.m. to noon: As pollinators search for food, forage and nesting sites, they keep our flowers producing fruits, seeds and nuts. Bees and other pollinators are very important to our environment, as well as to our crop production. As a bonus, they give us honey to sweeten our lives, too! Join us for a very special lesson on bees and other pollinators.
Sams House at Pine Island is a historical complex and nature center within the 1,000 acre Pine Island Conservation Area. It is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. The Center is located at 6195 N. Tropical Trail in North Merritt Island and is open Thursdays to Sundays from 9 aa.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


February 19, 2014

Virtual Business Training Summit To Tackle Issues of Internet-Driven World

VIERA, Fla. -- Brevard County Government will play host to a Spring 2014 Virtual Business Training Summit that focuses on Internet-based business solutions, business/industry expansion and improvement, business start-ups and economic development.

This free summit will be held from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Thursday, March 20.

Internet-based tools and strategies have taken center stage in the world of business and commerce. Through this event, Brevard area businesses will learn how to "thrive and survive" in a fast-changing Internet-driven world.

Just some of the topics participants will learn about are high impact online communications; powerful Internet marketing methods; savvy social media techniques; ways to capture online visibility; and Internet-based tools for economic development.

Experts from The Virtual Solutions Center, GIS Planning, Inc., Grow FL and the Economic Gardening Institute are among the faculty members for this power-packed event.

Attend online (by computer or portable device) or in person at one or more locations being planned in the Brevard area, including Cocoa, Titusville and the FIT campus.

Those who register and attend will also receive the chance to win a $3,500 scholarship from CareerSource Brevard for a Strategic Research Engagement. For details and to "save your seat," visit www.BrevardInnovation.com/summit/

The Summit is being hosted by Brevard County Government with the support of area partner organizations, including CareerSource Brevard (formerly Brevard Workforce), onsite hosts (City of Titusville and City of Cocoa) and others.


February 18, 2014

Brevard North Area Parks/Animal Services To Host Canine River Run

TITUSVILLE, FLA.– The Canine River Run will be held at Marina Park, 501 Marina Road, Titusville, on Saturday, March 22, beginning at 9 a.m.

North Area Parks, in partnership with Brevard County Animal Services, will host a Dog Lure Run event at Marina Park. The event will take place in the fenced area on the softball field. The course will be approximately 600 to 800 feet in length. The fee is $2 per run and pre-registration is not required.

All owners of participating canines must provide current vaccination records and all breeds are welcome. Come and join the fun watching your pet's skills and instincts run wild on the luring course. Please call Dan Cook at (321) 633-1904 for additional information.

This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations and is co-sponsored by Brevard County Animal Services. Call (321) 264-5105 for information on other recreation programs in North Brevard.


February 18, 2014

New Hours Effective March 2 for Sams House at Pine Island

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Thanks to tremendous community support, Sams House at Pine Island will be open an additional day.

"Participation has increased 57 percent over the past year and there is increasing demand for the center to be open all weekend," says Education Coordinator Katrina Morrell. Beginning March 2, the new hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday to Sunday.

Sams House at Pine Island is a historical complex and nature sanctuary owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. It is located at 6195 N. Tropical Trail in Merritt Island. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


February 17, 2014

TPO Plans Workshop On Brevard County Transportation Needs Through 2040

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization will hold a workshop from 8 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Feb. 26, to consider long-range transportation needs and issues -- no matter whether it's bicycles, boats, buses or rockets -- in Brevard County.

The Brevard 2040 Transportation Choices Workshop will be held at the Brevard County School Board Office, 2700 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera. The event is free and open to Brevard County residents, elected officials, business leaders, government officials, planners, engineers and consultants and anyone who plans to travel in Brevard during the next 20-plus years.

The workshop will cover areas dealing with the anticipated growth of the county, future modes of transportation and transportation options that work best for individuals, families, businesses and the community at large.

Register for Transportation Choices today at www.SCTPO.com/registration. Learn more about the 2040 Long Range Plan at www.SpaceCoast2040.com. The event is free and open to the public. For more information call (321) 690-6890 or email tpostaff@spacecoasttpo.com.


February 17, 2014

Brevard County Promotes World Spay Day 2014 with Free Spay/Neuter Event

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement Department is offering free spay/neuter services for pet cats of income-qualifying residents at its South Animal Care Center on Wednesday, Feb. 26.

This promotion runs in conjunction with The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International's World Spay Day (Feb. 25,) an annual campaign that shines a spotlight on the importance of spaying and neutering.

Fifty cats of Brevard County residents who qualify as low income (residents of Section 8 Housing, obtain assistance through the County's Community Action Agency or are recipients of food stamps) will be spayed/neutered at the South Animal Care Center, 5100 West Eau Gallie Boulevard, Melbourne on Wednesday, Feb. 26, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

"Our clinic typically provides sterilization surgeries for pets adopted from the shelter, which is thousands of dogs and cats each year," said Animal Services Director Karla Torpy. "In support of World Spay Day, we are reaching out to pet owners who would not otherwise be able to have their cats spayed or neutered due to financial limitations."

"Spaying and neutering dogs and cats leads to better health and improved behavior, and reduces the number of animals entering area shelters," said Torpy. She estimated that Spay Day surgeries could prevent the births of thousands of kittens in the next year.

Pre-registration is required, as there are a limited number of slots for the free service for qualifying cat owners. To make an appointment, contact the South Animal Care Center by calling 253-6608 or email Tracey.Breen@brevardcounty.us.


February 17, 2014

Free Community Festival Planned March 28 & 29 at Isaac Campbell Sr. Park

TITUSVILLE, Fla.—Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Festival will be held at Isaac Campbell, Sr. Park, 701 South St., in Titusville, beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 28, and 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 29.

Friday's activities will include a community meeting and recognition ceremony. Saturday's activities will include music, games and entertainment. This event is free to attend, concessions will be available for purchase.

This event is co-sponsored by the Taking Dominion Now and Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Parks & Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations. For more information, please call Tommy Myers at 264-5040.


February 15, 2014

Brevard County Libraries To Participate In Big Library Read Program

COCOA, Fla. -- Brevard County Libraries will take part in the Big Library Read program. Library card holders will be able to borrow and enjoy the cooking eBook "Keys to the Kitchen" by Food Network star Aida Mollenkamp, starting Feb. 17 and concluding the morning of March 5 by visiting http://brevard.lib.overdrive.com. Patrons will be able to select a lending period of one, two, or three weeks, which begins at the date of checkout.

Big Library Read is an international program that gives libraries and library patrons unlimited simultaneous access to a popular title during the program, creating a virtual, global book club. Interested patrons will be able borrow "Keys to the Kitchen" using a valid library card, and enjoy on all major computers and devices, including iPhone, iPad, Nook, Android phones and tablets, and Kindle without worrying about wait lists or holds. Titles will automatically expire at the end of the lending period. There are no late fees!

Readers are also invited to join a live Facebook chat with the author on Wednesday, Feb. 26 from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Big Library Read program is made possible through a partnership between OverDrive, the leading supplier of eBooks and more to libraries, and Chronicle Books, publisher of Aida Mollenkamp's all-purpose guide to becoming a more adventurous cook. To borrow the eBook version of "Keys to the Kitchen" as part of Big Library Read, patrons can visit http://brevard.lib.overdrive.com.

About OverDrive
OverDrive is a leading multichannel digital distributor of eBooks, digital audiobooks, music and video. We supply a secure lending platform for 27,000 libraries, schools and retailers worldwide with support for all major computers and devices, including iPhone, iPad, Nook, Android phones and tablets, and Kindle. OverDrive has been named to the EContent 100 as a company that matters most in the digital content industry and is a member of the 2012 Technology Fast 500. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland. www.overdrive.com.


February 15, 2014

North Area Parks to Host Free Movie In The Park at Fay Park, March 22

PORT ST. JOHN, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, will host a free Movie In The Park on Saturday, March 22, at Fay Park, 6315 Depot Road, in Port St. John.

The movie will be shown on a giant, 23-foot outdoor movie screen beginning at approximately 8 p.m. The free movie will be "Monster's University" and is rated G. Please check the movie hotline for inclimate weather updates (321) 264-5109.

Patrons are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, food and drinks to enjoy during the movie. Concessions will be available for purchase. Call Mike Herman 264-5105 for additional information.


February 13, 2014

Isaac Campbell Sr. Park Celebrates Black History Heritage Day on Feb. 17

TITUSVILLE - North Brevard Parks and Recreation will host Black History Heritage for ages 6-12 at the Isaac Campbell, Sr. Community Center, 701 South Street in Titusville, on Monday, Feb. 17.

The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Youth will participate in various games such as Bingo, Musical Chairs, Relay Races, 3-Point Shoot Out and African American Trivia. This event is free to attend.

This event is co-sponsored by the North Brevard Youth Coalition and Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Parks & Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations. For more information, please call Tommy Myers at (321) 264-5040.


February 11, 2014

Brevard County Government Hosts Black History Month Celebration

VIERA, Fla. -- Brevard County Government will host a community celebration of Black History Month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, at the Government Center, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera.

The drop-in event, open to the public, will include cultural displays, artwork, literature and video presentations that recognize the significant contributions of African Americans. There will also be music, special guests and recognition of significant cultural contributions. A barbecue lunch will be available for purchase ($5) from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This event is sponsored by Brevard County Government, Brevard Cultural Alliance and Health First.

The Brevard County Board of County Commissioners has adopted a resolution recognizing February as Black History Month in Brevard County.


February 11, 2014

2014 Water Safety Instructor Course offered at McLarty Aquatic Center

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. - A Water Safety Instructor course will be offered April 1-13 at McLarty Park in Rockledge.

Classes will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and final testing is on Sunday, April 13, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. All classes must be attended. Cost will be $250 and must be paid upon successful completion of the skills test at 5 p.m. April 1. Class size is limited, pre-registration is required. Classes will be held at McLarty Aquatic Center, 790 Barton Blvd., Rockledge.

Interested candidates must be 16 years of age, maintain position on back, floating or sculling for 1 minute, tread water for 1 minute and be able to swim 25 yards of freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, sidestroke, elementary backstroke and 15 yards of butterfly.

Upon completion, successful candidates will receive American Red Cross certification as a Water Safety Instructor, and be able to teach swim lesson and water safety programs.

For additional information, contact Claire Cawthon at (321) 633-1874.


February 11, 2014

Transit Services: Local Coordinating Board Holds Public Meeting Feb. 24

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Brevard County Local Coordinating Board for Transportation Disadvantaged Services, established by Chapter 427 of the Florida Statutes, will meet at 10:15 a.m. Monday, Feb. 24, at the Brevard County Government Center, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Building C, 2nd Floor, Space Coast Room, Viera.

Questions pertaining to this meeting should be directed to James Liesenfelt at (321) 635-7815 or e-mail at JimLiesenfelt@brevardcountyus.

If a person desires to appeal any decision made by this board, agency, or commission with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of the proceedings and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which such appeal is to be based.

In accordance with the American with Disabilities Act and Section 28626, FS, persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceedings should notice the Transit Services Department no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting at (321) 635-7815 ext 601.


February 10, 2014

Animal Services Department Hosts Brevard Teacher In-Service Day

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement announces a "first" at its South Animal Care Center.

On Monday, Feb. 17, BASE will host a daylong Brevard County teacher's Professional Development Day, said department Director Karla Torpy. Coordinated by Indialantic Elementary School Teacher Virginia Hamilton, this daylong conference aims to reignite up to 20 participating teachers in their efforts to teach students to have kindness and compassion for all people, animals and the environment. The Aim Humane program will combine character and humane education through Common Core State Standards and prosocial change.

BASE supports the belief that one of the best ways to make a more compassionate world for all living beings is through humane education, Torpy said.

"I think that children have a natural affinity for animals and the environment," said Hamilton, who founded Canine Commandos and is the Education Director for Brevard Aiding Shelter Animals Project, a local non-profit group.

"They're very open to learning, eager to act, and to take ownership of their passions," says Hamilton. "They are interested in not only fixing the problem but in preventing it, and that's really what I think humane and character education can do."

Special guests for the teacher in-service day are Brevard Aiding Shelter Animals Project Directors, Tina Hall from Madison Middle School and Karla Torpy. For more information, contact Hamilton at Hamilton.Virginia@BrevardSchools.org.



February 06, 2014

Brevard County Libraries Unveils Kid-Friendly Digital Collection Website

COCOA, Fla. -- Brevard County Libraries has expanded its services with a new digital collection website experience just for kids. The main digital collection, http://brevard.lib.overdrive.com, now has a separate site to provide a safe and easy browsing experience for kids.

Brevard County Libraries recognizes the need to provide a safe environment for kids to browse library materials. Just as the children's section of the physical library is sectioned off, the same experience is now available on the digital collection. This appealing and user-friendly page contains eBooks and audiobooks. Browsing can be done by subject, reading level or interest level. Check the collection out now, http://brevard.lib.overdrive.com/kids.

The eLibrary for Kids features popular series such as Big Nate, Fancy Nancy and Curious George as well as titles by Rick Riordan and J.K. Rowling.

The eLibrary for Kids site filters the overall digital collection to just show juvenile content, which gets kids to the titles they want faster. This new service, powered by OverDrive, is free for users with a library card. Digital titles are available anytime, anywhere and expire automatically, so no need to worry about late fees.

About OverDrive:
OverDrive is a leading multichannel digital distributor of eBooks, digital audiobooks, music and video. We supply a secure lending platform for 22,000 libraries, schools and retailers worldwide with support for all major computers and devices, including iPhone, iPad, Nook, Android phones and tablets, and Kindle. OverDrive has been named to the EContent 100 as a company that matters most in the digital content industry and is a member of the 2012 Technology Fast 500. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland. www.overdrive.com.


February 05, 2014

2014 Lifeguard Course offered at McLarty Aquatic Center, Rockledge

ROCKLEDGE, Fla - McLarty Aquatic Center in Rockledge will host a Lifeguard course March 4 - 16.

Classes will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with final testing on Sunday, March 16, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. All classes must be attended. The cost is $250 and must be paid upon successful completion of a skills test on March 4 at 5 p.m. Class size is limited, pre-registration is recommended. Course will be held at McLarty Park, 790 Barton Bvld., Rockledge.

Interested candidates must be 15 years of age, able to swim 300 yards non stop doing freestyle or backstroke, complete a timed 10-pound brick retrieval, and tread water for 2 minutes using legs only.

Upon completion, candidates will receive American Red Cross certification in Lifeguard, First Aid and CPR for Professional Rescuer.

For additional information, call Claire Cawthon at (321) 633-1874.


February 04, 2014

EEL's Recreation & Education Advisory Committee meets Feb. 13

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Recreation & Education Advisory Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review proposed recommendations for public access, passive recreation, and environmental education plans on EEL Program-managed conservation lands. Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Brad Manley, EEL Public Access/Volunteer Coordinator at (321) 255-4466 or bmanley@brevardparks.com.


February 04, 2014

EEL Program to hold Selection/Management Committee Meeting on Feb. 11

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


February 04, 2014

Partnership Promotes 'Oyster Gardening' For Indian River Lagoon Restoration

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Brevard Oyster Gardening Project, launched by Brevard Zoo in partnership with Brevard County, is taking action within our own community to restore the Indian River Lagoon ecosystem. Together, the plan is to create, restore and monitor oyster habitats throughout the county with the final goal of rebuilding a sustainable oyster population in the Lagoon.

A single adult oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water per day, helping to keep our estuary waters clean and clear.

We are recruiting residents along the lagoon to deploy suspended oyster habitats from their docks and help monitor their progress weekly.

To become an oyster gardener, the participant needs to live on the lagoon, either on a canal or lagoon front. This opportunity is a weekly time commitment, and participants will need to attend one of our workshops to become educated about the project. At this workshop, you will create your own oyster habitats, be trained on monitoring procedures, and you will receive all of the necessary supplies for your oyster garden.

Workshops will be held at the following locations:

  • Saturday, Feb. 15, 9:30 a.m. to noon, UF/Brevard Extension Office, 3695 Lake Dr., Cocoa.
  • Thursday, Feb. 20, 9:30 a.m. to noon, Barrier Island Center, 8385 S. Highway A1A, Melbourne Beach.
  • Saturday, Feb. 22, noon to 2:30 p.m., Satellite Beach Recreation Park, 1089 South Patrick Drive.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 25, 9:30 a.m. to noon, Trinity Presbyterian Church, 638 S. Patrick Drive, Satellite Beach.
  • Saturday, March 1, 9:30 a.m. to noon, Easter State Florida College, 3865 N. Wickham Road, Melbourne.
  • Saturday, March 8, 9:30 a.m. to noon, Barrier Island Center, 8385 S. highway A1A, Melbourne Beach.
  • Thursday, March 13, 9:30 a.m. to noon, UF/Brevard Extension Office, 3695 Lake Dr., Cocoa.
For participants who don't live on the water, there's also an Oyster Garden Buddy Program. The buddies will assist oyster gardeners in their area, maintaining and monitoring the gardens. Those interested in becoming "Oyster Buddies" will also need to attend one of the scheduled workshop for training on monitoring procedures.

The goal is to introduce one million oysters into the lagoon, which could effectively filter 50 million gallons per day and more than 18 billion gallons per year. If interested in becoming an oyster gardener or oyster buddy, contact Sammy Anderson at SAnderson@brevardzoo.org or (321) 254-9453, ext. 284.


February 03, 2014

EEL Program to hold Procedures Committee Meeting on Feb. 6

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Procedures Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 2-4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of the meeting is to review policies and procedures of the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.



January 30, 2014

Valentine's Day Promotion Encourages Pet Adoptions at Animal Care Centers

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Animal Services & Enforcement Department invites members of the public to show some love to sheltered dogs, cats and rabbits at its two Animal Care Centers by participating in a special Valentine's Day adoption promotion from Feb. 9 through Feb. 15.

"Do something really special this Valentine's Day," BASE Director Karla Torpy said. "Save a life right now and you will be rewarded with a lifetime of unconditional love."

The County is reducing the adoption fee for dogs, cats and rabbits to half price during the week of Valentine's Day and further reducing the adoption fee to $14 for all adoptable animals on Feb. 14. The adoption fee covers an animal's first round of vaccinations, heartworm testing for dogs or feline leukemia testing for cats, microchip identification, spaying or neutering and a County license tag. The regular adoption fees are $70 for cats and $80 for dogs.

The public can visit adoptable animals at the Shelter on Thursdays through Tuesdays from noon to 6 p.m. The South Animal Care Center is at 5100 West Eau Gallie Blvd., just west of Interstate 95 and the Renninger's Super Flea Market and Farmer's Market in Melbourne. The North Animal Care Center is at 2605 Flake Road, north end of Dunn Airport in Titusville. Shelter hours are noon to 6 p.m. Thursday through Tuesday. Shelters are closed on Wednesday.

For more information, call the South Animal Care Center at 321-253-6608 or the North Animal Care Center at 321-264-5119. Adoptable animals can also be viewed on the web at www.brevardcounty.us/animalservices.


January 28, 2014

February is 'Pioneer Month' at Sams House at Pine Island

February is "Pioneer Month" at Sams House at Pine Island. Events throughout the month celebrate life in Florida during and after the Civil War.

The highlight of the month is the 3rd Annual Pioneer Day on Saturday, February 8th, from 10 am to 4 pm. Pioneer Day includes live music, food, living history demonstrations, never-before seen historic clothing and artifact displays, crafts fair, fresh produce, kids crafts and games, educational exhibits, and historic house and cabin tours. Pioneer Day is a free event, with a suggested donation of $1 per car for parking.

All events are free and open to the public, including:

  • Melbourne's Logging Era 1912-1932, Saturday, February 1st, 10:30 am to Noon: Melbourne Historian Ed Vosakta will present a program on Melbourne's first big industry, which, in 1912, ushered the small, quiet, riverside town into the industrial age. Vosatka's book, Melbourne's Logging Era: 1912-1932, is part of Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series. It will be available for purchase.
  • Florida in the Civil War, Saturday, February 15th, 10:30 am to 11:45 am: Robert Taylor, Ph.D., will discuss how Florida's role in the Civil War is often downplayed, neglected, or ignored altogether. This is unfortunate because the Sunshine State played a key role in the struggle and gave freely of its resources, natural and human. In many ways, Florida was a microcosm of the greater Confederate experience during the war.
  • Recycling Pioneer Style, Saturday, February 22nd, 1 pm to 2 pm: Diana Sageser, former living history interpreter at Old Cowtown Museum in Wichita, Kansas, will discuss how pioneer women used and reused fabric for all types of projects. Learn about sunbonnets, quilts, and more at this unique Pioneer Program.
  • Sams House and Cabin Tour, every Thursday and Saturday, 3 pm to 3:30 pm: Tour the inside of the oldest standing home in Brevard County, the 1875 Sams Cabin and the 1888 Sams House and learn about the Sams Family.

Sams House at Pine Island is located at 6195 N. Tropical Trail in Merritt Island. The historic complex is located within the 1,000-acre Pine Island Conservation Area, which is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Lands Program. More information is available by calling (321) 449-4720 or visiting www.facebook.com/samshousepineisland.


January 28, 2014

Transportation CHOICES Workshop
Please share this invitation and RSVP HERE

PRINT & SHARE FLYER WITH DETAILS

Wednesday, February 26th — 8:30am - 12:00 noon

  • Future Economic growth scenarios will be presented including:
    • Intermodal Networks
    • Multimodal Connections
    • High Tech Lifestyle
  • Your feedback will shape the economic growth and transportation vision for Brevard, and
  • This vision will be used to identify and fund transportation improvements for the next decade.


January 28, 2014

Brevard County Residents Ride Free on Friday, Jan. 31

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Still looking for a New Year's resolution? Brevard County residents can resolve to try out their local bus service, starting with a free ride on any of Space Coast Area Transit's fixed routes on Friday, Jan. 31.

Prospective riders must print a ticket from RideSCAT.com and present the ticket to the bus operator to board for free. ReThink, a program of the Florida Department of Transportation that promotes transportation options to commuters, has partnered with Space Coast Area Transit and Brevard Workforce to launch the first "Resolve to reThink Your Commute," which is set to be an annual event.

The event will also mark the official launch of Route 7, now serving the Rockledge/Viera area. According to Jim Liesenfelt, Director of Space Coast Transit, "This expansion serves numerous employers, large and small, including Brevard Workforce, a place where people come to learn business skills and to set out on a career path, to find employment and keep our economy going strong."

The event will begin with a kick-off ceremony at 10 a.m. at Brevard Workforce, 297 Barnes Boulevard in Rockledge. Community leaders, including Brevard County Manager Howard Tipton, Space Coast Area Transit Director Jim Liesenfelt, and Brevard Workforce President Lisa Rice, will speak about the economic, business and environmental benefits of riding transit. In addition, Julie Bond, Program Manager at USF's National Center for Transit Research, will award Space Coast Area Transit with their national designation as a "Best Workplace for Commuters."

To print out your ticket to ride for free, visit RideSCAT.com. For more information about the event, contact reThink at 1-866-610-RIDE (7433.)


January 24, 2014

Pets can Run Wild at Furry Friends Of February Canine Event and Craft Show

PORT ST. JOHN, Fla.— The Furry Friends of February Canine Event & Craft Show will be held at the Port St. John Community Center, 6650 Corto Road, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1.

Canine lovers will have the opportunity to let their pet's skills and instincts run wild in a Dog Lure Course, Cake Walk for Canines and door prize raffles. The fee is $5 per participating canine and all owners of participating canines must provide current vaccination records. Crafters and pet-friendly vendors are invited to purchase a space at a cost of $25 plus tax per space. Please call Dan Cook or Myra Rose at (321) 633-1904 for additional information.

This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations and is co-sponsored by FPL and the SPCA. Call (321) 264-5105 for information on other recreation programs in North Brevard.


January 24, 2014

Never-Before-Seen Artifacts and Historic Clothing to Highlight Pioneer Day

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Pioneer Day on Saturday, Feb. 8, at Sams House at Pine Island is sure to please history buffs with displays of never-before-seen artifacts and historic clothing. Sams descendants and relatives, including local residents Fred Woelk, Sandee Natowich, and Cindy Whalin, have graciously shared these items.

Display Coordinator Diana Sageser is an expert on historic clothing and artifacts. She says, "The clothing in this exhibit show wear, but they also show us needlework techniques used by women in the late 1880s and early 1900s. We get a feel for what ladies could afford, and sometimes we see items that were made over, or saved from earlier times."

The display includes several white clothing pieces, which were worn by younger women as a sign of innocence, an evening bodice made in the Pouter Pigeon fashion, and several mourning outfits.

Sageser is donating a parasol from her own collection, which was owned by Betty Pfeiffer, wife of Orange County Chief Circuit Judge Frederick Pfeiffer.

Handmade jewelry, including a brooch made from the hair of a dead loved one, a cigarette holder with teeth marks, a quilt, wooden and metal tools, housewares, and paper items such as gas-ration cards and postcards, will also be on display.

Pioneer Day runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is free, with a suggested donation of $1 per car for parking. Sams House at Pine Island is located at 6195 N. Tropical Trail in Merritt Island. The historic complex includes the oldest-standing home in Brevard County, the 1875 Sams Cabin. The property is located within the 1,000-acre Pine Island Conservation Area, which is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. More information is available by calling (321) 449-4720 or at www.mipioneerday.com or www.facebook.com/pioneerdaymerrittisland.


January 22, 2014

Sign-ups Announced for Spring Adult Sports Leagues in North Brevard

TITUSVILLE/SHARPES, Fla.— Registration has been scheduled for spring leagues for adult Men's, Women's and Coed softball teams, as well as flag football, sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations.

The men's softball league will be held on Thursdays, beginning March 20, at 6:30 p.m., at a fee of $264 per team.

The women's softball league will be held on Mondays, beginning March 17, at 6:30 p.m., at a fee of $292 per team.

The co-ed softball league will be held on Wednesdays, beginning March 12, at 6:30 p.m., at a fee of 342 per team.

All softball leagues will be held at Chain of Lakes, 2111 Chain of Lakes Drive in Titusville. Registration for all softball leagues will begin Feb. 3.

The adult flag football league will be held Sundays, beginning March 16, at 9 a.m., at a fee of $492, at the Space Coast Communities Sports Complex, 662 Canaveral Groves Boulevard in Sharpes. Registration for adult flag football will begin Feb. 24.

For more information on this and other athletic opportunities in North Brevard, please call (321) 264-5105.


January 22, 2014

Vendors Sought for 9th Annual Fox Lake Spring Festival of Crafts

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – The Ninth Annual Fox Lake Spring Festival of Crafts will be held at Fox Lake Park in Titusville on Saturday, April 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Only handmade and homemade crafts will be offered for sale at the event, which is sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations. Registration for crafter spots will begin Jan. 31. Please be advised there has been a fee increase for crafter spots, outside open area is $25 plus tax and under pavilion is $35 plus tax. Concessions will be available for purchase and admission is free.

Applications for food vendors will be available beginning Feb. 3, at the North Area Parks Operations Office, 475 North Williams Avenue, in Titusville, or by email at jill.hill@brevardparks.com. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Selected food vendors will be notified by Monday, March 3. Vendor selection is based on, but not limited to, application submittal date, price of product(s) to the public, proper licensing, and appropriateness of the product(s) to the nature of the event. Special consideration is given to not-for-profit service organizations. The County reserves the right to limit vendors to one or two vendors per product.

There is no cost to submit an application for food vendors. A $50 plus tax, non-refundable, special event fee, is due from vendors selected by Friday, March 28. For more information about this and other recreation programs in North Brevard, call (321) 264-5105.


January 22, 2014

February is 'Pioneer Month' at Sams House at Pine Island

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- February is "Pioneer Month" at Sams House at Pine Island. Events throughout the month celebrate life in Florida during and after the Civil War.

The highlight of the month is the 3rd Annual Pioneer Day on Saturday, February 8th, from 10 am to 4 pm. Pioneer Day includes live music, food, living history demonstrations, never-before seen historic clothing and artifact displays, crafts fair, fresh produce, kids crafts and games, educational exhibits, and historic house and cabin tours. Pioneer Day is a free event, with a suggested donation of $1 per car for parking. All events are free and open to the public, including:

  • Melbourne's Logging Era 1912-1932, Saturday, February 1st, 10:30 am to Noon: Melbourne Historian Ed Vosakta will present a program on Melbourne's first big industry, which, in 1912, ushered the small, quiet, riverside town into the industrial age. Vosatka's book, Melbourne's Logging Era: 1912-1932, is part of Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series. It will be available for purchase.
  • Florida in the Civil War, Saturday, February 15th, 10:30 am to 11:45 am: Robert Taylor, Ph.D., will discuss how Florida's role in the Civil War is often downplayed, neglected, or ignored altogether. This is unfortunate because the Sunshine State played a key role in the struggle and gave freely of its resources, natural and human. In many ways, Florida was a microcosm of the greater Confederate experience during the war.
  • Recycling Pioneer Style, Saturday, February 22nd, 1 pm to 2 pm: Diana Sageser, former living history interpreter at Old Cowtown Museum in Wichita, Kansas, will discuss how pioneer women used and reused fabric for all types of projects. Learn about sunbonnets, quilts, and more at this unique Pioneer Program.
  • Sams House and Cabin Tour, every Thursday and Saturday, 3 pm to 3:30 pm: Tour the inside of the oldest standing home in Brevard County, the 1875 Sams Cabin and the 1888 Sams House and learn about the Sams Family.
Sams House at Pine Island is located at 6195 N. Tropical Trail in Merritt Island. The historic complex is located within the 1,000-acre Pine Island Conservation Area, which is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Lands Program. More information is available by calling (321) 449-4720 or visiting www.facebook.com/samshousepineisland.


January 21, 2014

Brevard County Rest Area Site of Multi-Agency Public Safety Exercise

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The second phase of a three-part multi-agency emergency response and public safety exercise involving a mass-contamination/exposure scenario will get underway Thursday morning at the Interstate 95 rest area south of Palm Bay.

Part One of the exercise was held Jan. 8. Part Two will begin at 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 23. Part Three of the exercise will be conducted at the Brevard County Emergency Operations Center in Rockledge on Wednesday, Feb. 19.

WHO: Participating agencies include Brevard County Office of Emergency Management, Brevard County Fire Rescue and Brevard County Sheriff's Office, Florida Highway Patrol, Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Department of Health in Brevard County, American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Florida Department of Health Bureau of Radiation Control, Florida Division of Emergency Management, and regional partners, including St. Lucie County, Indian River County, Martin County and Palm Beach County.

WHAT: A public safety drill exercising reception center capabilities as part of a planned response by Brevard County emergency services organizations to an emergency situation at the St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant.

WHERE: Northbound rest area on Interstate 95, just south of the Malabar Road northbound exit at mile marker 168. (It is the first rest area coming into the county from the south on I-95.) The rest area will remain open to the public.

WHY: Brevard County is within 50 miles of the St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant and as such, would host and shelter evacuees from areas surrounding the plant, in the event of a radiological incident. As part of the emergency preparedness planning process, Brevard County must demonstrate the ability to perform certain functions on a biennial basis. This year's drill will demonstrate to FEMA (the federal agency that provides oversight to the nuclear power plant contingency planning process) Brevard's response capabilities involving traffic control, public health and sheltering, emergency worker monitoring and decontamination, emergency vehicle and equipment monitoring and decontamination, site security and property registration.

The St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant is located on Hutchinson Island, about 4 miles east-northeast of the City of Port St. Lucie. The facility is owned and operated by Florida Power & Light Co.

VISUALS: Hazmat teams in gear, decontamination tent, portal monitors, handheld radiological detection equipment, Florida Department of Health and Red Cross workers, responder equipment, vehicles and trailers, and the bomb squad robot.

MEDIA: Interview opportunities and on-scene escort will be arranged during the exercise.


January 16, 2014

Brevard County Ocean Rescue hosting tryouts for 50 seasonal lifeguard jobs

Brevard County Ocean Rescue will host the first of two open tryouts next week for seasonal lifeguards, looking to fill at least 50 positions. Those hired on as ocean lifeguards will work from March to October this year.

Those trying out should be at Rockledge High School by 7 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25. A second tryout will be on March 22. Candidates must be at the swimming pool by 7 a.m. or they will not be permitted to test. While no lifeguarding experience is necessary, candidates must be over the age of 16 on the day of the tryout and possess strong swimming skills. All candidates must bring a valid driver's License, Social Security card, appropriate swim attire, a towel and running shoes.

Candidates will be required to swim 500 yards (20 lengths of the pool) in less than 10 minutes, complete a 2-mile run on a track in under 20 minutes and perform a physical agility test that includes push-ups. Advanced registration is not required, however applicants are reminded that testing will begin promptly and anyone arriving after testing begins will not be permitted to try out.

If selected, completion of the hiring process is dependent on the candidate's ability to pass a background test and successful completion of Ocean Rescue's paid training academy. The starting pay for ocean lifeguards is $9.46/hour.

For additional information on the tryouts and Brevard County Ocean Rescue, please visit the department's page at www.brevardfire.com or contact the Ocean Rescue staff at 321-633-2056.


January 13, 2014

11th Annual Sea Oats Sale Underway; Quantities Limited

VIERA, Fla. – It is time again to pre-purchase sea oats for dune planting through the annual sea oats sale offered by Brevard County's Natural Resources Management Department and Keep Brevard Beautiful Inc.

Liner size sea oats are for sale in trays of 96 for $48 while supplies last. Quantities are limited this year so please order early. Sea oats must be ordered and paid for by Friday, Jan. 31, and will be available for pickup on Saturday, Feb. 8.

Sea oats are native to Brevard's coastal communities and stabilize sand quickly by developing an extensive root and rhizome system that holds onto sand and slows erosion. Sea oats also have the ability to build dunes, as the grassy foliage and tall seed plumes trap windblown sand, which builds up at the plant base and stimulates the plants to grow taller. The dunes that are formed are an important feature of our coastal ecosystem, as they provide habitat for wildlife and protect upland property during wind and storm events.

For more information, call Paula Berntson at (321) 633-2016 ext. 52431, e-mail paula.berntson@brevardcounty.us or visit the following link: www.brevardcounty.us/docs/default-source/natural-resources-documents/2014-sea-oats-info.pdf?sfvrsn=4.


January 13, 2014

Promise in Brevard hosts Scrub Jay 5K at Chain of Lakes in Titusville

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Promise in Brevard (PROMISE) will host its 2nd Annual Scrub Jay 5K Run/Walk and Duathlon, Sunday, Jan. 26, at the Chain of Lakes in Titusville.

The Scrub Jay 5K Run/Walk will begin at 7:30 a.m. and is open to everyone.

The Duathlon, which is a run/bike/run sprint, is a USAT-sanctioned event and will begin at 8:30 a.m. Technical support will be provided throughout the day by RaceSmith, Running Zone and Revolutions Cyclery.

All proceeds from this event will benefit Promise in Brevard, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building a unique housing development for young adults with special needs. Promise will be home to approximately 100 residents and will be built on 39 acres of land in West Melbourne on Norfolk Parkway. Plans include a horse stables for a therapeutic riding program, as well as vocational training and employment opportunities throughout Promise-based businesses, such as an organic garden and nursery, farmers market, thrift store and the Promise Café & Bakery.

Promise has partnered with the Brevard Nature Alliance during its 17th Annual Birding and Wildlife Festival, which attracts people from all over the world, to promote awareness of individuals with special needs. The festival will be Jan. 22-27. The festival will provide racers plenty of opportunities to enjoy an array of other great activities, while in the area.

To learn more about Promise, www.promiseinbrevard.com.

To register for the ScrubJay 5K and Duathlon event, visit www.scrubjay5k.com. A festival program can be found by visiting www.spacecoastbirdingandwildlifefestival.org.

Event Details:
Sunday, Jan. 26:

  • 5K Run /Walk begins at 7:30 a.m.
  • Cost is $25 prior to Jan. 24 or $30 the day of the race.
  • Sprint Duathlon Run 5K/12.4-mile Bike/5K Run begins at 8:30 a.m.
  • Cost is $40 prior to race day or $50 on the day of the race.
Promise would like to give a special thanks to its race sponsors:
  • Parrish Medical Center in Titusville
  • Gray Robinson Attorneys at Law in Melbourne
  • Florida Today
  • Viera Company
  • All Service Graphics in Melbourne
  • The Avenues – Lennar Homes
  • Dixie Crossroads Seafood and Grill
  • BrightHouse Networks
  • Health First
  • Merrill Lynch in Viera
  • UBS – The Starky Group
  • Marriott Courtyard and Residence Inn in Melbourne
  • Quality Inn Kennedy Space Center in Titusville
  • Pizza Gallery and Grill


January 10, 2014

Space Coast Area Transit: Bus Service halted for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Area Transit has announced the following change to its fixed route bus service for the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr Day:

Monday, Jan. 20: The fixed route bus service will NOT be operating.

For additional information, call the bus information line at (321) 633-1878, or log onto wwwRideSCATcom.


January 06, 2014

Brevard County Site of 3-Part Multi-Agency Public Safety Exercise

VIERA, Fla. -- Brevard County's Interstate 95 rest area south of Palm Bay will be the site of a three-part multi-agency emergency response and public safety exercise that involves a mass-contamination/exposure scenario.

Part One of the exercise begins at the rest area at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8. Part Two is scheduled for 8 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 23. Part Three of the exercise will be conducted at the Brevard County Emergency Operations Center in Rockledge on Wednesday, Feb. 19.

WHO: Participating agencies include Brevard County Office of Emergency Management, Brevard County Fire Rescue and Brevard County Sheriff's Office, Florida Highway Patrol, Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Department of Health in Brevard County, American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Florida Department of Health Bureau of Radiation Control, Florida Division of Emergency Management, and regional partners, including St. Lucie County, Indian River County, Martin County and Palm Beach County.

WHAT: A public safety drill exercising reception center capabilities as part of a planned response by Brevard County emergency services organizations to an emergency situation at the St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant.

WHERE: Northbound rest area on Interstate 95, just south of the Malabar Road northbound exit at mile marker 168. (It is the first rest area coming into the county from the south on I-95.) The rest area will remain open to the public.

WHY: Brevard County is within 50 miles of the St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant and as such, would host and shelter evacuees from areas surrounding the plant, in the event of a radiological incident. As part of the emergency preparedness planning process, Brevard County must demonstrate the ability to perform certain functions on a biennial basis. This year's drill will demonstrate to FEMA (the federal agency that provides oversight to the nuclear power plant contingency planning process) Brevard's response capabilities involving traffic control, public health and sheltering, emergency worker monitoring and decontamination, emergency vehicle and equipment monitoring and decontamination, site security and property registration.

The St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant is located on Hutchinson Island, about 4 miles east-northeast of the City of Port St. Lucie. The facility is owned and operated by Florida Power & Light Co.

VISUALS: Hazmat teams in gear, decontamination tent, portal monitors, handheld radiological detection equipment, Florida Department of Health and Red Cross workers, responder equipment, vehicles and trailers, and the bomb squad robot.

MEDIA: Interview opportunities and on-scene escort will be arranged during the exercise.


January 02, 2014

Fla. Dept. of Health in Brevard County sees Spike in Influenza Activity

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Florida Department of Health in Brevard County has received reports of Influenza cases from local hospitals, and has been receiving more and more reports of cases from the private physicians and laboratories. Some of the reported cases are in critical or serious condition. Influenza kills on an average approximately 36,000 people in the United States each year with 200,000 - 300,000 hospitalizations annually.

It is important for those who have not been vaccinated for Influenza to do so as soon as possible. Most of our reported Influenzas are 2009 H1N1 influenza, which is covered in the vaccine. It is not too late to get a flu shot.

The Department of Health in Brevard County recommends that all individuals six months of age and older receive the flu vaccination each year. It is especially important for pregnant women to be vaccinated due to the increased risk of complications associated with contracting the flu while pregnant. The flu vaccination is safe and will protect the mother, the unborn child, and will also help protect babies during the first months after birth.

Additional flu prevention steps include washing your hands often, keeping your hands away from your face and covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing and coughing. Symptoms of the flu include headache, fever, severe cough, runny nose or body aches. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see your primary care provider immediately for guidance on treatment. If you need further information, contact the Florida Department of Health in Brevard County, Epidemiology section at (321) 454-7101.


December 30, 2013

North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation meets Jan. 9 in Titusville

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation will hold its next monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9, in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Ave. in Titusville. The public is invited to attend.

The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center-North. For questions call Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.

If a person desires to appeal any decision made by this commission with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of this proceeding and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of this proceeding is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which any such appeal is to be based. Section 286.0105, Florida Statutes.

In accordance with the Americans and Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, Florida Statutes, persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notice Parks and Recreation North Area no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting by contacting Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


December 23, 2013

Enchanted Forest Sanctuary in Titusville Kicks 2014 Off With Full Calendar

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary invites you to Explore the Great Outdoors through a variety of activities offered throughout January. The sanctuary is located at 444 Columbia Blvd. in Titusville.

Activities in January include:

Guided Nature Hikes, every Saturday, 10 a.m.: A 45-minute, interpretive hike offered every Saturday on the trails of the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. Bring hat, water and walking shoes. No reservations needed. Groups of 5 or more, please RSVP. For more information, please call (321) 264-5185.

Volunteer Orientation - Saturday, Jan. 4, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.; Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.: The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is looking for dynamic individuals with a passion for the environment. Come learn about the various volunteer opportunities available. For more information, please call (321) 264-5185.

Sanctuary School for Homeschoolers - Friday, Jan. 10, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Tracks and Scat - You don't always see the animal, but sometimes you find signs that it was there. Learn how to identify these signs. Designed for ages 7-10. Registration required by calling (321) 264-5185.

Volunteer Workshop -- Basic Birding - Saturday, Jan. 11, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Volunteers are encouraged to join Naturalist Joe Swingle for this exciting workshop. Observe Central Florida birds and learn basic bird identification. Please register by calling (321) 264-5185.

Friends of Enchanted Forest - Thursday, Jan. 16, 6 p.m.: Friends Annual Meeting – All members attendance requested to discuss the 2014 plans. For more info, please call (321) 264-5185.

Photography Club - Saturday, Jan. 18, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.: Program for all levels of photography. View photographs and learn helpful tips. This program is free and reservations are not required.

Forest Funday for children - Sunday, Jan. 19, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Program on Trees of the Forest. Come enjoy a Sanctuary Search (non-collecting scavenger hunt) and art project. This program is free and fun for all ages.

Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival - Jan. 22-27: Events include guided hikes, birding, presentations and more. Register through spacecoastbirdingandwildlifefestival.org.


December 23, 2013

Barrier Island Center Invites Brevard to start New Year on the Beach

MELBOURNE BEACH, Fla. – The Barrier Island Center, South Beaches Region, kicks off New Year's 2014 with a beach cleanup followed by a calendar chock full of activities, including:

Beach Cleanup - Thursday, Jan. 2, at 1 p.m.: Start the New Year off right by giving back to the beaches that give us so much.

"Out of the Ashes" Coconut Point Sanctuary Prescribed Fire Walk - Friday, Jan. 3, at 10 a.m.: Join BIC land managers to learn how controlled burns are an essential tool for the EEL Program to renew habitat, protecting biodiversity. Meet at Juan Ponce De Leon Beach Park, 4000 South Highway A1A, Melbourne Beach. Call to enroll.

Children's Author and Touch Tank - Saturday, Jan. 4, at 11 a.m.: Join award-winning children's author Kenda Swartz Pepper for a reading, song, and eco-art activity to connect children with caring for the Earth and themselves. Then, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., explore our "sea stars" touch tank. Copies of Well Earth Well Me! will be available for a cash donation of $14. Call to enroll.

Healthy Holistic Habits - Sunday, Jan. 12, at 12 p.m.: Tim Spencer Behrendt, artist, musician, and co-founder of Shawangunk Nature Preserve, will be sharing eight habits to embrace to improve your well-being.

Improving Your Beach Photography - Saturday, Jan. 11, at 3 p.m.: Vince Lamb, renowned nature photographer, will teach you how to improve your beach photography followed by a walk on the beach to practice. Beginning photographers are invited. Bring smart phones, point-and-shoot cameras or single lens reflex cameras and beach footwear. Call to enroll.

Surf Fishing 101 - Tuesday, Jan. 14, and Surf Fishing 102 - Tuesday, Jan. 21, at 2 p.m.: Surf Fishing 101 is "the first step" introductory classroom clinic followed by Surf Fishing 102 "putting it all together," with a surf fishing demonstration on the beach. Cost $28 for both sessions. Call to enroll.

Oyster Mat Making - Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 10 a.m.: Help the the Lagoon get into shape for the New Year by creating mats with the Brevard Zoo to restore critical oyster reef habitat.

Oyster Gardening Workshop - Saturday, Jan. 18, at 9:30 a.m.: Do you live on the Indian River Lagoon, and are you concerned about water quality? Then join the Brevard Zoo to build and deploy oyster cages from your docks. Call to enroll.

Woven Seashell Treasures Wreath - Saturday, Jan. 18, at 2 p.m.: Join Peggy Spencer Behrendt, artist, musician and co-founder of Shawangunk Nature Preserve to replace your holiday decor with a beautiful, water-themed burlap wreath. Cost $22, includes materials, but bring a few of your found seashore treasures to integrate if you like. Call to enroll.

Little Hatchlings "Migration Station" - Wednesday, Jan. 22, at 10 a.m.: Learn about bird migration, take a hike to look for bird food sources and resting places, and use your creative skills to make a bird feeder. For children ages 2-5, accompanied by adult. Call to enroll.

"My Brevard Yard" Workshop - Friday, Jan. 24, from 9 a.m. to noon: Join UF extension to learn how to grow a healthy, IRL-friendly landscape. Includes hands-on lesson in applying fertilizer, taking a soil sample, and setting up a micro-irrigation system with timer. Cost $15, enroll at www.eventbrite.com.

"Birds of a Feather - Hike Together" at Maritime Hammock - Saturday, Jan. 25, at 8 a.m.: Local ornithologist and Fla. Tech Assistant Professor Dr. Christin Pruett will lead you on an exploration looking for birds of prey in sprawling live oaks and listening for song birds calling from the canopy. Enroll at www.spacecoastbirdingandwildlifefestival.org.

Star Gazing in the Sanctuary - Saturday, Jan. 25, at 6:30 p.m.: Witness the birth of distant worlds and observe our Earth's "kin" with the Melbourne Astronomical Society.

Pelican Island Kayak Paddle - Sunday, Jan. 26, from 9 a.m. to non: Paddle around Pelican Island to view this thriving rookery! Meet at Spratt Creek launch south of Pelican Island Viewing Area on Jungle Trail. Visit www.fws.gov/pelicanisland/visiting/pi_map.html for directions. Tandem or single kayaks available. Children under 12 must paddle tandem with adult. Cost $38 per person. Limited to 20 people/10 kayaks. Call to enroll.

Eco-Film: Disney Nature's "Earth" - Saturday, Jan. 25, at 2 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 26, at 2 p.m.: Follow three of Earth's most majestic animals through migrations, seasonal changes, and human disturbances, in this beautiful film.

River Fishing - Tuesday, Jan. 28, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Single classroom clinic with local fishing pro John Detmer. Cost $23. Call to enroll.

The Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Barrier Island Center is centrally located in heart of the Archie Carr Refuge in South Melbourne Beach at 8385 South Highway A1A. The Barrier Island Center operates in collaboration with the Sea Turtle Conservancy to provide hands-on educational experiences for visitors to the Refuge through interactive exhibits, nature films, special programs and a 1-mile long "dune-to-lagoon" nature trail. Admission is free to the education center, which is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.


December 23, 2013

Plans Underway for Third Annual Pioneer Day on Feb. 8

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Sams House at Pine Island and St. Luke's Episcopal Church will once again partner for Pioneer Day on Feb. 8, 2014.

Pioneer Day is a free event at Sams House at Pine Island (suggested donation of $1 per car for parking.) Events are ongoing from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and include:

  • Crafts Fair/Farmers Market, featuring unique hand-crafted items, fresh produce, and other food products
  • Living History Demonstrations and Educational Exhibits
  • Florida Folk Music by Chris Kahl and the Celery City String Band
  • Historic House and Cabin Tours by costumed guides
  • Display of Sams Family Artifacts (never-before seen)
  • Children's Pioneer Crafts and Games
  • Guided hikes
The Center is located at 6195 N. Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile mile west of State Road 3 and 5 miles north of State Road 528. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.

This year, St. Luke's Episcopal Church will focus on "Modern Pioneers." Events are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and are free, unless otherwise noted. They include:

  • 10:30 a.m. Demonstration by Highwayman artist R.L. Lewis
  • Self-guided tours of historic chapel and cemetery
  • Soup Lunch ($5 a bowl)
  • 1 p.m. Presentation by Rosemary McGill, "A Man Named Justice, a Lady Named Liberty, and a Land Called Freedom." McGill is the Multicultural and Legacy Specialist at Eastern Florida State College.
  • Afternoon chat with Molly Thomas on the Brevard County Historic Cemetery Recording Project. Thomas is an Anthropologist and Historian working with the Florida Public Archeology Network.
  • Old-Fashioned Fish Fry ($9 advanced purchase tickets for 4 p.m., 5 p.m., and 6 p.m. seatings)
  • 7 p.m. Florida Folk Musicians Michael Koppy and Frank Lindamood ($10)
St. Luke's Episcopal Church is located at 5555 N. Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, just 1.1 miles south of Sams House at Pine Island. Tickets for the Fish Fry and Florida Folk Musicians concert go on sale Jan. 8 by calling (321) 452-5260.

Pioneer Day is held near the birthday of John Sams, a citrus-grower and the first Superintendent of Brevard County Schools. Mr. Sams built the oldest standing home in Brevard County (circa 1875). The Sams Cabin is now a museum within the 1,000-acre Pine Island Conservation Area, which is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Sams also helped to build St. Luke's Chapel in 1888 and is buried in the church cemetery. Information on events at both locations may be found by visiting www.facebook.com/pioneerdaymerrittisland.


December 20, 2013

Child Care Room Available at Cuyler Community Center in Mims

MIMS, Fla. — Child care program opportunities are available at Cuyler Community Center, located at 2329 Harry T. Moore Ave., in Mims.

Anyone interested in occupying a room to operate a child care program should contact Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105 or terry.lane@brevardparks.com by Tuesday, Dec. 31.


December 19, 2013

Brevard County Ocean Rescue wins Beach Patrol of the Year award

Brevard County Ocean Rescue has been named the 2013 Beach Patrol of the Year by the Florida Beach Patrol Chiefs Association.

This prestigious honor, which has been awarded annually since 1993, is bestowed upon the best agencies in the lifeguard profession in the state of Florida. This is the first time Brevard County Ocean Rescue has won the award, and the department earned the honor this year due to outstanding performance and the many improvements that have been made to ensure the beaches in Brevard County are safe.

Notable achievements this year include:

  • Construction of four new enclosed lifeguard towers. These provide a better vantage point for water observation, better visible presence -- the hope is to encourage beachgoers to congregate near monitored beach areas -- while also offering the lifeguards protection from the elements.
  • Awarding of an EMS grant that allowed for the purchase of laptops that will enable the lifeguards to access a variety of online training information as well as provide the department with important medical and statistical documentation from the stations.
Brevard County Ocean Rescue Beach Patrol

James Scala, one of the FBPCA board members whose vote Wednesday helped determine the award recipient, said it was a competitive vote between agencies that were deserving of it for different reasons.

"What I observed about Brevard, there is so much visible progress and development in the last few years that it's hard not to recognize and applaud the effort," Scala said. "It's not just an award for your ocean rescue, it's an award for your entire county and the leaders who recognize the importance of what ocean lifeguards do in protecting citizens and patrons who visit your beaches."

Scala said Brevard Ocean Rescue Chief Jeff Scabarozi and Assistant Chief Eisen Witcher are "consummate professionals" who are contributing to the profession of ocean lifesaving.

"The main reason we won this award is all the innovative ideas we are putting forth in Brevard, from our enclosed lifeguard towers, new equipment, the ability to get the EMS grant -- all in all making strides since 2008 when we became a full-time organization and turning Brevard into what a year-round lifeguard agency should be," Scabarozi said.

"For us, it's exciting to win this award and bring credit to all the hard work that all the staff of Brevard County Ocean Rescue has done. As for the future, there's not a day that goes by that our staff does not look at how we can improve how we do business and how we can improve the safety of patrons on the beaches of Brevard County."

About the Florida Beach Patrol Chiefs Association:
The Florida Beach Patrol Chiefs Association was formed in 1983 to promote professionalism within Florida's ocean lifesaving agencies. The founding members recognized the need for increased cooperation and communication among Florida's professional ocean lifeguards. For more information, visit: fbpca.com

About Brevard County Ocean Rescue:
The Brevard County Ocean Rescue Division provides for the safe swimming and beach protection to all Brevard County residents, visitors and tourists in designated areas of unincorporated Brevard County. Currently there are five full-time protected areas and 19 seasonal protected areas at various beach front parks. All ocean lifeguards are United States Lifesaving Association certified with a minimum of First Responder training. The scope of responsibility for the lifeguards include accident and drowning prevention, public education, citizen assist, search and recovery of lost children, basic life support, and swimmer rescues. The five areas protected full time have lifeguards on duty from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 365 days a year. For more information, visit: brevardfire.com


December 18, 2013

EEL Program to hold Selection/Management Committee Meeting on Jan. 13

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 13, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

This meeting will be followed from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. by a joint meeting of the Selection and Management Committee and the Procedures Committee. The purpose of this meeting is to provide an annual joint meeting of both groups for a review of the program's operations.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


December 18, 2013

Volunteer Opportunities Available at Enchanted Forest Sanctuary

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is looking for dynamic individuals with a passion for the environment.

Come learn about the various volunteer opportunities available at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. Whether you want to volunteer for a few hours a week or just a couple times a year, we have a volunteer position for you. Positions include Guide, Greeter, Gardener, and more.

Volunteer Workshops include:
Saturday, Jan. 4, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.: Volunteer Orientation
Saturday, Jan. 11, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.: Basic Birding with Naturalist, Joe Swingle
Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.: Volunteer Orientation
Saturday, Feb. 1, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.: Volunteer Orientation
Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.: Volunteer Orientation
Thursday, Feb. 13, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Guide Training
Saturday, Feb. 22, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.: Mammals of the Enchanted Forest with Naturalist, Sarah Kraum.

For more information or to register for an orientation, please call (321) 264-5185.

The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is located at 444 Columbia Blvd, Titusville.


December 18, 2013

January at Sams House Focuses on Local Environment, Traditional Crafts

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- What are your resolutions for 2014? If you'd like to learn more about our local environment or gain new crafting skills, then be sure to come by Sams House at Pine Island this January. All programs are free, unless otherwise indicated.

Native Plant Hike and Garden Tour - Saturday, Jan. 4, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.: Join our resident plant expert, Martha Pessaro on an easy one-mile hike in a beautiful shaded palm hammock and explore our native History Garden. Martha will discuss the historical uses of local plants. Close-toed shoes recommended.

Megafauna Fun! Homeschool Study Program - Thursday, Jan. 9, 10 a.m. to noon: Learn about the giant animals that used to call Florida home. Sift for real fossils! This program is designed for ages 6-12. Very limited space remaining for this date. Call to reserve your space now.

Critters, Cows and Cowboys! - Saturday, Jan. 11, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.: Bob Montanaro, from the Pelican Island Audubon Society, illustrates the role ranches play in protecting Florida's diverse habitats. Enjoy this stunning photographic exploration in the wildlife and work of the Florida Cattle Ranch.

Sams House Bird Hike - Saturday, Jan. 18, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.: Join Dr. Andy Madison, Associate Professor of Conservation Biology, and his Ornithology class from Union University (Tennessee) as they conduct a bird watching hike around the grounds and trails of Sams House. Beginner bird-watchers welcome. Close-toed shoes recommended.

Handmade Wall Basket: A Highly Prized Southern Art - Saturday, Jan. 25, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Join Instructor Master Basketweaver Becky Selman as registrants create a wall basket using native and natural materials. Prepare to get messy, wear older clothing and bring a towel and garden clippers (hand-size). The day will be devoted to crafting your 10-inch basket. Bring lunch and/or snacks and drinks. Class limited to 15 students. Cost is $25 to cover materials. Please call Sams House to register at: (321) 449-4720 by January 18th. Registrants will pay Becky (by cash or check) at the beginning of the class.

The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. The Center is located at 6195 N. Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours of the 1875 Sams Cabin and 1888 Sams House are given every Thursday and Saturday at 3 p.m. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


December 18, 2013

Pets can Run Wild at Furry Friends Of February Canine Event and Craft Show

PORT ST. JOHN, Fla.— The Furry Friends of February Canine Event & Craft Show will be held at the Port St. John Community Center, 6650 Corto Road, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1.

Canine lovers will have the opportunity to let their pet's skills and instincts run wild in a Dog Lure Course, Cake Walk for Canines and door prize raffles. The fee is $5 per participating canine and all owners of participating canines must provide current vaccination records. Crafters and pet-friendly vendors are invited to purchase a space at a cost of $25 plus tax per space. Please call Dan Cook or Myra Rose at (321) 633-1904 for additional information.

This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations and is co-sponsored by FPL and the SPCA. Call (321) 264-5105 for information on other recreation programs in North Brevard.


December 17, 2013 -- CORRECTION FROM PREVIOUS RELEASE

Space Coast Area Transit Announces Holiday Bus Service Schedule

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Area Transit will make the following changes to its fixed-route bus service through the Christmas holiday:

Tuesday, Dec. 24: Fixed-route buses will operate on the Saturday service schedule until 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 25: All fixed-route bus service will NOT operate.

For more information, call the Bus Information Line at 321-633-1878 (321-952-4672 for South Mainland residents) or visit online at www.RideSCAT.com.


December 12, 2013

11th Annual Sea Oats Sale Underway; Quantities Limited

VIERA, Fla. – Attention beachside residents! It is time again to pre-purchase sea oats for dune planting through the annual sea oats sale offered by Brevard County's Natural Resources Management Department and Keep Brevard Beautiful Inc.

Liner size sea oats are for sale in trays of 96 for $48 while supplies last. Quantities are limited this year so please order early. Sea oats must be ordered and paid for by Friday, Jan. 31, and will be available for pickup on Saturday, Feb. 8.

Sea oats are native to Brevard's coastal communities and stabilize sand quickly by developing an extensive root and rhizome system that holds onto sand and slows erosion. Sea oats also have the ability to build dunes, as the grassy foliage and tall seed plumes trap windblown sand, which builds up at the plant base and stimulates the plants to grow taller. The dunes that are formed are an important feature of our coastal ecosystem, as they provide habitat for wildlife and protect upland property during wind and storm events.

For more information, call Paula Berntson at 321-633-2016 ext. 52431, e-mail paula.berntson@brevardcounty.us or visit the following link: www.brevardcounty.us/docs/default-source/natural-resources-documents/2014-sea-oats-info.pdf?sfvrsn=4.


December 11, 2013

North Brevard Parks and Rec. offers Winter Day Camps during Holiday Break

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operations is offering winter day camps for children (first grade through eighth grade) in the North Brevard area from Monday, Dec. 23, through Monday, Jan. 6.

The camps meet Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be no camp on the following days due to holidays, Tuesday, Dec. 24; Wednesday, Dec. 25; and Wednesday, Jan. 1.

Registration for winter camp is available at Sandrift Community Center, 585 North Singleton Ave., in Titusville or Walter Butler Community Center, 4201 N. Cocoa Blvd. (US Hwy 1) in Cocoa.

The fee for the first week, which includes Dec. 23, 26, and 27, is $75 per child. The fee for the second week, which includes Dec. 30, 31, Jan. 2, 3, and 6, is $90. Each camp requires a minimum of 12 participants. A daily rate of $25 is available when the child is attending three or fewer days during the week.

Late pickup fee (15 minutes after conclusion of program) is $20 per child/per time. Fees are due at the time of registration or on the first day a child attends.

Additional information on these activities can be obtained by calling Jann Faiga (Sandrift) at (321) 264-5037 or Clifford Lett (Walter Butler Community Center) at (321) 433-4448.


December 10, 2013

Cooperative effort leads to safer environment for beachgoers lifeguards, comes at cost savings

Thanks to several Brevard County departments working together, there's a new look on the beach and it translates to a safer environment for visitors to Brevard County's coast.

Brevard County Ocean Rescue lifeguards are better protected and better able to protect visitors to Brevard County beaches now that several new towers have been installed.

The towers give the lifeguards a better vantage point for water observation, better visible presence -- the hope is to encourage beachgoers to congregate near monitored beach areas -- while also offering the lifeguards protection from the elements.

Towers were placed at Minutemen Causeway and Lori Wilson Park in Cococa Beach in early December. The tower placed at Lori Wilson was a replacement of an existing one, which was more than 10 years old. The rest replaced singe-person red stands.

Lifeguards now have towers at four of the five year-round guarded areas of beach in Brevard County. Earlier this year, two towers were placed at Cocoa Beach Pier and Alan Shepard Park. Ocean Rescue also is planning to build a fifth tower at Howard E. Futch Memorial Park at Paradise Beach in Melbourne.

A cooperative effort among several Brevard County departments translated to substantial savings for the project. The new towers were made possible thanks to labor provided by the Brevard County Sheriff's Office work farm program. Ocean Rescue provided the materials and supplies. Brevard County Public Works - Road & Bridge Maintenance did the relocation and placement of the towers.

"The new addition of the two enclosed lifeguard towers provides better safety to the beachgoers of Brevard County. Through the help of Brevard County Sheriff's Office work farm and also Road and Bridge, we're able to save Brevard County money," said Ocean Rescue Chief Jeff Scabarozi, noting that similar sized survey towers can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

New lifeguard towers at Brevard beaches.

About Brevard County Ocean Rescue:
The Brevard County Ocean Rescue Division provides for the safe swimming and beach protection to all Brevard County residents, visitors and tourists in designated areas of unincorporated Brevard County. Currently there are five full-time protected areas and 19 seasonal protected areas at various beach front parks. All ocean lifeguards are United States Lifesaving Association certified with a minimum of First Responder training. The scope of responsibility for the lifeguards include accident and drowning prevention, public education, citizen assist, search and recovery of lost children, basic life support, and swimmer rescues. The five areas protected full time have lifeguards on duty from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 365 days a year.


December 10, 2013

Christmas in the Park festivities to be held Dec. 21 at Cuyler Park in Mims

MIMS, Fla. — Cuyler Community Center in Mims will host a Christmas in the Park celebration from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 21.

Come join the festivities at the center, located at 2329 Harry T. Moore Ave.This event is free. Activities will include games, prizes, live entertainment, basketball tournament, bounce house, crafts and food.

Call LaShawn Stevens at (321) 264-5045 for more information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in the Mims area. This activity is co-sponsored by the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, North Brevard Charities, Love Center Church and Winn Dixie.


December 09, 2013

Media invited to unique tree-top training for Brevard County Fire Rescue special operations team

Brevard Zoo and Brevard County Fire Rescue invite the media to cover a unique opportunity as BCFR's special operations team runs through the zoo's newly expanded Treetop Trek Aerial Adventures course. The first of two training sessions -- designed to get the team prepared should a rescue from the attraction be necessary -- will begin at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 13.

Media should plan to be arrive early. Transport to the new Black Diamond portion of the course is available. A limited number of media can have access to the course once outfitted with a harness and once having received safety instruction.

A second training session will follow in about a month when the special operations team will run through an actual rescue scenario. Friday, the team will get acquainted with the Black Diamond course, which opens to the public with six new challenges on Monday, Dec. 16.

Brevard County Fire Rescue's special operations team, based at Station 48 in Viera, visits the zoo several times a year to maintain familiarity with the Treetop Trek Aerial Adventures course and train for rescue scenarios.

Since opening in July, 2011, Treetop Trek Aerial Adventures at the Brevard Zoo has welcomed more than 75,000 guests. The course, which covers nearly 20 acres in and around the zoo, features zip-lines and aerial challenges up to 50 feet above the ground. As part of a comprehensive plan to ensure visitor safety, Treetop Trek has partnered with members of Brevard County Fire Rescue in an ongoing program of cooperative training. From practicing high-angle rescues to simulated emergency evacuations of the course, staff from BCFR and Treetop Trek work together to be prepared for any potential situation on the course.

"Our ongoing relationship with Brevard County Fire Rescue is crucial to the safe, successful operation of our course," said Andrew Batten, director of attractions for the zoo. "These training sessions give my staff a chance to see how Brevard County Fire Rescue handles a situation, and it allows Brevard County to see how we handle ourselves every day. It makes both teams better at their jobs and means we are all prepared for any situation."

RSVP: Media planning to attend the event, please RSVP to Andrew Batten via email abatten@brevardzoo.org or (321) 254-9453, ext. 254.


December 04, 2013

Santa plans stop in Titusville for pancake breakfast with area children

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Breakfast with Santa will be held at the Fox Lake Park main pavilion, 4400 Fox Lake Road, Titusville, at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14.

A pancake breakfast will be served and children will be given a candy-filled goodie bag, a visit with Santa, a make and take craft and hayride. Parents who want a photo of their child with Santa should bring their own cameras. Santa will arrive at 9:30 a.m.

Tickets are $5 for children under 12 years of age and $3 for adults. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Advance purchase of tickets at Sandrift Community Center, 585 North Singleton Ave., Titusville, is recommended. The event is limited to 150 children.

This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operations. Call (321) 264-5037 for more information on this and other recreation programs in North Brevard.


December 04, 2013

'Arthur Christmas' Free Movie in the Park planned at Sand Point Park

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, is hosting a free Movie in the Park at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at Sandpoint Park, 101 N. Washington Ave, Titusville.

The movie will be shown on a giant 23-foot outdoor movie screen beginning at approximately 8 p.m. The free movie will be "Arthur Christmas" and is rated PG. Please check the movie hotline for inclement weather updates (321) 264-5109.

Patrons are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, food and drinks to enjoy during the movie. Concessions will be available for purchase. Call Mike Herman (321) 264-5105 for additional information.


December 04, 2013

Parks and Recreation making a list for Santa Calls in North Brevard

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Special arrangements have been made for Santa to telephone preschool- through second-grade children from his headquarters at the North Pole.

Calls will be made Dec. 11 and Dec. 12, between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., to phones in the local dialing area for Titusville. There is no charge for this service.

Request forms are available at Campbell Community Center at 701 South St. in Titusville; Cuyler Community Center at 2329 Harry T. Moore Ave. in Mims; Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Park Cultural Center at 2180 Freedom Ave. in Mims; Port St. John Community Center at 6650 Corto Road; Sandrift Community Center at 585 North Singleton Ave. in Titusville; Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice G. Jackson Park at 4201 N. US HWY 1 in Cocoa (Sharpes); and the North Area Parks Operations office at 475 North Williams Ave. in Titusville.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FORM

Call (321) 264-5105 for more information about this and other activities provided by Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operations.


December 03, 2013

'Tis the Season: Adopt From Our 'Twelve Strays of Christmas'

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- In the spirit of the holiday season, Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement has launched the "Twelve Strays of Christmas," a promotion aimed to increase adoptions and generate awareness about the pets that are currently available for adoption at its two local shelters.

"We have selected and are presenting 12 dogs and 12 cats for our 'Twelve Strays of Christmas' promotion," said Paula Hunter, the South Animal Care Center manager. "Each of these animals will be spayed/neutered, vaccinated, micro-chipped and have a county license tag, all for $12 through the month of December," she continued. Animals not on the special will be half price.

"These 'Twelve Strays,' just like the many other animals that we have at the shelters, are ready to provide loving companionship to someone," said Hunter. "So much emphasis is put on helping others during the Holiday season, and I hope that people also remember these wonderful animals."

Department Director Karla Torpy reports that her staff has done a fabulous job and worked very hard all year long on innovative programs to help place dogs and cats with loving families and educate people about the importance of spaying and neutering their pets. ";I urge anyone who is thinking of bringing a new pet home for the holidays to visit either or both of the county shelters first," she said.

The South Animal Care Center is at 5100 West Eau Gallie Blvd. (just west of Interstate 95 and the Renninger's Super Flea Market and Farmer's Market in Melbourne,); the North Animal Care Center is at 2605 Flake Road (north end of Dunn Airport in Titusville,). Shelter hours are noon to 6 p.m. Thursday through Tuesday. Shelters are closed on Wednesday.

For more information, call the South Animal Care Center at 321-253-6608 or the North Animal Care Center at 321-264-5119 or visit www.brevardcounty.us/animalservices.


December 03, 2013

Cleaning work to temporarily close Tom Statham Park in Titusville

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Tom Statham Park, 7101 S U.S. Highway 1 in Titusville, will be closed from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 10, and Wednesday, Dec. 11, for cleaning. All park facilities will be closed. During this closure, the other parks in North Brevard are available. For information on North Area parks owned or operated by Brevard County, from the Volusia County line on the north to State Road 528 on the south, please call (321) 264-5105.


December 02, 2013

Business Continuity Strategies Offered at Free SBA/Agility Webinar

WASHINGTON – What are the biggest and most common mistakes business owners make when dealing with a disaster? Whether it's property damage caused by a flood, or the loss of sensitive data thanks to a hacked email account, how you respond within the first few hours of the crisis can make or break your small business.

Get tips on how to avoid the costly mistakes that could put the safety of your clients and your organization at risk at a free webinar hosted by Agility Recovery and the U.S. Small Business Administration on Tuesday, December 10. True stories about business owners' pre-disaster missteps, plans not followed and errors made–as well as what they learned during the recovery phase, will be discussed.

SBA has partnered with Agility to offer business continuity strategies through its "PrepareMyBusiness" website. Visit www.preparemybusiness.org to access previous webinars and for additional preparedness tips.

The SBA provides disaster recovery assistance in the form of low-interest loans to homeowners, renters, private nonprofits and businesses of all sizes. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov/disaster.


November 19, 2013

Sand Point Park reopens after renovations in Titusville

TITUSVILLE, Fla.- Sand Point Park, 101 N. Washington Ave., Titusville, is now open following renovations and is available for use. Please call Sandrift Community Center to make reservations at (321)264-5037.

For information on North Area parks owned or operated by Brevard County, from the Volusia County line on the North to State Road 528 on the South, please call (321) 264-5105.


November 19, 2013

North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation cancels Dec. 12 meeting

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation has canceled its Dec. 12 meeting.

The next regularly scheduled monthly meeting will be at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9, in the Brevard Room, 518 South Palm Ave., Titusville. The public is invited to attend.

The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center–North. For questions call Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.

If a person desires to appeal any decision made by this commission with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of this proceeding and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of this proceeding is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which any such appeal is to be based. Section 286.0105, Florida Statutes.

In accordance with the Americans and Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, Florida Statutes, persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notice Parks and Recreation North Area no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting by contacting Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


November 19, 2013

EEL Program to hold Selection/Management and Procedures Meeting on Dec. 5

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee and Procedures Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 5, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to provide an annual joint meeting of both groups for a review of the program's operations.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.

If a person desires to appeal any decision made by this board, agency or commission (as appropriate) with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of this proceeding and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of this proceeding is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which any such appeal is to be based.

In accordance with the American Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, F.S., persons needing accommodations or any interpreter to participate in the proceeding should contact Laura Clark, EEL Program Administrative secretary, no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting at (321) 255-4466.


November 14, 2013

Fox Lake Christmas Festival of Crafts to be held Nov. 16 in Titusville

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- The 20th Annual Fox Lake Christmas Festival of Crafts will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at Fox Lake Park in Titusville.

Only handmade and homemade crafts will be offered for sale at the event, which is sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations. Food vendors will be present, and all crafter spots have been sold.

Fox Lake Park is located at 4400 Fox Lake Road in Titusville. For more information about this and other recreation programs in North Brevard, call (321) 264-5105.


November 13, 2013

News You Can Use: County Press Release System Caters to Subscribers

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- From parks programs to Space Coast Area Transit Services to Farmer's Markets, Brevard County Government's press release information system invites subscribers to identify and select the types of information they would like to receive.

The database-driven system, accessible at http://web.brevardcounty.us/PublicInformationReleases/, allows subscribers to sign up, change e-mail addresses, or unsubscribe, as well as select the categories of information they'd like to receive. Department-oriented categories include: Agriculture & Extension, Animal Services, Commissioners, Emergency Management Fire-Rescue, General Announcements, Human Services, Libraries, Natural Resources & EEL, and Parks & Recreation. A category called Free Stuff will provide the recipient with information about no-cost events, activities and services from any department; and a category called TV will indicate that the information has a visual aspect, appropriate for television, videographers or photographers.

"This system was first implemented in 2011, but peoples' interests change and newer county residents may not be aware they can simply subscribe to receive information about the various services and programs the county offers," said Communications Director Don Walker. "If you're a parent, looking for activities to keep your children busy, or if you're only concerned about information updates in the case of a hurricane or other emergency, you'll want to subscribe. It's free, and it allows subscribers to manage for themselves the information they want to receive."

Each e-mailed news announcement from Brevard County includes a link at the bottom of the document that allows the receiver to access the website and manage their own subscription, as well as links to the County's Facebook and Twitter accounts for those who prefer social media avenues.


November 08, 2013

Santa plans stop in Titusville for pancake breakfast with area children

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Breakfast with Santa will be held at the Fox Lake Park main pavilion, 4400 Fox Lake Road, Titusville, at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14.

A pancake breakfast will be served and children will be given a candy-filled goodie bag, a visit with Santa, a make and take craft and hayride. Parents who want a photo of their child with Santa should bring their own cameras. Santa will arrive at 9:30 a.m.

Tickets are $5 for children under 12 years of age and $3 for adults. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Advance purchase of tickets at Sandrift Community Center, 585 North Singleton Ave., Titusville, is recommended. The event is limited to 150 children.

This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operations. Call (321) 264-5037 for more information on this and other recreation programs in North Brevard.


November 06, 2013

Inaugural 'EcoLiving Jubilee" to highlight 'Green Living' in Brevard

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – 'Eco' and 'Green' are more than just buzzwords. Environmental awareness and sustainable living practices are becoming more prevalent in our society. Brevard County Parks and Recreation would like to celebrate these ideals and the local businesses that promote and embrace them during the inaugural "EcoLiving Jubilee."

This festival highlighting sustainability will be held from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at Kiwanis Island Park, 951 Kiwanis Island Park Road, Merritt Island.

Exhibitors will showcase the latest in green living technology and practices. Food trucks, farm-to-table restaurants, and local growers will be on hand to provide the freshest in seasonal, locally grown, and organic cuisine. Eco activities and live music from Jeremy Baker will be available throughout the day. The award-winning film "Gimme Green," a documentary that examines the American obsession with the residential lawn, will be shown at 6 p.m. on a large outdoor screen.

Event sponsors include Lighting Science, Bob Steele Chevrolet, Sunbay Fitness, Palm Bay Kayaks, Keep Brevard Beautiful, Riverwalk Nature Center, Recycle Brevard!, and the Reusable Resource Adventure Center.

All activities are free and open to the public. Please call (321) 433-4490 or email riverwalk@brevardparks.com.


November 05, 2013

Celebrating Family Month at Sams House - Meet the Author!

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- In celebration of Family Month, children's author, Kenda Swartz Pepper of Santa Cruz, Calif., will be coming to Sams House at Pine Island for a meet-the-author program from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14.

Pepper's award-winning book for children ages 4-8, "Well Earth, Well Me!" has been created to empower young people to take little steps to making big changes. Pepper will read her book, sing with the children, and have a fun discussion or art project about solutions for taking care of the Earth, themselves, and one another. She takes a positive, solutions-focused, esteem-focused approach to talking, playing, and singing with the children.

"Blending practical advice with eye-catching artwork, Kenda Swartz Pepper's "Well Earth, Well Me!" inspires children (and even many adults) to take better care of the planet," according to Angela Leeper, September 2011, Foreward Reviews. "A song-like poem, with rhyming text and a refrain that is perfect for choral response in large-group and educational settings, asks children to think about the flowers, trees, mountains, streams, sky, and other parts of nature that give Earth its beauty."

Signed copies will be available for cash purchase. Pepper will donate 40 percent of the proceeds to Sams House. A marshmallow roast will follow the program.

The Sams House at Pine Island is located at 6195 N. Tropical Trail, Merritt Islan. The Center is open Thursdays to Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is part of the Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) Program. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.

Pepper will also be at the EEL Program's Barrier Island Center in Melbourne Beach at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 4. For more information, call (321) 723-3231.


November 01, 2013

'Kitten transport' gives sheltered cats adoption prospects in the Northeast

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Dozens of kittens are leaving Brevard County's animal shelters this weekend.

They are headed to the Northeast to fill a shortage of adoptable kittens in the District of Columbia, Delaware and Pennsylvania areas. The kitten transport, leaving Saturday afternoon for Last Chance Animal Rescue in Waldorf, Maryland, is the culmination of a hectic week for Brevard County Animal Service's shelter staff and a number of its community partners. Last Chance Animal Rescue showcases animals in PetSmart and Petco stores in the region and provides full service in-store cat adoptions.

"Mona Motz of Purrs and Whiskers Shelter Inc. in Melbourne forwarded an email last weekend letting us know that Miami-Dade Department of Animal Services was planning to transport kittens to Last Chance this weekend and would have space for our kittens," said Mary Thompson with Brevard County Animal Services.

"We've been overwhelmed with kittens throughout the summer," Thompson said. "These kittens will have a much better chance of finding great forever homes up North. We selected over 40 kittens from our two animal care facilities that met the criteria for the trip -- they are all less than five months old, friendly and healthy."

Also joining the trip from the Melbourne area are adoptable kittens that have been at Aloha Bird and Pet Hospital and Purrs and Whiskers Shelter Inc.

Prior to departure, each kitten had to be tested and vaccinated. "This week, in addition to our staff veterinarian, veterinarians from Aloha Bird and Pet Hospital and SPCA of Brevard pitched in to assist with last-minute checkups to make sure every kitten is healthy and ready for the trip," Thompson said.

Miami-Dade County Animal Services staff will begin their northbound journey from South Florida Saturday afternoon. They'll stop when they reach Brevard County to pick up an expected 40 to 50 kittens and drive through the night to the border between North and South Carolina. Volunteers from Maryland will meet them there and transport the kitten cargo the rest of the way.

"The kittens are given food and their carrier pads can be changed along the way as needed," Thompson said.


November 01, 2013

EEL Program to hold Selection/Management Committee Meeting on Nov. 18

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 18, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


October 30, 2013

North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation meets Nov. 14

TITUSVILLE, Fla.—The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation will hold its next monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14. The meeting, open to the public, will be held in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Ave. in Titusville.

The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center–North. For questions call Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.

If a person desires to appeal any decision made by this commission with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of this proceeding and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of this proceeding is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which any such appeal is to be based. Section 286.0105, Florida Statutes.

In accordance with the Americans and Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, Florida Statutes, persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notice Parks and Recreation North Area no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting by contacting Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105


October 28, 2013

Temporary Foster Caregivers needed for dog/cat 'Mega Adoptions' in 2014

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Building off a successful "Super Adoption Event" in June, Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement and SPCA of Brevard are coordinating efforts to hold four Community Mega Adoption events in 2014, with the goal of placing 2,000 sheltered dogs and cats into forever homes.

Mega adoption events are planned locally for each quarter in 2014. The events will entail pulling 2,000 animals from county shelters who are "at risk" of being euthanized, placing them in temporary foster homes and highlighting their availability for adoption through advance advertising. Adoption cost will be $25, which includes spay/neuter and vaccinations.

"We need up to 400 temporary foster caregivers to provide a life-saving bridge for at-risk cats and dogs in the weeks prior to each event. Residents who wish to participate can go to www.SPCAMegaAdoptions.org for more information and sign up," said Fred Allen, SPCA Mega Adoption Event coordinator.

The initiative is modeled after First Coast No More Homeless Pets in Jacksonville, which developed a "mega adoption" model that in 2013 led to a new national record for cat and dog adoptions in a single event with over 1,000 adoptions.

Brevard County held a similar event in June, called the "Rescue Me Super Adoption Event," sponsored in part by FLORIDA TODAY, which drew a turnout of more than 500 people and led to the adoption of 104 animals in a single day.

Brevard County is expected to have a few hundred less euthanasia deaths in 2013 compared to 2013, and this year's total euthanasia deaths may be around 5,400 compared to over 9,000 in 2007.

"With the continuing downward trend and 2,000 adoptions of at-risk animals in 2004, Brevard County could be declared 'No-Kill' in 2015," said Karla Torpy, director of Brevard County Animals Services and Enforcement.

The initial Mega Adoption event is scheduled for the weekend of Jan. 25-26 at the Azan Shriners Center on Eau Gallie Boulevard in Melbourne.

For more information, contact Brevard County Animal Services an Enforcement at (321) 633-2105, or Fred Allen, SPCA Mega Adoption Event Coordinator, at (321) 278-9916.


October 18, 2013

Fire Rescue Chief Larry Collins announces promotions, new PIO

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Fire Rescue Fire Chief Larry Collins is pleased to announce the promotion of District Chief William Burns; Fire Lieutenant Scott Gold; and the appointment of Lee Nessel to the Brevard County Fire Rescue staff.

Burns, a 13-year veteran of the department, is being promoted from District Fire Chief to Assistant Fire Chief, where he will command the Strategic Programs Section of the department. This includes the Professional Standards, Training, Human Resources, Fire Prevention Bureau and Safety Bureau of the department. Chief Burns has won numerous awards during his service with Brevard County Fire Rescue, including Firefighter of the Year in 2002, Lieutenant Fire Officer of the Year in 2010 and Chief Officer of the Year in 2012.

Gold is a 13-year veteran of Brevard County Fire Rescue. He is currently assigned as a Company Commander to the County's Hazardous Materials Response Unit, located at Fire Station 48 in Viera. He will be assigned to command one of the department's five Fire Response Districts.

Nessel will begin Monday, Oct. 21, as Brevard County Fire Rescue's new Public Affairs & Information Manager. Lee comes to Brevard County Fire Rescue from FLORIDA TODAY, where she served as both a beat reporter and later as the editor for "Breaking News." She brings to the department 15 years of experience as a reporter, editor/manager, multimedia producer, photographer and videographer. Among Lee's numerous honors and awards, she led a team that won five awards in the 2012 Florida Society of Newspaper Editors' contest, including for coverage of the tanker truck fire on SR528.

The promotional ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. today (Friday, Oct. 18,) at the Timothy J. Mills Fire Rescue Center, 1040 S. Florida Ave., Rockledge. The ceremony is open to the public and family and friends are invited to attend. For additional information, please contact Carrie Cotter at (321) 633-2056.


October 17, 2013

BCSO-sponsored 'Jailbreak' event invites participants to 'Make A Run For It'

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Make a run for it!

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey invites running enthusiasts to become rebels, to break out on your own or to run with your chain gang during the Jailbreak Brevard Adventure Race to be held Saturday, Oct. 26, sponsored by the Brevard County Sheriff's Office.

This race, a fundraiser that benefits Brevard United Way and the many charities under its umbrella, involves runners as "escaped inmates," with guards in pursuit and a messy adventure at the jail complex in Sharpes.

Jailbreak Brevard Adventure Race takes place on a three-mile mud course filled with a dozen or so obstacles. Participants, dressed like inmates and some chained to one another, make a run for it while Sheriff's Office guards, the SWAT team and bloodhounds make hot pursuit to track them down. Those who get caught are placed into a holding cell.

The event, which has staggered starting times, will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Brevard County Jail Complex, 860 Camp Road, in Cocoa. Runners must be at least 12 years of age. Anyone ages 12-17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian throughout the race. Registration/Check-in will take place next to the BCSO Fleet Maintenance Facility (Look for the signs.) While the course may be extreme, all fitness levels are welcome. Entry fee is $55.

Registration is available online at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/7597619685?ref=ebtn. For more information, contact Katrina Wilson at (321) 264-7755.

After-event activities include food and drinks available for purchase, live music and more. There's also a Kids Mini Course.


October 17, 2013

Workshop tonight focuses on state of the Indian River Lagoon

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County Commissioners will sponsor a workshop on the state of Indian River Lagoon from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. tonight at the Ted Moorhead Lagoon House, 3275 Dixie Highway NE in Palm Bay.

The workshop, hosted by the Marine Resources Council, will feature a panel of local, state and federal officials as well as area environmentalists. The event is open to the public and, courtesy of FLORIDA TODAY, can be viewed live on the Brevard County web site, www.brevardcounty.us, and at www.floridatoday.com. Eastern State Florida College is also recording the event for later broadcast on Space Coast Government Television, which can be found on Bright House Channel 199 or 99-2, Comcast (North Brevard) Channel 51 and Comcast (South Brevard) Channel 13.

Limited parking is available on-site. The public is encouraged to use off-site parking along Dixie Highway (U.S. 1.) Deputies from the Brevard County Sheriff's Office will be on hand to direct traffic. Shuttle service provided by Space Coast Area Transit will also be available from Intersil, 1650 Robert J Conlan Blvd NE, Palm Bay.

This is an important opportunity for Brevard residents to engage local, state and federal elected officials in a workshop focusing on the state of the Indian River Lagoon. Panel members include Brevard County commissioners; U.S. Congressman Bill Posey; members of the state Legislature; Space Coast League of Cities leadership; Troy Rice of the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program; Dr. Leesa Souto of the Marine Resources Council; Dr. Grant Gilmore of Estuarine, Coastal and Ocean Sciences Inc.; and Keith Winston, Brevard Zoo.


October 15, 2013

Space Coast Area Transit Launches Rockledge/Viera Service Route

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Area Transit, a department of the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, announces the launch of new fixed-route bus service in Rockledge and Viera, Route 7.

The new route began service this week, and will provide service Monday through Friday from 7:27 a.m. to 5:51 p.m. The focus of the service will be the Murrell Road corridor from Barton Boulevard in Rockledge south to Wickham Road. The route will also serve a portion of U.S. 1. The new route will provide service to a number of community agencies such as Brevard Workforce, Goodwill Industries, One Senior Place and Space Coast Center for Independent Living.

"This route fills a need in Space Coast Area Transit's network," County Manager Howard Tipton said. "There have been requests from our citizens to access these agencies and we are pleased to offer the service."

The new route is funded through a two-year Florida Department of Transportation Service Development Grant, which provides 50 percent of the operating cost, with Brevard County providing the 50 percent local match. At the end of the grant, Space Coast Area Transit will determine whether to continue the service and provide the funding.

Space Coast Area Transit provides Fixed Route, Paratransit, Vanpool and Volunteer Transportation throughout Brevard County.

Questions or requests for more information should be directed to the Bus Information Line at (321) 633-1878, (321) 952-4672 for South Mainland residents, or access Space Coast Area Transit online at www.RideSCAT.com.


October 15, 2013

Florida Emergency Management holds statewide Mitigation Workshop Series

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Florida's Department of Emergency Management is working with Florida's 11 regional planning councils to present the full-day workshop "Get Your Mitigation On." The programs will cover Local Mitigation Strategies (LMSs), risk and vulnerability assessments, and funding opportunities.

The workshops are organized by Regional Planning Council boundaries. All workshops take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dates, locations and counties vary across the state. Brevard County will be included in an East Central Florida workshop scheduled Monday, Oct. 21, at the Emergency Operations Center in Orlando.Presentations are tailored to the areas workshops are held.

  • Mitigation topics to be discussed include:
  • Local Mitigation Strategies
  • State Hazard Mitigation
  • Risk and Vulnerability Assessments
  • Mitigation Funding
  • National Flood Insurance Program
  • Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012
To register for a workshop, sign up at SERT TRAC at trac.floridadisaster.org. Search for "390" or "Get Your Mitigation On."


October 14, 2013

Enchanted Forest Sanctuary to host annual Forest Festival on Nov. 2

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program and the Board of County Commissioners invite the public to the annual Forest Festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary Management and Education Center in Titusville.

Activities will include Florida wildlife and reptile presentations. There will be live music, guided hikes on the trails, environmental exhibitors' booths, native plants for sale by the Florida Native Plant Society, tours of the Butterfly Gardens, Artists with displays and painting on site. There will also be a Kids Corner with crafts, children's activities, face painting and more.

The Friends of the Enchanted Forest will be in the Library and Gift Shoppe with information and sale items. Food will be available for purchase. This is a fun event for all ages and free of charge.

For further information on the Forest Festival, please call the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary at (321) 264-5185. The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is located in Titusville on the north side of S.R. 405, a half-mile west of U.S. 1.

This is a good opportunity to capture photographs of wildlife and people interacting.


October 10, 2013

The Farm at Rockledge Gardens celebrates local food growers, producers and chefs

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Join us from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27, at The Farm at Rockledge Gardens for a magical candlelit evening celebrating our community's connection to local farmers, producers, and chefs who appreciate the benefits of local food.

Guest chefs from Appleseed Cafe, Cafe Unique, Palm Tree Cafe, d.i.g Bistro, Heavenly Bake Shop, and The Local Joint will transform local farm produce into course after course that will delight your taste buds. The evening begins with hors d'oeuvres, a toast, and a tour of The Farm. Then, sit down at the dinner to follow including beer, wine, and music!

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, F.S., persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notify the University of Florida Brevard County Extension Service no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting at 321-633-1702 or fax 321-633-1890.


October 10, 2013

Fall Festival at Chain of Lakes Park includes free Movie in the Park

TITUSVILLE, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, is hosting a fall festival and a free movie in the park at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, at Chain of Lakes Park, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, in Titusville.

Activities will include a costume contest, children's games, trunk n' treat, hay ride, glitter tattoo's and a movie in the park. An adult coed kickball tournament will also be offered earlier in the day. The movie will be shown on a giant, 23-foot, outdoor movie screen beginning at approximately 8 p.m. The free movie will be "Hotel Transylvania" and is rated PG. Please check the movie hotline for inclement weather updates at (321) 264-5109.

Patrons are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, food and drinks to enjoy during the movie. Concessions will be available for purchase. Call Mike Herman at (321) 264-5105 for more information.


October 10, 2013

Port St. John Community Center to host Projection Video Game Tournament

PORT ST. JOHN, Fla. — Port St. John Community Center will host a projection video game tournament from noon to 4 p.m. on the following early release and teacher in-service days Oct. 16 and Oct. 30; Nov. 20; Jan. 15 and Jan. 29; and Feb. 12.

Both Wii and Play Station video games will be played and projected to life size, where participants will compete in a tournament of three different games. Scores will be combined to determine a winner and prizes will be awarded to the overall highest score. The fee to participate is $5 per person.

Port St. John Community Center is a Brevard County Parks and Recreation facility located at 6650 Corto Road in Port St. John. For more information, call Dan Cook at (321) 633-1904.


October 10, 2013

Native Americans Theme of November Events at Sams House at Pine Island

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- In recognition of Native Heritage Month, Native Americans are the theme of November Events at Sams House at Pine Island, a historic site in North Merritt Island. All events are free unless otherwise noted.
  • Little Pioneers Homeschool Program - Friday, Nov. 1, 10 a.m. to noon: Learn what life was like for early Florida pioneers, go on a nature hike, and engage in pioneer "chores". Call (321) 449-4720 by Oct. 28 to reserve your spot. For ages 6-12.
  • Native Ways Garden Tour and Hike - Saturday, Nov. 2, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Naturalist and Native Ways expert Martha Pessaro will discuss how Native Americans used local plants for food, medicine, and tools. We will explore our native plant garden and go on a half-mile hike through the beautiful palm hammock.
  • A Cultural History of Florida - Saturday, Nov. 16, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.: Join Florida Public Archaeology Network's Kevin Gidusko as he discusses expeditions to discover more about the first peoples of Florida and current research being conducted in the state. Learn the life ways of these people, what archaeologists use to discern culture, and about the many cultural resources we have in the state of Florida. Participants will also have a chance to throw replica atlatls!
  • The Story of Corn - Saturday, Nov. 23, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.: Native American storyteller Deborah Joyce will tell stories of corn. After storytelling, participants will have a choice of making either a corn necklace, corn husk rattle, or cornhusk doll. Cost of $2 per person to cover materials. Please call (321) 449-4720 by Nov. 18 to reserve your spot.
  • Pine Island Paddle - Saturday, Nov. 23, 9 a.m. to noon.: Space Coast Kayaking takes guests through a deep water canal frequented by manatees, then out to the Indian River Lagoon and down to a hiking trail that leads to the historic Sams Cabin and House. After a tour, guests will paddle back to start. Reservations required - limited to 14 participants. $30 perperson ($20 for ages 5-12). Call (321) 784-2452 or info@spacecoastkayaking.net to hold your spot.
  • Florida History Expedition - Saturday, Nov. 30, 11 a.m. to noon.: Perfect for elementary-school aged children and their families. We'll travel back in time to Florida's beginnings, sift for Ice Age fossils, learn how to throw a spear, and discover what pioneer life was like. David Celli, with Central Florida Fossils, will have a one-of-a-kind fossil display from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. The Center is located at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours are given every Thursday and Saturday at 3 p.m. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


October 10, 2013

Annual Fish Fry scheduled Nov. 8 at Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center

TITUSVILLE, Fla. - The community is invited to enjoy a free fish fry from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, at the Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center, 701 South St., in Titusville.

This event is co-sponsored by the Isaac Campbell Seniors Club and Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Parks & Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations. For more information, please call Tommy Myers at (321) 264-5040.


October 08, 2013

Study: Responsive Traffic Signals save Brevard motorists time, money and fuel

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Motorists spend less time on the road and spend less money on fuel as a result of 114 traffic-responsive signal controls installed along nine major roadways in Brevard County, according to a cost-benefit analysis conducted by Lassiter Transportation Group Inc.

The Intelligent Traffic System, designed to alleviate traffic jams, cut down on environmental pollution and reduce accident rates, saves motorists in the county an estimated $24.9 million annually in time and fuel costs, according to the engineering and planning analysis of cost and benefit.

"This is a savings where we're not talking about less money being collected in taxes, but literally in terms of dollars people are keeping in their pockets as a result of fuel savings and less time on the road," said John Denninghoff, director of Public Works. "Traffic signals are a necessary evil, but when they don't work like they should it can cost you a lot of money."

In the past year, traffic-responsive signals have been installed along 40 miles of roadway throughout the county, including:

  • U.S. 192 -- between Interstate 95 and Dairy Road
  • Wickham Road – between Fountainhead and U.S. 192; Shoppes and Pineda Causeway; and Mariah and Sarno
  • Palm Bay Road – between Minton and Robert J. Conlan
  • Minton Road – between I-95 and Emerson
  • SR 520/US1 – between Clearlake and S. Banana River
  • U.S. 1 South – between Lake Washington and Babcock
  • SR50 – between I-95 and SR405
  • SR405 – between SR50 and U.S. 1
  • SR518 – between Wickham and Pineapple
Brevard County's Advanced Traffic Control System is projected to save county motorists more than one million road-time hours and $3.9 million in fuel costs. Time-saving value, based on Texas A&M University Transportation Institute's 2011 Urban Mobility Report (and assuming 1.25 occupants per vehicle,) amounts to $20.9 million, according to the report.

Denninghoff said the $9.1 million signal system, funded through federal stimulus funds, county transportation funds and grants was completed in mid-April.


October 08, 2013

Taste of the Wild Program Explores Prehistoric Food

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Indian River Anthropological Society President Elaine Williams presents "Taste of the Wild" at Sams House at Pine Island from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 12.

This unique program will focus on the food of prehistoric Native peoples of Florida, how these foods were obtained and how they were prepared. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample native foods such as hickory nuts, yaupon tea, smoked fish, and more. The program is free and reservations are not required.

The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. The Center is located at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


October 07, 2013

Sams House hosts Handmade Basket Workshop in North Merritt Island

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Spaces are still available for the Handmade Basket Workshop on Saturday, Oct. 12, at Sams House at Pine Island.

This all-day workshop will be taught by Master Basketweaver Becky Selman. Participants will create a melon basket using native and natural materials. Participants are asked to wear older clothing and bring a towel and lunch. Class is limited to 15 students, cost is $30 for an 8-inch basket. Registrants will pay Selman at the class. All proceeds will benefit education programs at Sams House at Pine Island. Register by Oct. 12 by calling (321) 449-4720.

The Sams House House at Pine Island is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. The Center is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is located at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


October 07, 2013

Brevard County Animal Services/SPCA plan 'Mega Adoption' events in 2014

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Building off a successful "Super Adoption Event" in June, Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement and SPCA of Brevard are coordinating efforts to hold four Community Mega Adoption events in 2014, with the goal of placing 2,000 sheltered dogs and cats into forever homes.

The initiative is modeled after First Coast No More Homeless Pets in Jacksonville, which developed a "mega adoption" model that in 2013 led to a new national record for cat and dog adoptions in a single event with over 1,000 adoptions.

Brevard County held a similar event in June, called the "Rescue Me Super Adoption Event," that drew a turnout of more than 500 people and led to the adoption of 104 animals in a single day.

Mega adoption events are now planned locally for each quarter in 2014. The events will entail pulling 2,000 animals from county shelters who are "at risk" of being euthanized, placing them in temporary foster homes and highlighting their availability for adoption through advanced advertising. Adoption cost will be $25, which includes spay/neuter and vaccinations.

Brevard County is expected to have a few hundred less euthanasia deaths in 2013 compared to 2012, and this year's total euthanasia deaths may be around 5,400 compared to over 9,000 in 2007.

"With the continuing downward trend and 2,000 adoptions of at-risk animals in 2014, Brevard County could be declared "No-Kill" in 2015," said Karla Torpy, director of Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement.

The initial Mega Adoption event is scheduled for the weekend of Jan. 25-26 at the Azan Shrine Center on Eau Gallie Blvd. in Melbourne.

Brevard County has two animal care centers with adoptable dogs and cats available. They are open daily except Wednesday from noon until 6 p.m. South Animal Care Center, 5100 W. Eau Gallie Blvd., Melbourne 321-253-6608. North Animal Care Center, 2605 Flake Road, Titusville, 321-264-5119.


October 07, 2013

Registration Now Open for History-based Homeschool Series

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Registration is now open for a history-based homeschool program series at Sams House at Pine Island. Each program focuses on a different time period of Florida's history and is designed for students ages 6-12.
  • Friday, Nov. 1, 10 a.m. to noon: "Little Pioneers" Program. Costumed guides will engage students in what life was like for early Florida pioneers. Students will go on a nature hike and participate in pioneer "chores."
  • Thursday, Dec. 5, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.: "Native American Ways" Program. Students will learn how Florida's Native Americans used the resources around them and will try their hand at "hunting" for mammoth and fish.
  • Thursday, Jan. 9, 10 a.m. to noon: "Megafuana Fun" Program. Students will sift for real fossils and learn about the giant animals that once called Florida home.
Adults must accompany children. Register at least one week prior to the class you'd like to attend by calling (321) 449-4720. Spots are limited. There is a suggested donation of $1 per child to support education programs at Sams House at Pine Island.

The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. It is located at 6195 North Tropical Trail, one-half mile west of State Road 3 in North Merritt Island. The Center is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.



October 03, 2013

Florida Department of Health in Brevard County promotes awareness of Vibrio vulnificus

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – A recent, tragic death that occurred in Volusia County has brought forth concerns of the bacteria, Vibrio vulnificus – a bacterium that normally lives in warm seawater. Vibrio vulnificus can cause disease in those who eat contaminated seafood or have an open wound that is exposed to warm seawater containing the bacteria. Ingestion of Vibrio vulnificus can cause vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Vibrio vulnificus can also cause an infection of the skin when open wounds are exposed to warm seawater; these infections may lead to skin breakdown and ulcers.

Persons who have weakened immune systems, especially those with chronic liver disease, are at risk for Vibrio vulnificus infection when they eat raw shellfish, particularly oysters in that oysters filter the bacteria from the water. People with these pre-existing medical conditions are 80 times more likely to develop Vibrio vulnificus blood infections than healthy people.

Tips for preventing Vibrio vulnificus infections include:

  • Do not eat raw oysters or other raw shellfish.
  • Cook shellfish (oysters, clams, mussels) thoroughly.
  • For shellfish in the shell, either a) boil until the shells open and continue boiling for 5 more minutes, or b) steam until the shells open and then continue cooking for 9 more minutes. Do not eat those shellfish that do not open during cooking. Boil shucked oysters at least 3 minutes, or fry them in oil at least 10 minutes at 375 degrees F.
  • Avoid cross-contamination of cooked seafood and other foods with raw seafood and juices from raw seafood.
  • Eat shellfish promptly after cooking and refrigerate leftovers.
  • Avoid exposure of open wounds or broken skin to warm salt or brackish water, or to raw shellfish harvested from such waters.
  • Wear protective clothing (e.g., gloves) when handling raw shellfish.
County Health Department Director, Heidar Heshmati, MD, says, "Vibrio vulnificus bacteria naturally live in the river. Every year we have a few cases of infection in humans due to water exposure. People should be aware of their risk. Boating and other sporting activities in the Indian River Lagoon are fine. However, I recommend people not eat raw seafood and/or expose their self to the lagoon water if they have an open wound, especially if they have liver or immune system problems."


October 02, 2013

Rain Barrel Workshop Offered in Cocoa

COCOA, Fla. -- Residents interested in putting rainwater to use in their landscapes and gardens will have the opportunity to create their own rain barrels at a workshop on Saturday, Oct. 19, in Cocoa.

The workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at University of Florida Brevard County Extension, 3695 Lake Drive. Participants will to learn about the benefits of collecting rain while enjoying hands-on construction of 55-gallon rain barrels. The workshop is sponsored by Brevard County Natural Resources Management Department, University of Central Florida Stormwater Academy, University of Florida Cooperative Extension, and Marine Resources Council.

The rain barrel kit includes the 55-gallon barrel, faucet, flexible downspout extender, leaf filter, and a DVD of instructions for building, installing, and painting the barrel. Cost for the rain barrel kit is $50, paid by cash or check at the door.

Seating is limited and pre-registration is required. To ensure that all materials are available; open-top or closed-top barrel should be specified.

To pre-register for the workshop, call Elizabeth Melvin at (321) 633-2016 ext 56721, e-mail elizabeth.melvin@brevardcounty.us, or register online at http://www.brevardcounty.us/NaturalResources/Watershed/RainBarrelWorkshopshttp://youthflyfishing4h2013.eventbrite.com/.


September 27, 2013

Automated Garbage/Recycling Collection Starts Sept. 30 in Unincorporated Brevard

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Beginning Monday, Sept. 30, unincorporated Brevard County residents will be wheeling a new garbage and recycle cart to the curb for collection. Over the past two months, more than 180,000 carts have been delivered for the start of the county's new automated collection system for garbage and recycling.

"The cart program requires an Automated Side Loader Truck for collection so it is important to keep a few things in mind when placing your carts curbside," said Amy Boyson, community affairs manager for Waste Management. "Proper placement includes positioning the cart directly at the curb with the handle away from the street, keep a 3-foot distance between carts and mailboxes or other objects and do not park cars in front of or close to your cart."

Unincorporated Brevard County residents should refer to the top of their garbage cart for garbage and yard waste service days, and the top of their recycle cart for the recycling service day, said Hillary Arena, Brevard County Recycling Coordinator. Some service days have changed.

Yard waste service is not changing and residents should continue to use a 40-gallon or less container for yard waste and follow these guidelines for collection:
Loose materials such as pine needles, leaves and small twigs must be containerized in reusable garbage cans. Please do not bag yard waste.

Branches and limbs can be no longer than 4 feet in length, 24 inches in diameter, less than 50 pounds and must be stacked uniformly within 5 feet of the curb.

Hired landscapers, land clearing or tree trimming services must remove any vegetative waste they generate on residential or commercial properties per Brevard County Ordinance No. 94-49.

The 64-gallon recycle cart will provide a larger capacity for recyclable materials. This will keep valuable materials out of the landfill and help protect our environment. A list of acceptable recyclable items can be found on the lid of the recycle cart.

Residents are encouraged to keep their old trash containers for yard waste, or other household purposes. Unwanted containers can be placed curbside with a note directing Waste Management to take the container. Unwanted recycle bins will also be collected and recycled.

For more information about the cart program visit http://brevardthinksgreen.wm.com or contact Waste Management at (321) 636-6894 if you live in the north area of the county or (321) 723-4455 if you live in the central/south area of the county. Contact Brevard County Solid Waste Management Department at (321) 633-2042


September 24, 2013

North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation Meets Oct. 10

TITUSVILLE, Fla.—The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation will hold its next monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Ave. in Titusville. The public is invited to attend.

The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center–North. For more information, call Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.

If a person desires to appeal any decision made by this commission with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of this proceeding and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of this proceeding is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which any such appeal is to be based. Section 286.0105, Florida Statutes.

In accordance with the Americans and Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, Florida Statutes, persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notice Parks and Recreation North Area no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting by contacting Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


September 23, 2013

Joint meeting of Brevard County Commissioners/School Board set for Sept. 25

VIERA, Fla. -- A joint board meeting between Brevard County Commissioners and Brevard Public Schools Board will be held Wednesday, Sept. 25, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the School Board's Meeting Room, 2700 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, in Viera.

This public meeting was originally scheduled for Aug. 27, but was postponed to comply with legal public noticing requirements.

The subject of the meeting is specific to issues relating to county impact fees.


September 23, 2013

EEL Program to hold Selection/Management Committee Meeting on Sept. 30

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners will be held on Monday, Sept. 30.

The Regular Meeting will run from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., followed by a Gopher Tortoise Workshop from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The meeting is held at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of these meetings is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program and to hold a workshop on Gopher Tortoises. Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


September 20, 2013

Transportation Symposium to focus on travel in Brevard 20 years and beyond

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The public is invited to attend the Brevard 2040 Transportation Symposium, hosted by the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization, from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Oct. 3, at the Brevard County Public Schools Board Room, 2700 Judge Fran Jamieson Way.

Reservations for this event can be made online at www.sctpo.com/registration.

Top Reasons to Attend are:

  • FIND out how Brevard communities are planning to grow and change
  • LEARN about future plans and initiatives for rail, sea, air, and space
  • GAIN insight into what transportation improvements will be needed in the future
  • NETWORK with elected officials, government agencies, and community leaders
Who Should Attend:

Brevard residents, elected officials, business leaders, planners, engineers, consultants and anyone that plans to travel in Brevard for the next 20-plus years!


September 17, 2013

Sams House at Pine Island's October Events Celebrate Early History

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Sams House at Pine Island will present a series of programs throughout the month of October that celebrate Florida's early history.

Activities include:

Saturday, Oct. 5, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Ice Age Story and Fossil Making: Learn about prehistoric giant animals that once roamed Florida. Make your own fossil replicas to take home. Wear older clothes and expect to get messy. Suggested donation of $1 per person.

Saturday, Oct. 12, 11 a.m. to noon, Taste of the Wild: This presentation by Indian River Anthropological Society President Elaine Williams will focus on the food of prehistoric Native peoples of Florida, how these foods were obtained, and how they were prepared. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample native foods such as hickory nuts, yaupon tea, smoked fish, and more. Suggested donation of $1 per person.

Saturday, Oct. 19, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Handmade Baskets, a Highly Prized Southern Art: The art of baskets evolved from a long history of utilitarian use and Native knowledge. Join Instructor Master Basketweaver Becky Selman as registrants create a melon basket using native and natural materials. Prepare to get messy, wear older clothing and bring a towel. The entire day will be devoted to crafting your basket - bring your lunch and snacks. Class is limited to 15 students, cost of $30 for 8-inch basket covers materials. Please call to register at (321) 449-4720 by Oct. 12. Registrants will pay Selman at the class.

John Sams was a citrus grower, businessman, and the first Superintendent of Brevard County Schools. The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. The Center is located at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours of the Sams Cabin, Brevard oldest standing home (1875) and the larger Sams House (1888), are offered every Thursday and Saturday at 3 p.m. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


September 17, 2013

Brevard County's Animal Care Centers Need Dog and Cat Food

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County's Animal Care Centers are in need of food donations for its hundreds of cats and dogs.

"We have over 300 animals in our care. You go through it quicker than you would expect," said Karla Torpy, Director of Animal Services and Enforcement.

Wet or dry food for puppies, kittens, dogs and cats is needed. "Purina and Pedigree brands are suggested, with all donations appreciated," Torpy said.

Donations can be dropped off at the South Animal Care Center, 5100 West Eau Gallie Blvd. (just west of Interstate 95) or the North Animal Care Center, 2605 Flake Road (north end of Dunn Airport in Titusville).

Shelter hours are noon to 6 p.m. Thursday through Tuesday. Shelters are closed on Wednesday.

For more information, call the South Animal Care Center at (321) 253-6608 or the North Animal Care Center at (321) 264-5119 or visit www.brevardcounty.us/animalservices.


September 13, 2013

20th Annual Fox Lake Christmas Festival of Crafts seeks food vendors

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Brevard County Parks and Recreation, North Area, will accept applications for food vendors beginning Monday, Sept. 23, for the 20th Annual Fox Lake Christmas Festival Of Crafts.

Vendors may obtain applications at the North Area Parks Operations Office, 475 North Williams Ave., Titusville, or by email at jill.hill@brevardparks.com beginning Monday, Sept. 23, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The deadline for receipt of completed applications is 4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 18.

Selected vendors will be notified by Friday, Oct. 25. Vendor selection is based on, but not limited to, application date, price of product(s) to the public, proper licensing, and appropriateness of the product(s) to the nature of the event. Special consideration is given to not-for-profit service organizations. The county reserves the right to limit vendors to one or two vendors per product. There is no cost to submit an application. A $50 plus tax, non-refundable special event fee is due from selected vendors by Friday, Nov. 8.

The festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at Fox Lake Park, 4400 Fox Lake Road, Titusville. Call (321) 264-5105 for additional information on this and other recreation programs sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in North Brevard.


September 11, 2013 Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization

Space Coast TPO 2040 Transportation Survey

The Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization is conducting a survey to gather the public's opinion on how the current transportation network is functioning and to determine what type of future investments we should focus our limited resources on. Your responses will be used to set transportation policies for Brevard County and develop our 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan. All surveys are anonymous.

Please visit www.spacecoast2040.com to take the survey and to learn more about the Long Range Transportation Plan.

Please pass this email on to your constituents and anyone else that would like to provide their input.

Thank You,
Carol Holden, Space Coast TPO, Executive Assistant
321-690-6890 • carol.holden@brevardcounty.us

Every five years the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) updates its Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). The 2040 LRTP begins with an assessment of Brevard County's history, and then explores differing future economic development scenarios and how each scenario influences development patterns and transportation needs throughout the County. The preferred scenario will then become the basis for determining the County's transportation improvements necessary to develop the plan.

This LRTP update will also define how each of the major transportation corridors in the County functions so that the right transportation improvements are identified in the Plan to fulfill each major corridor's primary function.

The LRTP update process will provide a number of opportunities for you to participate, beginning with an online public survey that we hope you take the time to complete. You will have a chance to participate in workshops that envision the differing economic development possibilities in the County and how you think they could influence development patterns; and you will have a chance to help define the improvements that help major transportation corridors meet their intended function.


September 11, 2013

Brevard County Government employees to get "Hands On" at Grant Flatwoods

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Brevard County Government employees will get "Hands On" volunteering their time and services as part of an Environmentally Endangered Lands Program workday on Saturday, Sept. 21.

The workday is scheduled to honor National Public Lands Day and will take place at the Grant Flatwoods Sanctuary. This 2,600-acre sanctuary, located within the town of Grant/Valkaria, protects a variety of habitats including cypress domes and forests, pine flatwoods, oak hammocks and depression marshes. Common wildlife species include wading birds, white-tailed deer, bobcat, gopher tortoise, and many reptiles and amphibians.

County employees and their families will be building footbridges and/or plankwalks on a new hiking trail for public use. The workday is part of a new initiative launched by the Brevard County Executive Leadership Institute called "Hands On Brevard!" The program encourages employee volunteerism through service opportunities.

"Brevard County employees are the most dedicated employees I've ever worked with", says County Manager Howard Tipton. "In addition to being public servants during their day (or night) job, they provide on-going community support to their schools, youth leagues, non-profits, and places of worship."


September 10, 2013

Annual Edible Plant Festival to highlight tasty and ornamental plants

COCOA, Fla. - Autumn gardeners are invited to join members of the Brevard Botanical Garden, Brevard County Master Gardeners and UF/IFAS Brevard County Agents at the Cocoa Extension Service, 3695 Lake Drive, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 21, for the annual Edible Plant Festival.

Edible and ornamental plants will be sold with all proceeds going to the Brevard Botanical Garden. Free classes are also offered.

Some of the herbs for sale include basil, borage, calendula, chervil, dill, and fennel. Gardeners who enjoy growing their own vegetables may purchase broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, Chinese and red cabbage, eggplant, kale, salad mix, Swiss chard, sweet and hot peppers, and heirloom tomatoes. Edible and sweet-smelling flowers for sale include Mexican mint marigold, stock, nasturtium, and sweet pea. Other plants will also be offered.

Free classes will be offered as well, including Growing Vegetables 101 at 9:30 a.m., followed by Knot Gardens 101 at 10:30 a.m., and Grow Culinary Herbs 101 at 11:30 a.m. All interested parties may sign up at Eventbrite, http://ediblegardenfestival-sale-es2.eventbrite.com/?rank=1.

The Brevard Botanical Garden (BBG) was formed in May 2010 as a 501 (c)(3) by garden enthusiasts, UF/IFAS Brevard County Agents, and environmentally concerned citizens who sought to improve the quality of life in Brevard County by opening a research-based botanical garden for demonstrations, collections, and displays. Its mission is to promote an increased appreciation of the environment.

To find out more about the Brevard Botanical garden, visit www.brevardbotanicalgarden.org.


September 10, 2013

New dates announced for Brevard County Fair

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Mark your calendars, the Brevard County Fair is moving to new dates! The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has confirmed a change from the previous March Fair calendar. The Brevard County Fair will be operating from Oct. 23 - Nov. 2, beginning in 2014.

"The Fair board explored various date ranges," said Melinda Morgan-Stowell, Brevard County Fair Manager. "We felt that the October through November dates not only allowed for more opportunities to involve our community's youth, but also offered the more traditional feel of a Fall Fair. We're really excited by all of the possibilities for new events. We would also like to extend our invitation to community groups, churches, and youth organizations to share their ideas for the activities, fund raisers, and special events in which they would like to participate as we grow and improve our Fair. Please feel free to contact the Brevard County Fair at (321) 633-1702, ext 238, with your ideas and feedback."

The Fair has been held for the past five years at Wickham Park in Melbourne, and will continue to work with Parks and Recreation partners at Wickham to bring the community a family friendly event that showcases the unique qualities of Brevard County.


September 06, 2013

Adult Coed Kickball Tourney Oct. 26 at Chain of Lakes Recreation Complex

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, will host an adult coed kickball tournament at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, at Chain of Lakes Recreation Complex, 2110 Chain of Lakes Drive, Titusville.

The fee of $50 per team is due by 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, at the North Area Parks Operations Office, 475 North Williams Ave., in Titusville.

Call Mike Herman at (321) 264-5105 to register and for information on this and other athletic activities in North Brevard.


September 06, 2013

Sponsors sought for Fall Festival/Movie in the Park at Chain of Lakes Park

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- North Area Parks Operations is seeking sponsors as part of its Fall Festival at the Park at Chain of Lakes Park in Titusville on Oct. 26.

Local business sponsors are needed for the trunk n' treat portion of this event, which begins at 5 p.m. at the park, located at 2300 Truman Scarborough Way. The festival will also include a costume contest, kids games, hay ride, face painting and a free movie in the park.

Local businesses can promote their organization by providing and handing out candy to children participating in the event. For more information on sponsorship or to pre-register for this event, please contact Mike Herman by email at mike.herman@brevardparks.com or by phone at (321) 264-5105.


September 05, 2013

Fall Festival at Chain of Lakes Park includes free Movie in the Park

TITUSVILLE, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, is hosting a fall festival and a free movie in the park at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, at Chain of Lakes Park, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, in Titusville.

Activities will include a costume contest, children's games, trunk n' treat, hay ride, glitter tattoo's and a movie in the park. An adult coed kickball tournament will also be offered earlier in the day. The movie will be shown on a giant, 23-foot, outdoor movie screen beginning at approximately 8 p.m. The free movie will be "Hotel Transylvania" and is rated PG. Please check the movie hotline for inclement weather updates at (321) 264-5109.

Patrons are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, food and drinks to enjoy during the movie. Concessions will be available for purchase. Call Mike Herman at (321) 264-5105 for more information.


September 04, 2013

Enchanted Forest Sanctuary hosts Florida Wildflower Foundation Symposim

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- What do wildflowers, bats, butterflies, archaeology, herbs, fire and fungus have in common? All will be featured topics at the Florida Wildflower Foundation's (FWF) 2013 Florida Wildflower Symposium and Annual Meeting this month at the Enchanted Forest Preserve, Titusville.

The symposium, presented in close partnership with Brevard County's Environmentally Endangered Lands Program and Friends of the Enchanted Forest, features two days of fun and learning about Florida's native ecosystems, plants, animals and organisms. It kicks off Friday, Sept. 27, with field trips to three of Brevard County's natural jewels - Sams House at Pine Island Sanctuary, Merritt Island; Dicerandra Scrub Preserve, Titusville; and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville. FWF's annual meeting and dinner that evening at Dixie Crossroads will feature keynote speaker Xavier Cortada, Florida International University's artist in residence, who will give a presentation on his FLOR 500 project, which is boosting awareness of the beauty of Florida's wildflowers throughout the state.

Workshops, presentations and walks at the Enchanted Forest Preserve in Titusville are planned for Saturday, Sept. 28. Experts will cover Florida's wildflowers, bats, butterflyscaping, use of native herbs, fire ecology, and more. Guided walks will introduce participants to the forest's wildflowers, ecosystems and archaeology. with experts or sign up for nature journaling and wildflower propagation workshops.

Friday field trips are $10 for FWF members and $15 for non-members. Saturday's activities are $25 for members and $35 for nonmembers.

Space is limited. Visit http://www.flawildflowers.org/events/2013WildflowerSymp.html to register. Each Saturday registration includes a $5 donation to the Friends of the Enchanted Forest. For more information, contact the Florida Wildflower Foundation at 407-622-1606 or mailto:Info@FlaWildflowers.org.


August 28, 2013

Space Coast Area Transit sets Labor Day Service schedule

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Area Transit announced the following changes to its fixed route bus service for Labor Day:
  • Monday, Sept. 2: All fixed routes will not operate.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 3: All fixed route bus service will return to regular schedule.
Questions or requests for additional information should be directed to the Bus Information Line at (321) 633-1878 (952-4672 for South Mainland residents) or access us online at www.RideSCAT.com.


August 28, 2013

EFSC students who ride Space Coast Area Transit buses must obtain ID sticker

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Eastern Florida State College Students who use Space Coast Area Transit fixed route bus service will be required to use student identification stickers effective Sunday, Sept. 1.

Eastern Florida State College is issuing student ID stickers for those students who use Space Coast Area Transit fixed route bus service. Students are advised to visit security, the library or a cashier to obtain a student ID sticker to ride free. The stickers must be in place by Sept. 1.

As of Sept. 1, students who do not have a sticker on their EFSC Student ID will need to pay the fare in order to board the bus.


August 26, 2013

Check This Out: September is Library Card Sign-up Month

PORT ST. JOHN, Fla. -- Now that school has started again for the year, Library Card Sign-up Month is a good time to remind parents and children that a library card is the most important school supply of all.

A free library card is a true ticket to back-to-school savings.

Resources at Brevard County libraries are available for checkout by anyone who has a library card. Every member of the family is eligible. Parents just need to sign for children under the age of 18 for them to receive their own card.

Library-card holders can come into the library for browsing and assistance as well as use their card from home to reserve books via the online catalog, download ebooks and audiobooks and search the Florida Electronic Library for databases and homework help.

And if you haven't been to the library in a while, we not only have books in a variety of formats, we have new-release DVDs and music CDs. We have public access computers with printing capability, fax and notary services and free WiFi every day.

Stop by the Port St. John library to sign up for the smartest card in your wallet.

Hours:
Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Wednesday, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Thursday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Friday, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

For more information, contact Nancy Garmer at Port St. John Public Library at (321) 633-1867.


August 26, 2013

Rain Barrel Workshop offered Sept. 13 in Titusville

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Residents interested in putting rainwater to use in their landscapes and gardens will have the opportunity to create their own rain barrels at a workshop in September.

The workshop will be from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, at the Sandrift Community Center, 585 N. Singleton Ave., Titusville.

Participants will learn about the benefits of collecting rain while enjoying hands-on construction of 55-gallon rain barrels. The workshops are sponsored by Brevard County Natural Resources Management, University of Central Florida Stormwater Academy, University of Florida Cooperative Extension, and Marine Resources Council.

The rain barrel kit includes the 55-gallon barrel, faucet, flexible downspout extender, leaf filter, and a DVD of instructions for building, installing, and painting the barrel. Cost for the rain barrel kit is $50, paid by cash or check at the door.

Seating is limited and pre-registration is required to ensure that all materials are available; open-top or closed-top barrel should be specified.

To pre-register for the workshop, call Elizabeth Melvin at (321) 633-2016 ext 56721, e-mail elizabeth.melvin@brevardcounty.us, or register online at www.brevardcounty.us/NaturalResources/Watershed/RainBarrelWorkshops.


August 26, 2013

Space Coast Area Transit sets up temporary bus stop at Melbourne Square Mall

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The bus stop for Routes 21, 24, 25 and 28 at the Melbourne Square Mall is moving to a temporary bus stop at the southwest side of the mall parking lot, effective Sunday, Sept. 1. This stop will be used until a permanent bus stop is built along the mall access road.

The new bus stop will include space for four buses, a shelter and a bench. The stop is moving to improve transfer times and ease of customer transferring.

Route 21 and paratransit buses will have a stop at the mall entrance next to TooJays Gourmet Deli.

Time schedules will not be affected. We apologize for any inconvenience. For additional information, call (321) 633-1878


August 23, 2013

North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation meets Sept. 12

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation will hold its next monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12. The meeting will be held in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Ave. in Titusville.

One or more members of Titusville City Council and the following committees may be present: Causeway Improvements Referendum Committee, Equestrian Trails & Facilities Referendum Committee, and the Mims-Scottsmoor Community Center Referendum Committee. The meeting is open to the public.

The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center-North.

For questions call Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.

If a person desires to appeal any decision made by this commission with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of this proceeding and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of this proceeding is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which any such appeal is to be based. Section 286.0105, Florida Statutes.

In accordance with the Americans and Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, Florida Statutes, persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notice Parks and Recreation North Area no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting by contacting Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


August 23, 2013

EEL Program plans workdays for National Public Lands Day, Sept. 28

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) Program is organizing two workdays in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of National Public Lands Day on Sept. 28. It's the nation's largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands.

Invasive Species Removal at Pine Island Conservation Area: Help remove invasive plants from the salt marsh at Pine Island Conservation Area. Participants should wear long pants and close-toed shoes. Work gloves, bug spray, and sunscreen are recommended. Be prepared to get a little wet. A walking tour of the site will be offered. Meet at 9:00 am at the site entrance, 2100 Pine Island Road, Merritt Island. For more information, contact Damien Keene at damien.keene@brevardparks.com or (321) 449-4720.

Trail Marking at Micco Scrub Sanctuary: Help mark and open a new trail section in Micco Scrub Sanctuary. Work will include trimming, cutting, mowing, and marking of the new trail. Bring water, sunscreen, and bug spray. Tools will be provided. Meet at the Sanctuary entrance, 500 Micco Road, Palm Bay. For more information, contact Chris O'Hara at chris.ohara@brevardparks.com or (321) 302-1773.

Throughout the month of September, the EEL Program will offer prizes to individuals who respond to questions on one or more of the Programs social media platforms. You can follow the EEL Program on Twitter @BrevardEELPrg or Facebook @eelbrevard; @samshousepineisland; @EnchantedForestSanctuary; and @BrevardCountyBarrierIsland Center.

Learn more about National Public Lands Day by visiting www.publiclandsday.org. Information on the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program is at www.eelbrevard.com.


August 21, 2013

September Events at Sams House at Pine Island Celebrate Public Lands

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- In recognition of National Public Lands Day, September Events at Sams House at Pine Island focus on celebrating local public lands.

There is a suggested donation of $1 per person for each program, which includes:

Garden Helpers - Saturday, Sept. 7, and Sept. 21, 9:30 a.m. to noon: Learn about native plants as we work together to weed and beautify our gardens. No experience necessary. Bring gloves if you have them, all other tools will be supplied.

Orienteering/Scavenger Hunt - Saturday, Sept. 14, 10:30 a.m. to noon: Use a map and compass to find hidden objects in this family fun challenge. Great for all ages.

Encounters of the Wild Kind - Friday, Sept. 20, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.: Nancy Corona will share the wildlife and recreational adventures that can be found at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (MINWR), which celebrates its 50th anniversary this fall.

The Legacy of Aldo Leopold: What It Means For Florida - Saturday, Sept. 21, 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.: Vince Lamb, local Naturalist and photographer will share photos from his recent visit to conservationist Aldo Leopold's shack in the woods of Wisconsin, as well as his thoughts about how Leopold's pioneering concepts are highly relevant in 21st century Florida.

National Public Lands Workday - Saturday, Sept. 28, 9 a.m. to noon: Help us honor National Public Lands Day by removing invasive plants from the salt marsh restoration area at Pine Island Conservation Area (PICA). Wear long pants and close-toed shoes. Work gloves, bug spray, and sunscreen are recommended. Be prepared to get a little wet. Meet at PICA entrance at 2100 Pine Island Road. Call or email Damien Keene with questions: (321) 449-4720 or damien.keene@brevardparks.com.

Sams House and Cabin Tour - every Thursday and Saturday, 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Tour the inside of Brevard County's oldest standing home (Sams Cabin - 1875) and the adjacent 1888 Florida vernacular-style home and learn about the Sams family.

The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. The Center is located at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


August 20, 2013

Commissioners: No Rate Hike this year for Garbage/Recycling Service

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Residents of unincorporated Brevard County will not see a rate increase this coming year for automated curbside garbage and recycling collection service.

Following a public hearing during the Commission's regular monthly meeting Tuesday, Commissioners voted 4-0 (with one commissioner absent) to keep the rates the same in the coming year. The rate will, however, increase by 2 percent in the following year and will be subject to adjustments in subsequent years depending on action taken by future commissioners.

Brevard County residents in unincorporated areas pay $125.70 annually for 2-1-1 collection service, which consists of twice weekly garbage collection and once-a-week collection both for recycling and yard waste.

By locking in this rate, the Commission adopted the second-lowest rate for curbside collection services in the county.

In April, Commissioners approved a 7-year-contract with Waste Management Inc., which will implement automated curbside garbage and recycling collection service. The company is currently delivering garbage and recycling containers to customers throughout the county that will be used as part of the automated collection program, which begins Sept. 30.


August 15, 2013

Sea Turtles highlight September calendar for Barrier Island Center

MELBOURNE BEACH, Fla. – Sea turtles highlight a variety of events featured in September by the Barrier Island Center, South Beaches region of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Events include:

Turtle Talks - 8 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4 and Sept. 11: Join us to explore the beach in search of sea turtle tracks and observe sea turtle biologists evaluate a nest that has recently hatched.

Dune to Lagoon Homeschool Series - 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10: Learn about sea turtles and the threats that they face. For students in grades K-12. Enrollment is limited. For availability, email jennifer.howell@brevardparks.com or call (321) 723-3556.

"Living Shorelines" Presentation - 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14: Join Marc Virgilio from the Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserve to learn about the importance of living shorelines like mangrove ecosystems and what you can do to help protect and restore them locally.

Oyster Mat Making - 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18: Help the Brevard Zoo create mats to restore oyster reefs in the Mosquito Lagoon.

International Coastal Cleanup - 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21: Do your part for nesting and hatchling sea turtles by keeping our beaches and ocean clean of marine debris. Record information about the trash you collect to help researchers better understand the global issue of marine debris.

National Estuaries Day Celebration With "Hands Across the Lagoon," "Sea Stars" Touch Tank, and "Naturally Central Florida" Eco-Film - 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 28: Show your support for the protection and restoration of the Indian River Lagoon, one of the most diverse estuaries in the United States, by joining hands across one of the designated Lagoon causeways, US192 or Wabasso, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Then visit the Barrier Island Center to learn more about the unique life in the Lagoon by interacting with our "Sea Stars" touch tank and watching an environmental film about our country's most diverse estuary.


August 14, 2013

Sign-up Underway for Adult Flag Football League in North Brevard

TITUSVILLE, Fla.– Sign-up is now underway for the Fall league for adult flag football teams, sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations.

The adult flag football league organizational meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, at Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice G. Jackson Park, 4201 N. US 1, in Sharpes.

Fees, dates and game times will be decided at the organizational meetings.

For more information on this and other athletic opportunities in North Brevard, please call (321) 264-5105.


August 14, 2013

Transportation Disadvantaged Services Board sets Aug. 26 Public Meeting

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Brevard County Local Coordinating Board for Transportation Disadvantaged Services, established by Chapter 427 of the Florida Statutes, will meet at 10:15 a.m. Monday, Aug. 26, at the Brevard County Government Center, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Building C, 2nd Floor, Space Coast Room, Viera.

Questions pertaining to this meeting should be directed to Jim Liesenfelt at (321) 635-7815 or e-mail at Jim.Liesenfelt@brevardcounty.us.

If a person desires to appeal any decision made by this board, agency, or commission with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of the proceedings and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which such appeal is to be based.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, F.S., persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notice the Transit Services Department no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting at 635-7815 ext. 601.


August 13, 2013

Brevard Botanical Gardens to hold 'State of the Garden' Party on Aug. 29

COCOA, Fla. – Charter members of the Brevard Botanical Garden are invited to attend the first State of the Garden Party at 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension Service, 3695 Lake Drive in Cocoa.

Guests will learn about the garden's progress, speak with current board members and Extension faculty, and have a chance to view progress in the pond area. The Brevard Botanical Garden (BBG) was formed in May 2010 as a 501 (c)(3) by garden enthusiasts, University of Florida/IFAS Extension faculty, and environmentally concerned citizens who want to improve the quality of life in Brevard County by opening a research-based botanical garden for demonstrations, collections and displays.

Since its inception, Master Gardeners and others who make up the BBG's Board of Directors have been busy creating and manning displays, taking cuttings to grow the garden's future displays, and researching donation and grant opportunities. Recently the BBG received one of four Viva Florida! grants awarded this year.

The mission of the Brevard Botanical Garden is to promote an increased appreciation of the environment. It seeks to inspire, support, and educate the community about horticulture through UF/IFAS research-based demonstrations, collections and displays.

The next scheduled event is the Edible Plant Festival and Sale on Sept. 21. To find out more about the garden, visit www.brevardbotanicalgarden.org.


August 13, 2013

Volunteers needed to help restore Oyster Reefs

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. – Volunteers are needed to help restore dead oyster reefs for the Brevard Zoo's Oyster Reef Restoration Project in the Indian River Lagoon.

Oyster mat-making workshops are held from 10 a.m. to noon on the first Wednesday of every month at Riverwalk: A Family Park, 5355 US Hwy 1, in Rockledge. The next workshop will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 4.

To help restore oyster reefs in Mosquito Lagoon,volunteers make oyster shell mats. Each mat is made up of 36 oyster shells attached vertically with zip ties.

The mats are later transported to the Mosquito Lagoon, where they are attached to each other, forming a large quilt-like structure where new oysters can settle and grow. Efforts will aid the growth of oysters in the estuary and contribute to overall water quality in the Indian River Lagoon.

The event is free and open to anyone 12 years of age or older. Volunteers under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult. All volunteers must be able to follow instructions and work with their hands.

For more information or to register,contact Jody Palmer at jpalmer@brevardzoo.org or call (321) 254-9453.


August 13, 2013

Rain Barrel Workshop offered Aug. 27 in Port St. John

PORT ST. JOHN, Fla. -- Residents interested in putting rainwater to use in their landscapes and gardens will have the opportunity to create their own rain barrels at a workshop on Tuesday, Aug. 27.

The workshop will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Port St. John Community Center, 6650 Corto Road, Port St. John.

Participants will learn about the benefits of collecting rain while enjoying hands-on construction of 55-gallon rain barrels. The workshop is sponsored by Brevard County Natural Resources Management Office, University of Florida Cooperative Extension, Marine Resources Council and Community Matters Inc.

The rain barrel kit includes the 55-gallon barrel, hose bib, flexible downspout extender, leaf filter, and a DVD of instructions for building, installing, and painting the barrel. Cost for the rain barrel kit is $50, paid by cash or check at the door.

Seating is limited and pre-registration is required to ensure that all materials are available. Open-top or closed-top barrel should be specified.

To pre-register for the workshop, call Elizabeth Melvin at (321) 633-2016 ext 56721, e-mail elizabeth.melvin@brevardcounty.us, or register online at http://www.brevardcounty.us/NaturalResources/Watershed/RainBarrelWorkshops.


August 13, 2013

Women's, Coed Sports Leagues announced in North Brevard

TITUSVILLE, Fla.– Fall leagues are being formed for Women's and Coed softball teams sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations.

The women's softball league organizational meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 26. The coed softball league meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28. Both meetings will be held at the Chain of Lakes Recreation Complex 4-plex softball concession building, 2111 Chain of Lakes Drive, Titusville.

Fees, dates, and game times will be decided at the organizational meetings. For more information on this and other athletic opportunities in North Brevard, call (321) 264-5105.


August 13, 2013

Kelly Park East Boat Ramp Temporarily Closed for Renovations

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. -- Kelly Park East boat ramp at 2550 N. Banana River Drive in Merritt Island, is now closed for renovations that include replacement of sea walls and boat dock, installation of a new floating dock and shoreline revetment.

The boat ramp is expected to reopen by Tuesday, Aug. 27.

The following boat ramps are available for public use: Kiwanis Island Park, 951 Kiwanis Island Park Road, Merritt Island; Lee Wenner Park, 300 Riveredge Boulevard, Cocoa; and Port St. John Boat Ramp, 6650 N. Cocoa Boulevard, Cocoa.

For additional information call (321) 633-1874


August 13, 2013

North Area Parks Operations looks to fill Caretaker Positions

TITUSVILLE, Fla.– Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area Park Operations, has openings for caretakers at Space Coast Communities Sports Complex, 662 Canaveral Groves Blvd. in Sharpes, Stuart Park, 4260 Stuart Ave. in Titusville, and Holder Park, 2650 Glendale Blvd. in Mims.

Applications are available at the North Area Parks Operations Office, 475 North Williams Ave., Titusville. Law enforcement presence is desired at county parks, therefore interested law enforcement officers are encouraged to apply.

Space Coast Communities Sports Complex, Stuart Park and Holder Park do not currently have a home on site, therefore the caretaker would need to provide a mobile home.

Send completed applications to Terry Lane, Operations Manager, 475 N. Williams Ave., Titusville, FL 32796, or email to terry.lane@brevardparks.com. Applications need to be received no later than Thursday, Aug. 29. For more information, contact Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


August 02, 2013

Space Coast Area Transit Seeks Public Input on Possible Fare Increase

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Area Transit will seek public input on a possible fare increase requested due to rising operating expenses.

The outreach will be conducted in an informal atmosphere and citizens can arrive any time between the designated times at the following locations:

  • Sears – at Bus Stop, 1050 S. Babcock St, Melbourne: Monday, Aug. 12, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Melbourne Square Mall – at Transfer Station, 1700 W. New Haven Avenue, Melbourne: Monday, Aug. 12, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Space Coast Area Transit – Cocoa Terminal, 401 S. Varr Avenue, Cocoa: Wednesday, Aug. 14, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Hammock Landing – at Transfer Station, 225 Palm Bay Road, Palm Bay: Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Shepard Park – at Transfer Station, 179 E. Cocoa Beach Causeway, Cocoa Beach: Wednesday, Aug. 21, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Searstown Mall – at Transfer Station, 3550 S. Washington Ave, Titusville: Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
If you are unable to attend any of these dates, further information can be obtained by accessing www.RideSCAT.com.


August 02, 2013

Adopters have "Wheel" chance to save at Brevard County Animal Care Centers

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Spin the wheel to find out how much you'll pay when you adopt a pet from Brevard County Animal Care Centers during August.

Brevard County Animal Services is offering approved adopters a chance to pay a reduced adoption fee – usually $80 for dogs and $70 for cats– throughout the month.

"This promotion, in which all adopters can participate, is a fun way to draw attention to the animals in our care," says Brevard County Animal Services Director Karla Torpy. "We'll have lucky adopters who pay $50, $30, $20, $10 or even get a Free adoption when they spin the wheel."

The fees include spay/neuter, microchipping and vaccinations. Everyone is a winner. Even if you don't get a reduced adoption fee, you can win flea control for your new pet or a T-shirt.

The county has two animal care centers. The South Animal Care Center is at 5100 West Eau Gallie Blvd. (just west of Interstate 95 and the Renninger's Super Flea Market and Farmer's Market in Melbourne.) The North Animal Care Center is at 2605 Flake Road (north end of Dunn Airport in Titusville.) Shelter hours are noon to 6 p.m. Thursday through Tuesday. Shelters are closed on Wednesday.

For more information, call the South Animal Care Center at (321) 253-6608 or the North Animal Care Center at (321) 264-5119 or visit www.brevardcounty.us/animalservices.


August 02, 2013

Span Inspection will close traffic lane on Indian River Bridge this weekend

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The south span of Indian River Bridge (State Road 405) will be reduced to one lane, single-direction traffic from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. both on Saturday, Aug. 3, and Sunday, Aug. 4, for span inspection.

Flagman will be on site to direct traffic both days. The north span will be inspected on Monday, Aug. 5, but traffic patterns will not be affected.


August 02, 2013

Public Input Sought for 20-Year Transportation Plan

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) is updating Brevard County's long-range transportation plan (LRTP) to reflect changes in the community such as population, jobs, the economy and travel demand. The plan will address all modes of transportation including, roads, transit, bicycle, pedestrian, rail and air travel.

An online survey will gather community views on travel and mobility in Brevard County and the surrounding region. The survey can be accessed electronically at www.spacecoast2040.com or at www.Facebook.com/SCTPO until Sept. 30, 2013. Paper surveys are available by mail. Call (321) 690-6890 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to request a copy.

Individuals who live and/or work in Brevard County are encouraged to participate in the survey, sharing their experiences and perceptions of the transportation system. The responses are confidential and will be used to help the SCTPO better understand the current travel patterns and future needs of the community.

The LRTP is a comprehensive plan that will detail the transportation investment needed to provide an adequate transportation system between now and the year 2040. The LRTP is a federally mandated planning process that requires the consideration of eight transportation planning factors: economic vitality, safety, security, accessibility and mobility, environmental protection, multi-modal connectivity, management and operations, and preservation of the existing system.

To learn more about the Space Coast TPO and Brevard's 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan, visit the website at www.spacecoast2040.com.










August 01, 2013

Food Supplies Run Low at Brevard County Animal Care Centers

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County's animal care centers are filled to capacity and in need of food donations from the public.

"You can help out in two different ways," says Karla Torpy, director of Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement. "You can donate some dry food that's, of course, high in nutrition, or you can come by and adopt a dog or cat so there will be less animals that need to be fed."

Donations can be dropped off at the South Animal Care Center, 5100 West Eau Gallie Blvd. (just west of Interstate 95 and the Renninger's Super Flea and Farmer's Market in Melbourne,) the North Animal Care Center, 2605 Flake Road (north end of Dunn Airport in Titusville,) or at the Animal Services and Enforcement Office at the Viera Government Center, Building A, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way in Viera.

Shelter hours are noon to 6 p.m. Thursday through Tuesday. Shelters are closed on Wednesday.

For more information, call the South Animal Care Center at (321) 253-6608 or the North Animal Care Center at (321) 264-5119 or visit www.brevardcounty.us/animalservices.


July 30, 2013

EEL Program Focuses on Transformation of Malabar Scrub Sanctuary

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Learn how management techniques have helped transform Malabar Scrub Sanctuary back in time into healthier habitats for plants and animals, such as Florida Scrub-Jays, Largeflower False Rosemary and Gopher Tortoises, in a program to be held at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 16, by the Environmentally Endangered Lands Management and Education staff.

The Restoring the Balance: Sanctuary Walk & Ride Malabar Scrub Sanctuary program will consist of a trailer ride and half-mile hike. Please bring sunscreen, water and a hat; climate will be very hot and sunny. Space is limited, must RSVP by Wednesday, Aug. 14, by calling (321) 264-5185. $1 suggested donation.

For more information, visit www.efs.eelbrevard.com or check us out on Facebook. Malabar Scrub Sanctuary is at 1501 Malabar Woods Boulevard, in Malabar.


July 24, 2013

UF/Brevard Extension offers Animal Sciences/Veterinary Technology series

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Interested in following a career into the world of animal sciences and veterinary technology? Then here's your chance!

Youth will learn about academic requirements, career options, animal behavior, first aid, animal anatomy (dissection,) and gait analysis in a four-seminar series hosted by UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension in conjunction with 4-H and Eastern Florida State College.

The series is open to youth in 9th through 12th grade. Classes will be held Aug. 20, Sept. 24, Oct. 8 and Oct. 15 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. There will also be two field trips with dates to be determined. Cost is $15. Register at http://4hvettechcrew2013-eorg.eventbrite.com/


July 22, 2013

Vendor sign-up begins Aug. 19 for Christmas Festival of Crafts at Fox Lake

TITUSVILLE, FLA.– Registration for tables and spaces at the 20th Annual Christmas Festival of Crafts, to be held Nov. 16 at Fox Lake Park in Titusville, will begin on Aug. 19 at the North Area Parks Operations office.

Spaces under the pavilion are $30 each plus Florida state sales tax, and spaces in the outside area are $20 plus Florida state sales tax, and are limited to two per crafter. All items must be handmade or homemade.

Application forms will be available starting Aug. 19 at 475 North Williams Avenue in Titusville, by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope, or by email to jill.hill@brevardparks.com. The registration deadline is 4 p.m. Nov. 8.

This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations. Call (321) 264-5105 for additional information on this and other recreation programs in North Brevard.


July 18, 2013

Animal Services' 'Health Watch' Addresses Concerns With Sheltered Pets

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Animal Services is offering a new way for the public to help keep shelter pets healthy and happy.

This week, Robbie Asher, doctor of veterinarian medicine, rolled out a new program called "Health Watch" in the South Animal Care Center at 5100 W. Eau Gallie Boulevard in Melbourne. "This is a low-tech method for shelter visitors to communicate health concerns they have for animals they observe while in our facility," Asher said.

This system is quick and easy. Old-fashioned mail boxes are hanging in the dog kennel area and near the cat rooms. "If a shelter visitor observes a health concern with any animal, we want them to fill out a Health Watch card that identifies the animal and the condition and put it in a mailbox," Asher said. "Then they put the flag up."

Shelter staff will collect cards from the mail boxes for the doctor and her staff, who will evaluate the information and initiate medical care as needed.

As the shelter's full-time veterinarian, Asher and her staff evaluate and treat all of the animals in the shelter. She gets lots of questions from visitors looking to adopt a new family member about various conditions they see as they meet and greet the animals.

"We are likely already treating the animal if there's an ongoing medical condition, but they don't know that and are often concerned," Asher said. "Since I'm not always available, I want the public to have the opportunity to bring their concerns to our attention and know that we will take care of it."


July 15, 2013

Celebration at Barrier Island Center to kick off of annual Tour de Turtles

MELBOURNE BEACH, Fla. -- A Social and Silent Auction will help kick off the annual Tour de Turtles event later this month.

Tour de Turtles Social & Silent Auction at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 27: This celebration features hors d'oeuvres, refreshments, local artists and music. Tickets are available for advance purchase online at www.tourdeturtles.org or at the Barrier Island Center for $20 until July 20. Tickets will be available at the door for $35. All proceeds benefit the Sea Turtle Conservancy's sea turtle education and conservation at the Barrier Island Center.

Tour de Turtles Live Sea Turtle Release at 8 a.m. Sunday, July 28. Join Sea Turtle Conservancy and University of Central Florida researchers as they attach a satellite-transmitter on a loggerhead sea turtle as part of the 2013 Tour de Turtles marathon. From 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., there will be fun family-friendly activities available, including assisting artist Pasta Pantaleo with painting a mural in our children's area. Parking is limited; carpooling is recommended.


July 15, 2013

Barrier Island Center events in August: Turtles, Indian River and Adventure

MELBOURNE BEACH, Fla. – Turtle Talks, diversity of life on Indian River Lagoon and a Paddle Boarding Adventures highlight planned events in August at the Barrier Island Center, 8385 Florida A1A, Melbourne Beach.

Turtle Talks, every Wednesday at 8 a.m.: Join us to explore the beach in search of sea turtle tracks and watch sea turtle biologists evaluate a nest that has recently hatched.

"Sea Stars!" Touch Tank, Saturday, Aug. 3, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Come meet our "Sea Stars" and learn about the diversity of life in the Indian River Lagoon.

Little Stewards Story Time, Saturday, Aug. 3, at 2 p.m.: Join Sea Turtle Advokid, Cori McWilliams, for "Happy Hermit Crab... A Tale of Shell Seekers."

Beach Clean Up, Saturday, Aug. 17, at 9 a.m. Do your part for nesting and hatchling sea turtles by keeping our beaches and ocean clean of marine debris.

Oyster Mat Making, Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 10 a.m.: Help the Brevard Zoo create mats to restore oyster reefs in the Mosquito Lagoon.

Paddle Boarding Wildlife Adventure, Saturday, Aug. 24, noon to 1 p.m.: Experience the excitement of walking on water on this one hour tour of the Mullet Creek Preserve! Launch from Honest John's Fish Camp, 750 Old Florida Trail in Melbourne Beach. Wear water shoes and sunscreen. Take advantage of this special discounted rate of $27. Must be at least 12 years old.

"Home" Eco-Film, Saturday, Aug. 31, at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.: Learn about how life on our planet formed and how we are influencing it today. Find out how you can lead a more sustainable lifestyle.


July 15, 2013

EEL Program to hold Selection/Management Committee Meeting on Aug. 8

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


July 10, 2013

Brevard Ranks Among State's Top Counties in Recycling Rate

Viera, Fla -- New 2012 recycling data released by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection this month shows Florida's official recycling rate is 48 percent, up from 30 percent in 2011. Brevard County improved its recycling rate from 45 percent in 2011 to 47 percent in 2012.

According to the updated report, and looking at the traditional recycling rates, Alachua County remains atop the list of counties in the state for the third consecutive year. Brevard County tied for third place with Sarasota County recycling 47 percent. The Top 10 recycling rates by county are:

  1. Alachua, 54 percent
  2. Martin, 49 percent
  3. Sarasota, Brevard, 47 percent
  4. Lee, St. Lucie, 44 percent
  5. Leon, 43 percent
  6. Duval, 42 percent
  7. Orange, 41 percent
  8. Hillsborough, Collier, 40 percent
  9. Putnam, Escambia, 39 percent
  10. Broward, 37 percent
"As we get closer to the 2020 deadline for the 75 percent recycling goal, we need all Floridians to step up recycling efforts," said Division of Waste Management Director Jorge Caspary. "While we have made modest improvements, in order to reach this goal, the commercial sector must amplify its recycling efforts."

In 2008, the Florida Legislature first established a new statewide recycling goal of 75 percent to be achieved by 2020. In order for Florida to reach its 75 percent goal, the Department is urging all sectors, especially the commercial sector, to actively increase its recycling efforts. Commercial municipal solid waste accounts for approximately 55 percent of the total municipal solid waste stream in Florida. However, less than half of the commercial solid waste in Florida is being recycled according to the 2012 annual report. Increasing commercial recycling would have a substantial positive effect on the recycling numbers as a whole. y6

For more information on Brevard County's recycling efforts, contact Hillary Arena, Recycling Coordinator, at (321) 633-2042.


July 09, 2013

Brevard County Manager Submits 2014 'Bare Bones' Budget Proposal

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County Manager Howard Tipton on Tuesday proposed a yearlong series of monthly budget workshops with the Board of County Commissioners to address long-term budget issues, priorities and needs.

The proposal came as Tipton submitted a $943 million recommended "bare bones" budget proposal to Commissioners for the 2014 fiscal year. The proposed budget cuts 35 positions, leaves county employees without a pay raise for the third straight year and leaves another $4.6 million in potential cuts on the table contingent upon adjustments to the county millage rate.

At $943,184,284, the proposed budget reflects a slight increase – 0.4132 percent – over the previous year's adopted budget, yet is 4.27 percent less than the current 2012-13 amended budget. The aggregate tax rate of 7.0537 – or roughly $7.10 for every $1,000 of taxable property value – is a 1.03 percent decrease over the FY2012-13 operating millage tax rate. The fiscal year runs Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.

Commissioners will discuss the budget during a July 18 workshop and at its regular meeting on July 23, which is also when the Commission will set a tentative millage rate for the coming fiscal year. There are two public hearings on the proposed budget scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Sept. 10 and Sept. 26 at the Brevard County Government Center, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera.

"The proposed budget should be viewed as a bare bones budget for the 10th largest county in Florida, yet one that continues to provide great value for the quality of services provided," Tipton said.

If adopted, the budget as proposed will address nearly $3 million in increased expenses, most of which are mandated by the state or designed to offset a mandatory increase in Florida Retirement System rates. The budget will continue work on the $16 million 800 MHz public safety radio system upgrade; it will begin a 10-year, $130 million capital improvement program for the upgrade and repair of water and wastewater plants, pipes and related equipment; it will support the Solid Waste Department's need to issue approximately $20 million in bonds to fund needed expansion of the Central County landfill, which is projected to reach capacity in 2015; it will fund four replacement ambulances for Fire Rescue that have more than 200,000 miles each; it will cover the mandated Florida Retirement System employer increases ($460,218); and it will cover mandated costs like that of the Medicaid system ($406,685) and court technology ($412,230.)

"A key disappointment is that there are no raises for employees in this budget proposal, which means that for the sixth year in a row employee take-home pay will go down," Tipton said. "During this time, employees have endured furloughs and benefit cost shifts. The ability to attract and retain a talented workforce is critical at current staffing levels and with the Central Florida economy heating up the need to offer competitive wages and benefits is central to employee retention."

The proposed budget reduces the number of county government employees to 2,285, which reflects a staffing reduction of 35 positions – although 14 are currently vacant. Overall staffing stands at the same level as 2001 even though the county's population has grown by 65,000 residents in the past 12 years.

In presenting the budget to Commissioners on Tuesday, Tipton proposed a series of monthly budget workshops to consider a wide-range of county needs. Tipton requested the first budget workshop for Aug. 15.

"With known immediate capital and personnel needs as well as near and long term capital and personnel needs, County leadership must consider a variety of options that will correct the structural imbalance that currently exists between revenues and expenditures," Tipton said.


July 09, 2013

Mims-Scottsmoor Community Center Referendum Committee to meet Aug. 6

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The Mims-Scottsmoor Community Center Referendum Committee will hold a meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Ave. in Titusville.

This committee is appointed by the North Brevard Commission on Parks & Recreation.The public is invited to attend.

The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center–North. For more information, contact Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


July 09, 2013

North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation to meet Aug. 8

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation will hold its next monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8. The meeting will be held in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Ave. in Titusville.

One or more members of Titusville City Council and the following committees may be present: Causeway Improvements Referendum Committee, Equestrian Trails & Facilities Referendum Committee, and the Mims-Scottsmoor Community Center Referendum Committee. The public is invited to attend.

The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center–North. For more information, contact Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


July 08, 2013

Brevard County schedules rollout of Curbside Cart Collection Program

VIERA, Fla. -- Brevard County, in partnership with its trash hauler, Waste Management, introduces a new curbside cart collection program for garbage and recycling services for unincorporated Brevard County residents.

The curbside cart collection program will start on Sept. 30. Residents of the unincorporated areas can expect delivery of the new 64-gallon garbage cart and 64-gallon recycling cart between Aug. 1 and Sept. 27. An informational brochure will be attached to the new carts as well as a listing of the items that can be recycled in the recycling cart. Garbage carts will have green lids and recycling carts will have yellow lids.

"These wheeled carts are more convenient for the customer and allow for greater service efficiency," said Hillary Arena, Recycling Coordinator for Brevard County.

Brevard's current Solid Waste Collection Contract expires Sept. 30. The Brevard County Commission decided to move forward with implementing an automated collection system for garbage and recycling after reviewing proposals for the new contract, which will run from Oct. 1, 2013, through Sept. 30, 2020.

"Since the new cart program requires an Automated Side Loader Truck for collection, it is important residents do not use their new carts until the program begins on Sept. 30 when the trucks will have the correct equipment," Arena said.

Brevard County is also offering presentations to homeowner's associations and other groups that may be interested in receiving more details about the program. For more information on a presentation or for any questions, contact Arena at the Brevard County Solid Waste Department at (321) 633-2042 or hillary.arena@brevardcounty.us.


UF/Brevard Extension workshops will dig into Turf Practices

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Upcoming workshops offered by University of Florida/Brevard Extension Service focus on turf.

Green Industries Best Management Practices Training: This workshop is designed to provide training in Best Management Practices (BMPs) for anyone spreading fertilizer in the lawn, landscape, pest control, or municipal grounds areas. The Best Management Practices are focused on reducing non-point source pollution resulting from fertilization or pesticide application. Some cities and counties require this certification before bidding or serving commercial customers. This training will be required for all fertilizer applicators in the State of Florida by January 2014. Class will be held at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office in Cocoa, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, July 18. Lunch will be provided. CEU's available. Registration required. Cost $30.

Golf Course Superintendents Quarterly Workshop: This workshop is intended for golf course superintendents in Brevard County and surrounding counties to increase knowledge of turf management issues. This quarter, the training topic is turf diseases and management. Class will be held at Sherwood Golf Club, 4335 London Town Road., Titusville, from 8 a.m. to noon, Aug. 20. Two CEU's in Ornamental and Turf category are available for license holders. Registration is required. To register, please contact Matt Lenhardt, UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension commercial horticulturist, at (321) 633-1702, ext. 244, or email Lenhardt@ufl.edu. Lunch will be provided. Cost: $60.

Ornamental and Turf License Continuing Education Review: This workshop is intended for ornamental and turf license holders to obtain CEU's needed to maintain an active license. Four ornamental and turf CEU's are available. Class will be held at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office in Cocoa, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Aug. 14. Registration is required by Aug. 12. Visit the eventBrite website to register: www.eventbrite.com/myevent?eid=7185182073. Cost: $60.


July 05, 2013

UF/Brevard Extension Service offers Food Handling/Preserving Courses

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Food handling and food preservation courses are available through the University of Florida/Brevard County Extension Service. Courses are:

Food Handler Certification: This class and test fulfills the requirement for food service industry managers. Call 1-888-232-8723 for registration. This class will be held at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office in Cocoa, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., July 15. Cost $165.

Preserving Foods --Water Bath and Pressure Canning: Learn how to can foods. Each participant will receive hands-on experience and will take food home. Please bring a box or container to take your canned goods home as they will be warm. This class will be held at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office in Cocoa, 10 a.m. to noon, July 16, and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 20. Cost $35.


July 05, 2013

EEL's advisory group to review Public Access, Recreation requests Aug. 8

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Recreation & Education Advisory Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review proposed recommendations for public access, passive recreation, and environmental education plans on EEL Program managed conservation lands. Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Brad Manley, EEL Public Access / Volunteer Coordinator at (321) 255-4466 or bmanley@brevardparks.com.


July 05, 2013

EEL Program to hold Procedures Committee Meeting on Aug. 1

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Procedures Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 2-4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of the meeting is to review policies and procedures of the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


July 05, 2013

North Area Parks schedule American Red Cross Lifeguard Training Course

TITUSVILLE, Fla – North Area Parks Operations will offer a Lifeguard Training Course starting July 20. The swimming portion of the class will be held at Titusville High School pool and the classroom portion will be held at Sandrift Community Center.

Class dates and times are as follows: July 20, 21, 27 and 28 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cost is $160 and must be paid upon successful completion of a skills test on July 19 at 6 p.m. Class size is limited to 10 and pre-registration is required.

Interested candidates must be 15 years of age, able to swim 300 yards nonstop (freestyle and breaststroke), swim 20 yards, pick up a 10-pound object and return to the start point in 1 minute and 40 seconds and tread water with legs only for 2 minutes.

Registration for all aquatics activities is available at North Area Parks Operations office, 475 North Williams Ave., Titusville, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additional information can be obtained by calling Mike Herman (321) 264?5105.


July 02, 2013

Enchanted Forest features Creepy Crawlers and Night Creatures in July

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- From things that slither on the ground to creatures of the night to getting in tune with nature, the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Enchanted Forest Sanctuary & Education Center, 444 Columbia Blvd. Titusville, offers a variety of nature events that invite your participation throughout the month of July. They include:

GUIDED NATURE HIKES - Saturdays, 10 a.m.: A 45-minute, interpretive hike offered every Saturday on the trails of the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. Bring hat, water and walking shoes. No reservations needed. Groups of 5 or more, please RSVP. For more information, please call 321-264-5185.

CREEPY CRAWLY DAY - 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 13: Spiders and Snakes and Worms! Oh my! Slither, creep and crawl on over to the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary for our second Creepy Crawly Day! Spend the day discovering the world of creepy crawlies through guided walks, hands-on activities and even enjoy a buggy snack! This program is fun for all.

FRIENDS OF ENCHANTED FOREST PROGRAM - 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, July 18: "Creatures of the Night" program. Come discover what goes bump in the night! We will discuss nocturnal critters like owls, skunks, frogs and more, and their amazing adaptations to live in the night time world! Please register by calling 321-264-5185.

PHOTOGRAPHY CLUB - 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, July 20: Program for all levels of photography. View photographs and learn helpful tips. This program is free and reservations are not required. For more information, please call 321-264-5185.

NATURE SONGS & SING ALONG - 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, July 27: Flutes & Friends, Native American style flute music; 1:30 - 2:30 Nature songs & sing along. Please join us for this fun program.

FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY, Sea Rocket Chapter - The Society does not meet in July and August. The next program will be Sept. 25. For more information, please call (321) 264-5185.


July 02, 2013

UF/Brevard Extension Service schedules Blue Fest/Back to Basics events

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Two events planned in July and August by the University of Florida/Brevard County Extension Service focus on area waterways and the environment.

Blue Fest Event: Join us to learn about our waterways and environment, participate in fun water activities for families, gather home irrigation information, and much more at this free educational event with classes and vendors. This event will be held at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office in Cocoa, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., July 13. Cost: Free.

Back to Basics Event: This event will show case the basics of canning, gardening, composting, money management, and getting outdoors, as well as featuring a variety of vendors. This event will be held at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office in Cocoa, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Aug. 10. Cost: Free.


July 02, 2013

Sign-up now for UF/Brevard Extension Service Agriculture/Farming courses

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Agriculture and Farming are the focus in July and August of a variety of courses available through the University of Florida/Brevard County Extension Service. Courses available:

Pasture Management and Farmer to Farmer Discussion: Summer Pasture Care/legume demonstration plots, at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office in Cocoa, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Aug. 22. Register at Brevard.ifas.ufl.edu ./class registration/agriculture. Cost: $10.

Chickens 101 - Introduction to Raising Chickens: This class will be held at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office in Cocoa, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., July 11. Register at Brevard.ifas.ufl.edu./class registration/agriculture. Cost: $10.

Beef Cattle Reproduction Management School with Artificial Insemination: This class will be held at Deseret Ranch in Deer Park, Aug. 5-9. Instructor-Joe Walter plus University professors, Extension Agents, Veterinarians, and Industry representatives. Cost: $300 includes books, supplies, meals, and breaks. Register by contacting Joe Walter (407-948-8810, jwalter@ufl.edu). This is an intense, five-day, hands-on learning experience.

Small Farms and Alternative Enterprise Conference: Aug. 2-4, Heritage Park, Kissimmee. Register on line at http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/smallfarms/registration.html.

Poultry Enterprise Budgeting/Financial Analysis: This class will be held at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office in Palm Bay, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Aug. 15. Register at Brevard.ifas.ufl.edu./class registration/agriculture. Cost: $10.


July 01, 2013

Enchanted Forest Sanctuary hosts 2nd Annual Creepy Crawly Day, July 13

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Come meet, greet and even eat some creepy crawly critters during the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary's 2nd Annual Creepy Crawly Day on Saturday, July 13.

Bring the whole family and enjoy a fun-filled day discovering some of nature's most unique, spine-tingling, and sometimes misunderstood critters.

Try edible insects, discover the importance of bats, unearth the world of reptiles and amphibians and participate in an insect Olympics on this very special day dedicated to the creepy crawly critters of Central Florida! The day will also feature buggy crafts, insect hikes, hands-on stations, log dissections, and much more.

For more information, visit www.efs.eelbrevard.com and don't forget to check us out on Facebook!

The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is at 444 Columbia Blvd. in Titusville.


June 28, 2013

Turtles and 'Mysteries of the Deep' highlight July activities for EELs Program

MELBOURNE BEACH, Fla. – The Environmentally Endangered Lands Program will host a variety of events throughout July, and invites you to join its beach explorations, July 15 through Sept. 15, in a search for sea turtle tracks and to watch sea turtle biologists evaluate a nest that has recently been hatched.

Other events include:

Turtle Walk Reservations - Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 9 p.m.: Join a presentation and guided walk to learn about and observe threatened loggerhead sea turtles nesting on the beaches of the barrier island. Donation of $15 is nonrefundable. Reservations limited to 22 each night. Reservations can only be made online at www.seaturtlewalks.org.

"Masters of the Sea ... Myths and Truths!" Presentation - Saturday, July 6, at 1 p.m.: Ocean advocate and Master Scuba Instructor Joe Bartoszek takes you into the mysterious world of sharks with brilliant underwater images that illuminate the importance of their conservation.

"Mysteries of the Deep" Eco-Film - Saturday, July 13, at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.: Dive deep into the ocean and explore the beauty and diversity that lies beneath the surface. Visit Shark Island, Bonaire, and the east coast of the U.S. in search of hammerhead, great white and sand tiger sharks.

"Sea Stars!" Touch Tank - Saturday, July 13, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Come meet our new "Sea Stars" and learn about the diversity of life living in the Indian River Lagoon.

Oyster Mat Making - Wednesday, July 17, at 10 a.m.: Help the Brevard Zoo create mats to restore oyster reefs in the Mosquito Lagoon.

Beach Clean Up - Saturday, July 20, at 10 a.m.: Create your own reusable bag for collecting marine debris. Then use it to help us keep the beach and ocean clean to protect nesting and hatching sea turtles.

Tour de Turtles Social & Silent Auction - Saturday, July 27, at 6 p.m.: Join us as we kick off Tour de Turtles with a celebration featuring hors d'oeuvres, refreshments, local artists and music. Tickets are available for advance purchase online at www.tourdeturtles.org or at the Barrier Island Center for $20 until July 20th. Tickets will be available at the door for $35. All proceeds benefit the Sea Turtle Conservancy's sea turtle education and conservation at the Barrier Island Center.

Tour de Turtles Live Sea Turtle Release - Sunday, July 28, at 8 a.m.: Join Sea Turtle Conservancy and University of Central Florida researchers as they attach a satellite-transmitter on a loggerhead sea turtle as part of the 2013 Tour de Turtles marathon. From 9:00 to 10:30 a.m., there will be fun family-friendly activities available, including assisting artist Pasta Pantaleo with painting a mural in our children's area. Parking is limited; carpooling is recommended.


June 27, 2013

Don't balk at UF/Brevard Extension Service 4-H Market Poultry Project

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Interested in raising chickens? The Brevard County 4-H Brevard County Market Poultry Project program is the right fit for you.

Youth ages 5-18 can join the 4-H and raise chickens in a hands-on learning project. For more information, call Vanessa Spero-Swingle, 4-H Agent, at (321) 633-1702, ext 231. Cost associated with raising animals.


June 27, 2013

UF/Brevard Extension Service digs in for gardening series in July/August

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- How does your garden grow? UF/Brevard Extension Service "Create your Own Piece of Paradise" gardening series in July and August focuses on landscapes, gardens and vegetables.

Create Your Own Piece of Paradise -- Gardening Series: Learn about the landscape design process and the nine Florida-Friendly Landscaping principles. Other topics covered will include adding trees to your landscape, turf alternatives, plant maintenance, and much more. If you really want to be prepared for the first class then have a plot plan of your landscape with the dimensions of the lot, house, sidewalks, driveway, and any other hardscape. This preparation will help you to get started immediately and leave the class with a landscape design to use. This series will be held on four consecutive Tuesdays from July 9-30, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office in Cocoa. To register, go to http://cyopopcocoajuly.eventbrite.com. Cost: $75.

Preparation: Home Grown Veggies (Webinar): Learn how to grow veggies in containers or how to prepare for in-ground planting. This webinar will be held 12:10 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, July 24, and can be accessed from any computer. To sign up, visit http://preparationhgvwebinarjuly.eventbrite.com. Cost: Free.

A second webinar will be held at the same time on Wednesday. Aug. 7. To sign up, visit http://preparationhgvwebinaraugust.eventbrite.com. Cost: Free.

Veggie Growing Here in Brevard (Webinar): Learn how to grow veggies in Brevard County. If you have only grown vegetables in another state, you will want to join this webinar to find out when to plant vegetables here. Fertilization and pest control will also be covered. This webinar will be held 12:10 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. Wed. July 31, and can be accessed from any computer.

To sign up, visit http://veggygrowingbrevardjuly.eventbrite.com. Cost: Free.

A second webinar will be held at the same time on Wed. Aug. 21. To sign up, visit http://veggygrowingbrevardaugust.eventbrite.com. Cost: Free.


June 27, 2013

UF/Brevard Extension courses focus on Finance/Money Management

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Finance and Money Management are the focus of classes and workshops offered in July and August through UF/Brevard County Extension Service.

Buying & Selling on Internet Venues: Learn the basics of setting up an account to purchase or sell items via eBay and Amazon and look at other internet buying/selling options. Class will be held at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office in Cocoa, 10 a.m. to noon, July 8; 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Aug. 16; and at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office Palm Bay, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. July 19; and 2 p.m.to 4 p.m., Aug. 6. Cost $10.

Budgeting and Credit Basics: Learn to prepare a budget, reconcile accounts to stretch dollars, to use credit wisely, and to pay down debt. This workshop satisfies requirements for discharge from bankruptcy. Class will be held at UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office in Cocoa, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., July 15; 9 a.m. to noon, Aug 19; and at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office in Palm Bay, 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. July 18; and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Aug. 15. Cost: $10.


June 27, 2013

SNAP has arrived at the Brevard County Farmer's Market

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Brevard County Farmers Market has received a federal grant funding EBT payments under the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP.)

Electronic benefit transfer (EBT) is an initiative by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to expand access to fresh produce and healthy foods to SNAP recipients at America's farmers markets.

As a result of funding provided by Congress through the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012, last year USDA announced the availability of $4 million in funding to expand the availability of wireless point-of-sale equipment in farmers markets not currently accepting SNAP benefits.

"These grants increase the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables to SNAP customers and further encourage them to purchase and prepare healthy foods for their families using SNAP benefits," said Agriculture Undersecretary Kevin Concannon. "In general, research shows that about 20 cents of every SNAP dollar spent on food ends up in the pocket of American farmers. Installing wireless technology at farmers markets expands the customer base for markets and increases the share of the SNAP dollar that goes directly back to local farmers and into local economies."

USDA has made expanding SNAP recipients' access to fresh fruits and vegetables through farmers markets a priority in recent years. In 2008, about 750 farmers markets and direct marketing farmers accepted SNAP. Along with other criteria, a farmers market is defined as a multi-stall market at which farmer-producers sell agricultural products, particularly fresh fruits and vegetables (but also meat products, dairy products, and/or grains), directly to the general public at a central or fixed location.

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs, including SNAP, that touch the lives of one in four Americans over the course of a year. These programs work together to form a national safety net against hunger.

Visit www.fns.usda.gov for information about FNS and nutrition assistance programs (USDA website post, 2013.) Also, visit the Brevard County Farmer's Market each Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Wickham Park in Melbourne. For more information check out the UF/Brevard Extension Service website at www.brevardcountyfarmersmarket.com.


June 25, 2013

Public Works Director John Denninghoff named Urban Engineer of the Year

VIERA, Fla. – Brevard County Public Works Director John Denninghoff has been named 2013 Urban Engineer of the Year in an award that will be presented by the Florida Association of County Engineers and Road Superintendents on Friday in Tampa during the annual conference of the Florida Association of Counties.

The statewide honor recognizes significant contributions to local public works/road departments and communities and is based on criteria that includes project timeliness, innovation, leadership, impact on budget and impact on the community. Denninghoff, who has been director of Public Works since 2004, is receiving the honor primarily for his role in the $44.8 million A. Max Brewer Bridge project in Titusville.

"It's kind of a big deal," said Denninghoff, who steered most of the credit to area political leaders at the time, the Florida Department of Transportation and the federal government for the bridge that now spans over Indian River in North Brevard County. "What we ultimately accomplished was that we were able to replace a bridge that was about to fall in and wound up with a gorgeous bridge that is now a focal point for the whole city, which is what we envisioned it would be."

Max Brewer Bridge was a state Department of Transportation project built with federal funds, but the county helped move the project along by keeping the substandard swing span bridge it was replacing – one that had been considered for rehabilitation but was seen as a potential money pit due to its poor conditions – open long enough for the fixed span bridge project to be completed, Denninghoff said. Max Brewer Bridge opened in 2011.

In November, Max Brewer Bridge won the People's Choice Award in a national contest sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Online voters picked their favorite project among those entered by 10 states and the A. Max Brewer Bridge Project in Titusville took first place with more than 331,000 votes cast. The contest's $10,000 prize was used by FDOT to establish an engineering degree scholarship fund at Brevard Community College.


June 24, 2013

Space Coast Area Transit Announces July 4th Bus Service Schedule

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Area Transit announced the following changes to its fixed-route bus service for Independence Day, July 4:
  • Thursday, July 4, – All fixed routes will not operate.
  • Friday, July 5, – All fixed route bus service will return to regular schedule.
Questions or requests for further information should be directed to the Bus Information Line at (321) 633-1878 (952-4672 for South Mainland residents) or access online at www.RideSCAT.com.


June 24, 2013

"Explore Your History" is Focus of July Activities at Sams House

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Throughout the month of July, Sams House at Pine Island presents a series of programs that focus on "Exploring Your History." Most of these programs are offered at a suggested donation of $1 per person in support of education programs at Sams House. A two-day painting workshop is offered through local artist, AnnaJo and costs $150 per person.

Friday, July 5, and Saturday, July 6, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Acrylic Painting Workshop with AnnaJo: Budding or experienced artists are invited to participate in a two-day Plein Air Acrylic Painting workshop. Cost is $150/person for two days of instruction (not including supplies). Contact AnnaJo at (321) 536-9072 or annajojo@gmail.com to reserve and get a supply list.

Saturday, July 13, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Fashion 1870 to 1890: A Look at How Women Tortured Themselves as Slaves to Fashion: Join Diana Sageser and Mary Morgan for this talk on historic feminine fashions. Artifacts and reproductions of actual clothing will be on display, as well as modern,period-correct patterns and catalogs of the time. Please bring a picnic lunch to enjoy during the noon hour break.

Saturday, July 20, 11 a.m. to noon - Paddles, Sails, and Steam: Early Travels on the Indian River Lagoon: From the comfort of the air-conditioned cabin,we'll explore the history of water travel on the Lagoon, as well as the impacts on natural and human resources.

Friday, July 26, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. - Restoration of Historic Homes Illuminates Stories of the Past: Learn how the historic Sams house and Cabin were restored so that the stories they contained could be told. A tour of the homes will follow the presentation.

Saturday, July 27, 10 a.m. to11 a.m. - Children's Story Hour and Craft: "Bullfrog at Magnolia Circle:" Experience the life of a bullfrog. Read by Sams staff, the story will be followed by an educational craft activity.

Every Thursday and Saturday, 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. - Historic House and Cabin Tour: Tour the inside of Brevard County's oldest standing home (Sams Cabin - 1875) and the adjacent 1888 Florida vernacular-style home.

John Sams was a citrus grower, businessman, and the first Superintendent of Brevard County Schools. The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. The Center is located at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 am to 5 pm. For more information,call 321-449-4720.


June 19, 2013

Space Coast Area Transit offers free bus rides on 'Dump the Pump' Day

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Area Transit will join with other public transportation systems nationwide to participate in the 8th annual National Dump the Pump Day on Thursday, June 20.

Space Coast Area Transit's website, RideSCAT.com, is currently featuring a printable coupon on its home page that will allow passengers to ride the bus for free on Dump the Pump Day. Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association, the one-day event encourages people to try riding public transportation and save money, instead of driving a car.

Since its conception in June 2006, when gas prices were $3 per gallon, this national day emphasizes public transportation is a great travel option that also helps people save money.

"Public transportation is the quickest way to beat high gas prices, and Dump the Pump Day is an excellent opportunity for our residents to try transit for free," said Jim Liesenfelt, director of Space Coast Area Transit.

According to the latest APTA Transit Savings Report , individuals in a two-person household can save an average of more than $10,000 annually by downsizing to one car. For bus maps and schedules, contact Space Coast Area Transit at (321) 633-1878 or log on to RideSCAT.com on a PC, Mac, or mobile device. For vanpool information, call (321) 952-4563.


June 19, 2013

Commission Chairman Andy Anderson supports Air Show move to South Beaches

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – District 5 Brevard County Commissioner Andy Anderson is backing the City of Melbourne's efforts to support the former Cocoa Beach Air Show and host it along the south beaches. The air show is in danger of being canceled due to funding issues.

The air show, organized by the National Air, Sea and Space Foundation (NASSF), has been held the past four years in Cocoa Beach. This free admission beachfront event has grown into the largest event in the county, generating $7.6 million in annual economic impact during one of the slower tourism times of the year. In the past, the event has received underwriting from the Tourist Development Council (TDC) but with changes made recently to the TDC guidelines, the NASSF will now only receive funding for marketing support.

"This event has been great for Brevard County and I want to see it continue," said Commissioner Anderson. "I would love to see the City of Melbourne support this event and bring it down to the south beaches."

The City of Melbourne will be hearing an agenda item at its Council Meeting on Tuesday, June 25, to assume responsibilities for the air show. If passed, the city will cover the costs of support personnel for the event.


June 11, 2013

Brevard County Talking Books program draws Library of Congress Honors

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Brevard County Libraries' Talking Books Department was named "Network Subregional Library of the Year" in an award from the Library of Congress, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, during ceremonies June 6 in Washington, D.C.

The Brevard County Talking Books Library, a subregional library of the Florida Bureau of Braille and Talking Book Library Services network, received the award for outstanding service to blind and disabled readers. The annual award, in its seventh year, carries a $1,000 cash prize. NLS presented the award to Brevard County Libraries Director Jeff Thompson and Talking Books Department Supervisor Debra Martin in the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress.

The Brevard County Talking Books Library is located in the Brevard County Public Library in Cocoa. It has a full-time staff of one – Debra Martin – a part-time support-staff member, and a committed group of more than 25 volunteers. In 2012 the library served nearly 1,600 residents and institutions in Brevard County and circulated about 120,000 braille and talking books.

"This was a tremendous honor, as Brevard was recognized as the best in the nation," Thompson said. "It was so gratifying to see the work of Debra and her team nationally recognized. I could not be prouder of them."

The Talking Books Library hosts adult reading programs, assistive technology resource fairs, and film and book discussion programs. It also maintains partnerships with more than 150 agencies and keeps patrons and supporters informed through Twitter and Facebook.

"Our volunteers are integral to the daily operation of the library and without doubt are one of the main reasons the library has flourished," Martin said. "Our network of partnerships also has proven to be vital to increasing awareness of the program and boosting new-patron registration."

NLS created the Network Library Awards to recognize outstanding accomplishments of libraries serving blind and disabled individuals across the country and in U.S. territories. A committee of librarians and consumer-organization representatives chose finalists from among the nominated libraries based on mission support, creativity and innovation in providing service, and record of reader satisfaction.

The District of Columbia Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, also known as the D.C. Public Library Adaptive Services Division, received the Network Library of the Year Award. The annual award, in its ninth year, carries a $1,000 cash prize.


June 11, 2013

3 Alarm Commercial Structure Fire at the Space Coast Flea Market

(Brevard County, Fla.) - Fire crews from Brevard County Fire Rescue (BCFR), along with numerous other agencies, worked to extinguish a 3-alarm commercial fire early this morning at the Space Coast Flea Market in Cocoa. Brevard County Fire Rescue dispatchers received a 911 call shortly before 2:30 a.m. from a caller who stated flames were visible on the walls of the flea market. The building is located at 5605 N Highway 1 in Cocoa.

BCFR crews arrived just minutes after the alarm and found heavy fire and smoke penetrating the roof of the structure. Firefighters immediately deployed hoselines to combat the fire. Because of the intensity of the flames, a defensive strategy was initiated; meaning firefighters attacked the fire from the outside. A second and third alarm was requested by the first arriving District Chief because of the intense heat and potential for further fire spread.

Four ladder trucks, 12 fire engines, and many more support vehicles delivered more than 60 firefighters to the scene. Firefighters battled the intense blaze for nearly two hours before they were able to knockdown the main body of fire. Crews spent several more hours mopping up smoldering spots.

Fire investigators from BCFR and the State Fire Marshal's Office were on scene to complete the investigation and interview witnesses. As of now, no cause has been determined, but that information will be distributed as it is received.

No injuries or road closures were reported.


June 07, 2013

Brevard County Shelters Overwhelmed with Unwanted Pets

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Less than a week after a successful communitywide pet adoption event, Brevard County's animal shelters in Titusville and Melbourne are filled to capacity.

"We're simply overwhelmed with unwanted pets," Animal Services and Enforcement Director Karla Torpy said. "We took in almost 1,100 animals during May, which is a couple of hundred more than usual."

Torpy said about 750 of those that wound up in the shelters last month were kittens or cats.

Animals are in the shelters for a variety of reasons. Many owners surrender their pets, even after they are told that their pet may not be successfully placed into another home. Some are abandoned; some are lost. Shelter staff make attempts to reunite lost pets with their owners, including holding the animals for five days to give owners opportunity to retrieve their dog or cat.

Torpy said the number of unwanted animals illustrates the importance for pet owners to spay or neuter their pets.

Animals available for adoption can be seen in person at the shelters or on the county's website, www.brevardcounty.us, under Brevard County Animal Services. The shelter is having a BOGO special for kittens through the end of June: Buy one kitten for $70, get one free.

Brevard County shelters are open noon to 6 p.m. daily, except Wednesday. Locations are: South Animal Care Center, 5100 W. Eau Gallie Blvd., Melbourne, and North Animal Care Center, 2605 Flake Road, Titusville.


June 07, 2013

Brevard County to join celebration for 'National Garbage Man Day'

Viera, Fla. - The Brevard County Solid Waste Management Department will be celebrating the first National Garbage Man Day on June 17 to raise awareness for the garbage men and women that keep counties and cities clean.

"The idea was launched several months ago by John Arwood, CEO of Jacksonville Fla-based Arwood Waste", said Hillary Arena, Recycling Coordinator for Brevard County Solid Waste Department. Arwood invites Brevard County residents to join the nation "to celebrate trash collectors, dumpster haulers, landfill workers, transfer stations workers, recycling sorters, and just about anyone else who does the dirty jobs that no one else wants to do."

"I think a lot of people take our garbage and recycling collectors for granted", Arena said.

Residents are asked to show their appreciation by just saying "thanks," praising the worker or just thinking about how garbage gets collected and what happens to it when its set out at the curb.

"The solid waste collectors, landfill workers, transfer trailer drivers and heavy equipment operators at the landfill facilities provide a valuable service to the community," Euripides Rodriguez, director of Solid Waste Management for Brevard County, said.

The county solid waste employees and landfill workers will get cards thanking them for keeping Brevard's cities and the county clean and green.

For more information, contact Arena in the Solid Waste Management Department at (321) 633-2042.


June 05, 2013

Cuyler Park in Titusville to host free Juneteenth celebration on June 22

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The anniversary of Juneteenth will be celebrated from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at Cuyler Park, 2329 Harry T. Moore Ave., Mims.

The event is for all ages and will include games, hair and fashion show, Juneteenth reenactment and community service presentations as well as food and craft vendors. Admission is free.

Craft and food vendors can register by visiting Cuyler Community Center. The cost for craft vendors is $25 plus tax and the cost for food vendors is $50 plus tax.

For more information, call LaShawn Stevens (321) 264-5045.


May 31, 2013 Enchanted Forest summer programs take hands-on approach to nature studies

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Families are invited this summer to join Enchanted Forest Sanctuary naturalists for an exciting and new look into nature through hands-on science experiments and activities.

Here's what's in store:

June 14, Owl Pellet Dissection: Soar into the world of ornithology as you investigate owls, what they eat and how they digest their food.

June 28, Flower Dissection & Slides: Discover the parts of a flower through a hands-on flower dissection. Student scientists will also get the opportunity to create slides of flower parts.

July 12, Animal Grossology: Did you know vultures vomit when they are scared? Or what the scientific name for "poop" is? Discover some of the fascinating and "gross" facts about Florida animals through this hands-on program.

July 26, Genes in a Bottle: Learn about the building blocks of life through a DNA science experiment. Student scientists will have the opportunity to extract DNA from a plant living in the Enchanted Forest and store that DNA in a cool necklace.

Programs are recommended for ages 8 & up. Please register by the Wednesday prior to the day you would like to attend by calling (321) 264-5185. Spots limited. Cost: $2 suggested donation to the Friends of the Enchanted Forest for supplies.

The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is located at 444 Columbia Blvd., Titusville.


May 31, 2013

Hurricane Season 2013 starts Saturday; highlights need to be prepared

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – "Make a Plan, Build a Kit and Stay Informed."

As the official start of Hurricane Season 2013 kicks off Saturday, June 1, Brevard County Emergency Management stresses these common threads of awareness and preparation to help reduce the impact of hurricane disasters.

Forecasters are anticipating a busier-than-normal Atlantic Hurricane Season, with 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher); 7 to 11 hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher); and 3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3,4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher.) Hurricane season ends Nov. 30.

"Families, individuals, and businesses who know their vulnerability and what actions to take can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster by taking action to prepare," said Emergency Management Director Kimberly Prosser. "As Hurricane Season starts, it's time to prepare yourselves, your family and your pets, and to stay informed."

Emergency Management recommends:

Make a Plan: Have a place to go, and include your pet in your plan. Decide whether you'll stay with relatives, at a hotel, whether you'll utilize one of the county's 13 general population shelters or three pet-friendly shelters. If you have certain medical needs, including power-operated medical equipment or prescriptions that require refrigeration, and you plan to use a county shelter, you'll need to register for a special-needs shelter at http://web.brevardcounty.us/SpecialNeeds/Registration.aspx.

Build a Kit: You may need to survive on your own for some time after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Assemble this kit well in advance, and plan ahead for needed medications, and supplies for pets and infants. Include a cell phone charger for your car, and you'll want to have some cash and a full tank of gas.

Stay Informed: Recent severe storms highlight the importance of keeping informed about weather hazards. Here are some of the ways that you can do so:

In addition, the following services provide information and updates about severe weather as well as other incidents which could affect large numbers of people in the county: space launches, large brush fires, major road closures, as well as preparedness tips and prescribed burn notices:
  • Like "Brevard County Emergency Management" on Facebook
  • Follow @BrevardEOC on Twitter
  • Subscribe to text messages by texting FOLLOW BREVARDEOC to telephone number 40404
  • Additional information about preparedness for hurricanes and other hazards is available at www.embrevard.com.


May 30, 2013

Boaters Reminded to Prepare for Hurricane Season

VIERA, Fla. -- Brevard County Boating & Waterways Program reminds boaters to prepare for hurricane season by having a plan to secure and protect their vessels. Hurricane season is June 1- Nov. 30.

Boaters should develop a plan for securing their boats; inspect their marinas or docks for stability and piling height; collect vessel records; check lines to ensure no weaknesses have developed; outfit their boats with chafe gear and fenders, extra cleats, appropriate anchors and chains, and exhaust pipe plugs; and check bilge pumps, batteries, exterior lights, and radio.

A guide titled "Your Boat and Hurricanes," provided by the Coast Guard, provides an extensive checklist for protection against hurricane damage. It is available by clicking on the title or on the Natural Resources Management Office website under the Boating & Waterways section.

For more information, contact Matt Culver at 321-633-2016 or email matt.culver@brevardcounty.us.


May 29, 2013

Construction project to close Sand Point Park through early November

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Sand Point Park, 101 N. Washington Avenue, Titusville, will be closed effective Monday, June 17, through early November for construction.

For information on North Area parks owned or operated by Brevard County, from the Volusia County line on the North to State Road 528 on the South, please call (321) 264-5105.


May 28, 2013

Furry Companions highlight June 1 'Rescue Me' Community Adoption Event

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Families looking for a new furry companion are sure to find their match during "Rescue Me," a community mega pet adoption event, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 1, at Viera Regional Park.

Brevard County residents can expect to see dogs and cats of all ages, sizes, colors and personalities.

"This is going to be huge," said Karla Torpy, Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement director. "We are so excited to have the opportunity to take our animals out into our community with an adoption event of this caliber. Our goal is to leave Viera Regional Park with only empty crates in tow. We've done everything we can to make sure all of Brevard knows about this so that every single animal gets to go home with the loving new family they deserve."

Brevard County Animal Services, SPCA of Brevard, Central Brevard Humane Society, and other rescue groups are participating.

Adoption fees at the mega event are $25. That includes spay/neuter surgery and age-appropriate vaccinations. To adopt, citizens must be 18 years of age with a current driver's license or photo ID and proof of current address. Those who rent are encouraged to obtain landlord approval in advance. It's also recommended that potential adopters bring the entire family (including pets) to meet the future family member. Adoption counselors from participating organizations will work with families at the event in order to finalize adoptions on the spot.

Taco City and Mr. J's Ice Cream and more food trucks will be at the event.

"Rescue Me" is sponsored by FLORIDA TODAY, URS Federal Technical Services Inc., Daphne Foundation, Brevard ASAP and FloridaNoKill.


May 24, 2013

UF/Brevard Extension Service hosts free 'Green Living' Expo in June

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer the following class during the month of June at Cocoa Extension office, 3695 Lake Drive:

Green Living Expo: Join us to learn about Green Cleaning, Sustainable Landscaping, Sustainable Floridians Program, Solar and Alternative Energy and much more at this free educational event with classes and vendors. This event will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 8 at Cocoa Extension Office. Please pre-register at greenlivingexpo-brevardeventbrite.com.

For more information or to register call (321) 633-1702 or visit our website: http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


May 24, 2013

Youth Programs highlight UF/Brevard Extension Service opportunities in June

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer the following classes in June at the Cocoa Extension office, 3695 Lake Drive:

CLUE: Careers and Life Under Exploration. Youth will learn about career activities once they are hired on as a horticulturist, marine scientist, chef, or farmer for this summer program. Classes are 5:30-7 p.m. June 3, 5, 10, 12, 24, and 26. Open to youth entering 2nd through 6th grades. Please pre-register at 4hclue2013.eventbrite.com Cost: $30.

Bob Evans 4-H Day: 4-H Fundraiser. Dine at Bob Evans with an approved flier and 15 percent of the check is a donation to Brevard County 4-H. June 15 at Palm Bay and Viera Bob Evans. Find the flier at: bobevans4hdaybrevard.eventbrite.com.

4-H Family Science Day: Open to youth of all ages. Join us from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 22 for a free fun-filled day with NASA educators and learn all about science through hands-on activities. 4hfamilyscienceday.eventbrite.com.

Satellite Beach 4-H Junior Master Gardener Program: 3-4:30 p.m., June 6 through Aug. 1. Meets every Thursday for elementary age youth. Youth will participate in a summer gardening program and learn about plants, how to garden, insects, soil science, etc. Please pre-register at 4hjmgbrevard.eventbrite.com. Cost is $10.

Camp Ocala: Enjoy a true sleep away summer camp experience with campfires, kayaking, and smiles galore. Open to youth 4-H ages 8-13. June 17-21, Altoona, FL. Please pre-register at 4hcampocala2013brevard.eventbrite.com. Cost: $230.

For more information or to register call (321) 633-1702 or visit http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


May 23, 2013

Brevard Residents Play Major Role in Preservation of Indian River Lagoon

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Dolphins, pelicans, and manatees are dying at record rates in the Indian River Lagoon. The last two summers produced the largest, densest and most damaging algae blooms ever recorded in the Lagoon. Bloom impacts included loss of 31,600 acres of seagrass, the tropical forest of the lagoon floor. As a result, commercial and recreational fisheries are suffering.

Scientists are still unsure what exactly triggered these changes, but nutrient pollution is certainly to blame for feeding the algae superblooms. Nutrient pollution comes from activities and choices made by everyone in everyday life. Therefore, Brevard County residents can help the Indian River by reducing our daily footprint on water quality.

Minimizing the use of lawn fertilizer is the simplest way for most people to significantly reduce their contribution to nutrient pollution. Excess fertilizer is washed off lawns by irrigation and/or rain, especially quick release fertilizer. It washes into the nearest ditch or street where it enters the stormwater system. From there, it flows to the nearest waterbody.

Many homeowners apply more fertilizer than the fertilizer label recommends and much more than their lawn needs. Local governments are adopting fertilizer ordinances to prevent excess use and water pollution. The local UF/Brevard County Extension Service can help property owners determine how much and what kind of fertilizer a lawn needs by helping residents submit a soil test to the University of Florida. The test costs $7 plus shipping, and the Extension Service can assist with interpreting the soil test results.

Car care is another area that can make a significant difference on water quality. Treat yourself to a commercial car wash, keep tires properly inflated, and fix any fluid leaks promptly. Dirt and grime on vehicles, and the soap used to wash it off, is loaded with pollution. Commercial car washes catch the dirty wash water and filter out the pollution. Proper tire pressure means better gas mileage; and better gas mileage reduces air pollution. Air pollution is responsible for about a third of the nutrient load to the Indian River Lagoon. Oils and fluids that leak from vehicles get washed off the pavement by rain and carried to the nearest waterbody. Clean up leaks and spills with absorbent material like kitty litter and fix leaks promptly to minimize pollution.

There are many additional lawn care choices that protect water quality. Grass clippings contain nutrients that feed algae blooms, so control where grass clippings go. If the lawnmower side-casts grass clippings, make sure to mow in the direction that casts the clippings away from open water, ditches, paved surfaces and stormwater drains. Reduce the amount of yard that is dedicated to plants that need irrigation and fertilizer to thrive. Instead, landscape with Florida Friendly plants that are easy to care for when planted in the right place. Find out more about Florida Friendly Landscaping™ Principles at http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu. Buffer strips of native aquatic plants installed along waterfronts require no mowing or chemicals and filter out pollution.

Taking care of the Lagoon is up to everyone and it begins at home. For more ideas and information on how to reduce your daily footprint on water quality, visit LiveBlueFL.org, BrevStorm.org, or Brevard.ifas.ufl.edu. Reduce pollution now to help the Indian River forever.


May 23, 2013

Brevard County Libraries host One Book Brevard summer reading program

PALM BAY, Fla. -- Join Brevard County adults and young adults this summer in a community celebration of reading – One Book Brevard.

The Brevard County Library system is hosting One Book Brevard to encourage residents to deepen their appreciation of reading in our community by reading the same book and engaging in book discussions and associated events.

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker was chosen as the One Book Brevard selection. A crossover novel, the book resounds with both teens and adults alike. Luminous, haunting and unforgettable, The Age of Miracles is an extraordinary debut novel about a girl coming of age in a world that is radically and irrevocably altered.

On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the Earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life–the fissures in her parents' marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behavior of her grandfather who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloging his possessions. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues.

"It still amazes me how little we really knew. . . . Maybe everything that happened to me and my family had nothing at all to do with the slowing. It's possible, I guess. But I doubt it. I doubt it very much."

Author Karen Thompson Walker will make three appearances in Brevard County to engage in a community dialogue with residents about her book:

  • Monday, June 24, at 7 p.m. at the Eau Gallie Public Library.
  • Tuesday, June 25, at 2 p.m. at the Franklin T. DeGroodt Memorial Library.
  • Tuesday, June 25, at 7 p.m. at the Cocoa Beach Public Library.
One Book Brevard events and book discussions are taking place at most county library locations in June and July. Details of book discussions groups, special events and contests are available at all Brevard County Libraries and online www.mylibraryworld.com.

Copies of the book are available at libraries and ebooks are available to download from the library ecatalog http://brevard.lib.overdrive.com

For more information, contact Nancy Garmer at Franklin T. DeGroodt Memorial Library at (321) 952-6318.


May 22, 2013

Groundbreaking Ceremony set May 31 for Brevard Zoo Linear Park

MELBOURNE, Fla. – Brevard County District 4 Commissioner Mary Bolin-Lewis, the South Area Advisory Board and the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department invite the public to a groundbreaking ceremony for the Brevard Zoo Linear Park.

The event starts at 9 a.m. Friday, May 31, at 8215 N. Wickham Road, Trail, Melbourne.

For more information, contact South Area Parks Operations Manager Greg Minor at (321) 255-4400.


May 22, 2013

Brevard Libraries seek residents' suggestions for VIVA 500 Time Capsule

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- As part of the events marking Florida's 500th Anniversary, the Viva 500 Committee has provided each county library system with a time capsule to fill and preserve for future generations.

The time capsule, a stainless steel cylinder, will be placed on display at the Government Center in Viera, where it will remain until the year 2063.

A committee has been formed to solicit ideas and materials to include that will be representative of what Brevard County's residents feel is important in past and present day lives.

Brevard County, which was named in 1855, has a rich and varied history and has captured the world's attention numerous times with events like the archaeological discovery at Windover in Titusville and the Space Program that put the first man on the Moon. Copies of several items from the Brevard Historical Commission archives, headquartered at the Central Brevard Library, have been identified for inclusion and the committee would like to receive additional input from the community.

To submit suggestions, contact Michael Boonstra at mboonstra@brev.org or join the discussion at the Brevard County Public Libraries Facebook page.


May 21, 2013

Space Coast Area Transit ceases fixed routes for Memorial Day Holiday

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Area Transit announced the following changes to its fixed-route bus service for Memorial Day:
  • Monday, May 27 - All fixed routes will not operate.
  • Tuesday, May 28 - All fixed route bus service will return to regular schedule.
Questions or requests for further information should be directed to our Bus Information Line at (321) 633-1878 or (321) 952-4672 for South Mainland residents) or access us online at www.RideSCAT.com.


May 20, 2013

June activities at Sams House will focus on 'Our Communty, Our Home'

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Sams House at Pine Island presents a series of programs throughout the month of June that focus on "Our Community, Our Home." These programs are offered at a suggested donation of $1 per person in support of education programs at Sams House.

Children's Story Hour/Craft -- Box Turtles, 10-11 a.m. Saturday, June 8: Bring your child to hear staff read Box Turtle at Silver Pond Lane and stay for a box turtle craft that can be taken home. This family friendly activity will be held in both the air-conditioned cabin and the screened porch.

Sounds of the Night, 3-4 p.m. Saturday, June 15: Learn to identify the sounds you hear under the cover of night! Enjoy this indoor presentation as you discover which animals make the sounds you hear at night with this fun and educational family friendly slideshow.

History Garden Tour, 9:30-11 a.m. Saturday, June 22: Join Jay Barnhart and Martha Pessaro in Sams History Garden to learn plant identification and historic uses of some interesting Florida native plants.

Indian River Lagoon Residential Guide for Pollution Prevention -- 10-11 a.m. Friday, June 29: Interested in learning practical ways to reduce personal pollution in the Indian River Lagoon? Brevard County has a population of approximately 550,000 people. Imagine if we all did our part! This indoor presentation will provide information that you can utilize in your own home and yard.

Historic House and Cabin Tour -- 3-3:30 p.m. every Thursday: Tour the inside of Brevard County's oldest standing home (Sams Cabin - 1875) and the adjacent 1888 Florida vernacular-style home and learn about the Sams family.

John Sams was a citrus grower, businessman, and the first Superintendent of Brevard County Schools. The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. The Center is at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays. Tours of the 1875 cabin and 1888 house are given at 3 p.m. every Thursday. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.



May 17, 2013

Hurricane Exercise highlights need to 'Make a Plan, Build a Kit, Stay Informed'

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – With only two weeks before the official start of the 2013 Hurricane Season, there's no better time than now for Brevard County residents to "Make a Plan, Build a Kit and Stay Informed."

Preparing a personal plan of action, stocking up on supplies like water and fresh batteries and staying tuned in to area media reports on tropical storm systems as they form in the Atlantic can help residents weather an emergency during the hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through Nov. 30.

"It's recommended residents stock up now with various storm supplies that includes fresh batteries, flashlights, food and water for 72 hours and a weather radio," said Brevard County Emergency Management Director Kimberly Prosser. The Brevard County Commission, during its May 14 meeting, designated the week of May 26 through June 1 as Hurricane Preparation Week.

On Monday, May 20, area emergency agencies will also prepare for the upcoming season by taking part in a statewide Hurricane Exercise. Brevard County's Office of Emergency Management, in coordination with the State of Florida, will go into full-scale activation from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Emergency Operations Center in Rockledge.

Brevard County plays a major role in this year's exercise, which will feature "Hurricane Lay" – a tropical cyclone event named in tribute to the late Brevard County Emergency Management Director Bob Lay.

Local emergency managers will monitor the progress of "Hurricane Lay" and respond to simulated impacts, obstacles and challenges that would face the Space Coast. Officials from various Brevard County government agencies, along with other area organizations, will respond to the Emergency Operations Center in Rockledge to participate in the drill and take appropriate actions that would be necessary in a real weather emergency. The daylong exercise is used to strengthen existing partnerships, familiarize those with new or added responsibilities and identify opportunities for improvement in planning, response and recovery efforts.

Lay, who died in January 2012 at the age of 69, served as director of Brevard County Emergency Operations for nearly 15 years and was known not only in Brevard County but also statewide and nationally as an emergency management expert. He led Brevard County through countless emergency situations including hurricanes and wildfires.

Other preparations under way in Brevard County include a General Population Shelter Drill, held Friday, May 17, a Pet-Friendly Shelter Drill on Tuesday, May 21, a Special Needs Shelter Drill on Wednesday, May 22, and a Point-of-Distribution drill on Thursday, May 23.

Residents can stay informed this season by visiting www.embrevard.com, following @BrevardEOC on Twitter or via text messaging, or liking "Brevard County Emergency Management" on Facebook.


May 15, 2013

Finance and Money Management Courses focus on Basics and Internet

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer the following classes during the months of May and June at the Cocoa Extension office, 3695 Lake Drive, or Palm Bay office, 1455 Treeland Blvd. SE.

Budgeting and Credit Basics: Learn to prepare a budget, to reconcile accounts, to stretch dollars, to use credit wisely, and to pay down debt. This workshop satisfies requirements for discharge from bankruptcy. Class will be held at the Cocoa Extension Office from 1-4 p.m., May 20, and at the Palm Bay Extension Office from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., June 20. Cost: $10.

Buying & Selling on Internet Venues: Learn the basics of setting up an account to purchase or sell items via eBay and Amazon and look at other internet buying/selling options. Class will be held at Cocoa Extension Office from 10 a.m. - noon, May 17, or 9 a.m. - noon at the Palm Bay Extension Office, June 13. Cost: $10.

For more information or to register call (321) 633-1702 or visit http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


May 15, 2013

UF/Brevard Extension Service May/June courses target Pasture Management

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer the following classes during the months of May and June:

Pasture Management and Farmer to Farmer Discussion: The topic will be Summer Pasture Care. Class will be held 7-9 p.m., May 23, at the Palm Bay Agricultural Center. Instructor will be Joe Walter. Registration required. Cost $10.

Chickens 101 - Introduction to Raising Chickens: This class will be held 7-9 p.m., May 16, at the Palm Bay Agricultural Center. Instructor will be Joe Walter. Registration required. Cost $10.

Florida Beef Cattle Short Course: This class will be held May 8-10 at the University of Florida, Gainesville. Call or email Jwalter@ufl.edu, or call (407) 948-8810 for additional information.

Tailgate Education Day and Pancake Breakfast. This event will take place June 15 at the parking lot at State Road 50/State Road 419 Bithlo. Donations go to the Junior Cattlemen's Association.

For more information or to register call (321) 633-1702 or visit http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


May 14, 2013

Blues Legends to be featured during Black Music Month Celebration in June

MIMS, Fla. – The 2013 Black Music Month Celebration, How Sweet The Sound, will be held in June at The Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Memorial Park at 2180 Freedom Ave., Mims.

The music of these artists from the 1920's through 1930's will be featured and will include Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Lead Belly, and additional early blues writers and singers from 1- 4 p.m., Tuesday's and Wednesday's, throughout the month of June.

This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations.


May 10, 2013

Indian River Lagoon preservation is task that Begins at Home

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Dolphins, pelicans, and manatees are dying at record rates in the Indian River Lagoon. The last two summers produced the largest, densest and most damaging algae blooms ever recorded in the Lagoon. Bloom impacts included loss of 31,600 acres of seagrass, the tropical forest of the lagoon floor. As a result, commercial and recreational fisheries are suffering.

Scientists are still unsure what exactly triggered these changes, but nutrient pollution is certainly to blame for feeding the algae superblooms. Nutrient pollution comes from activities and choices made by everyone in everyday life. Therefore, Brevard County residents can help the Indian River by reducing our daily footprint on water quality.

Minimizing the use of lawn fertilizer is the simplest way for most people to significantly reduce their contribution to nutrient pollution. Excess fertilizer is washed off lawns by irrigation and/or rain, especially quick release fertilizer. It washes into the nearest ditch or street where it enters the stormwater system. From there, it flows to the nearest waterbody.

Many homeowners apply more fertilizer than the fertilizer label recommends and much more than their lawn needs. Local governments are adopting fertilizer ordinances to prevent excess use and water pollution. The local UF/Brevard County Extension Service can help property owners determine how much and what kind of fertilizer a lawn needs by helping residents submit a soil test to the University of Florida. The test costs $7 plus shipping, and the Extension Service can assist with interpreting the soil test results.

Car care is another area that can make a significant difference on water quality. Treat yourself to a commercial car wash, keep tires properly inflated, and fix any fluid leaks promptly. Dirt and grime on vehicles, and the soap used to wash it off, is loaded with pollution. Commercial car washes catch the dirty wash water and filter out the pollution. Proper tire pressure means better gas mileage; and better gas mileage reduces air pollution. Air pollution is responsible for about a third of the nutrient load to the Indian River Lagoon. Oils and fluids that leak from vehicles get washed off the pavement by rain and carried to the nearest waterbody. Clean up leaks and spills with absorbent material like kitty litter and fix leaks promptly to minimize pollution.

There are many additional lawn care choices that protect water quality. Grass clippings contain nutrients that feed algae blooms, so control where grass clippings go. If the lawnmower side-casts grass clippings, make sure to mow in the direction that casts the clippings away from open water, ditches, paved surfaces and stormwater drains. Reduce the amount of yard that is dedicated to plants that need irrigation and fertilizer to thrive. Instead, landscape with Florida Friendly plants that are easy to care for when planted in the right place. Find out more about Florida Friendly Landscaping™ Principles at http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu. Buffer strips of native aquatic plants installed along waterfronts require no mowing or chemicals and filter out pollution.

Taking care of the Lagoon is up to everyone and it begins at home. For more ideas and information on how to reduce your daily footprint on water quality, visit LiveBlueFL.org, BrevStorm.org, or Brevard.ifas.ufl.edu. Reduce pollution now to help the Indian River forever.


May 09, 2013

EEL Program to hold Selection/Management Committee Meeting on May 30

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, May 30, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


May 09, 2013

Safety classes offered by Extension Service aim to protect Child Passengers

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer the following Safety classes during the months of May and June 2013:

Kids and Cars: A Child Passenger Safety Seminar: Learn how to properly select, install, and use child safety seats. This seminar will also be held at the Cocoa Extension Office on May 13, from 10 a.m. to noon and June 17, from 2-4 p.m. At the Palm Bay Extension Office on May 16, 10 a.m. to noon and June 25, 2-4 p.m. There is no cost to attend this class.

Child Safety Seat Check: Bring your child and his seat to be checked for proper selection, installation and fit. Call to schedule appointment time. Class will be held at the Palm Bay Extension Office on May 16, from 2–4:30 p.m.; May 28, from 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; June11, from 2-4:30 p.m.; and June 25, from 9-11:30 a.m. The class will be held at the Cocoa Extension Office on May 13, from 2-4:30 p.m.; May 29, from 9-11:30 a.m.; June 17, from 9-11 a.m.; and June 28, from 1–3:30 p.m. There is no cost to attend this class.

For more information or to register call (321) 633-1702 or visit http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


May 09, 2013

Extension Service classes in May/June focus on Food and Nutrition

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer the following classes during the month of May and June at the Cocoa Extension office, 3695 Lake Drive:

Food Handler Certification: Class and test fulfills the requirement for food service industry managers. Call 1-888-232-8723 for registration. The class will be held at the Cocoa Extension Office from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. May 13. Cost: $165.

Preserving Foods: Jams, Jellies and Pickling: Participants will get hands-on experience and will take food home. Class will be held at Cocoa Extension Office from 6-8 p.m. May 21. Cost: $35.

Preserving Foods: Drying and Freezing: Participants will get hands-on experience and the chance to try different dried foods. This class will be held at Cocoa Extension Office from 6-8 p.m. June 18. Cost: $35.

For more information or to register call (321) 633-1702 or visit http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


May 09, 2013

Extension Service classes focus on summertime plant growth, aromatics

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer the following classes during the months of May and June 2013 at Cocoa Extension office, 3695 Lake Drive or Palm Bay office, 1455 Treeland Blvd. SE.

Grow Your Own Fruit: Learn how to grow a variety of fruit crops. Choose from ground covers, shrubs, vines and trees. Topics to be covered include selection, planting, establishment and care. Palm Bay, May 9, 10-11:30 a.m. and June 4, 10-11:30 a.m. Cocoa, May 21, 10-11:30 a.m., and June 5, 10-11:30 a.m. Cost $10.

Tropical Veggies for Summertime Growing: Learn which tropical vegetables will grow through the summer. Many of them are ornamental as well. Learn all about the planting and care of these unusual vegetables. Palm Bay, May 9, 2-3:30 p.m. and June 4, 2-3:30 p.m. Cocoa, May 21, 2-3:30 p.m. and June 6, 2-3:30 p.m. Cost $10.

Fragrance in the Landscape: Check out trees, shrubs, vines, perennials and annuals that can grow and perfume the air. Learn all about the different plants so that you can pick the right plant for the right spot – even if it is in a container! Palm Bay, May 16, 2-3:30 p.m. and June 6, 10-11:30 a.m. Cocoa, May 22, 2-3:30 p.m. and June 7, 10-11:30 a.m. Cost $10. For more information or to register call (321) 633-1702 or visit http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


May 09, 2013

Free Lunch With Nature program May 21 to focus on the Art of Bonsai

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – The Art of Bonsai is the topic for the monthly Lunch With Nature program at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, 444 Columbia Boulevard, Titusville. The lunch features Bonsai Hobbyist Bill Rhodes of the Enchanted Forest as guest speaker. The program will be held at noon Tuesday, May 21.

Lunch with Nature is held the third Tuesday of the month with speakers that cover topics of interest for residents living along our east coast such as conservation, water management, historical sites, plants, sea turtles and other areas of interest. There is no fee for this program and participants provide their own lunch.

This program is offered by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations and the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Contact Andrea Chestnut at (321) 264-5105 for further information.


May 08, 2013

Awards Recognize Recycling Efforts by Brevard County Schools

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Brevard County Solid Waste Management Department and the League of Women Voters of the Space Coast are pleased to announce the School Recycling Awards for this school year. Enterprise Elementary School, Edgewood Jr. /Sr. High School and Heritage High School were named winners in their respective categories for outstanding recycling efforts during the 2012-2013 school year.

The Recycling Awards Program is the combined efforts of the League of Women Voters of the Space Coast, Brevard County Solid Waste Management and the Brevard County Public Schools as a way to recognize and encourage recycling efforts within the Brevard School System. The award is based on the amounts of materials collected and recycled, the overall effectiveness of the individual school's program and the students' involvement. In each category Enterprise Elementary, Edgewood and Heritage excelled. This year, several schools deserved Honorable Mention: St. Teresa School, Manatee Elementary, Jupiter Elementary and Space Coast Jr. /Sr. High School. Recycling teaches students the need to conserve precious natural resources.

For more information on the Recycling Awards Program, or to sign a school up for next year's contest, contact Erin LeClair, Brevard County Solid Waste Management Department, at (321) 633-2043.


May 07, 2013

5th Annual Space Coast Waterfest touts water-based activities in Brevard

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Boating season is upon us and the Brevard County Marine Advisory Council and the Brevard County Boating & Waterways Program are proud to promote the 5th Annual Space Coast Waterfest.

A variety of events scheduled throughout the month of May will highlight the diversity of water-based activities available to Brevard's residents and visitors.

Scheduled activities include fishing, sailing, kayaking and general boating events along with vessel safety inspections and presentations. Events are intended to publicize and expand knowledge of the ecological, recreational and economic opportunities associated with our unique waterways.

This year's showcase event will be held at Merritt Island's Kiwanis Island Park on May 18. This free event will include a Hook Kids on Fishing Event, supported through Anglers for Conservation, a Recycled Regatta (build your own boat) race event, free kayak use around the park, boat rides, displays by the U.S. Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, food and vendors. The Kiwanis Island event also kicks off National Safe Boating Week, May 18-24.

For detailed information on participating in the Recycled Regatta and to register for the Hook Kids on Fishing event contact the Natural Resources Management Department. Recycled Regatta race prizes will be awarded for fastest boat, best crew, and most imaginative boat design. A detailed schedule of events and information is available on the Boating & Waterways Program. website at www.brevardcounty.us/NaturalResources/Boating/Home or for more information, contact Matt Culver at (321) 633-2016 or email matt.culver@brevardcounty.us.


May 03, 2013

'Hurricane Lay' pays homage to late Brevard Emergency Management Director

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County will play a major role in this year's statewide Hurricane Exercise, which will feature "Hurricane Lay" – a tropical cyclone event named in tribute to the late Brevard County Emergency Management Director Bob Lay.

The start of the 2013 hurricane season is less than a month away. Brevard County's Office of Emergency Management has coordinated with the State of Florida for its annual hurricane exercise and will go into full-scale activation from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, May 20, at the Emergency Operations Center in Rockledge.

As part of the exercise, local emergency managers will monitor the progress of "Hurricane Lay" and respond to simulated impacts, obstacles and challenges that would face the Space Coast. Officials from various Brevard County government agencies, along with other area organizations, will respond to the Emergency Operations Center in Rockledge to participate in the drill and take appropriate actions that would be necessary in a real weather emergency. The daylong exercise is used to strengthen existing partnerships, familiarize those with new or added responsibilities and identify opportunities for improvement in planning, response and recovery efforts.

Lay, who died in January 2012 at the age of 69, served as director of Brevard County Emergency Operations for nearly 15 years and was known not only in Brevard County but also statewide and nationally as an emergency management expert. He led Brevard County through countless emergency situations including hurricanes and wildfires.

"I expect Hurricane Lay to be like its namesake: significant and strong, and change the lives of everyone it touches," said Kimberly Prosser, Brevard County Emergency Management Director.

This hurricane exercise is not only the time for public and private sector agencies to coordinate, but residents should also use this time to prepare themselves. As hurricane season approaches, it's recommended residents stock up with various storm supplies that includes fresh batteries, flashlights, food and water for 72 hours and a weather radio.

"I encourage every Brevard County resident to Make a Plan, Get a Kit and Stay Informed," Prosser said.

In addition to the full-scale EOC activation scheduled for May 20, there will also be a General Population Shelter Drill on May 17, a Pet-Friendly Shelter Drill on May 21, a Special Needs Shelter Drill on May 22, and a Point-of-Distribution drill on May 23.

Residents can stay informed this season by visiting www.embrevard.com, following @BrevardEOC on Twitter or via text messaging, or liking "Brevard County Emergency Management" on Facebook.

Hurricane season is June 1 through Nov. 30.


May 02, 2013

Brevard County sheds 'Light' on lighting rules for Sea Turtle Nesting Season

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- It's 'Lights Out' for sea turtles in Brevard County.

Thousands of endangered and threatened sea turtles nest on Brevard County's beaches each summer. Leatherback sea turtles begin nesting in March followed by Loggerhead and Green sea turtles. After 50 to 70 days of incubation in buried nests, hatchlings begin to emerge from the beach and dunes and orient themselves toward the brightest visible horizon in an attempt to find the sea.

Lights from beachfront structures that shine or reflect onto the beach can disrupt this instinctive process and cause hatchlings to crawl toward the upland lights instead of crawling to the sea. These disoriented hatchlings often get tangled in dune vegetation, eaten by predators, die from exhaustion or dehydration, or are occasionally run over by vehicles.

Even those who eventually find the ocean may have used up so much energy on the beach that they die before they find food. It is estimated that only 1 out of every 1,000 hatchlings manages to survive to adulthood.

To prevent hatchling disorientation, all indoor and exterior lights that are visible from the beach should be shielded, repositioned, replaced, or turned off after 9 p.m. during sea turtle season. Because adult nesting females can also be disoriented by improper lighting, lighting ordinances apply from May 1 - Oct. 31.

For questions regarding beachfront lighting, copies of educational brochures, a demonstration of turtle friendly lighting fixtures, or to discuss available lighting options, please call (321) 633-2016 ext. 52431 or email paula.berntson@brevardcounty.us.


May 01, 2013

Space Coast Area Transit seeks volunteers for Disadvantaged Services Board

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Brevard County Local Coordinating Board for Transportation Disadvantaged Services is seeking applications for volunteer board members.

The Local Coordinating Board (LCB) was established by Chapter 427 of the Florida Statutes, to provide direction and advice to Space Coast Area Transit in the provision of Transportation Disadvantaged services in Brevard County. The LCB consists of 15 members from various State and local agencies and general interest groups. The LCB is seeking volunteer members and alternates for the following seats:

  • Representing Disabled Citizens
  • Representing Disabled Citizens (Alternate)
  • Citizen Advocate - System User (Alternate)
The term of appointment is 3 years and the LCB meets quarterly at the Viera Government Center.

Once all the applications are received, a subcommittee will review the applications and make a recommendation to the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization for approval. The deadline for receipt of applications is Friday, May 31. If you are interested in serving on the Board and would like an application or have any questions, contact Jim Liesenfelt from Space Coast Area Transit at (321) 635-7815 ext. 601.


April 30, 2013

Free Sea Turtle Obstacle Course provides Turtle-eye view of life

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. -- Strap on a turtle shell and learn about the struggles sea turtles face to nest at the Brevard County-sponsored "It's Tough To Be A Turtle" Obstacle Course, held from 4-6 p.m. Friday, May 17, at Riverwalk: A Family Park, 5355 US Hwy 1, Rockledge. The program is being held in conjunction with the national Endangered Species Day to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act.

Sea turtles are sighted on Brevard County beaches each summer, but they only spend a tiny fraction of their life out of the water. What do they do the rest of the time they are in the ocean? Find out the answer by becoming a sea turtle. Strap on a shell and make your migration through the multitude of ocean obstacles sea turtles face to return to the beach to nest. Will you make it to the end to lay your eggs or will you be delayed by discarding fishing line, distracted by lights, or run into many of the other hurdles sea turtles face during their cross ocean travels? This activity involves climbing, crawling, balance, and agility as participants move through an obstacle course on the Riverwalk Park grounds.

All activities are free and open to the public. Call (321)433-4490 or email riverwalk@brevardparks.com for further information or to register.


April 26, 2013

'Player's Card' offers unlimited play, with cart, on Brevard Golf Courses

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- It's tee time in Brevard County. The Brevard County Golf Program is pleased to announce the offering of the Brevard County Player's Card.

The Player's Card is ideal for the golfer who is a frequent player and additionally provides the opportunity to enjoy Brevard County's three distinctive and outstanding golf courses -- The Savannahs in Merritt Island, The Habitat in Grant-Valkaria and Spessard Holland in Melbourne beach.

The card provides unlimited play at all three county golf courses, including daily green fees with cart and discounts on most pro-shop merchandise, all for one annual fee, paid in advance, for a full 12 months.

Please contact one of the Golf Courses for additional information:

  • Spessard Holland Golf Course, (321) 952-4529;
  • The Habitat Golf Course, (321) 952-6312;
  • The Savannahs Golf Course, (321) 455-1375.


April 23, 2013

Pet Food Donations sought for Brevard County Animal Shelters

TITUSVILLE and MELBOURNE, Fla. -- Brevard County's North Animal Care Center in Titusville and South Animal Care Center in Melbourne are in need of young and adult pet food donations. The need increases as summer months approach and the county's efforts toward "no kill" shelter status means animals are being sheltered longer while awaiting adoption.

Brevard's Animal Services and Enforcement relies on donations of pet food to help feed the animals in their care, and dry dye-free dog food are needed for young and adult pets. The shelters could also use help in feeding the animals.

Food donations can be dropped off at either of the shelters during business hours, noon to 6 p.m. daily. Closed Wednesdays.

South Animal Care Center
5100 W. Eau Gallie Blvd., Melbourne

North Animal Care Center
2605 Flake Road, Titusville

For more information, call South Animal Care Center at (321)253-6608 or North Animal Care Center at (321) 264-5119 or visit www.brevardcounty.us/animalservices.


April 23, 2013

EEL Program to hold Procedures Committee Meeting on May 2

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Procedures Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 2-4 p.m. Thursday, May 2, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of the meeting is to review policies and procedures of the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


April 23, 2013

EEL's Recreation & Education Advisory Committee meets May 9

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Recreation & Education Advisory Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, May 9, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review proposed recommendations for public access, passive recreation, and environmental education plans on EEL Program managed conservation lands. Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Brad Manley, EEL Public Access / Volunteer Coordinator at (321) 255-4466 or bmanley@brevardparks.com.


April 17, 2013

Free family oriented Spring Fling set for Campbell Community Center

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Spring Fling will be held from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at the Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center, 701 South St. in Titusville. This is an all-inclusive family fun day co-sponsored by the Women's Round Table and Teen Talk.

The carnival atmosphere is to promote family time playing games and spending time together. Activities will include food, music, kickball, basketball soccer, bean bag toss and more. The event is free to attend. Please call the center for additional information and fees at (321) 264-5040.

This event is sponsored Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Parks & Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations.


April 16, 2013

'Stars' initiative honors Volunteer contributions to Brevard Government

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County's Board of County Commissioners paid tribute Tuesday to the thousands of volunteers who help perform the day-to-day operations of County Government by adopting a resolution in honor of National Volunteer Week (April 21-27) and by inaugurating the week as Brevard County Volunteer Appreciation Week.

Volunteers are an integral part of Brevard County Government. According to volunteer statistics, 7,187 individuals have served as regular volunteers and on advisory boards throughout the county, providing more than 350,000 volunteer hours.

The resolution was read by Commissioner Robin Fisher and accepted by Margie Collins, the Brevard County Human Resource's Volunteer Coordinator for Brevardians Responding As VoluntEers (B.R.A.V.E.) County Manager Howard Tipton announced a county initiative named "Volunteer Stars Light Up Brevard" to recognize exceptional volunteers in county government. The first recipient of the award, which includes a plaque and a star pin, is Ed Becht, who is a Brevard County sheriff's deputy assigned to court security at the Viera Courthouse. On his days off, Becht volunteers for the county's Animal Services and Enforcement Department and promotes animal adoptions, has helped raise money to tend to sheltered dogs and takes dogs to PetCo on Sundays in an effort to help boost adoptions.

"Ed has a great adoption success rate not only with the dogs he brings to events but with dogs who stay behind at the shelter due to his ability to communicate with the public in a positive friendly manner and his ability to train and gain respect of the dog he is walking," said Animal Services Volunteer Coordinator Jennifer Kerr, who made the presentation. Becht is one of 600 volunteers registered with Animal Services.

National Volunteer Week, sponsored by Points of Light, created in 1990 by the President George H.W. Bush Administration, is about taking action, encouraging individuals and their respective communities to be at the center of social change – discovering and actively demonstrating their collective power to foster positive transformation.

For more information on volunteer opportunities with the Animal Services Department, please contact Jennifer Kerr at (321) 255-4379. To explore other volunteer opportunities with the County please contact Margie Collins at (321) 633-2031 or visit the Brevard County website at www.brevardcounty.us.


April 14, 2013

Get into the 'Swim of Things' with North Area Parks Aquatic Programs

TITUSVILLE, Fla.—Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operations is offering swim lessons, private swim lessons and open swim at the Titusville High Pool, 150 S. Terrier Trail.

Swim lessons are currently being offered in four sessions beginning June 3 and ending Aug. 9. Each session runs for two weeks. Classes are offered in the morning and evening with each class lasting 45 minutes. The cost is $45 per child with additional children in the same household being $40. Private swim lessons are available at a cost of $20 per half hour and are based on availability.

Parent and child classes are $30 per session and classes are 30 minutes. Parent or guardian must be in the pool with the child at all times. Each session runs for two weeks. No discount applies to this class.

Open swim is offered from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and holidays May 25 - July 28 at a fee of $2 per person. Pool rentals are available based on availability.

Registration for all aquatics activities is available at North Area Parks Operations office, 475 North Williams Avenue, Titusville, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additional information can be obtained by calling Mike Herman(321) 264 5105.


April 13, 2013

Sign-up begins for Florida Master Naturalist Program on Upland Habitats

COCOA, Fla. – If you are interested in learning more about the upland habitats in Brevard County, then a Florida Master Naturalist Program Upland Habitats Module might be right for you! This course starts on Monday, May 6, at the University of Florida IFAS Brevard County Extension Service, 3695 Lake Drive in Cocoa. Florida Master Naturalist courses are open to everyone 18 years and older.

The objective of the Florida Master Naturalist Program is to prepare participants to share their knowledge with others, to act in a positive manner, to help others feel a greater connection to the land and to help others develop their own personal land ethic. Information on the ecology of Florida's systems is an integral part of the program, and we hope to initiate what is for many a life-long process of learning, of observation, and of sharing with others.

Through classroom, field trip, and practical experience, this Uplands Habitats Module provides instruction on the general ecology, habitats, vegetation types, wildlife, and conservation issues of Upland Habitats in Florida – Hardwood Forests, Pinelands, Scrub, Dry Prairie, Rangelands and Urban Green Spaces. The program also addresses society's role in uplands, develops naturalist interpretation skills, and discusses environmental ethics. The total training consists of 40 contact hours. The only requirements of students are enthusiasm, attendance, and completion of group final projects. There is no comprehensive examination required. Classroom learning includes four instructional videos and 12 presentations.

To register and view the course schedule visit the following website: http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/fmnp/uh13-13.htm. For additional questions or information, contact Holly Abeels, Marine Science Extension Agent, at (321) 633-1702 ext. 235, or email habeels@ufl.edu.


April 12, 2013

Registration underway for North Area Parks Summer Day Camps

TITUSVILLE, Fla.—Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operation is offering summer day camps for children entering first grade through eighth grade from May 23 through Aug 13.

Camp registration is being held at the following community centers during operating hours: Cuyler Community Center 2329 Harry T. Moore Ave., Mims (321) 264-5045; Isaac Campbell, Sr. Community Center, 701 South St., Titusville, (321) 264-5040; Port St. John Community Center, 6650 Corto Road, Port St. John (321) 633-1904; Sandrift Community Center, 585 North Singleton Ave., Titusville (321) 264-5037; and in Sharpes at the Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice G. Jackson Park, 4201 North US 1, Cocoa (321) 433-4448.

Camp hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The fee is $60 per child or $20 per day. For an additional fee, before-care starting at 6:30 a.m. and after-care until 5:45 p.m. will be available. Discounts are available to qualifying families, please call a community center in your area for further information on discounted rates.

Registration for morning and evening swim lessons is available at North Area Parks Operations office, 475 North Williams Ave., Titusville, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Open swim hours are on Saturday, Sunday and Holidays from 1 - 4 p.m., May 25 through July 28. All aquatic activities will be at Titusville High School pool. Additional information can be obtained by calling (321) 264 5105.



April 09, 2013

4th Annual Viera Wetlands Nature Festival runs April 12-14

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Utility Services and Natural Resources Management Departments announce the 4th Annual Viera Wetlands Nature Festival, organized to celebrate the beauty of the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands at Viera. This year's festival spans three days: Friday, April 12, through Sunday, April 14.

The festival will open Friday evening with a dinner hosted by the Friends of Viera Wetlands at the Holiday Inn Melbourne-Viera featuring keynote speaker Tim Gallagher; award-winning author, wildlife photographer, and magazine editor. Gallagher is editor-in-chief of "Living Bird," the flagship publication of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Tickets are required for the dinner.

The festival continues Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands. Exhibitors will include the Brevard Zoo, Space Coast Audubon Society, Florida Wildlife Hospital, Riverwalk Nature Center, local non-profit groups, nature vendors, and others. Admission is free. Experienced wildlife experts will be on hand to provide guided tours of the wetlands. Winning submissions from the second annual photography contest capturing the wetland's beauty and fascinating wildlife will be on display for auction to benefit the wetlands.

The festival will resume Sunday morning at the Brevard Zoo's Ngami River Lodge, with a continental breakfast and series of exhibits and speakers including Craig Faulhaber of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Gabe Cenker of Young Birders of Brevard, and Brevard Zoo's Conservation Staff. Tickets are required. A limited number of Saturday and Sunday sunrise guided group tours of the wetlands will be provided by volunteers free of charge, by reservation. Photography classes will also be held Saturday and Sunday mornings; pre-registration and a nominal fee are required.

Additional festival details, including registration and ticket purchase, are available at the Friends of Viera Wetlands website: www.fovw.org or by contacting raleigh.berry@brevardcounty.us. Information about the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands at Viera is available at the www.grissomwetlands.org.


April 09, 2013

Free Earth Day Festival set for April 20 at Enchanted Forest Sanctuary

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- The Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program and the Friends of the Enchanted Forest invite the public to the annual Earth Day Festival at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary Management and Education Center on Saturday, April 20.

Activities for this free event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will include Florida wildlife, bird and reptile exhibitors, live music, guided hikes, Florida Native Plant Society gardening info and native plant sales, environmental booths and artists painting on site. There will be children's activities, crafts and face painting. The Friends of the Enchanted Forest will be in the Gift Shoppe with information and sale items, and the opening of the Environmental Lending Library.

Food will be available for purchase. This is a good opportunity to capture photographs of wildlife and people interacting. For more information on the Earth Day Festival, call the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary at (321) 264-5185, visit our website: www.eelbrevard.com; or find us on facebook.

The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is in Titusville on the north side of State Road 405, a half-mile west of U.S. 1.


April 09, 2013

Sams House at Pine Island activities through May will focus on Biodiversity

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Throughout the month of May, Sams House at Pine Island presents a series of free programs that focus on our area's biodiversity.

Events include:

Biodiversity Hike, 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 4: Join a guided half-mile hike through our palm hammock and learn about the diverse plant and animal life that can be found there.

Children's Story Hour, "Monarch Butterfly of Aster Way," 3-4 p.m. Saturday, April 13: Monarch butterflies are known for their bold tiger coloring and their magnificent migrations. Staff will read the butterfly book and use puppets to teach children and their parents about these amazing creatures.

Mothers Day Hike and Picnic, 10:30 a.m.-noon, Saturday, May 11: Bring a picnic lunch and your mother for a leisurely 3/4 mile hike through the shady palm hammock and out to the Indian River Lagoon overlook. Engage in a mother/child questioning game and pose for pictures, which will be emailed to you electronically.

Fun Facts About Indian River Lagoon Fish, 3-4 p.m. Friday, April 26: Land Manager Scott Taylor will discuss the nearly 400 fish species in the Indian River Lagoon. Learn odd facts about common species, and discover uncommon species that are just odd!

Florida's Precious Natural Heritage, 1-2 p.m., Saturday, May 11: Florida's natural heritage is the plants, animals, natural communities, and ecosystems that comprise Florida; the wild places and exquisite inter-relationships between species and environment that form natural Florida. This presentation by Florida Natural Areas Inventory director, Gary Knight, will provide a wide-ranging overview of the species (plant and animal), ecological diversity, and landscapes that make Florida special and unique. Conservation accomplishments and challenges will also be discussed.

Pine Island Paddle, 9 a.m.-noon, Saturday, May 18: Space Coast Kayaking will take participants through a deep water canal frequented by manatees, then out to the Indian River Lagoon. Paddle up to Sams House, hiking in through the Palm Hammock to tour the historic cabin and house. Paddle back to start. Reservations required. Limited to 14 participants. $30/person ($20 for ages 5-12). Call (321) 784-2452 or info@spacecoastkayaking.net to hold your spot. Meet at the end of Pine Island Road.

Saving Brevard's Endangered Places, 2-3 p.m., Friday, May 24: Learn how the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program is helping residents and visitors discover native plants and animals by preserving endangered habitats.

Land Turtles of Central Florida, 10-11 a.m., Saturday, May 25: Rebecca Bolt, Wildlife Ecologist from Kennedy Space Center will present interesting information on our beloved land turtles and tortoises. Come learn about the amazing habits and ecology of the gopher tortoise and Florida box turtle.

John Sams was a citrus grower, businessman, and the first Superintendent of Brevard County Schools. The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. The Center is at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday - Saturday. Tours of the 1875 cabin and 1888 house are given at 3 p.m. every Thursday. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


April 08, 2013

Brevard Wildlife Corridor Expedition activities planned at Sams House

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The Brevard Wildlife Corridor Expedition, April 6-21, is a "moving festival" offering more than 80 events as it travels through the county from mainland sanctuaries and trails to backwater multi-day excursions to barrier island adventures and more. Come participate at Sams House on Tuesday, April 16. www.ExpeditionBrevard.com to register.

Salt Marsh Restoration Tour at Pine Island: 9 a.m. - noon. Enjoy a narrated hike along a salt marsh restoration area in the Pine Island Conservation Area in North Merritt Island. The Environmentally Endangered Lands Program uses a variety of land management techniques to manage the land for biodiversity. This area has a rich and diverse history, which includes Ice Age Megafauna, Native American, and Florida Pioneers. Event Leader: Dr. Scott Taylor, Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Closed-toed shoes are required. Sunscreen, hat, insect repellant and water are recommended. Start Location: Pine Island Conservation Area - 2100 Pine Island Rd, Merritt Island. No charge.

Manatee Cove to Sams House Kayak Trip: 9 a.m. - noon. Paddle from Manatee Cover Park to Sams House on Merritt Island and return. The group will walk the trail from the landing at Sams House to the historic houses. Wildlife watching should be great during this paddling trip in the Indian River Lagoon. Manatees and dolphins are frequently observed in this area. Event Leader: Vince Rondello, Manager of Village Outfitters. Bring sunscreen and insect repellant. Start Location: Manatee Cove Park, 4905 N. Tropical Trail, Merritt Island. Cost: $40 using kayak and equipment provided by Village Outfitters.

Conservation Lands Matter! 1-2 p.m. Held in Sams House Cabin, the oldest standing home in Brevard County, this slideshow presentation will explain why conservation lands are important and should matter to everyone. Event Leader: Katrina Morrell, Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Start Location: Sams House at Pine Island, 6195 N Tropical Trail, Merritt Island. No charge.

Historic Home Tour and Coastal Hammock Hike: 2-3:30 p.m. Get an inside peek at the area's oldest standing home and take a three-quarter mile loop hike through a beautiful palm hammock to an overlook at the Indian River Lagoon. No charge. Event Leaders: Martha Pessaro and Patricia Tierney, Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Closed-toed shoes are required. Sunscreen, hat, insect repellant and water are recommended. Start Location: Sams House at Pine Island, 6195 N Tropical Trail, Merritt Island. No charge.

Go Outside and Play presentation by Patty Goffinet: 2:30-3:30 p.m. Remember how much fun you had growing up? Children used to spend most of their free time outdoors. They had adventures. They explored. They got dirty. But childhood has changed. Today's children live their lives indoors. Kids are entertained and they're comfortable inside, but the excitement and enthusiasm are gone. Come to this talk and find out why this is happening, why it shouldn't be and what you can do about it. Lecture will be followed by outdoor fun. Event Leader: Patty Goffinet, Author. Start Location: Sams House at Pine Island, 6195 N Tropical Trail, Merritt Island. No charge.

John Sams was a citrus grower, businessman, and the first Superintendent of Brevard County Schools. The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. The Center is at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday - Saturday. Tours of the 1875 cabin and 1888 house are given every Thursday at 3 pm. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


April 05, 2013

EEL Program to hold Selection/Management Committee Meeting on April 23

BREVARD COUNTY -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


April 05, 2013

Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Course offered at Palm Bay Aquatic Center

PALM BAY, FL -- The Palm Bay Aquatic Center is offering an American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor course beginning April 16.

The Aquatic Center is at 420 Community College Parkway, just south of the Brevard Community College Campus. Class dates and times are as follows: April 16, 18, 23, & 25 from 4:30 - 8:30 p.m. and April 14 and 21 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. The cost is $185. Class size is limited. Pre-registration is recommended.

Interested candidates must be at least 16 years of age and must show proficiency in 25 yards each of Freestyle, Back Crawl, Breaststroke, and 15 yards each of Butterfly and Sidestroke. This activity is sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department. For more information, call the aquatic center at (321) 952-2232.


April 01, 2013

Army Corps Approves Project Implementation Reports for Brevard Beaches

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approved Project Implementation Reports that will result in renourishment of North and South Reach beaches in Brevard County, with the federal government footing virtually 100 percent of the estimated $29.3 million cost to restore parts of the county's eroded shoreline.

In late October 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused high winds and seas that damaged Brevard County beaches. The County worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to assess erosion to beaches within the federal Brevard County Shore Protection Project (BCSPP) area. As a result of that assessment, the Army Corps on March 28 announced approval of the Project Implementation Reports (PIR's) for the North and South Reaches. That approval means the Army Corps plans to renourish the North and South Reach beaches using 100 percent federal funds. The most recent benefits cost study by the Army Corps for the BCSPP yields a B:C ration of 5.5:1, meaning for every dollar spent on the project, the county receives $5.50 in economic benefits.

The North Reach, including Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral, will receive about 1 million cubic yards of sand with an estimated cost of $16.8 million. Funding for the North Reach will come from both the Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies (FCCE) Hurricane Sandy response fund and normal operation and maintenance funds.

The South Reach, which covers 3.8 miles of shoreline in Indialantic and Melbourne Beach, will be renourished with 585,000 cubic yards of sand. South Reach funding of $12.5 million will come entirely from the FCCE account to restore Hurricane Sandy damage.

The Army Corps has not released an intended construction schedule, but work on both projects is expected to take place between November 2013 and May 1, 2014.

Brevard County is also working to secure state beach restoration funds to repair other county beaches where an Army Corps project has never been constructed, including the Mid Reach and South Beaches areas.


April 01, 2013

Free Earth Day Festival set for April 20 at Enchanted Forest Sanctuary

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- The Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program and the Friends of the Enchanted Forest invite the public to the annual Earth Day Festival at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary Management and Education Center on Saturday, April 20.

Activities for this free event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will include Florida wildlife, bird and reptile exhibitors, live music, guided hikes, Florida Native Plant Society gardening info and native plant sales, environmental booths and artists painting on site. There will be children's activities, crafts and face painting. The Friends of the Enchanted Forest will be in the Gift Shoppe with information and sale items, and the opening of the Environmental Lending Library.

Food will be available for purchase. This is a good opportunity to capture photographs of wildlife and people interacting. For more information on the Earth Day Festival, call the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary at (321) 264-5185, visit our website: www.eelbrevard.com; or find us on facebook.

The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is in Titusville on the north side of State Road 405, a half-mile west of U.S. 1.


April 01, 2013

'Blast Off' program launches at Port St. John Community Center in April

PORT ST. JOHN, Fla. -- A "Blast Off" Rocket Program for participants ages six to adult will be held from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at Port St. John Community Center, 6650 Corto Road in Port St. John.

Participants will build and launch a Level 1 model rocket with parachute recovery system. Any child under the age of eight will be required to have an adult present to assist them with construction of the rocket. The fee is $12 per rocket and all rockets will be launched during the afternoon on the day they are constructed. Preregistration is required by April 17 by calling (321) 633-1904.

This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations.


March 25, 2013

Reptiles and Amphibians topic of Lunch With Nature at Enchanted Forest

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Reptiles and Amphibians will be the topic for the monthly Lunch with Nature program at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, 444 Columbia Boulevard, Titusville. Sarah Kraum of the Enchanted Forest will be guest speaker for the program, which starts at noon Tuesday, April 16.

Lunch with Nature is held the third Tuesday of the month with speakers that cover topics of interest for residents living along our east coast such as conservation, water management, historical sites, plants, sea turtles and other areas of interest. There is no fee for this program and participants provide their own lunch.

This program is offered by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations and the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Contact Andrea Chestnut at (321) 264-5105 for further information.


March 25, 2013

April Activities at Sams House at Pine Island will focus on Wildlife

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Throughout the month of April, Sams House at Pine Island presents a series of free programs that focus on local wildlife.

Children's Story Hour: "Raccoon at Clear Creek Road" - 10-11 a.m. Saturday, April 6: Staff will read the story and use puppets to introduce children and their parents to a day in the life of a wild raccoon family. Participants will make and take raccoon puppets after the story.

Children's Story Hour: "Monarch Butterfly of Aster Way" - 3-4 p.m. Saturday, April 13: Monarch butterflies are known for their bold tiger coloring and their magnificent migrations. Staff will read the butterfly book and use puppets to teach children and their parents about these amazing creatures.

Bald Eagles - 10-11 a.m. Saturday, April 20: Al McKinley, volunteer with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, will give a presentation on our national bird, followed by a short hike to our active eagle nest viewing area.

Fun Facts About Indian River Lagoon Fish - 3-4 p.m. Friday, April 26: Land Manager Scott Taylor will discuss the nearly 400 fish species in the Indian River Lagoon. Learn odd facts about common species, and discover uncommon species that are just "odd!"

Animal Baby Shower - 10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Saturday, April 27: Help the Florida Wildlife Hospital celebrate 40 years with an Animal Baby Shower. Bring in donations for the Center and meet the Animal Ambassadors. Check our Facebook page for a list of items needed by the Hospital.

Guided Hike - 2-3 p.m. Saturday, April 27: Enjoy our beautiful palm hammock on this 1/2 mile guided hike where we'll look for evidence of the wildlife that abounds on Pine Island.

John Sams was a citrus grower, businessman, and the first Superintendent of Brevard County Schools. The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. The Center is at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday - Saturday. Tours of the 1875 cabin and 1888 house are given every Thursday at 3 pm. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


March 25, 2013

EEL Program to hold Selection/Management Committee Meeting on April 23

BREVARD COUNTY -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


March 22, 2013

Dr. Anthony Dixon guest speak at Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Park Event

MIMS, Fla. – Dr. Anthony Dixon, renowned scholar, archivist and professor at Florida A&M University, will be guest speaker for the VIVA 500 Celebration to be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, at The Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Memorial Park, at 2180 Freedom Avenue, Mims.

Dixon will detail the role of the African Diaspora and the Origins, Cultural Characteristics and Development of Florida's first free black societies. This event is free to the public.

Call Juanita Barton (321) 264-6595 for additional information. This event is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations in conjunction with the John G. Riley House and Museum, Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Cultural Complex, Inc., Florida Humanities Council and VIVA Florida 500.


March 22, 2013

Spring Break Activities available at Campbell Community Center

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Spring break activities are being offered March 25-29 for school-age children at the Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center, 701 South St., in Titusville.

Children have an opportunity to participate in bowling, skating, laser tag, fishing clinic and an Easter egg hunt. Fees vary daily based on the activity, please call the center for additional information and fees at (321) 264-5040.

This event is sponsored Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Parks & Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations. For more information, please call Tommy Myers at 264-5040.


March 22, 2013

Runaway Country Event Won't Choke Off Access to Brevard County Fair

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Two events converge on Wickham Park in Melbourne this weekend: The third-annual Runaway Country Music concert and the fourth-annual Brevard County Fair.

While the park area is closed to non-concertgoers, access is still available to Brevard County Fairgoers via Wickham Road. The Fair, which is being held in the Wickham Park Pavillion, is accessible off Wickham Road adjacent to the Brevard Community College campus. And, for concertgoers who want to check out the Fair midway, there's access via a walkover path from the park, said University of Florida/Brevard Extension Service's Mel Morgan-Stowell, fair liaison.

The fair is an education and fun event for the whole family and features the Myers International Midway. The event runs through March 30. Parking is free. The entry fee, which includes rides, is $10 Monday through Thursday; $12 Friday through Sunday. Hours are 6-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 6- 11 p.m. on Friday; noon to 11 p.m. on Saturday; and 1-10 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information, visit online at www.brevardcountyfair.com.


March 22, 2013

Fair Housing Workshop on April 11 focuses on latest housing laws

VIERA, Fla. -- Current federal and state fair housing laws will be the focus of a Brevard County Home Consortium-sponsored workshop from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday, April 11, at the county Government Center in Viera.

The focus of the workshop includes prohibited discriminatory practices in the sale and rental of dwellings, advertising violations, occupancy restrictions, exemptions under the Fair Housing Act, housing for older persons, fair housing rights for persons with disabilities, fair housing design and construction requirements and other fair housing issues. The workshop is presented by Fair Housing Continuum Inc.

Admission is free, and participants will find out the difference between landlord/tenant issues and fair housing complaints.

For more information, call the Fair Housing Continuum Inc. at (321) 757-3532. To request training accomodations due to disability, please contact Brian Breslin at (321) 637-5347 at least 48 hours in advance.

The workshop will be held in the Brevard County Commission Room, first floor Building C, at the Brevard County Government Center, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way in Viera.


March 22, 2013

Brevard County Recycling Efforts hit Milestone a Year Ahead of Target

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County has reached a goal of 45 percent recycling, a milestone achieved one year early and one that puts Brevard County in a second-place tie among Florida county's with the highest recycling rates.

According to the latest recycling data from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, 23 counties reported a 30 percent or higher recycling rate and Florida has maintained at least a 30 percent recycling rate for two consecutive years. Brevard County is among nine counties with a recycling rate of 40 percent or higher.

The more that is recycled means less waste generated and lower operating costs for waste management. Residents have motivation to recycle because it allows for reuse of household products and also cuts down on the amount and cost of waste sent to local landfills. Residents are encouraged to recycle at home and find out what recycling efforts are underway at their local schools, their workplace and their community groups.

"We owe a big thank you to Brevard County citizens," said Euripides Rodriguez, Director of Solid Waste Management for Brevard County. "We thank them for their efforts and their help achieving this goal. Without them we would not be able to do it."

According to DEP, Alachua County remains No. 1 in the state for recycling for the second year in a row. Gilchrist County was the most improved county in Florida, increasing its recycling rate from 17 percent in 2010 to 30 percent in 2011.

The top 10 counties based on recycling rate are:

  1. Alachua County - 50 percent
  2. Lee County - 45 percent
  3. Brevard County - 45 percent
  4. Marion County - 45 percent
  5. Escambia County - 43 percent
  6. Martin County - 42 percent
  7. Sarasota County - 42 percent
  8. Leon County - 41 percent
  9. Collier County - 40 percent
  10. Madison County - 39 percent
In 2008, the Florida Legislature established a new statewide recycling goal of 75 percent to be achieved by 2020.

To see the complete Solid Waste Management Report visit http://www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/categories/recycling/SWreportdata/11_data.htm.

For more information about the Florida DEP Recycling Recognition Program visit http://www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/categories/recycling/pages/recognition.htm


March 22, 2013

Sea Turtle Nesting Season begins along beaches of Brevard County

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Sea turtle nesting season has begun in Brevard County and will be in effect through Oct. 31.

Leatherback sea turtles, begin to come ashore in March and lay their eggs. Leatherbacks, the largest living turtles, are typically six to eight feet in length and weigh approximately 1,200 to 1,500 pounds. They are the rarest of the three sea turtle species that nest in Brevard County, and are listed as an endangered species.

Brevard County residents and visitors are reminded to shield or turn off beachside lights, limit beach walking at night, avoid using flashlights or flash photography on the beach, and stay away from nesting sea turtles, hatchlings, or sea turtle nests. Lights that shine or reflect onto the beach disrupt the instinctive nesting process. While Brevard County and its municipalities have local lighting ordinances to protect sea turtles, the ordinances do not take effect until May 1 when Loggerhead sea turtles begin to nest in large numbers. Green sea turtles follow shortly thereafter with thousands of nests by the end of the season.

For more information about sea turtles or alternative lighting solutions, call the Brevard County Natural Resources Management Department at (321) 633-2016 ext. 52431


March 21, 2013

Brevard County Ocean Rescue Open Tryouts This Saturday

(Brevard County, Fla.) - Brevard County Ocean Rescue will host open tryouts for seasonal lifeguards at Rockledge High School on Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 7:00 a.m. Candidates must be at the swimming pool by 7:00 a.m. or they will not be permitted to participate.

While no lifeguarding experience is necessary, candidates must be over the age of 16 and possess strong swimming skills. Anyone wishing to try out for one of the open positions must bring with them: a valid Driver's License, Social Security card, appropriate swim attire/towel, and running shoes.

All candidates will be required to swim 500 meters in less than 10 minutes and complete a two-mile run in under 20 minutes. Advanced registration is not required; however, testing will begin promptly and anyone arriving after testing begins will not be permitted to tryout. Those wishing to participate should bring food and water with them due to the physical nature of this tryout.

All candidates selected after tryouts will be required to continue the application process at Brevard County's Fire Rescue Center until 5:00 p.m. If selected, completion of the hiring process is dependent upon the candidate's ability to pass a background test and successfully complete a paid training course. The starting pay for ocean lifeguards is $9.46/hour. Currently, Ocean Rescue is seeking to staff 50 seasonal lifeguard positions that will operate from March-October 2013.

For additional information on the tryouts and Brevard County Ocean Rescue, please visit www.brevardfire.com or contact the Ocean Rescue staff at (321) 633-2056.


March 19, 2013

Water Quality Agreement comes as 'Good News' for Brevard County

VIERA, Fla. -- The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have reached agreement on how to protect Florida's waterways from excess nitrogen and phosphorus pollution. This agreement entrusts the state as the lead for water quality rule-making in Florida, rather than creating dual state and federal standards. This agreement, with FDEP's protection criteria selected as the numeric nutrient criteria to be followed, is very good news for Brevard's treasured waterways, wildlife, residents and visitors.

FDEP's rules require protective measures that were developed individually for the Indian River Lagoon, the St Johns River, each unique creek along the Lagoon, and each major lake along the St Johns. To the contrary, EPA's broad-brush approach assigned uniform nutrient criteria for all fresh flowing waters in the Florida peninsula. EPA's approach resulted in water quality criteria for our natural streams and rivers being the same as for our flood control ditches and canals. This federal approach was less scientifically accurate than the state's approach for our naturally unique and vitally significant waterbodies and would have required devastating economic hardship for unnecessary pollution reduction in ditches.

While EPA's criteria are more protective of our ditches, the state's criteria are more protective of our St Johns River. Brevard County has 2,840 miles of mapped drainage canals and ditches, plus many more miles of smaller unmapped systems that collectively provide critical flood control for homes, businesses and streets.

FDEP's narrative criteria do not ignore ditches and canals, but more appropriately requires nutrient loading from ditches and canals to be managed at the point where they discharge to natural waterways. Under State rules, existing drainage systems can continue to be used for flood protection and can convey polluted water to regional stormwater treatment systems where harmful pollutants are removed before the flood waters discharge to a natural waterway. FDEP's criteria do not expend limited public resources on the water in the ditches, but rather focuses on natural waters. This provides better and wiser protection for the Indian River Lagoon, St Johns River, and our other natural waterways.

FDEP's water quality protection approach is far from perfect and must continue to be refined and adapted as scientific understanding of aquatic systems improves. The state already has a process for reviewing data every five years and updating standards, as needed. Florida's approach of looking at the use and function of each waterbody individually, will lead to more accurate protection of each natural waterbody from nitrogen and phosphorus pollution and protect taxpayers from unnecessary regulation of Florida's man-made flood conveyance systems.


March 18, 2013

Free Movie in the Park on March 29 features "Hop" at Cuyler Park in Mims

MIMS, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, is hosting a free Movie in the Park at 6 p.m. Friday, March 29, at Cuyler Park, 2329 Harry T. Moore Avenue, in Mims.

The movie will be shown outdoors on a giant, 23-foot movie screen. In the event of inclimate weather, it will be shown in the gymnasium. The movie, "HOP," is rated PG. Patrons are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, food and drinks to enjoy during the movie. Concessions will be available for purchase.

Call Sammy Fairclough (321) 264-5045 for more information on this and other activities in the Mims area.


March 16, 2013

Registration open now for Certified Interpretive Guide Class in June

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Certified Interpretive Guide Training program will be offered June 4-7 at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary in Titusville.

The 32-hour program through the National Association for Interpretation is designed for anyone who delivers public programs. It combines both the theoretical foundations of the profession with practical skills in delivering quality interpretive programming to visitors. Cost for the training is $380, which includes instructor fees, certification, NAI membership, and refreshments.

To register, go to: http://www.interpnet.com/nai/_certification/CIG_Workshops/CIG-2013-06-FL.aspx. For more information, contact Certified Interpretive Trainer Katrina Morrell at katrina.morrell@brevardparks.com or call (321) 432-3231.

This training program is sponsored by the Friends of the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, a 501(c)(3) non-profit Friends Group of the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.


March 13, 2013

Sign-up underway for Men's Adult Flag Football League in Canaveral Groves

CANAVERAL GROVES, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, is hosting a Men's Flag Football League beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday, March 24, at Space Coast Communities Sports Complex, 662 Canaveral Groves Boulevard.

The fee of $492.00 per team is due by 4 p.m. Thursday, March 21, at the North Area Parks Operations Office, 475 North Williams Avenue in Titusville.

Call Mike Herman 264-5105 to register and for information on this and other athletic activities in North Brevard.


March 12, 2013

8th Annual Fox Lake Spring Festival of Crafts is March 16 in Titusville

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – The Eighth Annual Fox Lake Spring Festival of Crafts will be held at Fox Lake Park in Titusville from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 16.

Only handmade and homemade crafts will be offered for sale at the event, which is sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations. Crafter spots are still available. Concessions will be available for purchase and admission is free.

Fox Lake Park is at 4400 Fox Lake Road in Titusville. For more information about this and other recreation programs in North Brevard, call (321) 264-5105.


March 11, 2013

EEL Program to hold Procedures Committee Meeting on March 21

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Procedures Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 2-4 p.m. Thursday, March 21, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of the meeting is to review policies and procedures of the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


March 11, 2013

EEL Program to hold Recreation & Education Advisory Committee meeting

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Recreation & Education Advisory Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne. The purpose of this meeting is to review proposed recommendations for public access, passive recreation, and environmental education plans on EEL Program managed conservation lands. Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Brad Manley, EEL Public Access / Volunteer Coordinator at (321) 255-4466 or bmanley@brevardparks.com.


March 08, 2013

High School Talent to be featured in 4H Breast Cancer Awareness Benefit

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The UF/Brevard County Extension Service along with the 4H community are working to help raise breast cancer awareness by holding a March 15 night of art and music benefit concert featuring talented area high school students.

The event will be held at Merritt Island High Auditorium, 100 Mustang Way, at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m.

All proceeds from this charity event will be donated to the American Cancer Society to assist with breast cancer awareness, education and research. The evening will include dance numbers, solo numbers, group performances and orchestral pieces. Tickets are available in advance for $6 or at the door for $7.

For more information, contact Vanessa Spero-Swingle at (321) 633-1702 ext. 231 or Vspero@ufl.edu, or online at http://4hbenefitcnocert.eventbrite.com.


March 04, 2013

EEL's committees postpone March 7 and March 14 meetings

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Two upcoming meetings planned by the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Procedures and Recreation & Education Advisory committees, originally scheduled for March 7 and March 14 respectively, have been postponed. New meeting times and dates have not yet been established.

The purpose of these meetings was to review policies and procedures and to review proposed recommendations for public access, passive recreation, and environmental education plans on EEL Program managed conservation lands. Questions regarding the Procedures Committee meetings should be directed to Laura Clark EEL Program Administrative Secretary at (321) 255-4466 or laura.clark@brevardparks.com, or for Recreation & Education to Brad Manley, EEL Public Access / Volunteer Coordinator at (321) 255-4466 or bmanley@brevardparks.com.


March 04, 2013

Egg hunts and Breakfast with the Easter Bunny planned in North Brevard

MIMS, TITUSVILLE, PORT ST. JOHN, SHARPES, Fla. -- Multiple egg hunts and even Breakfast with the Easter Bunny are among events planned by North Area Parks Operations starting Friday, March 15, and continuing through Saturday, March 30.

The egg hunts are free, but participants should bring their own egg carriers. Walter Butler Community Center, North Cocoa Civic League, Victory Worship Center and Lifepointe Ministries and Brevard County Parks and Recreation, are co-sponsoring the Third Annual Easter Day of Fun on Friday, March 15, at 3 p.m., at Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice G. Jackson Park, 4201 North U.S. Highway 1, Cocoa (Sharpes). There will be an egg hunt, face painting, crafts and other activities. Call (321) 433-4448 for more information.

There will be two egg hunts at Fay Park, 6315 Depot Road in Port St. John, on Saturday, March 23. Children ages 5 and under will hunt eggs at 6 p.m. Children ages 6 through 12 years should bring a flashlight for the egg hunt starting at 8:30 p.m. Call (321) 633-1904 for more information.

Isaac Campbell Senior Club and Brevard County Parks and Recreation are co-sponsoring an egg hunt at Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center, 701 South Street in Titusville, on Friday, March 29, from 2-4 p.m. For more information, call (321) 264-5040.

Cuyler Park will host an egg hunt on Friday, March 29, from 5-7 p.m. The park is at 2329 Harry T. Moore Ave. in Mims.

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny, for children 10 and under, will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 30, at Sand Point Park, 101 N. Washington Ave., in Titusville. There will be a pancake breakfast, crafts and an egg hunt. Participants are asked to bring an egg carrier and a camera. Children must be accompanied by an adult, and this activity is limited to the first 150 registrants. Tickets are $3 for adults and $5 for children. Pre-registration is required at Sandrift Community Center. Call (321) 264-5037 for more information.


March 04, 2013

Successful Orchid Growing subject of Lunch With Nature program March 19

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- The topic for the monthly Lunch with Nature program at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, 444 Columbia Boulevard, Titusville, will be Successful Orchid Growing with Jim Adamson of The Platinum Coast Orchid Society as the guest speaker. The program will be held Tuesday, March 19, at noon.

Lunch with Nature is held the third Tuesday of the month with speakers that cover topics of interest for residents living along our east coast such as conservation, water management, historical sites, plants, sea turtles and other areas of interest. There is no fee for this program and participants provide their own lunch.

This program is offered by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations and the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Contact Andrea Chestnut at (321) 264-5105 for more information.


March 01, 2013

Horseback Trail Rides offered at Pine Island Conservation Area through April

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Pine Island Conservation Area Horseback Trail rides will be offered on the following Sunday afternoons at the Pine Island Conservation Area in North Merritt Island: March 10,17, and 24; April 14, 21 and 28. Reservations and prepayment are required and can be arranged through Donna Hakanson, owner and operator of Desert Acres Stables at (321)759-1605. The one-and-a-half-hour rides are $50. Long pants and close-toed shoes are recommended.

The Pine Island Conservation Area is owned and managed by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. The 1,000-acre site is located at 2100 Pine Island Road on Merritt Island.

The Sams House at Pine Island is located at the southern end of the Pine Island Conservation Area, 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays. Tours of the 1875 cabin and 1888 house are given at 3 p.m. every Thursday. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


February 28, 2013

Commissioners ask President, Congress to End Sequestration Threat

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County Board of County Commissioners are weighing in on the potential local impact of sequestration, which is the March 1 anticipated across-the-board set of federal budget cuts that could threaten Brevard County aerospace and defensive industries.

Earlier this month, Commissioners voted 5-0 to send a letter requesting immediate action by the President and the Brevard County federal legislative delegation to eliminate the threat that sequestration places on national security, the local community and all Americans. The letter was drafted by Commission Chairman Andy Anderson, who said it came at the request of local defense contractors. Unless the President and Congress reach accord, Friday is the deadline in which forced cuts resulting from the sequestration would begin going into effect. The cuts will reportedly slash an estimated $85 billion from the federal budget, and cut an estimated $1.2 trillion in defense and non-defense spending over the next decade.

"This could be an impact to us locally if these cuts go through as currently constructed," Anderson said.

According to the letter approved by Commissioners, "Sequestration's indiscriminate cuts will greatly affect the aerospace and defensive industries. The greatest impact will be felt by the smaller and mid-range subcontractors and suppliers of products unique to the industry. The aerospace and defense industry supports more than 3.5 million middle-class jobs with more than 30,000 suppliers from all 50 states, including ours."

The letter also states: "The aerospace and defense industry is an important driver of our economy. It is comprised of proud, productive and patriotic citizens. Ensuring opportunities for young people to have exciting and well-paying careers will keep the industry – and our communities – strong in the future. Sequestration is already degrading the industry's ability to attract and retain these young, highly trained and skilled workers. They are vital to our industry, our national security and the economic health of our communities."

The aerospace industry has already been depleted greatly in Brevard County due to the end of the Space Shuttle program. In 2010, there were 13,600 aerospace employees and that number is now as low as 5,600, the Commission letter states.

The letter concludes: "On behalf of our constituents and businesses deeply troubled by this high-impact issue, please accept our thanks in advance for your efforts to bring attention and resolution to this matter. Allowing sequestration to occur as currently planned is neither responsible nor is it strategic."


February 28, 2013

Environmentally Endangered Lands Program to hold land acquisition meeting

BREVARD COUNTY -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


February 27, 2013

Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Cultural Center gets New Operating Hours

MIMS, Fla. – Operating hours for the Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Cultural Center will change effective Monday, March 4, as follows: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; and closed Saturday and Sunday, except for group appointments.

Opened in April 2004, the 5,000-square-foot cultural center is located in the 11.93-acre Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Memorial Park at 2180 Freedom Avenue in Mims, the site of the original Moore family home.

On Christmas night 1951, the Moores were murdered for their involvement in the civil rights movement when a bomb exploded under their home. The park is dedicated to the celebration of their lives and to promoting awareness of their unique contributions to the early civil rights movement.

This facility is managed by Brevard County Parks and Recreation, North Area. Call (321) 264-6595 for more information on the park, cultural center, activities, and rentals.


February 27, 2013

Brevard County animal shelters in need of food donations

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County animal shelters are in need of help in feeding all the hungry homeless pets in the county's shelters.

County residents are asked to make food donations and to consider buying an extra bag or can of pet food while at the grocery store this week to donate to the shelters.

Donations can be dropped off at the South Animal Care Center (SACC,) 5100 West Eau Gallie Blvd. (just west of Interstate 95 and the Super Flea Market in Melbourne,) the North Animal Care Center (NACC,) 2605 Flake Road (north end of Dunn Airport in Titusville,) or at the Animal Services and Enforcement Office at the Viera Government Center, Building A, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way in Viera. Shelter hours are noon to 6 p.m. Thursday through Tuesday. Shelters are closed on Wednesday.

For more information, contact SACC at (321) 253-6608 or NACC at (321) 264-5119 or visit www.brevardcounty.us/animalservices.


February 27, 2013

Food vendors sought for 8th Annual Fox Lake Spring Festival of Crafts

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Brevard County Parks and Recreation, North Area, is accepting applications for food vendors for the Eighth Annual Fox Lake Spring Festival Of Crafts.

The festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 16, at Fox Lake Park, 4400 Fox Lake Road, Titusville. Admission is free.

Vendors may obtain applications at the North Area Parks Operations Office, 475 North Williams Ave., Titusville, or by email at jill.hill@brevardparks.com. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The deadline for receipt of completed applications is 4 p.m., Monday, March 4.

Selected vendors will be notified by Friday, March 8. Vendor selection is based on, but not limited to, application submittal date, price of product(s) to the public, proper licensing, and appropriateness of the product(s) to the nature of the event. Special consideration is given to not-for-profit service organizations. The County reserves the right to limit vendors to one or two vendors per product.

There is no cost to submit an application. A $50 plus tax, non-refundable, special event fee, is due from vendors selected by Friday, March 1.

Call (321) 264-5105 for additional information on this and other recreation programs sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in North Brevard.


February 22, 2013

Men's Spring Softball League sign-up underway in North Brevard

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- A men's softball league sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 14, at Chain of Lakes, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, in Titusville.

The fee of $264 for a 8-game schedule including a single-elimination tournament is due by 4 p.m. Monday, March 11, at the North Area Parks Operations office at 475 North Williams Avenue in Titusville.

Call (321) 264-5105 for information on this and other athletic activities in North Brevard.


February 22, 2013

Sign-up underway for Women's Spring Softball League in North Brevard

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- A women's softball league sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 18, at Chain of Lakes, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, in Titusville.

The fee of $264 for a 9-game schedule including a single-elimination tournament is due by 4 p.m. Thursday, March 14, at the North Area Parks Operations office at 475 North Williams Avenue in Titusville.

Call (321) 264-5105 for information on this and other athletic activities in North Brevard.


February 21, 2013

Chain of Lakes Coed Softball League Season to begin March 13

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A coed softball league sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, at Chain of Lakes, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, in Titusville.

The fee of $342 for a 11-game schedule including a single-elimination tournament is due by 4 p.m. Friday, March 8, at the North Area Parks Operations office at 475 North Williams Ave. in Titusville.

Call (321) 264-5105 for information on this and other athletic activities in North Brevard.


February 19, 2013

Transportation Disadvantaged Services Board sets Feb. 25 public meeting

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Brevard County Local Coordinating Board for Transportation Disadvantaged Services, established by Chapter 427 of the Florida Statutes, will meet at 10:15 a.m. Monday, Feb. 25, at the Brevard County Government Center, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Building C, 2nd Floor, Space Coast Room, Viera.

Questions pertaining to this meeting should be directed to James Liesenfelt at (321) 635-7815 or e-mail at Jim.Liesenfelt@brevardcounty.us.

If a person desires to appeal any decision made by this board, agency, or commission with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of the proceedings and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which such appeal is to be based.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, F.S., persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notice the Transit Services Department no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting at 635-7815 ext. 601.


February 17, 2013

Softball Home Run Derby planned March 27 at Chain of Lakes

TITUSVILLE, Fla.— A softball home run derby sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, will be held on Wednesday, March 27, at Chain of Lakes, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, in Titusville.

The event will begin at 6:30 p.m., with check-in starting at 6 p.m. The fee is $10 per person and is for ages 16 and up.

Participants can register at the North Area Parks Operations office from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Deadline for registration is Monday, March 25.

Call Mike Herman at 321-264-5105 to register and for information on this and other athletic activities in North Brevard.


February 15, 2013

Sams House at Pine Island holds monthlong Celebration of Archeology

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Throughout the month of March, Sams House at Pine Island presents a series of free programs in recognition of National Archeology Month.

"Little Pioneers" Homeschool Program - Thursday, March 7, and Friday, March 22, 10 a.m. to noon: Discover pioneer life in this fun, hands-on program for homeschoolers ages 5 to 12. Students will explore the 1875 Sams cabin, engage in pioneer "chores," learn the historical uses of plants, and go on a nature hike. Reservations required by calling (321) 449-4720.

Forensic Anthropology: How the Dead Died - Friday, March 8, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Florida Public Archeology Network East Central Region Director, Rachel Wentz, will explain how forensic anthropology helps solve crimes and determine "cause of death" through the analysis of human skeletal remains.

Taste of the Wild - Prehistoric Native Floridian Foodways - Saturday, March 9, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.: This presentation by Indian River Anthropological Society President Elaine Williams will focus on the food of prehistoric native peoples of Florida, how these foods were obtained, and how they were prepared. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample native foods such as hickory nuts, yaupon tea, smoked fish, and more!

Florida History Expedition - Saturday, March 16, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Perfect for elementary school-aged children and their families. We'll travel back in time to Florida's beginnings, sift for Ice Age fossils, learn how to throw a spear, and discover what pioneer life was like. Reservations required by calling (321) 449-4720.

From Ice Age Megafauna to Ancient Peoples of Pine Island - Saturday, March 23, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Did you know that mastodons and giant ground sloths once called Pine Island home? See a presentation on Ice Age Megafauna and then take a short walk to the Indian Burial Mound on site where we'll discuss the ancient people who lived here.

Orienteering/Scavenger Hunt - Saturday, March 30, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Back by popular demand! Use a map and compass to find hidden objects on this family-fun adventure. Reservations required by calling (321) 449-4720.

John Sams was a citrus grower, businessman, and the first Superintendent of Brevard County Schools. The Sams House is at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours of the 1875 cabin and 1888 house are given every Thursday at 3 p.m. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


February 15, 2013

Spring Break Day Camp offered at Sandrift Community Center

TITUSVILLE, Fla.—Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operations is offering spring break day camp for children in the Titusville area entering first grade through eighth grade from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting Monday, March 25, through Friday, March 29.

You may register for spring break camp at Sandrift Community Center, 585 North Singleton Avenue, Titusville. The weekly fee is $60 per child, with reductions for additional children in the same family. Camp requires a minimum of 12 participants. A daily rate of $20 is available when the child is attending three or fewer days during the week.

Extended care is available from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. The fee for early or late care is $15 per week or $7 per day; for early and late care, the fee is $30 per week or $12 per day. Late pickup fee (15 minutes after conclusion of program) is $20 per child/per occasion. Fees are due at the time of registration or on the first day a child attends.

Additional information on these activities can be obtained by calling Jann Faiga (Sandrift) at 321-264-5037.


February 11, 2013

North Brevard Little League Opening Day Ceremonies Scheduled

PORT ST. JOHN, TITUSVILLE, MIMS, Fla. – Port St. John, Indian River City, and Mims Little Leagues will hold their opening day ceremonies in February and March to kick off the spring baseball and softball seasons.

Indian River City will hold opening day ceremonies on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 11 a.m. at W.W. James Park, 330 Little League Lane, Titusville. For more information, visit www.eteamz.com/IndianRiverCity,

Port St. John will hold opening day ceremonies on Saturday, March 2, at 9 a.m. at Space Coast Communities Sports Complex, 662 Canaveral Groves Boulevard, Sharpes. For more information please visit www.eteamz.com/psjll.

Mims will hold opening day ceremonies on Saturday, March 2, at 8 a.m. at Holder Park, 2650 Glendale Blvd, Mims. For more information, visit www.rteamsite.com/league/mimslittleleague.


February 11, 2013

Environmentally Endangered Lands Program to hold land acquisition meeting

BREVARD COUNTY -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


February 11, 2013

Men's 18-and-up Basketball League sign-up at Cuyler Community Center

MIMS, Fla. — A five-game 18-and-over men's basketball league will be held at Cuyler Community Center, 2329 Harry T. Moore Ave., in Mims. Games will be held from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursdays, starting March 7.

The league will include playoffs and a single-elimination tournament and is $210 per team.

Contact Sammy Fairclough at (321) 264-5045 for more information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in the Mims area.


February 11, 2013

Men's Traveling Basketball Team starting at Walter Butler Community Center

COCOA (SHARPES), Fla. — A men's traveling basketball team is being formed at Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice G. Jackson Park, 4201 North U.S. Highway 1, in Cocoa (Sharpes).

Try outs will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, starting March 9. Once the team is formed, players will play in scrimmage games, leagues and tournaments throughout the state. The fee is $26 per person.

Contact Clifford Lett at (321) 433-4448 for more information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in the Cocoa (Sharpes) area.


February 11, 2013

Cuyler Community Center to host Men's 35-and-up Basketball League

MIMS, Fla.—A five game 35-and-over men's basketball league will be held at Cuyler Community Center, 2329 Harry T. Moore Ave., in Mims. Games will be from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, starting March 5.

The league will include playoff games and a single-elimination tournament and is $210 per team.

Contact Sammy Fairclough at (321) 264-5045 for more information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in the Mims area.


February 06, 2013

Rain Barrel Workshop offered Feb. 23 in Rockledge

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. -- Residents interested in putting rainwater to use in their landscapes and gardens will have the opportunity to create their own rain barrels at a workshop on Saturday, Feb. 23.

The workshops will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at Rockledge Gardens, 2153 U.S. Highway 1, in Rockledge.

Participants will learn about the benefits of collecting rain while enjoying hands-on construction of 55-gallon rain barrels. The workshop is sponsored by University of Florida Brevard County Extension, Brevard County Natural Resources Management Office, University of Central Florida Stormwater Academy, and Community Matters, Inc.

The rain barrel kit includes the 55-gallon barrel, faucet, flexible downspout extender, leaf filter, and a DVD of instructions for building, installing, and painting the barrel. Cost for the rain barrel kit is $45, paid by cash or check at the door.

Seating is limited and pre-registration is required. To ensure that all materials are available; open-top or closed-top barrel should be specified.

To pre-register for the workshop, call Elizabeth Melvin at (321) 633-2016 ext 56721, e-mail elizabeth.melvin@brevardcounty.us, or register online at www.brevstorm.org/calendar.cfm.


January 27, 2013

EEL's advisory group to review Public Access, Recreation requests Feb. 14

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Recreation & Education Advisory Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review proposed recommendations for public access, passive recreation, and environmental education plans on EEL Program managed conservation lands. Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Brad Manley, EEL Public Access / Volunteer Coordinator at (321) 255-4466 or bmanley@brevardparks.com.


February 07, 2013

A "NO BOUNDARIES" AGREEMENT MEANS BETTER EMERGENCY SERVICE FOR CITIZENS

(Palm Bay)—Fire and emergency medical response services in Palm Bay and South Brevard County will benefit from a mutual agreement between city and county providers that will significantly improve emergency response to the public. Effective February 11, 2013 under an inter-local agreement, all fire and emergency medical calls will be handled by the closest unit, regardless of jurisdictional boundaries. The agreement creates an Automatic Aid Response Area (AARA) from U.S. Highway 192 south to the county line, west to the Brevard County border, and east to the Indian River Lagoon, excluding the city of Melbourne and the town of Malabar; and allows fire-rescue personnel within this geographic boundary from both city and county jurisdictions to respond if they are the closest units to the emergency. "The citizen that needs helps does not care if the rescuer is from Palm Bay or Brevard County, they just want help fast," said Palm Bay Fire Chief Jim Stables. "By dropping jurisdictional restrictions we are able to deliver better service to the public that is mutually beneficial to all of the citizens."

The parameters of the so-called "Auto-Aid" agreement are defined in a six page document that includes pre-defined unit response assignments, command structure, service standards, non-required responses, and other legal definitions that ultimately facilitate the sharing of resources between the city and county. "It is a mutually beneficial agreement that ensures the citizen receives the best possible response during an emergency," said Brevard County Fire Chief Larry Collins. "This demonstrates a highly efficient and effective use of government resources for the overall good of the public."

The geographic boundary includes five Palm Bay Fire-Rescue stations and seven Brevard County Fire-Rescue stations. It effectively doubles resource capabilities by joining 12 emergency response locations with shared resources that will maximize the use and efficiency of fire-rescue services in this area. "Every fire-rescue response agency is having this discussion," Chief Stables added. "We are all faced with shrinking budgets and increasing demands for service. This is the best and most efficient way to continue to deliver this service."


February 05, 2013

Karla Torpy to take helm as Director of Brevard County Animal Services

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Karla Torpy, formerly with the Melbourne law firm of Moletteire & Torpy, is the new Director of Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement and received unanimous confirmation Tuesday from the Brevard County Board of Commissioners.

Torpy's first day at the helm of Animal Services is Thursday.

Torpy, who spent 18 years practicing law in Brevard County, calls her new role an "essential mission to promote responsible pet ownership by promoting and protecting the health, safety and welfare of residents and animals in Brevard County."

Assistant County Manager Mel Scott said Torpy is a consummate professional with a track record of integrity.

"Adjectives I heard while speaking to her references were, 'well-spoken,' 'organized,' 'hard-working,' 'passionate' and 'extremely professional.' These core values will be a real asset to the organization she'll be joining," Scott said. "She will be charged with continuing to move the shelters forward and broadening and strengthening the county's investment in our community's animals. Expect to see continued re-branding of our shelters taking place and increased community outreach."

Assistant Department Director Kathy Beatson served as the Interim Director of Animal Services and Enforcement since July 2011.


February 01, 2013

Food vendors sought for 8th Annual Fox Lake Spring Festival of Crafts

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Brevard County Parks and Recreation, North Area, is accepting applications beginning Monday, Feb. 4, for food vendors for the Eighth Annual Fox Lake Spring Festival Of Crafts.

The festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 16, at Fox Lake Park, 4400 Fox Lake Road, Titusville. Admission is free.

Vendors may obtain applications at the North Area Parks Operations Office, 475 North Williams Ave., Titusville, or by email at jill.hill@brevardparks.com. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The deadline for receipt of completed applications is 4 p.m., Monday, Feb. 18.

Selected vendors will be notified by Monday, Feb. 25. Vendor selection is based on, but not limited to, application submittal date, price of product(s) to the public, proper licensing, and appropriateness of the product(s) to the nature of the event. Special consideration is given to not-for-profit service organizations. The County reserves the right to limit vendors to one or two vendors per product.

There is no cost to submit an application. A $50 plus tax, non-refundable, special event fee, is due from vendors selected by Friday, March 1.

Call (321) 264-5105 for additional information on this and other recreation programs sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in North Brevard.


January 31, 2013

Lifeguard Classes begin in March at McLarty Park in Rockledge

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. -- The first session of lifeguard classes will be held March 15-17 and March 22-23 at McLarty Park, 790 Barton Blvd in Rockledge.

Classes on Friday are held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday classes are held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. All classes must be attended in order to obtain certification.

Interested candidates must be 15 years of age, able to swim 300 yards nonstop (freestyle and breaststroke), swim 20 yards, pick up a 10-pound object and return to the start point in 1 minute and 40 seconds and tread water with legs only for 2 minutes. Candidates, who pass the swim test, will be charged $160 to take the lifeguard classes.

Completing this course will certify you to lifeguard at any American Red Cross facility. Class size is limited. Participants must register by Friday, March 8.

For additional information or to register for lifeguard classes, contact Holly Mullen at (321) 633-1874 or holly.mullen@brevardparks.com.


January 31, 2013

Sign-up under way for Start Smart Program at Sandrift Community Center

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Start Smart, for children ages 3-5, will be offered from 1 - 2 p.m. on Tuesdays beginning Feb. 26 at Sandrift Community Center, 585 N Singleton Ave., Titusville. The fee for this class is $30 for six weeks. A parent or another adult must accompany child to the classes.

Start Smart is a proven instructional program that prepares children for the world of organized sports without the threat of competition or the fear of getting hurt. Parents work together with their children in a supportive environment to learn all of the basic skills like throwing, catching, kicking and batting.

Contact Mike Herman at (321) 264-5105 for more information on this and other programs sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation, North Area Parks Operations.


January 25, 2013

Viera Regional Community Center to host Brevard Employment Expo March 9

VIERA, Fla. - Brevard County Parks and Recreation will host the first Brevard Employment Expo from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Saturday, March 9, at the Viera Regional Community Center, 2300 Judge Fran Jamieson Way in Viera.

Businesses may obtain applications at the center or online at www.brevardcounty.us/ParksSouth. Vendor spaces, 10-foot by 10-foot, are $31.80 and include a 5-foot table. All spaces are indoors. Payment for table space must be made by Monday, March 4.

The mission of the Employment Expo is to provide a public service at the Viera Regional Community Center and to contribute to the economic recovery in our area by providing local employers the opportunity to advertise job openings and to interview potential qualified candidates for positions available within the community.

All activities are conducted and supervised by Brevard County Parks and Recreation staff at the Viera Regional Community Center. Call (321) 433-4891 for more information.


January 23, 2013

Sams House at Pine Island plans monthlong Florida Pioneers Celebration

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- February is Pioneer Month at Sams House at Pine Island.

All activities are free and family friendly. They include:

John H. Sams: A Pioneer Story - Saturday, Feb. 2, 3-3:30 p.m.: Learn about Merritt Island Pioneer John Hanahan Sams, who came to Florida from South Carolina in 1875. He built the Sams cabin, ran a successful orange grove, and was the first Superintendent of the Brevard County Public School System.

Pioneer Day – Saturday, Feb. 9, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Our annual event features historic house and cabin tours, living history vendors, pioneer arts and crafts fair, educational exhibits, kids games, and live music. Don't miss it!

Pioneer Plant Talk - Friday, Feb. 15, 10-11 a.m.: Join us for a walk through our History Garden, where we'll discuss how pioneers made use of the plants around them.

Ragdoll Exhibition and Workshop - Saturday, Feb. 16, 10 a.m. to noon: Diana Sageser will present a living history exhibition of antique dolls followed by a workshop where you will create your own yarn/ragdoll. If you wish to provide your own materials, please bring cut rags or yarn in the following lengths: 12 strips 10 inches long; 20 strips 24 inches long; and an extra 3 yards.

Pioneer Pathways Hike - Friday, Feb. 22, 2-3:30 p.m.: This half-mile hike through our beautiful palm hammock is full of clues to life during pioneer times. Close-toed shoes recommended.

John Sams was born on Feb. 11, 1839, and built the oldest standing home in Brevard County in 1875. Sams was a citrus grower, businessman, and the first Superintendent of Brevard County Schools. The Sams House is at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours of the 1875 cabin and 1888 house are given every Thursday at 3 p.m. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


January 23, 2013

USDA: Applications for Agricultural Assistance in Florida due March 15

GAINESVILLE, Fla., -- The 2008 Farm Bill was recently extended by Congress until September. This extension has allowed the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Florida to add an additional chance for producers to improve water and air quality, build healthier soil, improve forest lands, conserve energy, enhance organic operations, and achieve other environmental benefits.

"Adding an additional ranking date is going to give more producers time to submit their applications and help them get started with implementing the practices they need to benefit the natural resources on their operations," said NRCS acting state conservationist Roney Gutierrez.

Interested producers should visit their local NRCS service center now to receive more information on the:

  • Organic initiative -- helps producers install conservation practices on USDA certified organic operations or those working toward organic certification.
  • Seasonal high tunnel initiative -- helps producers install high tunnels designed to extend the growing season, increase productivity, keep plants at a steady temperature and conserve water and energy.
  • On-farm energy initiative -- helps producers conserve energy on their operations.
  • Longleaf pine initiative -- helps private landowners improve the sustainability and profitability of Longleaf pine forest ecosystems.They can then apply for conservation technical assistance and possible cost-share funding opportunities. Applications must be filed no later than March 15, 2013, to be eligible for this year's funding.
Although applications are accepted on a continuous basis, the March 15th date has been set to make FY 2013 funding decisions for these special initiatives. Producers may continue to apply for all funded programs throughout the year.

Additional information on NRCS, conservation assistance, and available programs can be found on this website: www.fl.nrcs.usda.gov or at your local USDA - NRCS office. To find the nearest office go to your telephone directory under "U. S. Government, Department of Agriculture", or on the web at: http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay).


January 23, 2013

Brevard County Ocean Rescue Tryouts This Saturday

(Brevard County, Fla.) - Brevard County Ocean Rescue will host open tryouts for seasonal lifeguards at Rockledge High School on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 7:00 a.m. Candidates must be at the swimming pool by 7:00 a.m. or they will not be permitted to participate.

While no lifeguarding experience is necessary, candidates must be over the age of 16 and possess strong swimming skills. Anyone wishing to try out for one of the open positions must bring with them: a valid Driver's License, Social Security card, appropriate swim attire/towel, and running shoes.

All candidates will be required to swim 500 meters in less than 10 minutes and complete a 2-mile run in under 20 minutes. Advanced registration is not required however, testing will begin promptly and anyone arriving after testing begins will not be permitted to tryout.

Those wishing to participate should bring food and water with them due to the physical nature of this tryout. All candidates selected after tryouts will be required to continue the application process at Brevard County's Fire Rescue Center until 5:00 p.m.

If selected, completion of the hiring process is dependant on the candidate's ability to pass a background test and successful completion of a paid training course. The starting pay for ocean lifeguards is $9.46/hour. Currently, Ocean Rescue is seeking to staff 50 seasonal lifeguard positions that will operate from March-October 2013.

For additional information on the tryouts and Brevard County Ocean Rescue, please visit www.brevardfire.com or contact the Ocean Rescue staff at (321) 633-2056.


January 22, 2013

Chain of Lakes hosts Valentine's Festival, Movie in the Park on Feb. 16

TITUSVILLE, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, is hosting a Valentine's Festival featuring a free Movie in the Park beginning at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Chain of Lakes, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, in Titusville.

The movie "HITCH" will be shown on a giant, 23-foot, outdoor movie screen. The movie is rated PG-13. Patrons are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, food and drinks to enjoy during the movie. Concessions will be available for purchase.

A coed softball tournament will be held beginning at 9 a.m., and the fee for the tournament is $120 per team. Following the softball tournament, a couples corn hole tournament will be held at 4 p.m., with a fee of $10 per couple. Awards will be given for each tournament.

Advertising opportunities are available as local sponsors will help make this a continual event. A minimum of four movies will be shown per year. Sponsors will be advertised prior to the movie on the movie screen.

Please check the cancelation line, (321) 264-5109, before the event, which is subject to wind and weather conditions. Contact Mike Herman at (321) 264-5105, or by email at mike.herman@brevardparks.com, to become a sponsor or for further information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation.


January 22, 2013

Brevard County Fire Rescue Promotes Seven Members

(Brevard County, Fla.) - Following an extensive and competitive process, Brevard County Fire Rescue (BCFR) is pround to announce the promotion of six firefighters to the rank of lieutenant and one lieutenant to the rank of District Chief.

Fire Chief Larry Collins presented promotional badges and helmets to the firefighters in a formal Badge Pinning Ceremony held at the department's headquarters on Tuesday, January 22, 2013.

Promoted to lieutenant are:
Jeffrey Butler
Timothy Hall
James Parker
Michael Destafano
Christopher Monroe
Sean Ryan

Promoted to district chief is:
Richard Connor

Chief Collins said, "The promotion process is a rigorous one. I congratulate each of these individuals for this career achievement and commend them for their dedication to the citizens that they serve and to this department."

Brevard County Firemen promoted. Pictured L to R: Lt. Jeff Butler, Lt. Chris Monroe, Lt. Timothy Hall,
District Chief Richard Connor, Lt. Michael Destafano, Lt. James Parker, Lt. Sean Ryan


January 20, 2013

Environmentally Endangered Lands Program to meet on Policies/Procedures

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Procedures Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 2-4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of the meeting is to review policies and procedures of the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com


January 20, 2013

Sams House/St. Luke's Episcopal to Celebrate Life of Pioneer John Sams

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Mark your calendars for Saturday, Feb. 9, to attend a Pioneer Day celebration at Sams House at Pine Island and St. Luke's Episcopal Church. Both locations celebrate the life of Pioneer John Sams with historic tours, games, and festivities throughout the day.

Activities at the Sams House run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and include tours of the 1875 cabin and 1888 house built by John Sams. Living History Demonstrations put on by the Confederate Sons Association, and educational exhibits with information provided by the Florida Gourd Society, Florida Honey Queen Association, University of Florida Brevard County Extension offices, and the Florida Public Archaeology Network will be ongoing. Pioneer-related games for the children will run throughout the day and singer/songwriter Chris Kahl will perform from noon to 2 p.m.

An Arts & Crafts Fair will also be set up on the grounds. Participating vendors include Better By Candlelight, Gourds by Jackie, Hise Farms, Mrs. Mango & Company, Naturewise Plants, Sacred Space Creations, Spade & Trowel Club, and The Silhouette Lady. A portion of the proceeds from sales will be donated to the Pine Island Preservation Society to benefit educational projects for the Sams House Nature Center.

St. Luke's will kick off with a luncheon of stews and soups ($5 donation). Ongoing events include a Boy Scout Dutch Oven Cooking Demonstration and an exhibit by The Florida Historical Society. Features include a film by Brevard native Jeff Thompson entitled "The Florida Suite" (1:30 p.m.), a presentation on John H. Sams: A Pioneer Story (3 p.m.), and an historic chapel tour (4 p.m.). A fish fry (limited seatings at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. - $7 donation - call (321) 452-5260 to reserve a spot), and a play by the Brevard Theatrical Ensemble entitled "Mosquitoes, Alligators, and Determination" (7 p.m. - $5 donation) will end the evening.

John Sams was born Feb. 11, 1839, and built the oldest standing home in Brevard County in 1875. Sams was a citrus grower, businessman, and the first Superintendent of Brevard County Schools. He was instrumental in the founding and construction of St. Luke's Episcopal Church and, along with several other prominent pioneers, is buried in the church cemetery.

The Sams House is at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.

St. Luke's Episcopal Church is at 5555 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island. For more information, call (321) 452-5260.


January 19, 2013

Public Workshops scheduled on Space Coast Area Transit services

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Area Transit will be hosting public workshops to consider possible bus service changes for fiscal year 2013-2014. These workshops will be conducted in an informal atmosphere and citizens can arrive any time between the designated times. The times and locations for these public workshops are as follows:
  • Tuesday, Jan. 22, 9 - 11 a.m., at Palm Bay West Shopping Center, at Bus Stop. 190 Malabar Road SW, Palm Bay.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 22, 12:15-1:45 p.m., Brevard Community College, Palm Bay Campus, at Bus Stop, 250 Community College Parkway SE, Palm Bay.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2-4 p.m., Searstown Mall, at Transfer Station, 3550 S. Washington. Ave., Titusville.
  • Thursday, Jan. 24, 9-11 a.m., Merritt Square Mall, at Bus Stop, 777 E. Merritt Island Causeway, Merritt Island.
  • Thursday, Jan. 24, 2-4 p.m., Shepard Park, at Transfer Station, 179 Cocoa Beach Causeway, Cocoa Beach.
  • Friday, Jan. 25, 9-11 a.m., Space Coast Area Transit, Cocoa Terminal, 401 S. Varr Ave., Cocoa.


January 18, 2013

Commissioner Andy Anderson to honor Guardian ad Litem Program

MELBOURNE, Fla.---Brevard County Commissioner Andy Anderson will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Brevard County Guardian ad Litem Program with a special reception at the District Five office at 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1.

The Guardian ad Litem Program is made up of volunteers who serve as advocates for children who are removed from their homes because of abuse, abandonment and neglect. Over 700 children in Brevard County are currently represented by 200 volunteers. Volunteers act as the voice for the child in both the courts and the community to ensure that all actions are taken in the child's best interest. Over 25 years, the number of hours provided by hundreds of volunteers is estimated at 75,000, equal to over $16 million in tax dollars saved.

"It saddens me to know that so many children in Brevard County suffer from abuse and neglect," Anderson said. "Thankfully, we have the Guardian ad Litem Program here to guide these children through these awful situations."

Volunteers are still needed, especially in the north and south parts of the county. Hundreds of children are still waiting for representation. You can contact Patricia Williams, the volunteer coordinator for Guardian ad Litem, to become a volunteer at 321-690-6823. For more information on the reception, please call the District Five Commission Office at (321)253-6611.


January 17, 2013

Spring Adult Sports Leagues Forming in North Brevard

TITUSVILLE, Fla.— Spring leagues are forming for adult Men's, Women's and Coed softball teams as well as Men's and Women's flag football teams, sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations.

The men's and women's softball league organizational meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11, and the co-ed softball league meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12. Both meetings are at the Chain of Lakes Recreation Complex 4-plex softball concession building, 2111 Chain of Lakes Drive in Titusville.

The organizational meeting for adult men's and women's flag football will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, at the Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice Jackson Park, 4201 N. US 1 in Sharpes.

Fees, dates, and game times will be decided at the organizational meetings. For more information on this and other athletic opportunities in North Brevard, please call (321) 264-5105.


January 16, 2013

Adult All-Passing Flag Football Tournament on Feb. 10 in Canaveral Groves

CANAVERAL GROVES, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, is hosting an all-passing men's flag football tournament at 9 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, at Space Coast Communities Sports Complex, 662 Canaveral Groves Blvd.

The fee of $150 per team is due by 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, at the North Area Parks Operations Office, 475 North Williams Ave., in Titusville.

Call Mike Herman at (321) 264-5105 to register and for information on this and other athletic activities in North Brevard.


January 16, 2013

Commissioner Andy Anderson Seeks Volunteer for Arts Advisory Committee

MELBOURNE, Fla. -- The District Five Commission Office is looking for a volunteer to fill an opening for the Art in Public Places Advisory Committee.

The Art in Public Places Advisory Committee makes recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners to the selection of works of applied art. You do not need to live in District Five and there are no specific qualifications, but an interest in art would be helpful.

The Art in Public Places Advisory Committee meets on the second Thursday of every month. A term is for one year.

If you are interested in being appointed to this board, please contact the District Five Commission Office at (321)253-6611.


January 15, 2013

Isaac Campbell to host free Sowing the Seeds of Life Reading Program

TITUSVILLE, Fla.- Sowing the Seeds of Life reading program for adults will be held at 701 South St. in Titusville beginning Feb. 6. Meetings will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.

This program will focus on adult readers who want to make a change in the community. Participants will read literature and discuss the socal impact the book expressed, followed by journaling the impact the book made in the reader's life. Movies may be viewed in place of books if available, and the program is free to attend.

The event is cosponsored by Brevard County Board of County Commissioners North Area Parks Operations and S&T Health consulting Group Inc. For more information, call Tommy Myers at (321) 264-5040.


January 13, 2013

Cuyler Community Center in Mims to hold Gentlemen In Training Program

MIMS, Fla.— A program for at-risk youths, ages 7-15, will be held at the Cuyler Community Center, 2329 Harry T. Moore Ave. in Mims, on Mondays and Wednesdays beginning Jan. 23, from 6-7 p.m. The program is free.

This program will help children develop new attitudes, behavior and social skills.

Call Darryll Gamon at (321) 264-5045 for more information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in the Mims area.


January 10, 2013

Registration starts Jan. 25 for 8th Annual Fox Lake Spring Festival of Crafts

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – The Eighth Annual Fox Lake Spring Festival of Crafts will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 16, at Fox Lake Park in Titusville.

Applications will be available starting Jan. 25 at the North Area Parks Operations office. For an application to be mailed to you, please send a SSE envelope to North Area Parks Operations, 475 North Williams Ave., Titusville, 32796, or email jill.hill@brevardparks.com. Registration begins at 8 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 25, With a deadline of 4 p.m. on Friday, March 8.

Only handmade and homemade crafts will be offered for sale at the event, which is sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations.

Fox Lake Park is at 4400 Fox Lake Road in Titusville. For more information about this and other recreation programs in North Brevard, call (321) 264-5105.


January 09, 2013

4th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade & Festival to be held Jan. 21

TITUSVILLE, Fla.- Residents of Titusville and surrounding areas are invited to take part in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade & Festival starting at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 21, at the Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center and Park, 701 South St., in Titusville. This year's theme is "The Strength of a Healthy Village."

This annual event celebrates the life of one of America's most influential civil rights, political, and social icons and is becoming an event to honor not only Dr. King, but to pay homage to others continuing his legacy. There will be a parade, food and craft vendors, entertainment and educational exhibits. Prizes will be given for the best float, Battle of the Bands and the Rap Battle. The parade line up will begin at 9:30 a.m., at Walgreen's, 2605 Barna Ave., in Titusville. The parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. and conclude at Isaac Campbell Sr. Park, with festivities immediately following in the park. The event is free to attend. If you would like to enter a float in the parade, please contact Patricia Diggs at (321) 269-3645 for an application and waiver.

The event is co-sponsored by Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Parks & Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations, NAACP, St. James AME Church and North Brevard Ministerial Alliance. For more information, please call Tommy Myers at (321) 264-5040.


January 09, 2013

Activities abundant for 16th Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard Nature Alliance is partnering with Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department and the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program to offer special programs and activities during the 16th Annual Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival. Closed-toe shoes, insect repellent and bottled water advised for most of these activities. Preregistration and registration is also advised due to limited space for some activities:
  • Little Hatchlings "Migration Station," 10 a.m. - noon, Jan. 24. Free. Learn about bird migration, bird food and resting places. Barrier Island Center. To register, (321) 723-3556 by Jan. 22.
  • Interpretive Canoe Trip, 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 1-3 p.m., Jan. 25. $15. A canoe trip in the Thousand Islands of Cocoa Beach. Tours launch at Ramp Road Park. To register, (321) 455-1385.
  • Owl Program, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Jan. 24. $2. Learn about these fascinating birds. At Mims/Scottsmoor Library , 3615 Lionel Road, Mims, and 3-4 p.m., Jan. 28, at Port St. John Library, 6500 Carole Ave. To register, (321) 455-1385.
  • Nocturnal Nature Hike, 6:30 p.m.-TBD, Jan. 25. Free. Join Naturalists on a night of discovery and exploration. Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. To register, (321) 264-5185.
  • Gopher Tortoises, 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Jan. 26. Free. Plants and animals in Florida rely on gopher tortoises, as do many Floridians. Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. To register, (321) 264-5185.
  • Habitats, 10 a.m. - noon, Jan. 23. $4. A look at basic habitat types and healthy habitats. Includes boardwalk tour and meet and greet with animals. Erna Nixon Park. To register, (321) 952-4525.
  • Owls, 10 a.m. - noon, Jan. 24. $4. A look at Florida's native owls followed by Owl pellet dissection, a boardwalk tour and meet and greet with animals. Erna Nixon Sanctuary. To register, (321) 952-4525.
  • Making Tracks: How to Read & Interpret Wildlife Signs, 8-10 a.m., Jan. 25. Free. Early morning hike at Scottsmoor Flatwoods Sanctuary. Parrish Park, Scottsmoor. To register, (321) 264-5058.
  • Intro to Kayaking for kids, 10 a.m.-TBD, Jan. 26. $20. Introduction to kayaking on shallow waters of Fox Lake Park. Instruction and equipment provided. Pre-registration required, (321) 268-2655 or www.ADayAwayKayakTours.com
  • Nature Walk at the Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Cultural Center, 8-10 a.m., Jan. 25. Free. A morning walk down the Moore Center's path of native trees and plants followed by a plant discussion in the pavilion, 10:30-11:30 a.m. To register, (321) 264-6595 by Jan. 24.
  • "Bird of a Feather - Hike Together," 8-11 a.m. (meet at 7:45 a.m.,) Jan. 26. Free. Explore the barrier island's on a 2.5-mile forest hike. Maritime Hammock. To register, (321) 723-3556 by Jan. 24.
  • Evening Owl Prowl, 6-8 p.m., Jan. 24. Free. Discover the wonder of Owls on a nocturnal observation journey. Sams House at Pine Island. To register, (321) 449-4720.
  • Enjoying Life on the Indian River Lagoon Coast, 3-4 p.m., Jan. 25. Free. A PowerPoint slideshow in the circa 1875 Sams Cabin. Sam's House at Pine Island. To register, (321) 449-4720.
  • Orienteering/Scavenger Hunt, 1:30-3:30 p.m., Jan. 26. Free. A hike of the Sam's loop trail. Sams House at Pine Island. To register, (321) 449-4720.
  • Nature Nite, 7-8 p.m., Jan. 24. Free. Learn more about the marine world by participating in an interactive presentation and hands on crafts. Riverwalk Park. To register, (321) 433-4490.
  • Celebrate Urban Birds, 4-6 p.m., Jan. 25. Free. Learn to identify the most common birds at your feeder and how to help track bird migrations. Riverwalk Park. To register, (321) 433-4490.


January 07, 2013

Nature Photography Workshop in North Merritt Island to Focus on Skills

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. -- Would you like to increase the impact of your nature photography? Photography instructor Vince Lamb is leading an outdoor photography workshop from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, and from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 23 at the Pine Island Conservation Area.

This workshop is intended for photographers who have digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras and basic photography skills. The cost is $25 per person as a contribution to the Friends of Ulumay to benefit Sams House at Pine Island educational programs. Attendance is limited to 10 persons. Register at: http://naturephotography.eventbrite.com

The workshop will begin with a presentation at Sams House at Pine Island from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12. Presentation topics will include light, camera settings, composition, and special considerations for photographing wildlife.

A field session will start in the parking area at Pine Island Conservation Area at 7 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 13. Participants will explore Pine Island to find subjects for photography, focusing on three image types – wildlife, natural area landscapes, and people in nature. The field session is expected to last 2.5 hours and will include walking about two miles of trails. Please bring water, sunscreen, and insect repellent.

The Sams House at Pine Island is at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.

The Pine Island Conservation Area is at 2100 Pine Island Road in Merritt Island. Gates are open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. October to April and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. May to September.


January 07, 2013

UF/Brevard Extension Service plans Aquaculture Workshop in February

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will hold an Aquaculture Workshop in February 2013 at its Cocoa Extension office, 3695 Lake Drive, in Cocoa:

Introduction to Aquaculture Workshop is open to the public, and is specifically intended for individuals who have an interest in development or growth of aquaculture–related businesses. Aquaculture extension specialists from around the state, and a representative of the FDACS Division of Aquaculture, will present current information on the status of aquaculture in Florida, pros and cons of specific business ventures, an overview of state regulations, and a discussion of resources available to support these businesses.

The workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 4 at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension Office in Cocoa. Cost of the workshop is $10 and lunch is provided. Pre-registration is required at http://aquacultureintro-cocoa.eventbrite.com. For additional information, contact Holly Abeels, Marine Science Extension Agent, at (321) 633-1702 or habeels@ufl.edu.

For more information or to register call (321) 633-1702 or go to our website: http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu


January 04, 2013

Sign-up under way for Start Smart Program at Sandrift Community Center

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Start Smart, for children ages 3-5, will be offered from 1 - 2 p.m. on Tuesdays beginning Jan. 29 at Sandrift Community Center, 585 N Singleton Ave., Titusville. The fee for this class is $30 for six weeks. A parent or another adult must accompany child to the classes.

Start Smart is a proven instructional program that prepares children for the world of organized sports without the threat of competition or the fear of getting hurt. Parents work together with their children in a supportive environment to learn all of the basic skills like throwing, catching, kicking and batting.

Contact Mike Herman at (321) 264-5105 for more information on this and other programs sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation, North Area Parks Operations.


January 04, 2013

UF/Brevard Extension Service offers free Aquaculture Workshop in February

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will hold a free Aquaculture Workshop in February 2013 at its Cocoa Extension office, 3695 Lake Drive, in Cocoa:

Introduction to Aquaculture Workshop is open to the public, and is specifically intended for individuals who have an interest in development or growth of aquaculture-related businesses. Aquaculture extension specialists from around the state, and a representative of the FDACS Division of Aquaculture, will present current information on the status of aquaculture in Florida, pros and cons of specific business ventures, an overview of state regulations, and a discussion of resources available to support these businesses.

The workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 4 at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension Office in Cocoa. The workshop is free and lunch is provided. Pre-registration is required at http://aquacultureintro-cocoa.eventbrite.com. For additional information, contact Holly Abeels, Marine Science Extension Agent, at (321) 633-1702 or habeels@ufl.edu.

For more information or to register call (321) 633-1702 or go to our website: http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu



December 31, 2012

Birding & Wildlife Festival highlights Enchanted Forest January Calendar

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival activities highlight a month of fun-filled events with nature in January at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, 444 Columbia, Blvd., in Titusville.

Here's a look at what's in store:

GUIDED NATURE HIKES, 10 a.m. on Saturdays: A 45-minute interpretive hike offered every Saturday at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. Bring hat, water and walking shoes. No reservations needed. Groups of 5 or more, please RSVP.
TRAIL RUN, 2 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 6: Join us for the 5K or 10K Trail Run or a 5K fun hike at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. This event is to benefit Brevard County Trail Development and Maintenance. For more info, please call 255-4466. You may register at: www.eelbrevard.com.
SANCTUARY SCHOOL for Homeschoolers: A free program for Homeschoolers ages 6 to 10 and their families. Jan. 10 or 11, Birding for Beginners; Feb. 7 or 8, Nocturnal Nature; March 14 or 15, Reptiles & Amphibians. Programs are 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. To register or for more info, call 264-5185.
LUNCH with NATURE, noon to 1 p.m., Jan. 15: Please join us for nature programs during your lunch break. You may bring your lunch to enjoy during the talk. For more info, please call 321-264-5185.
PHOTOGRAPHY CLUB, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Jan. 19: Educational and fun program for all levels of photography. Field trips also take place at different locations on different dates. For more info, call 264-5185. No registration required.
FOREST FUNDAY for children, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Jan. 20: Nature program for children and families to help them enjoy the outdoors. Please join us anytime between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to do a Sanctuary Search (a non-collecting scavenger hunt) and plant a tree for Arbor Day. This is free and fun for all.
FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY, 6:30 p.m., Jan. 23: Presentation on the benefits of native wetland plants around ponds and waterways, their function in wetlands, and the various species of plants in Florida, by Holly Abeels with the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Services.
SPACE COAST BIRDING AND WILDLIFE FESTIVAL activities at the Enchanted Forest: 1:30 p.m., Jan. 23, Nature Journaling; 6:30 p.m., Jan. 25, Nocturnal Nature Hike; 8 a.m., Jan. 26, Beginning Birding; 9 a.m. - Biodiversity Hike; 11 a.m. - Gopher Tortoises; noon - Plants and their uses through History; 2:30 p.m. - Gopher Tortoises; 2:30 p.m. - Biodiversity Hike.

For more details about these programs, please call (321) 264-5185.


December 28, 2012

Solid Waste Department issues Holiday recycling reminder, offers free mulch

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - The Brevard County Solid Waste Department would like to remind everyone that the following items may be added to your recycling containers or carts as part of the county's single stream recycling program: Wrapping paper, cardboard boxes (flattened), greeting cards, gift boxes, aluminum foil & foil cooking pans (clean).

The stream of waste materials into the landfill increases by about 15 to 20 percent from the Thanksgiving holiday through New Year's week. "We hope to see those numbers decrease over the Christmas holiday since residents can now recycle their wrapping paper, greeting cards, and gift boxes," says Hillary Arena, Brevard County Recycling Coordinator. "We do expect a decrease in the waste coming into the landfills due in part to the single stream recycling efforts of our residents."

The landfill typically receives about 8,000 tons of yard debris a month. Around the holidays, live Christmas trees add to those monthly tons. In an effort to divert those trees from the landfill, the trees are collected at the curb and mulched. Residents can set out Christmas trees with their yard waste on their regular yard waste pickup day. The trees are then ground up and mulched. The free mulch is available at three locations – Mockingbird Mulching Facility in Titusville; the Central Disposal Facility (CDF) in Cocoa; and the Sarno landfill.

The county offers a fine-ground mulch that can be added to potting soils and a coarser lasting mulch that stay on the ground longer during the spring's heavy rains. Residents are encouraged to call the Central Disposal Facility at (321) 633-1888, Mockingbird Mulching Facility (Titusville) at (321) 264-5048, or the Sarno Landfill at (321) 255-4366 for information and to check the availability of the free mulch. Residents also need to bring their own containers, bags and shovels for the mulch.

Don't forget to remove the ornaments, tinsel, garland, and tree stands from the trees. In addition, remove any plastic tree bags since the plastic bags cannot be mulched.

For more information on recycling, call the Solid Waste Management Department at (321) 633-2042.


December 26, 2012

Low-to no-cost programs offered for Space Coast Birding/Wildlife Festival

MELBOURNE, Fla. – Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department and Environmentally Endangered Lands Program have partnered with the Brevard Nature Alliance to hold special family programs and activities during the 16th Annual Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, Jan. 23-28.

These activities highlight community area parks and sanctuaries throughout the county. An adult must accompany children. For a full list of activities, visit http://www.spacecoastbirdingandwildlifefestival.org/activities/


December 26, 2012

Riverwalk Park's 'Celebrate Urban Birds' event focuses on real Snow Birds

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. -- Relatives are not the only visitors this winter! Learn about bird migration and conservation at the Brevard County-sponsored Winter Bird Festival, held from 4-6 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 25, at Riverwalk: A Family Park, 5355 US Hwy 1, Rockledge. The program is being held in conjunction with the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival.

Have you ever wondered what birds are visiting your back yard? Learn how to not only identify the most common birds at your feeder, but also how to report that information to help track bird migrations. Park naturalists will give a short bird presentation in Riverwalk Nature Center, followed by a quarter-mile guided hike through Riverwalk's various habitats used by migrating and resident populations of birds. Participants will receive a free Urban Bird Kit from Cornell University that includes information on how they can be a part of citizen science through Cornell's Urban Bird Project. Families can spend time identifying birds in their own back yard while helping scientists track bird populations.

All activities are free and open to the public but space is limited. Please call (321)433-4490 or email riverwalk@brevardparks.com for further information or to register.


December 18, 2012

Off-duty Animal Services Officer Struck by Vehicle, Seriously Injured

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Kim Barlet, a Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement Officer, remained in critical condition at Holmes Regional Medical Center on Tuesday, two days after she was struck by a motor vehicle while off duty as she walked her dog on Tropical Trail on Merritt Island.

Barlet suffered serious injuries in the accident, which reportedly occurred in an S-curve on Tropical Trail just before 7:30 p.m. Sunday. The driver of the vehicle stayed at the scene. There was no arrest.

Barlet, who initially started as a Care Tech at the North Animal Care Center in Titusville, is an Animal Enforcement Officer and has been with the county since 2010. Co-workers said Barlet was walking her dog, Ino, at the time of the accident. Ino is a former shelter dog Barlet adopted and helped rehabilitate through costly surgery.

Robert Brown, captain of enforcement, said Ino disappeared at the time of Sunday evening's accident, prompting an overnight search on Merritt Island that involved at least 15 people.

"Ino was found this morning sitting on Kim's back porch, waiting for its breakfast," Brown said.

"We are all pulling for Kim," he said. "She's part of our family."

Barlet remained Tuesday in the hospital's Intensive Care Unit.

"Kim is in our thoughts and prayers," said Assistant County Manager Mel Scott. "Her enthusiasm and love for her job is infectious to us all. She literally bounces into work. We're all praying for a speedy recovery."


December 16, 2012

Free Sea Turtle Obstacle Course lets participants see life as a Turtle

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. – Strap on a turtle shell and get ready to lay your eggs! Learn about the struggles sea turtles face to nest at the Brevard County sponsored "It's Tough To Be A Turtle" Obstacle Course, held from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26 at Riverwalk: A Family Park, 5355 US Hwy 1, Rockledge, FL 32955. The program is being held in conjunction with the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival.

Sea turtles are sighted on Brevard County beaches each summer, but they only spend a tiny fraction of their life out of the water. What do they do the rest of the time they are in the ocean? Find out the answer by becoming a sea turtle. Strap on a shell and make your migration through the multitude of ocean obstacles sea turtles face to return to the beach to nest. Will you make it to the end to lay your eggs or will you be delayed by discarding fishing line, distracted by lights, or run into many of the other hurdles sea turtles face during their cross ocean travels? This activity involves climbing, crawling, balance, and agility as participants move through an obstacle course on the Riverwalk Park grounds.

All activities are free and open to the public. Call (321)433-4490 or email riverwalk@brevardparks.com for further information or to register.


December 14, 2012

Natural Resources Management kicks off 10th annual Sea Oats Sale

VIERA, Fla. – Attention beachside residents: It is time again to pre-purchase sea oats for dune planting through the annual sea oats sale offered by Brevard County's Natural Resources Management Office and Keep Brevard Beautiful, Inc.

Liner size sea oats are for sale in trays of 96 for $48 while supplies last. Quantities may be limited this year, so please order early. Sea oats must be ordered and paid for by Friday, Feb. 1, and will be available for pickup on Saturday, Feb. 9.

Sea oats are native to Brevard's coastal communities and stabilize sand quickly by developing an extensive root and rhizome system that holds onto sand and slows erosion. Sea oats also have the ability to build dunes, as the grassy foliage and tall seed plumes trap windblown sand, which builds up at the plant base and stimulates the plants to grow taller. The dunes that are formed are an important feature of our coastal ecosystem, as they provide habitat for wildlife and protect upland property during wind and storm events.

For more information, call Paula Berntson at (321) 633-2016 ext. 52431, e-mail paula.berntson@brevardcounty.us or visit the following link: http://ww3.brevardcounty.us/natres/documents/2013_sea_oats_info_and_order_form.pdf


December 12, 2012

North Area Parks plan Winter Day Camps

TITUSVILLE, Fla.—Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operations is offering winter day camps for children entering first grade through eighth grade from Thursday, Dec. 20, through Monday, Jan. 7.

The camps meet 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. There will be no camp on the following days due to holidays, Monday, Dec. 24; Tuesday, Dec. 25; and Tuesday, Jan. 1.

You may register for winter camp at the follow locations: Port St. John Community Center, 6650 Corto Road, Port St. John; Sandrift Community Center, 585 North Singleton Avenue, Titusville; and Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice G. Jackson Park, 4201 North U.S. Highway 1, Cocoa (Sharpes).

Port St. John Community Center will offer early and late care at the center and the campers will be transported to Walter Butler Community Center in Sharpes for regular camp hours, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The weekly fee is $60 per child, with reductions for additional children in the same family. Each camp requires a minimum of 12 participants. A daily rate of $20 is available when the child is attending three or fewer days during the week.

Extended care is available from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. The fee for early or late care is $15 per week or $7 per time; for early and late care, the fee is $30 per week or $12 per day. Late pickup fee (15 minutes after conclusion of program) is $20 per child/per time. Fees are due at the time of registration or on the first day a child attends.

Additional information on these activities can be obtained by calling Jann Faiga (Sandrift) at (321) 264-5037, Dan Cook (Port St. John) at (321) 633-1904 or Clifford Lett (Walter Butler) (321) 433-4448.


December 12, 2012

Brevard County Ocean Rescue Unveils New Lifeguard Towers

(Brevard County, Fla.) - To boost public safety and provide better protection for its staff against the elements, Brevard County Ocean Rescue unveiled two new lifeguard towers on Wednesday, December 12, 2012. The two new towers are set up at the Cocoa Beach Pier and at Shepherd's Park.

Ocean Rescue Chief Jeff Scabarozi believes the new towers increase visibility for both lifeguards and visitors to Space Coast beaches.

"Cocoa Beach is one of the busiest stretches of coastline that we protect," said Scabarozi. "We want our guests to swim near lifeguards and with these new towers, it is much easier to locate lifeguards on the crowded beach. Visibility for our lifeguards has also been improved. It's truly a win-win."

Materials for the towers were purchased by Ocean Rescue and construction was completed at at no cost by workers at the Brevard County Sheriff's Work Farm. The towers were transported from the work farm and set up at their new locations with assistance from Brevard County Road and Bridge.

Two more towers are under construction and have an aticipated completion date of Spring 2013. The new towers will be positioned at Lori Wilson Park and at the end of Minuteman Causeway.

For more information about Brevard County Ocean Rescue, including lifeguard locations and hours, visit www.brevardfire.com


December 12, 2012

Brevard Homeless Coalition Collects Socks, T-shirts for Homeless

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- In an effort to support the upcoming homeless census, the Brevard Homeless Coalition is asking for donations of new adult-size socks and men's white undershirts.

Socks and T-shirt donations can be delivered until Jan. 18 to the Harry T. Moore Center, 725 S. Deleon Avenue, Titusville; American Red Cross, 1700 Cedar Street, Rockledge; or Daily Bread, 815 E. Fee Avenue in Melbourne.

The Coalition volunteers will give out the donated items as they survey homeless men, women and children throughout Brevard County. The information gathered is used to request federal, state, and local funding to help bring about an end of homelessness in Brevard. The homeless census will take place in January.

For more information, or to volunteer, contact Tammy Harris at Brevard County Housing and Human Services Department at (321) 633-2076, tammy.harris@brevardcounty.us, or Keith Heinly at United Way of Brevard at (321) 631-2740, kheinly@uwbrevard.org.


December 10, 2012

Holly Woolsey new Legislative Aide for Dist. 1 Commissioner Robin Fisher

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Holly Woolsey, who most currently served as the Interim Director for Jess Parrish Medical Foundation, has accepted a position as the new legislative aide for District 1 Brevard County Commissioner Robin Fisher.

Woolsey, a resident of Brevard County for 23 years, will replace Mary Lackovich, who is retiring after 22 years with the county. Her background includes over 15 years serving local not-for-profit/service organizations, including United Way of Brevard, AMI Kids Space Coast and Brevard County Sheriff's Office. She is a graduate of LEAD Brevard 2011 and was a 2010 finalist in the 4 under 40 nominations. Woolsey currently serves as the co-chair of the communications committee for Greater Titusville Renaissance, a North Brevard volunteer movement focused on revitalization and initiated by Commissioner Robin Fisher with Titusville Mayor Jim Tulley.

"My career in non-profit has allowed me to witness first hand both the needs in our community as well as the inspiring process of finding solutions. It's exciting to take on a role that is dedicated to that process," Woolsey said. "I'm honored to have been appointed by Commissioner Fisher and I look forward to serving our community in this capacity."

Among Woolsey's duties will be assisting the Commissioner in directing and coordinating a variety of administrative activities including managing agendas, coordinating special projects, maintaining citizen board appointments and interacting with the community.

District 1 boundaries are from the Volusia County Line to State Road 520 to the center of Lake Poinsett. Communities include Scottsmoor, Mims, unincorporated Titusville, City of Titusville, Port St. John, Bellwood, Sharpes, Hardeeville, Canaveral Groves, West Canaveral Groves and West Cocoa.

Lackovich and District 1 Administrative Aide, Kathy England who worked 27 years with the county, announced their retirements in October.

The District 1 Commission office is at 400 South Street, Suite 1-A, in Titusville. (321) 264-6750.


December 10, 2012

Memorial Services for Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore this Saturday in Mims

MIMS, Fla. – The Annual Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Memorial Service will be held beginning at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, with a graveside service at LaGrange Cemetary, 1575 Old Dixie Highway, Titusville. A Memorial Program will follow at Cuyler Community Center, 2329 Harry T. Moore Avenue, Mims, at 3:30 p.m. There will be a reception at the Moore Memorial Park, located at 2180 Freedom Avenue, Mims, at 5 p.m.

In 1951, on Christmas night and the Moore's 25th wedding anniversary, a bomb exploded under their home fatally injuring Harry and Harriette Moore. Harry Moore died on the way to the hospital and Harriette Moore died nine days later, Jan. 3, 1952, two days after Harry Moore's funeral. The Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Cultural Center promotes awareness of their unique contributions to the early civil rights movement. Dedicated to the preservation of African American history, it is a repository of the Moore family artifacts and historical America. Tours of the museum are available during open hours.

Call (321) 264-6595 for additional information. This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations and the Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Cultural Complex, Inc. This event is free and open to the public.


December 01, 2012

Golf Tourney Continues Despite Fire at Sherwood Golf Club

(Brevard County, Fla.) - A golf tournament planned for Saturday at the Sherwood Golf Club in Titusville will continue as scheduled despite an electrical fire that has forced the closure of the course's clubhouse and banquet facilities.

Brevard County firefighters were dispatched to 4335 London Town Road at 10:21 p.m. for reports of a fire on an upper level of the clubhouse. Firefighters reported seeing light smoke coming from the third floor of the 3-story building when they arrived minutes later.

Crews quickly stretched a hand lines inside the structure and located a small fire that originated at an electrical outlet. The main body of fire was quickly extinguished but not before flames spread vertically inside the walls and made their way to the attic space of the building. Damages to the building are estimated at $10,000.

Despite the setback, Sherwood Golf Club representatives say the golf course will remain open for business and the tournament will continue as planned. The clubhouse will remain closed pending inspections by both the Building and Health Departments. The building is insured and plans to repair the damage are underway.

No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported. BCFR crews were assisted at the scene by personnel from Titusville Fire & Emergency Services.


November 30, 2012

Public Input sought on Scottsmoor Flatwoods Sanctuary Land Managment Plan

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) Program is soliciting citizen input on the draft Land Management Plan for Scottsmoor Flatwoods Sanctuary.

Copies are available to review at the Central Brevard, Titusville, and Mims/Scottsmoor Libraries, the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, the Cocoa Agricultural Extension and the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive in Melbourne. The plan is also available on-line at http://www.brevardcounty.us/docs/default-source/eel-documents/scottsmoor-flatwoods-sanctuary-public-review.pdf?sfvrsn=2 Public input may be provided through Dec. 30 by submitting written comments to:

Xavier de Seguin des Hons
Enchanted Forest Sanctuary
444 Columbia Blvd., Titusville, FL 32780
Fax # (321) 264-5190
E-mail – xavier.deseguin@brevardparks.com
For questions, please call (321) 264-5185.


November 30, 2012

Enchanted Forest to host first-ever Trail Run Jan. 6

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The 1st Annual Enchanted Forest Trail run will be held Jan. 6 at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary in Titusville.

Runners can participate in either the 5K or 10K race. There will also be a Fun Hike. Registered runners and hikers will receive a race shirt. Awards will be given to the top runners in each age group.

Registration begins at 1 p.m., and the race start time is 2 p.m.

For more information and to register online, go to: http://www.brevardcounty.us/EELProgram/RecreationGuide#Race.

All proceeds go to supporting trail development and maintenance projects on County conservation lands.

Call (321)-264-5185 for more information about this and other activities provided by Brevard County Parks and Recreation's Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.


November 30, 2012

'American Pickers' lets Commissioners know reality show is Florida-bound

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- It's time to be "picked" Brevard.

Brevard County Commissioners have been alerted the HISTORY Channel's "American Pickers," which features antique pickers Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz scouring the national landscape, rural barns, back yards and attics for antiques, is heading to Florida in January.

The notification from show Producer Jodi Friedman does not necessarily say they're coming to Brevard County, but seeks commissioners' help in spreading the word.

"We're looking for leads, specifically interesting characters with interesting items and lots of them," Friedman says in the notice. "Word-of-mouth is a great way of finding avid collectors."

Friedman's notice also indicates the show is contacting local media, chambers of commerce and various individuals about the pending visit. Only private collections are considered, so stores, malls, flea markets, museums, auctions and, in general, public sales will not be considered.

To contact the show, call (646) 493-2184 or AmericanPickers@Cineflix.com


November 29, 2012

Hurricane Season ends, but not without leaving mark on Brevard County

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Hurricane season officially ends Friday, Nov. 30, but not without leaving its mark along Brevard County's beaches.

Historical tracking maps from the National Hurricane Center in Miami indicate the state had four brushes with tropical cyclone events this hurricane season. One of those events, Hurricane Sandy, led to a local state of emergency declaration in Brevard County after causing an estimated $25 million in beach erosion along the county's 72 miles of coastline.

According to the National Weather Service's North Atlantic Hurricane Tracking Chart:

  • In May, Tropical Storm Beryl made landfall near Jacksonville, but posed no threat to Brevard County.
  • In June, Tropical Storm Debby entered the state near the Big Bend area and exited near Jacksonville, but had little impact on the Space Coast.
  • In August, Tropical Storm Isaac impacted the Keys and South Florida before making landfall in Louisiana.
  • In October, Hurricane Sandy sideswiped the East Coast of Florida causing widespread beach erosion before making landfall in the northeastern United States.
In all, there were 19 named storm events, according to the National Hurricane Center. The impact on Brevard came primarily from Hurricane Sandy, which stayed 200 miles offshore but generated winds and waves that resulted in beach erosion from north to south.

"People can mistakenly think that if a tropical storm or hurricane doesn't make landfall in their city or county, they have nothing to worry about," said Emergency Management Director Kimberly Prosser. "But that's just not the case. Storms can be hundreds of miles wide, and the effects can be far-reaching."

Approximately 18 cubic yards of shoreline were lost along 14 miles of North Reach nourishment projects in the Cape Canaveral/Cocoa Beach area and South Reach projects in the Indialantic/Melbourne Beach area, with an estimated replacement cost of $15 million. In addition, along the 18 miles of Mid Reach shoreline in the Satellite Beach, Indian Harbour Beach and South Beaches area, where Brevard County has constructed and maintained an engineered dune/beach project for the last 8 years, losses averaged roughly 3-4 cubic yards per foot of shoreline. Rebuilding the engineered beach/dune in these areas will cost roughly $10.5 million.

Erosion from Sandy extended into Indian River, Martin, St Lucie, Palm Beach, and Broward counties, leading to a request from Gov. Rick Scott for a major disaster declaration from FEMA. Today, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate denied the State of Florida's request. It is unknown yet whether the governor plans to appeal the decision.

So far, states who have received major disaster declarations for Hurricane Sandy include New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and New Hampshire.

Though hurricane season is over, history has shown hurricanes have occurred in December and later. As always, Brevard County Emergency Management encourages residents to be prepared. That includes preparing a kit with ample water, food, flashlights, batteries and other essential items for pets and children; to stay informed; and to develop an emergency plan for how and where you will evacuate if instructed by your emergency management officials.

"Yes, hurricane season is ending, but that's no reason to avoid being prepared," said Prosser. "Wildfire season is just around the corner."

Brevard County Emergency Management provides information and updates throughout the year on its Facebook page (www.facebook.com/BrevardEOC), via its Twitter feed (@BrevardEOC), and through text message (Text FOLLOW BREVARDEOC to 40404).


November 28, 2012

Environmentally Endangered Lands Program to hold land acquisition meeting

BREVARD COUNTY -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


November 26, 2012

Breakfast With Santa event scheduled Dec. 8 in Titusville

TITUSVILLE, Fla.— Breakfast with Santa will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Fox Lake Park main pavilion, 4400 Fox Lake Road, in Titusville.

A pancake breakfast will be served and children will be given a candy-filled goodie bag, a visit with Santa, a make-and-take craft and hayride. Parents who want a photo of their child with Santa should bring their own cameras. Santa will arrive at 9:30 a.m.

Tickets are $5 for children under 12 years of age and $3 for adults. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Advance purchase of tickets at Sandrift Community Center, 585 North Singleton Avenue, Titusville, is recommended. The event is limited to 150 children.

This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operations. Call (321) 264-5037 for more information on this and other recreation programs in North Brevard.


November 26, 2012

'Diaper Derby Dash' to be held Dec. 1 at Port St. John Community Center

PORT ST. JOHN, Fla.— A Diaper Derby Dash for children ages 6-18 months old will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at Port St. John Community Center, 6650 Corto Road, in Port St. John.

The "Kiddy Crawl" consists of crawling 25 feet to the finish line (ages 6months). The "Teddy Bear Trot" is a 40-foot walk/run to the finish line (ages 7 –18 months) with their favorite stuffed toy. There will be prizes for the winners and fastest times. Please note that a birth certificate may be required to assure fair play.

There will be an arts and crafts project, "Ready Your Teddy" (stuff your own bear), for the first 40 contestants. There will be a kid train ride for contestants, free cotton candy and/or snow cone while supplies last. There is a $5 fee per participant.

This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations. For more information or to pre-register, call (321) 633-1904.


November 18, 2012

Max Brewer Bridge wins 'People's Choice' in national transportation contest

BREVARD COUNTY -- The A. Max Brewer Bridge project in Titusville was named the top vote-getter Sunday in a nationwide contest to determine which transportation project would be selected for the People's Choice Award presented by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

The award was announced Sunday during the AASHTO's annual conference in Pittsburgh.

According to the Florida Department of Transportation, Max Brewer Bridge received 331,198 votes out of more than 710,000 cast in the national competition. Votes were submitted during a month-long online voting poll. The $44.8 million Max Brewer Bridge project was among 10 transportation projects from across the nation picked as finalists. The winner receives a $10,000 prize, which the state Department of Transportation will present at a later date to the state agency's charity of choice.

Max Brewer Bridge's closest competitor was California's I-405/Sepulveda Pass Project -- Mulholland Bridge Demolition, or "Carmageddon" as it became known.

Brevard County Public Works Director John Denninghoff said Brevard County initiated the project to replace the swing span Max Brewer Bridge, named in honor of Albert "Max" Brewer, a Titusville attorney in the 1950s who was killed in a private plane crash in 1966, with local funding to start the planning process, but credited legislators who were successful in getting state and federal funding to build it.

"We had a vision for that bridge 11 years ago to have it replaced and save the taxpayers a lot of money for maintenance, but also to create something special for the north end of the county," Denninghoff said Sunday. "That movable bridge was special on its own, so we wanted something special to replace it with and we felt like we did it. It turned out extremely well. It's been wonderful to see the people out there adopting that bridge as part of their exercise and recreational activities, and it's also important as a reliable means to getting out to the commercial area and the Kennedy Space Center."


November 20, 2012

County Commissioner Robin Fisher announces new Administrative Aide

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Lydia Jackson, who worked for 6-plus years as a planner with Brevard County Planning & Development at the Government Center in Viera, has accepted a position as the new administrative aide for District 1 Brevard County Commissioner Robin Fisher.

Jackson, a resident of Brevard County for 7 years, formerly lived in Cleveland, Ohio. She will replace Kathie England, who is retiring after 27 years with the county.

Among Jackson's duties will be analyzing and responding to constituent complaints and requests and developing recommendations and solutions, attending meetings as the Commissioner's representative, serving on the Employee Benefits Insurance Advisory Committee, attending meetings of the North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation Board, Art in Public Places Advisory Committee, maintaining the District 1 Commission Office "Report Card," and other administrative duties or projects as assigned.

Jackson has a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Cleveland State University.

District 1 boundaries are from the Volusia County Line to State Road 520 to the center of Lake Poinsett. Communities include Scottsmoor, Mims, unincorporated Titusville, City of Titusville, Port St. John, Bellwood, Sharpes, Hardeeville, Canaveral Groves, West Canaveral Groves and West Cocoa.

England and District 1 Administrative Aide Mary Lackovich, who worked 22 years with the county, announced their retirements in October.

The District 1 Commission office is at 400 South Street, Suite 1-A, in Titusville. (321) 264-6750.


November 20, 2012

Brevard County Seeks Citizen Recommendations Through "Speak Up Brevard"

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Once again it's time to "Speak Up Brevard."

In an effort to provide a formal process for citizens to submit recommendations to Brevard County government, and as a result of charter amendment, Brevard County is implementing a web-based application called "Speak Up Brevard."

The online form will be available at www.brevardcounty.us beginning Dec. 1. It allows people to submit ideas which would assist county government in conserving energy, saving costs, eliminating duplication, generating revenue, increasing productivity, or preventing waste. A hard-copy version of the form may also be submitted, and is available through the County Manager's office.

The process requires submissions to meet a deadline of Jan. 1, after which the County Manager's office has 45 days to evaluate and comment on the recommendation, and then forward it to the Board of County Commissioners for review. The Board of County Commissioner must take a final vote to either approve, reject, or revise and accept the recommendation within 120 days. The sponsor of the recommendation will be given at least a week's notice prior to it being heard and voted on by the Board. A listing of all recommendations, including disposition, will be posted on the County website.

Effective Dec. 1, citizens can visit www.brevardcounty.us, click on the e-Government tab and then, in the category labeled "Provide Feedback," recommendations can be posted under the heading "Speak Up Brevard."


November 20, 2012

Canvassing Board Certifies Election, Marks End to Successful Year

VIERA, Fla. — The Brevard County Canvassing Board met on Friday, Nov.16, to certify the official results from the Nov. 6 General Election. The official results include all ballots cast early, by absentee, provisional, and on Election Day.

Of the 380,469 eligible Brevard County voters, 287,546 or 75.6% participated in the General Election. By comparison, the 2008 Presidential Election drew 82.45% turnout.

  • Ballots Cast - Total: 287,546
  • Ballots Cast - Absentee: 90,493
  • Ballots Cast - Early Voting: 51,342
  • Ballots Cast - Election Day: 144,149
  • Ballots Cast - Provisional: 444
Pursuant to Florida Law, the Brevard County Canvassing Board conducted a manual audit of election results on Monday, Nov. 19, at 9 a.m. The manual audit, which requires the random selection of a race and a precinct, was successful and the Canvassing Board reported the election's accuracy as "excellent" to the Florida Division of Elections.

The Canvassing Board, comprised of Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott, County Judge Kelly McKibben, and County Commissioner Chuck Nelson, also conducted two recounts following the General Election: Viera East Group 5 and Titusville City Council.

"The certification of official results from the General Election ends an extraordinary and successful year for this office," said Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott.

The year included January's Presidential Preference Primary, Redistricting and Reapportionment, the Primary Election, and the November 6th Presidential Election. Once every 20 years these events fall in the same calendar year.

For more information please call (321) 633-2124 or visit www.VoteBrevard.com


November 20, 2012

Brevard County derelict vessel removal efforts continue

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The Brevard County Boating & Waterways Program will kick-off another phase of its ongoing efforts to remove derelict and abandoned vessels from the county's waterways in December. Working closely with state and local law enforcement, county staff has been able to identify approximately 25 vessels derelict or abandoned in county waters.

This continuing work will span Brevard's waterways north to south and is scheduled to remove over 14 of the 25 identified vessels. Project support and funding through the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners Brevard Boating Improvement Program and the Florida Inland Navigation District has been crucial to the success of this project. This brings the program total to over 140 vessels removed since 2006.

The project is intended to improve boater safety and protect water quality and submerged aquatic resources in Brevard's Intracoastal Waterways.

To report derelict or abandoned vessels please contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-888-404-3922.

For more information, contact Matt Culver at 321-633-2016 or email matt.culver@brevardcounty.us.


November 16, 2012

Free Family activities offered at Sams House at Pine Island in December

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – The Sams House at Pine Island will offer a variety of free family activities throughout December. Pioneer Picnic and Nature Crafts - noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1: Bring the family and a picnic lunch while "Sister" and "Sarah" Sams delight you with pioneer tales and old-fashioned nature crafts.

John H. Sams: A Pioneer Story - 3 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8: Get the inside scoop on the heritage and life of Merritt Island pioneer John Sams. Sams was the first Superintendent of Brevard County Schools and built the oldest standing home in Brevard County, the 1875 Sams cabin.

Sounds of the Night Marshmallow Roast - 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15: Discover what animals make the sounds you at hear at night with a special family-friendly slideshow, then listen for those sounds while roasting marshmallows around the campfire.

Pioneer Pathways Hike - 10 - 11:30 a.m., Friday, Dec. 21: Learn what life was like for early pioneers and what plants and animals they used in this informative half-mile nature hike.

Family Nature Hike - 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 22: Enjoy some family bonding time while exploring the beauty of Pine Island. This short nature hike is good for all ages.

Family Tree Craft - 10-11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 27: Using our template and your family pictures, we'll create a family tree worthy of framing.

Florida History Expedition - 10 a.m. to noon Friday, Dec. 28: Perfect for elementary school-aged children and their families. We'll travel back in time to Florida's beginnings, sift for Ice Age fossils, practice throwing a spear, and learn about pioneer life.

The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and managed by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. It is located at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. The Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays. Tours of the cabin and the adjacent 1888 home are offered at 3 p.m. every Thursday. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


November 15, 2012

Brevard County Race Series has Fund-Raising Opportunities for Non-profits

MELBOURNE, Fla. -- Brevard County Parks and Recreation announces a new program which allows charities and non-profits to use the 5k Races/Walks in the Second Annual Run Brevard ReCreate Your Life Race Series to raise donations for their organization.

The Add Meaning to Your Miles program allows non-profit organizations to use any of the six existing races in the series as a means of raising funds by recruiting a group of supporters to run or walk in a race. Individuals interested in Adding Meaning to their Miles can join one of the current charity teams or start a fundraiser for a new organization. For more information on adding a charity to the program or for a current list of participating organizations, call Gustavo Vergara at (321) 255-4400.

The six races in the series, presented by Health First and Brevard County Parks & Recreation, include the Reindeer Dash on Dec. 1 at the Viera Regional Community Center in Viera; the Shiver Me Timbers 5K and Walk on Jan. 19 at the South Beach Community Center in Melbourne Beach; the Forever Hearts 5K and Walk on Feb. 16 at the Rodes Park Community Center in West Melbourne; the 5K at the Bay and Fun Walk on March 2 at Barefoot Bay in Micco; the Earth, Wind, and Fire 5K Race and Fun Walk on April 20 at the Ted Whitlock Community Center in Palm Bay; and the Space Coast Mud Run and Kids 1K Challenge on May 25 at Wickham Park in Melbourne.

More information and registration forms for each race can be found on the new Brevard County race series website, www.brevardcounty.us/RunBrevard.


November 15, 2012

Brevard County Legislative Delegation to hold meeting on Dec. 12

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Representative Steve Crisafulli, Chairman of the Brevard County Legislative Delegation, has announced that the delegation will meet from 2-5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, in the Brevard County Commission Chambers, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way (Building C) in Viera.

The primary purpose of this meeting is to discuss local issues to be presented before the Legislature in 2013. Please note that this is the only scheduled meeting of the delegation prior to the 2013 Legislative Session, which begins on March 5, 2013. The first portion of the meeting will be limited to presentations by local government entities and those requesting local bill submissions. The second portion of the meeting is for organizations and citizen presentations.

Anyone wishing to be placed on the meeting agenda should contact Ashley Guinn in Representative Crisafulli's Office in writing, at 2460 N. Courtenay Pkwy., Merritt Island, FL 32953 by mail: Ashley.guinn@myfloridahouse.gov by email: or (321) 449-5113 by fax no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 3. Telephone inquires may be directed to Representative Crisafulli's Office at (321) 449-5111.


November 13, 2012

Santa to make holiday calls to children in preschool through second grade

TITUSVILLE, Fla.— Special arrangements have been made for Santa to telephone preschool through second-grade children from his headquarters at the North Pole.

Calls will be made between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Dec. 12 and Dec. 13 to phones in the local dialing area for Titusville. There is no charge for this service.

Request forms are available at Campbell Community Center at 701 South Street in Titusville, Cuyler Community Center at 2329 Harry T. Moore Avenue in Mims; Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Park Cultural Center at 2180 Freedom Avenue in Mims; Port St. John Community Center at 6650 Corto Road and Sandrift Community Center at 585 North Singleton Avenue in Titusville; Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice G. Jackson Park at 4201 N. US HWY 1 in Cocoa (Sharpes); and the North Area Parks Operations office at 475 North Williams Avenue in Titusville.

Call (321) 264-5105 for more information about this and other activities provided by Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operations.


November 13, 2012

Home School P.E. and art classes available at Walter Butler

COCOA (SHARPES), Fla.— Physical Education and art classes for home school students will be offered as an ongoing activity at the Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice G. Jackson Park, 4201 North U.S. Highway 1, Cocoa (Sharpes.)

P.E. and art classes begin Dec. 3, and will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. The cost is $2 per class and additional fees may apply.

Call Perry Cusmano at (321) 433-4448 to register or for further information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in the Sharpes area.


November 13, 2012

'Madagascar 3' featured Movie in The Park at Chain of Lakes in Titusville

TITUSVILLE, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, is hosting a free movie in the park at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at Chain of Lakes, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, in Titusville.

"Madagascar 3" will be shown on a giant, 23-foot outdoor movie screen beginning at 7 p.m. The movie is rated PG. Patrons are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, food and drinks to enjoy during the movie. Concessions will be available for purchase.

Advertising opportunities are available as local sponsors will help make this a continual event. A minimum of four movies will be shown per year. Sponsors will be advertised on the screen prior to the movie.

Wind and weather conditions can cause this event to be canceled or postponed, so please check our cancellation line at (321) 264-5109. Contact Mike Herman at (321) 264-5105, or by email at mike.herman@brevardparks.com to become a sponsor or for further information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation.


November 13, 2012

Youth Coed Basketball League sign-up under way in North Brevard

COCOA (SHARPES,) Fla.—North Area Parks Operations is forming a coed basketball League's for children ages 5-7, at Walter Butler Community Center located at Bernice G. Jackson Park, 4201 North U.S. Highway 1, Cocoa (Sharpes).

The fee is $15 per player for a six-game season. Games will be played on Mondays from 5:30-7 p.m., beginning Dec. 3.

This event is sponsored by Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Parks & Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations. Contact Clifford Lett at (321) 433-4448 for further information on this Brevard County Parks and Recreation-sponsored program.


November 09, 2012

19th Annual Fox Lake Christmas Festival of Crafts to be held Nov. 17

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – The 19th Annual Fox Lake Christmas Festival of Crafts will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at Fox Lake Park in Titusville.

Only handmade and homemade crafts will be offered for sale at the event, which is sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations. There is a limited number of crafter spots still available. Concessions will be available for purchase, and admission is free.

Fox Lake Park is at 4400 Fox Lake Road in Titusville. For more information about this and other recreation programs in North Brevard, call (321) 264-5105.


November 06, 2012

Holiday Light Spectacular to begin with Grand Ceremony

MELBOURNE, Fla. -- The 2012 Space Coast Light Fest will begin with a Grand Lighting Ceremony at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19, at Wickham Park.

The Boys Scouts of Brevard County have teamed with Brevard County Parks and Recreation to bring Brevard families this well-loved holiday tradition.

County Commissioner Andy Anderson, Chairman of Riverside District for the Central Florida Council, Boy Scouts of America, will host a reception for local officials and dignitaries that will begin at 6 p.m. The lights are scheduled to be turned on at 6:30 p.m., officially opening the lighted drive through the park.

The Space Coast Light Fest in its 12th season will begin at 6:30 p.m. and run nightly through New Year's Eve. Prices are $10 per car Sunday through Thursday and $15 Friday and Saturday. Check out our website www.Spacecoastlightfest.com for discount and special event information.

For additional information, call scouting executive Shanna Michel at (321) 576-7556.


November 06, 2012

Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott issues Election Day reminders

VIERA, Fla. – Supervisor Lori Scott would like to remind Election Day voters of the following:
  1. Polls are open until 7 p.m. All voters in line by 7 p.m. will be permitted to cast their ballot;
  2. Voters must cast their ballot in the precinct in which they legally reside;
  3. Voters can find their designated polling location on their Official Voter Information Card, their Sample Ballot, by calling (321) 633-2124, or by visiting the VoteBrevard.com website, which includes maps and addresses for polling locations;
  4. Voters who arrive at the polls without a valid photo and signature I.D. or who have not completed their out-of-county address change into Brevard County prior to arriving at the polls will be allowed to vote a Provisional Ballot;
  5. Pursuant to Florida Law, Mail/Absentee Ballots must be returned to any one of the five Supervisor of Elections offices by 7 p.m. on Election Day; and
  6. Election night returns can be viewed at www.VoteBrevard.com.
For additional information about the November 6th General Election, please call (321) 633-2124 or visit www.VoteBrevard.com.


November 02, 2012

Space Coast Area Transit sees record daily boarding numbers

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – October was a record-setting month for Space Coast Area Transit, which also this week was listed among a federal reporting system as eighth in the state of Florida for ridership, with 22.87 passenger boardings per hour.

Gainesville leads the state with 36.58 boardings per hour, followed closely by Broward County with 36.50.

Miami-Dade, 31.24; Palm Beach Co., 27.56; Lynx, 26.22; Hillsborough, 24.23; and Volusia, 23.36, also lead Brevard in the National Transit Database rankings, which reflect 2011 ridership numbers. Brevard leads Pinellas County, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Lee and Sarasota counties and fifteen other transit agencies.

"Our 2012 boardings per hour is 25.52, so we could jump up the listing even further next year," said Space Coast Area Transit Director Jim Liesenfelt. "Half our routes have seen boardings per hour increase by 60 percent over the past three years. Route 25 (operates between Melbourne and Palm Bay) carries 41 boardings per hour and our Route 4 (SR520 between Cocoa and Cocoa Beach) has 37 boardings per hour. Both of those would fit right in Miami-Dade system and still be an above-average performer."

Daily boardings, which for the past year have averaged in the 7,000-plus range, have steadily climbed since April to nearly 8,000 daily boardings in October. Three daily boarding records were set in October, including Monday which saw 8,783 boardings, beating the daily records set on Oct. 1 and Oct.3. Liesenfelt said the size of the recent surge in ridership is unexpected, and it's not known how long it will last, and where it will settle.

"We added evening service in Titusville on Oct. 1. That expansion has contributed to the daily increase," Liesenfelt said.

Space Coast Area Transit started fixed routes in fiscal year 1991-1992 and has never recorded a year-to-year ridership decrease.

"In fact, we've only had five years with an increase of less than 10 percent," Liesenfelt said. "In our latest survey, we asked if a car was available for the riders' trip, and 84 percent said no. So, our customers are very transit dependent. But our most common trip purpose is home to work. The ridership gain is part economy, BCC student passes, and that we have reached a level of service that helps get the transit-dependent to and from work, school and shopping."



November 02, 2012

Ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 9 to mark Truman Scarborough Way

TITUSVILLE, Fla.—Brevard County Parks and Recreation announces a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Truman Scarborough Way, a new entrance road to Chain of Lakes, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way in Titusville, at the intersection of Dairy Road and U.S. Highway 1. The ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 9.

The park is managed by Brevard County. For more information, call (321) 264-5105.


November 02, 2012

Register now for Holiday Parades/Tropical Parade Pace 2-mile Run/Walk

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla – Brevard County Parks & Recreation is accepting applications for the Merritt Island and Cocoa/Rockledge Holiday Parades.

This year, the theme for the parades is "Celebrate the Season." Mindy from "Mike & Mindy in the Morning" on Lite Rock 99.3, a Clear Channel Radio Station, will be hosting both parades.

The Merritt Island Holiday Parade will be held starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. The parade will go from Grove Boulevard at Merritt Island High School south on Courtenay Parkway (SR3) to Edgewood Jr./Sr. High School on Merritt Avenue. Prior to the parade, the Tropical Parade Pacer 2-Mile Run/Walk will start at 9:15 a.m. at Edgewood Jr./Sr. High School. The race will run north on Courtenay (SR3) to Catalina Isles Boulevard and back. The race proceeds will benefit the Habitat for Humanity Women's Build.

The Cocoa/Rockledge Holiday Parade will be held starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. The parade will go south from the Central Area Reference Library on Forrest Avenue to Florida Avenue and end at Rockledge High School.

Applications for the parades and race are available on the website www.brevardcounty.us/parkscentral. For additional information about the parades or race, call (321) 633-1874.


November 01, 2012

Emergency declaration will help expedite repair of beachside properties

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – In an effort to expedite the permitting and repair process for beachside property owners, Brevard County has declared a local state of emergency in response to Hurricane Sandy's impact on its beaches.

Permitting is further streamlined by a State of Florida Emergency Final Order. In most cases, the repair and replacement of dune crossovers damaged during Hurricane Sandy will not require a Brevard County or Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) permit. However, unincorporated Brevard County residents must obtain a no-cost Exemption Letter from the Brevard County Natural Resources Management Office, and are required to observe the following guidelines:

  • Repairs and replacements must restore the crossover to its pre-storm configuration only. Any expansions will require both County and FDEP approval. Please contact Wesley Cich, FDEP, at (321) 474 1627 for information regarding State permit requirements for crossover expansions.
  • If the east terminus of the crossover is overhanging the eroded beach, you may also obtain a no-cost Letter of Consistency from the Natural Resources Management Office to restore your dune with beach quality sand at your own expense. It is unknown at this time when, or if, Brevard County will conduct any dune restoration in response to Hurricane Sandy. If you do not wish to purchase sand, repaired crossovers should be reconstructed in such a manner that does not extend the structure further seaward than the original structure. Extending a crossover further east to intersect the lower beach profile will require an FDEP permit and is not authorized by the County's Exemption Letter.
  • Reconstruction of dune crossovers that were initially built without the benefit of the proper permit(s) will require a permit. However, this will legitimize the crossover without the applicant having to pay for an after-the-fact permit fee (triple fee).
  • Unless previously permitted by the County, non-conforming portions of crossovers (e.g., sitting areas/decks that are too large, or too close to the dune) cannot be reconstructed. The exemption letter process will allow staff to evaluate whether the proposed project is consistent with County ordinances.
  • Non-conforming, previously unpermitted crossovers constructed prior to September 1988 (with or without non-conforming attachments) can be repaired with an Exemption Letter; no permit will be required.
  • Please take before and after photographs.
  • Crossovers repairs must start after Nov. 1, 2012, and be complete by Jan. 31, 2013.
  • For a Brevard County Exemption Letter, please contact Darcie McGee at (321) 633-2016.
  • It is the owner's responsibility to obtain required State permits as applicable. The Natural Resources Management Office will forward all exemption letters to FDEP per their request. In some cases you may be referred to FDEP prior to issuing an exemption letter from Brevard County.


October 31, 2012

4th annual Native Rhythms Festival to be held Nov. 9-11 at Wickham Park

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, the Native Heritage Gathering Inc. and the Indian River Flute Circle will host a Native American music, arts and crafts festival at the Wickham Park amphitheater the weekend of Nov. 9 - 11.

This event celebrates the culture and heritage of the indigenous peoples of North America through the appreciation of the music of the Native American style flutes and drums, with over 40 vendors selling native style and environmental arts and crafts and food. The festival will also be hosting a free educational workshop series that focuses on flute playing, history, beading, guitar playing, drumming and much more.

Admission to the festival is free. Musical performances are scheduled throughout each day, with headliner performances starting in the late afternoon through 10 p.m. Multiple award-winning musicians from all over the United States will be performing throughout the weekend, including Saturday and Sunday performances by two-time Grammy Award-winning Native American flutist and performer Robert Mirabal. Other headliner performers include Arvel Bird, Mark Holland, Michael Graham Allen (Coyote Oldman), Scott August, Jan Seiden, Dock Green Silverhawk, Jonny Lipford, and Ed Wind Dancer.

A full description of the event, including a list of headlining entertainer performance times and vendors currently on board can be found at: http://nativerhythmsfestival.com.


October 30, 2012

Repairs completed on collapsed culvert on Windover Way in Titusville

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Work to replace a collapsed metal culvert on Windover Way, between Quail Trail and Canal Ridge Drive in Titusville, will be completed Wednesday, one week ahead of schedule, Public Works Director John Denninghoff said Tuesday.

In September, a metal culvert estimated between 20 to 30 years old collapsed under the weight of a Public Works mower. The culvert has been replaced with a concrete culvert that has a life expectancy of 50-plus years, Denninghoff said. The project was estimated to cost about $150,000.

Windover Way crosses Addison Canal in unincorporated Titusville. Both lanes of Windover Way at that location have been closed while the replacement project was under way. Denninghoff said the road will reopen to traffic before the end of the day Wednesday.


October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy beach impact leads to emergency declaration in Brevard

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County has declared a local state of emergency in response to Hurricane Sandy's impact on its beaches, in an effort to expedite the permitting and repair process for beachside property owners. Permitting is anticipated to be streamlined further when the State of Florida executes an Emergency Final Order for counties damaged by Hurricane Sandy to authorize specific emergency protective measures seaward of the Coastal Construction Control Line.

Some private homes and structures have been damaged by erosion or are in immediate danger from bluff collapse. There is evidence of impact to crossovers and decks and, in some cases, the dune has retreated to only a few feet from residential foundations.

Citizens should be aware that if they have a deck or dune crossover that has been undermined, it is likely a safety hazard and not stable. If the dune has receded to within 10 feet of a home, property owners should have the home assessed for stability and to determine whether it is safe to occupy. Finally, if a property owner wants to take immediate action by restoring the dune with beach-quality sand, the county's Natural Resources Management Office can facilitate the permitting process and provide guidance. The State Emergency Order is likely to delegate authority to the County to authorize debris removal from the beach and dunes, repair of the seaward end of surviving beach access structures or repair of walkovers to conform with current codes, and placement of beach-quality sand to restore damaged dunes. To reach Brevard County Natural Resources, call (321) 633-2016.

The county's Natural Resources Management Office and Emergency Management Office are working to ensure that all damage is identified. An initial damage assessment has been completed, and those numbers have been submitted to the State, along with a request for a joint Preliminary Damage Assessment from the state and FEMA. This is the first step in determining whether federal assistance for public infrastructure will be available as a result of Hurricane Sandy's impacts.

Beach erosion along Brevard's 72 miles of coast has been preliminarily estimated at $25 million. Losses from 14 miles of shoreline in the North and South Reach nourishment projects are approximately 18 cubic yards per foot of shoreline which will cost roughly $15 million to replace. Along the 18 miles of Mid Reach and South Beaches shoreline, where Brevard County has constructed and maintained an engineered dune/beach project for the last 8 years, losses averaged roughly 3-4 cubic yards per foot of shoreline. Rebuilding the engineered beach/dune in these areas will cost roughly $10.5 million.

The full assessment of the beach condition and actual damage is expected to take several days.


October 29, 2012

Child safety instruction courses to be held by UF/Brevard Extension Service

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer the following classes during the months of November and December at the UF/Cocoa Extension office, 3695 Lake Drive and/or at the UF/Palm Bay Extension office, 1455 Treeland Blvd.

Kids and Cars: A Child Passenger Safety Seminar: Learn how to properly select, install and use child safety seats. Held at the UF/Palm Bay Ext. Office on Nov. 8, 1-3 p.m., and Dec. 13, 10 a.m. - noon. Held at the UF/Cocoa Ext. Office on Nov. 14, 3-5 p.m. and Dec. 14, 10 a.m. - noon. Cost: Free.

Child Safety Seat Check: Bring child & child's seat to be checked for proper selection, installation and fit. Call to schedule appointment time. Held at the UF/Palm Bay Ext. Office on Nov. 8, 9-11:30 a.m.; Nov. 19, 1:30-4 p.m.; Dec. 6th, 9:30 a.m.-noon; and Dec. 13, 2–4:30 p.m. Held at the UF/Cocoa Ext. Office on Nov. 9, 9:30 a.m.-noon; Nov. 30, 9:30 a.m.-noon; and Dec. 14, 2-4:30 p.m. Cost: Free.

For more information or to register call (321) 633-1702 or go to our website: http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


October 29, 2012

Farm & Pasture Management among upcoming Extension Service courses

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer the following classes during the months of November and December:

Small Ruminant Production Conference: The program will be focused on goat and sheep production topics and forage resource management and marketing alternatives for your farm. Topics include: Small Farm Pasture Management, Sheep and Goat Health and Parasite Control, Manure Management and its Benefits, Marketing Alternatives for Small Ruminants, Legumes for your Farm, Forage for Goats: Planting for Browsing, On-Farm Small Ruminant Demonstrations. Being held at the Marion County 4H Farm, 4931 Baseline Road, Ocala. Registration fee: $15.00 Registration ends on Nov. 2 at 5 p.m. If paying by check, make payable to UF/IFAS Marion County Extension Advisory Committee and mail with completed form to Donna Redner, UF/IFAS Marion County Extension Service, 2232 NE Jacksonville Road, Ocala, FL 34470. To register and pay by credit card go to CFLAG.ifas.ufl.edu or for more information call (352)671-8400. To register contact Joe Walter, jwalter@ufl.edu or (407) 948-8810.

Mosquito Control – Identification of possible chemical damage on flora and fauna: This class is focused on those individuals applying chemical control measures and those monitoring ecosystems where mosquito control measure are implemented to ensure a understanding of and recognition of any possible negative effects to the environment as a result of the use of chemicals. Held at the UF/Palm Bay office on Nov. 9 at 8 a.m. Instructors - Holly Abeels and Joe Walter. Contact Joe Walter, jwalter@ufl.edu or 407-948-8810 for further information. Cost $25. Register at brevard.ifas.ufl.edu./class registration/agriculture.

Pasture Management and Farmer to Farmer Discussion: Discussion of Cool Season Pasture Fertilization, grazing systems to stretch you available forage, insect and disease associated with cool season pastures. At the UF/Palm Bay Ext. office, Thursday, Nov. 15, 7 -9 p.m. Cost $10. Instructor-Joe Walter. Register at brevard.ifas.ufl.edu./class registration/agriculture.

Poultry and Egg Products and Marketing: This is part one of a three part series on identification of poultry and egg products, quality grading of these products, and marketing of the products. The program is open to the public and will be presented during the Brevard 4-H Poultry Club meeting, at the UF/Cocoa Extension on Nov. 13, 7 p.m. There is no charge for this program. Poultry

and Egg Products and Marketing: This is part two of a three part series on identification of poultry and egg products, quality grading of these products, and marketing of the products. The program is open to the public and will be presented during the Brevard 4-H Poultry Club meeting at the UF/Cocoa Extension, Dec. 11, 7 p.m. There is no charge for this program. For more information or to register call (321) 633-1702 or http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.

Equine Infectious Diseases and Parasites: Learn about some of the diseases and parasites that horses can be exposed to. Dec. 12, 7-8:30pm, UF/Cocoa Extension office. Cost: Free. Register at: http://brevardequineseminars-eorg.eventbrite.com.

Exploring Careers in the Equine Industry: Geared toward youth interested in pursuing a career with horses, learn about different options available. Led by UF Faculty Instructors. Geared toward youth ages 14 and up but open to all. Free. Nov. 28, 7-8:30pm, Cocoa. Register at: http://brevardequineseminars-eorg.eventbrite.com/


October 29, 2012

Extension Service offers Finance & Money Management Courses in November

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer the following classes during the months of November and December at the Cocoa Ext. office, 3695 Lake Drive and/or at the UF/Palm Bay Ext. office, 1455 Treeland Blvd.

Become Captain of Your Financial Ship: Financial management program, meets bankruptcy debtor education requirements. Held at Cocoa Ext. Office on Nov. 7; 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Held at Palm Bay Ext. Office on Dec. 5; 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Cost: $20.

Foreclosure Prevention: For families facing foreclosure. Learn to prepare a budget, foreclosure options, and the foreclosure process. Required for one-on-one counseling. Held at the Cocoa Ext. Office on Nov. 5; 6-8 p.m. Held at the Palm Bay Ext. Office on Dec. 3; 6 -8 p.m. Cost: $10.

Budgeting Basics: Learn to prepare a budget, reconcile accounts and stretch dollars. Held at Cocoa Ext. Office on Nov. 5; 3 – 5 p.m. Cost: $10.

Credit Basics: Learn how to use credit wisely and pay down debt. Held at Cocoa Ext. Office on Nov. 16; 3–5 p.m. Cost: $10.

Buying & Selling on Internet Venues: Learn the basics of setting up an account to purchase or sell items via Ebay and Amazon & look at other internet buying/selling options. Held at Cocoa Ext. Office on November 16th; 10 a.m. -12 p.m. Held at Palm Bay Ext. Office on Dec. 4; 3-5 p.m. Cost: $10 For more information or to register call (321) 633-1702 or go to our website: http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


October 29, 2012

Sams House at Pine Island celebrates Native American Heritage Month

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – The Sams House at Pine Island will offer a variety of free activities throughout November in recognition of Native American Heritage Month.

Native Ways Hike -- Saturday, Nov. 3, 10 a.m. to noon, and Friday, Nov. 23, 10 a.m. to noon: Enjoy a guided one-mile hike through the beautiful palm hammock as we explore how Native Americans used the abundant resources around them. Close-toed shoes are recommended.

Farmers, Fishers, and Traders, the First Floridians -- Saturday, Nov. 3, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Join local archaeologist and Indian River Anthropological Society president Elaine Williams for a slide presentation and talk on the rich cultures of Florida's Native Peoples before the Spanish conquest and how the natural resources in different parts of the state shaped the ways they lived.

Lost Indian Nations of Florida -- Saturday, Nov. 10, 10:30 a.m. to noon: Local historian and author Ray Osborne will give a slideshow presentation on the ancient Indians of Florida, featuring special guest Arthur Tarratus, who just returned from a research trip to the Archives of Indies in Seville, Spain.

Prehistoric Toolbox: Examination of Native American Tools and Weapons -- Saturday, Nov. 17, 11 a.m. to noon: Native Americans in Florida were extremely resourceful, using all elements of their environment for survival. This presentation by Kevin Gidusko with the Florida Public Archeology Network introduces the tools and weapons used in prehistoric life ranging from shark tooth-fixed atlatls to whelk-shelled hammers.

Pine Island Paddle -- Saturday, Nov. 24, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.: Paddle through a deep-water canal frequented by manatees and out to the Indian River Lagoon. Includes a hike in to the Sams House and Cabin, then back to the Lagoon to paddle back to the start. Reservations required. Limited to 14 participants. $30 per person ($20 for ages 5-12). Call 321-784-2452 or email info@spacecoastkayaking.net to hold your spot. Meet at Conservation Area gate at end of Pine Island Road.

Please note that the Center will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 22, for Thanksgiving. The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and managed by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. It is located at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. The Center is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours of the cabin and the adjacent 1888 home are offered every Thursday at 3 p.m. For more information, call 321-449-4720.


October 29, 2012

Subcommittee meets Nov. 6 to review Transportation Disadvantaged Services

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Community Transportation Coordinator (CTC) Review Subcommittee of the Brevard County Local Coordinating Board for Transportation Disadvantaged Services will be meeting to discuss the CTC Review at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, in the Cocoa Terminal Conference Room, 401 South Varr Avenue, in Cocoa.

Questions pertaining to this meeting should be directed to James Liesenfelt at (321) 635-7815 or e-mail at Jim.Liesenfelt@brevardcounty.us.

If a person desires to appeal any decision made by this board, agency, or commission with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of the proceedings and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which such appeal is to be based.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, F.S., persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notice the Transit Services Department no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting at 635-7815 ext. 601.


October 27, 2012

Rough surf, rip currents and boating hazards to linger into mid-week

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Tropical storm warnings and watches were discontinued this morning as Hurricane Sandy's trek continued to move northeast in the Atlantic, however the threat of rough surf, dangerous rip currents and hazardous boating conditions will continue in Brevard County into mid-week, according to the National Weather Service-Melbourne.

Brevard County Ocean Rescue Chief Jeff Scabarozi said double red flags are posted along the beach as a warning to beachgoers of unsafe conditions. Entering the water is not advised. Scabarozi warned of dangerous rip currents and unsafe surf conditions and advised all beachgoers to stay near lifeguards. The rip current threat will not subside until at least mid-week. A high surf advisory is in effect and will remain in place through Sunday.

A high wind advisory was also issued by the National Weather Service-Melbourne and will remain in effect until 8 p.m. Saturday. Winds estimated at 25-30 mph are expected throughout the day with occasional wind gusts of 35-40 mph. These strong winds make boating conditions unsafe on area waterways and can also pose dangerous driving conditions, down tree limbs and blow loose outdoor objects around. Caution is advised on roadways.

No additional rainfall is expected.

Related updates:

Florida Power & Light: Reported 11,210 power outages resulting from Hurricane Sandy. By noon Saturday, 10,900 outages had been restored and the remaining outages were expected to be restored some time later in the day.

Early Voting: Continues at Supervisor of Elections sites in Viera, Titusville, Melbourne, Palm Bay and Merritt Island, and at these public libraries: Franklin T. DeGroodt in Palm Bay, Melbourne Public Library and Melbourne Beach Public Library.

Waste Management: Normal operations, including yard waste and commercial collection countywide. Starting Monday, additional equipment will be brought in from other regional WM facilities to expedite yard waste cleanup countywide. Customers can contact Waste Management with any questions at 636-6894 in North Brevard or 723-4455 in South Brevard, or may email Waste Management at CentralFloridaService@wm.com.

Causeways: High wind gusts can pose driving hazards for high-profile vehicles like SUVs, trucks and buses, so caution is advised.


October 26, 2012

Brevard County Commissioner Robin Fisher receives EDC honor

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – District 1 Brevard County Commissioner Robin Fisher, who represents North Brevard, has been awarded the 2012 Gary R. Cunningham Distinguished Service Award presented by the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast.

The EDC created the Gary R. Cunningham award in 2006 to recognize exceptional business leaders and their efforts in support of economic development. Fisher received the award Wednesday night during the EDC's 2012 Annual Meeting, attended by more than 350 EDC investors, community leaders, politicians and guests at the King Center in Melbourne.

Fisher was recognized for turning "discussions with business leaders into action," according to the EDC.

In naming Fisher as this year's award recipient, incoming EDC Chairman Paul Hanson described Fisher as a successful entrepreneur and dedicated public servant.

"In the wake of the Shuttle retirement, he partnered with the City of Titusville to create the greater Titusville Renaissance, creating an arts and cultural district and city beautification initiative," Hanson said. "Robin made the redevelopment of Miracle City Mall his personal mission, securing a national developer to facilitate the sale and redevelopment of this site."

Fisher, an EDC Executive Committee and Board of Directors member, was touted for his contributions to business development projects and for his efforts to assist in retaining and expanding Professional Aircraft Accessories in Titusville and other economic development projects from around the county. Hanson said Fisher championed the establishment of the North Brevard Economic Development Zone to support economic development and job creation in the post-Shuttle economy.

Fisher was also recognized for his services as a community volunteer, serving as a Brevard County YMCA Campaign Chairman and Central Florida YMCA Board Chair. He has also served on various other boards, including United Way, Brevard Community College Board of Trustees, Brevard County Tourism Development Council and the Titusville Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

The Gary R. Cunningham award is named after the former chief executive officer of Cunningham, Ingram and Anderson Developers, a commercial and industrial property development and leasing firm based in Melbourne. Cunningham began with a background in petroleum distribution, auto parts wholesaling and economic development. In 1974, Cunningham's efforts turned to industrial facility development. He developed and leased more than 500,000 square feet of predominately high-tech facilities in less than a decade on the Space Coast.


October 26, 2012

North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation to meet Nov. 8

TITUSVILLE, Fla.—The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation will hold its next monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Ave. in Titusville.

One or more members of Titusville City Council and the following committees may be present: Causeway Improvements Referendum Committee, Equestrian Trails & Facilities Referendum Committee, and the Mims-Scottsmoor Community Center Referendum Committee. The public is invited to attend.

The Brevard Room is in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center–North.

For questions call Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


October 25, 2012

Hurricane Sandy-related service changes planned in Brevard County

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The following Brevard County services may be affected by Hurricane Sandy:
  • Most Space Coast Area Transit buses will run as normally scheduled on Friday unless conditions deteriorate throughout the day as a result of the movement of Hurricane Sandy off the east coast of Brevard County. "Customers need to be aware that fixed route service could be disrupted due to deteriorating weather conditions," said Jim Liesenfelt, Director of Space Coast Area Transit. Space Coast Area Transit has canceled all contract routes, which include developmentally disabled adult service to Brevard Achievement Center, Bridges, Easter Seals and Seniors at Lunch bus service. All Volunteers in Motion service is also canceled. All non-dialysis paratransit customers were being contacted to check trip reservations for Friday/Saturday.
  • Brevard Public Schools will be closed Friday. Child care and afterschool activities area canceled and will be rescheduled by individual schools. Questions have arisen concerning Saturday activities, such as ACT testing, field trips, training and athletic activities. Students scheduled to take the ACT at any Brevard school are encouraged to contact ACT for directions about test taking when weather conditions are poor. ACT can be reached at www.actstudent.org or (319) 337-1510. Brevard Public Schools will update the community Friday afternoon regarding any proposed changes to scheduled Saturday events.
  • A Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program Selection and Management Committee meeting scheduled for Friday has been postponed. A new meeting date has not been announced.
  • Brevard Community College will be open for classes Friday and Saturday; however, daycare centers will be closed.
  • Waste Management will be operating a normal pickup schedule Friday, but disruptions may result as a result of conditions stemming from Hurricane Sandy. Routes that are not completed on Friday will be finished on Saturday, according to Waste Management. Additional equipment will be used Saturday for yard waste collection and will be continued into next week.
  • Kennedy Space Center is open on Friday.
  • Brevard County Courts are open.


October 25, 2012

Hurricane Sandy poses beach, road and wind hazards in Brevard

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Dangerous rip currents, rough surf and anticipated blustery conditions, with wind gusts as high as 45 to 50 mph on Friday into Saturday, have prompted advisories from Brevard County Emergency Management for county residents, beachgoers and motorists to be extremely cautious during the next 48-hour period.

Due to high wind conditions and the danger that poses to school buses, particularly when crossing causeways, Brevard County Public Schools will not open for classes on Friday. After-school football games and activities for Friday are also canceled.

Motorists are warned to use caution while crossing over area causeways and while driving on local roadways. Avoid downed power lines. Assume downed power lines are live and contact the utility company.

Homeowners should secure patio furniture, plants, garbage cans and other loose outdoor items. Breezy conditions Thursday afternoon will give way to prolonged periods of strong winds expected to begin by mid-day Friday and lingering into Saturday.

Strong beach erosion, rip currents, pounding surf and hazardous boating conditions are also expected. Beachgoers are advised to follow beach warning flags. Tropical storms and hurricanes increase the risk of dangerous rip currents. Due to deteriorating conditions, Brevard County Ocean Beach Patrol Chief Jeff Scabarozi said beaches are at double red flag, meaning conditions are extremely dangerous. Lifeguards will be advising beachgoers to stay out of the water.

The eye of Hurricane Sandy is expected to remain off the the Brevard County coastline, however, strong winds are expected along the beaches and barrier islands. According to the National Weather Service Melbourne, rainfall amounts could range from 1-3 inches with isolated areas as high as 3 to 5 inches.


October 19, 2012

Biannual Fish Fry to be held Nov. 9 at Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- The community is invited to enjoy a free fish fry from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at the Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center, 701 South Street in Titusville.

This event is co-sponsored by the Isaac Campbell Seniors Club and Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Parks & Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations. For more information, please call Tommy Myers at (321) 264-5040.


October 18, 2012

Enchanted Forest Sanctuary hosts 10th Annual Forest Festival

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program and the Board of County Commissioners invite the public to the 10th annual Forest Festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary Management and Education Center.

Events and activities include Florida wildlife and reptile presentations, live music, guided hikes on the trails, plants for sale by the Florida Native Plant Society, tours of the Butterfly Gardens, artists with displays and painting on site. There will also be a Kids Corner with crafts, face painting and puppets. This is a good opportunity to capture photographs of wildlife and people interacting.

The Friends of the Enchanted Forest will be in the Library and Gift Shoppe with information and sale items. Food will be available for purchase. This is a fun event for all ages and free of charge.

For more information on the Forest Festival, call the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary at (321) 264-5185. The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is located in Titusville on the north side of S.R. 405, one-half mile west of U.S. 1.


October 18, 2012

Free Movie in the Park, 'Monster House,' part of Chain of Lakes Fall Festival

TITUSVILLE, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, will host a fall festival, including a free Movie in the Park, at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at Chain of Lakes Complex, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, in Titusville.

Activities will include a costume contest, children's games, trunk n' treat, hay ride, face painting and a movie in the park. The movie, 'Monster House' rated PG, will be shown on a giant, 23-foot, outdoor movie screen beginning at 8 p.m. There will be a minimal fee for the hay ride.

Patrons are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, food and drinks to enjoy during the movie. Concessions will be available for purchase. Call Mike Herman at (321) 264-5105 for additional information.


October 17, 2012

County road paving effort in North Brevard hits milestone on Friday

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – A Brevard County Public Works street repaving initiative in North Brevard begun in January 2011 will reach a milestone Friday morning with a resurfacing project on Devon Street in Port St. John.

One-time funding of $10 million provided through gas tax bond proceeds has allowed the county to conduct resurfacing projects at an unprecedented pace. In less than two years, the county has conducted resurfacing work on 300 roads in North Brevard, with the 100-mile mark set to be hit before noon Friday on Devon Street, according to Public Works Director John Denninghoff.

Of the money received, an estimated $9 million was spent for resurfacing.

"We tried to identify two years ago a lot of roads that needed repaving and, as you know, we have 93 miles of dirt roads and 83 of those miles of dirt road are in my district -- not to mention a bunch of other roads that had not been resurfaced in 25-30 years," said county Commissioner Robin Fisher, who represents District 1 in North Brevard.

"We set out to change the landscape a little bit and get some dollars in my district to repave some roads, and we gave Roads and Bridges people a huge goal -- 50 miles this year and 50 miles in 2011. That had never been done in history of the county," Fisher said. "This is a huge accomplishment and I take my hat off to John Denninghoff and his group for understanding my goal and accomplishing it."


October 16, 2012

Recreation Partner proposals sought at Tom Statham Center in Titusville

TITUSVILLE, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Park Operations is requesting proposals from non-profit organizations to become a recreation partner through agreement to operate and run community programs at the Tom Statham Center at 7101 South US Highway 1 in Titusville.

Interested organizations should submit written proposals – outlining organizational information to include, but not limited to: history, funding/financial, total numbers served, ages served and a vision for programs within this community.

Send proposals to Terry Lane, Operations Manager, 475 N. Williams Avenue, Titusville, FL 32796, or email to terry.lane@brevardparks.com. Proposals need to be received no later than Thursday, Nov. 1. To be considered for this opportunity, organizations will need to appear at the North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation meeting on Thursday, Nov. 8. The meeting starts at 5 p.m. and is held in the Brevard Room at the Brevard County Government Center, North, 518 South Palm Ave., in Titusville.

For more information, call Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


October 16, 2012

Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival seeks sponsors, donations, volunteers

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The 16th Annual Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival, set for Jan. 23-28, is seeking local sponsors, donations, items (new or gently used) for the silent auction and volunteers.

The festival is a community event that draws over 5,000 participants during the six days of activities. Headquartered at Brevard Community College, Titusville Campus, field trips, photography field workshops and classroom presentations are offered throughout the county. The Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival is the largest such festival in the United States attracting local participants and those from all over Florida, nationally and internationally. Attendees spend an estimated $1 million in Brevard County during each festival as well as paying local and state taxes of near $130,000, utilizing over 4,000 hotel beds nights and long stays at local RV parks.

The 2013 Festival is partnering with Brevard County Parks & Recreation to spotlight how important recreation programs are to the area's quality of life. Each county park, sanctuary and the Moore Center will have special activities during the festival week.

The festival is also partnering with Promise in Brevard to promote their first Scrub Jay 5k Fun Run/Walk and Duathlon, with activities being held at Chain of Lakes Park. Promise in Brevard and the Festival are mutually raising awareness of individuals in our community with special needs and making an effort to ensure that the festival and other events in Brevard County are accessible to everyone.

Contact Neta Harris at neta@brevardnaturealliance.org or (321) 268-5224 to become involved with this community event. Visit the festival web site for more information, www.spacecoastbirdingandwildlifefestival.org.


October 15, 2012

Ceremony to mark widening of I-95 in north Brevard to Voluisia County line

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- District One County Commissioner Robin Fisher, the North Brevard Economic Development Zone, and the Space Coast Infrastructure Agency with the Florida Department of Transportation will host a public ceremony Tuesday, Oct. 30, to mark the beginning of construction on a major project to widen nearly 30 miles of Interstate 95 in Brevard and Volusia counties.

This event will be held at 10 a.m. at the northbound visitors' rest area on I-95, just north of Titusville, at mile marker 225.

I-95 serves as a vital artery for Brevard County and Volusia County, as well the entire State of Florida, by moving goods, services and people up and down the East Coast. It's important to commerce, to tourism and to economic development, all things critical to the area's dynamic and changing economy.

The public is invited to to attend this exciting and important occasion.

Fast facts about this project:

  • Covers nearly 30 miles, and widens I-95 from four lanes to six lanes
  • Project limits are from State Road (SR) 406 in Titusville to SR 44 in New Smyrna Beach
  • Cost is $118.3 million
  • Lane Construction Corporation and DRMP are the design-build team
  • Financial agreement with the design-build team extends the project's payment timeline, which allows this entire project to get built now.

  • October 15, 2012

    Voting deadline looms: Max Brewer Bridge now in 2nd for national award

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The competition for "Best in the Nation" transportation project, which includes A. Max Brewer Bridge in Titusville as a Top 10 Finalist, now has California in first place by a 7,000-vote margin, according to the latest numbers provided by the Florida Department of Transportation.

    Max Brewer Bridge has led the competition until this past weekend. According to the latest stats, the Max Brewer Bridge replacement project has collected 130,706 votes, but trails a bridge project with 137,363 votes in California. The online voting deadline ends at midnight Friday, Oct. 19, so there's still plenty of time to vote in the national contest sponsored by American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

    Brevard County residents can vote online as many as 10 times a day at www.AmericasTransportationAward.org. The $44.8 million A. Max Brewer Bridge replacement project in Titusville was named among 10 top highway transportation projects across the nation going head to head in a competition to determine which projects earn the "Best in the Nation" title.

    The finalists also include Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada and Virginia.

    The 10 finalists received the highest number of overall points during four regional contests, representing each part of the country. In all, 49 projects from a record 34 states were judged in three categories: "Ahead of Schedule," "Under Budget" and "Best Use of Innovation."

    The finalists are now competing for the America's Transportation Awards' Grand Prize, selected by a panel of judges.The People's Choice Award will be decided by popular vote of the general public. The winners of both the Grand Prize and the People's Choice awards will each receive $10,000, which will be donated by state Departments of Transportation to a charity or scholarship of their choice. Winners will be announced Nov. 18 at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' annual meeting in Pittsburgh.


    October 12, 2012

    Video Game Competitors to Square Off Nov. 21 at Cuyler Community Center

    MIMS, Fla.— A video game tournament for youths ages 9-15 will be held from noon to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21, at the Cuyler Community Center, 2329 Harry T. Moore Ave., in Mims.

    The entry fee is $3. This fun and enjoyable activity offers participants an opportunity to compete with the latest video games.

    Call Darryll Gamon at (321) 264-5045 to pre-register or for more information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in the Mims area.


    October 11, 2012

    Free Fall Health Festival set for Nov. 3 at Isaac Campbell Sr. Park

    TITUSVILLE, Fla.—A Fall Health Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at Isaac Campbell Sr. Park, 701 South Street, in Titusville.

    The event is for all ages and will include health screenings, information and education, as well as food and craft vendors, North Brevard's Best Choir, Youth Praise Dance, a 3-point shoot-out contest, door prizes and donation baskets. Admission is free.

    Crafters and food vendors can register by visiting Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center. The cost for craft vendors is $15 plus tax, and the cost for food vendors is $25 plus tax.

    This program is sponsored by Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Parks & Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations and OUR Community Health Care. For information about this event, call (321) 264-5040.


    October 11, 2012

    Thanksgiving Luncheon to be held Nov. 15 at Walter Butler Community Center

    COCOA (SHARPES), Fla. — The North Cocoa Civic League, Victory Worship, Lifepointe Ministries, The United Way and Walter Butler Community Center staff and volunteers invite the community to a Thanksgiving luncheon at 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, at the Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice G. Jackson Park, 4201 North U.S. Highway 1, Cocoa.

    The event is free. Reservations are required.

    Call the center at (321) 433-4448 for reservations or for additional information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in the Sharpes area.


    October 11, 2012

    Fox Lake Christmas Festival of Crafts to be held Nov. 17 in Titusville

    TITUSVILLE, Fla. – The 19th Annual Fox Lake Christmas Festival of Crafts will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at Fox Lake Park in Titusville.

    Only handmade and homemade crafts will be offered for sale at the event, which is sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations. Food vendors will be present.

    Fox Lake Park is at 4400 Fox Lake Road in Titusville. For more information about this and other recreation programs in North Brevard, call (321) 264-5105.


    October 10, 2012

    First-ever Viva Brevard Festival celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Parks and Recreation is among sponsors helping kick off the first Viva Brevard Festival on Saturday, Oct. 13.

    Viva Brevard will be a day full of Latin American cuisine, culture and entertainment. It is the first event held in Brevard County to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month. Viva Brevard will take place near the Ted Whitlock Community Center in Palm Bay Regional Park. Festivities will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

    Congressman Bill Posey (R-Rockledge) will welcome attendees and present certificates to recognize four local Hispanic leaders for their contributions and service to the community.

    "This is an opportunity to celebrate the spirit and accomplishments of Hispanic Americans everywhere," said Congressman Posey, who also entered a statement honoring National Hispanic Heritage Month into the Congressional Record. "Events like the Viva Brevard festival provide an opportunity to share and experience the diversity of cultures from Latin American countries and bring us all closer together as a community."

    Javier Molinares of Al Dia Today, a prime sponsor of Viva Brevard, said the event is a celebration of contributions made by Hispanic Americans to the nation and the Brevard County community."It's also a chance to share the rich and diverse cultures of Latin America."

    The City of Palm Bay issued an official proclamation recognizing Sept. 15 - Oct. 15 the Hispanic Heritage Month and the contributions made by Hispanic Americans.

    The Brevard County Commission unanimously adopted a resolution commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month.

    "It's really important that we recognize and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month," said Commissioner Andy Anderson, vice-chairman of the Commission and sponsor of the Hispanic Heritage Resolution. "We've always had heroes in our ranks of Hispanic descent serving and making sacrifices for our communities and our nation – that needs to be recognized.

    Viva Brevard is sponsored by local organizations and businesses that also include WellCare, State Farm, Cancer Care Centers of Brevard, VITAS, Law Office of David Stoller, The Gallery, Moore, Eavenson & Baughan, PLC., Magic Lion, Andretti, Remax Elite, Bogin, Munns & Munns, P.A., Glad Eyecare & Surgery Center, PIP Printing and la Placita.


    October 10, 2012

    Cuyler Community Center in Mims to host free Thanksgiving Celebration

    MIMS, Fla.— A free "Giving Thanks" Thanksgiving celebration will be held from 5-7 p.m., Nov. 7, at the Cuyler Community Center, 2329 Harry T. Moore Avenue, in Mims.

    This event is free and includes dinner and a musical celebration.

    Call LaShawn Stevens at (321) 264-5045 to pre-register or for additional information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in the Mims area.


    October 10, 2012

    Brevard County Fair announces online release of 2013 Premium Book

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Bring your cookies, quilts and potted plants to the 2013 Brevard County Fair! Each year, more than $6,000 in premiums are awarded to the top entries in Brevard County Fair competitions. And, although County Fair competitions are traditionally rooted in agriculture, premiums are awarded in areas as diverse as crocheting, photography, fishing lures, mini-aquatic habitat dioramas and oddest vegetable shape.

    The Fair is March 21-30 at Wickham Park, 3845 Wickham Road, in Melbourne.

    The 2013 Premium Book, which is now available online at www.brevardcountyfair.com, is the how-to guide to all of the fair's competitions. It details the rules, deadlines, cash prizes, and judging criteria associated with each contest. Hardcopy books will be available in mid-November in the lobby of the UF Brevard County Extension Service, 3695 Lake Drive in Cocoa.

    Originally, premiums were designed to highlight advances in agriculture and to encourage the production of specific crops and livestock. Over the years, the Fair added premiums for arts and crafts, canning and baking.

    "We would like to invite all Brevard County residents to share their passion and creativity with the community," said Melinda (Mel) Morgan-Stowell, coordinator of competitive exhibits. "We appreciate the talent and dedication displayed by competitors each year at the Fair, and we have continued to grow and improve because of their efforts." Co

    mpetitions are open to the public, and all information about the competitions can be found on the Brevard County Fair website: www.brevardcountyfair.com.


    October 10, 2012

    Brevard Commission on Aging Member Honored for Elder Falls Prevention Initiatives

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Commission on Aging member Dr. Mark Brimer has been awarded the initial Florida Senior Falls Prevention Award. The recognition is sponsored by the Florida Injury Prevention Program and the Florida Department of Health in conjunction with the Florida Senior Falls Prevention Coalition and is presented to an individual who has demonstrated commitment to Senior Falls Prevention.

    In 2008, Brimer successfully launched The Elder Falls Prevention Program in conjunction with Brevard County Housing and Human Services Department and the Commission on Aging. This program has become a primary initiative of Brevard County and also includes the cities of Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Rockledge, Palm Bay, Satellite Beach and Titusville.

    The Elder Falls Prevention program is a unique opportunity for communities to work together to address this elder healthcare problem. This program allows each municipality to customize the fall prevention topic to meet the specific needs of their community. Within each community, fire and emergency medical services can easily use the program and make operational adjustments based upon the housing and demographic needs of their community, Brimer said.

    The Florida Department of Elder Affairs and the Florida Council on Aging recognized the Brevard Commission on Aging as a state "Best Practice" model in Elder Falls Prevention, and in 2011, Brimer was inducted into the National Council on Aging - Falls Prevention "Hall of Fame" for the many contributions he has made to the field of falls prevention.

    Brimer was nominated for this award, the first year of the Florida Elder Falls Prevention Award, on behalf of the Housing and Human Services Department and the Commission on Aging. Brimer is recognized as a leader in the state for Senior Falls Prevention Initiatives. Brimer is known as an advocate for seniors citizens, and a leader in the cause that seniors should be able to age-in-place, in their homes "safely" for as long as they choose.


    October 05, 2012

    A. Max Brewer Bridge lead for national transportation award in jeopardy

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The competition for "Best in the Nation" transportation project, which includes A. Max Brewer Bridge in Titusville as a Top 10 Finalist, just got a lot closer with a project in California pulling to within about 2,000 votes of the lead. But there's still time to vote.

    According to the latest figures provided by Florida's Department of Transportation, Max Brewer Bridge leads the competition with 62,341 votes, but California has now closed the gap with 60,475 votes.

    Less than two weeks remains before a winner is declared, and Brevard County residents can vote as many as 10 times a day. The $44.8 million A. Max Brewer Bridge replacement project in Titusville was named among 10 top highway transportation projects across the nation going head to head in a competition to determine which projects earn the "Best in the Nation" title.

    The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced the bridge among 10 finalists in its 2012 America's Transportation Awards competition. The finalists also include Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada and Virginia.

    Here's how the other state projects stack up in the vote count: Kentucky, 14,356; Missouri, 11,233; Iowa, 7,844; Virginia, 5,157; Maryland, 3,847; Massachusetts, 3,031; Louisiana, 2,310; and Nevada, 2,217.

    The 10 finalists received the highest number of overall points during four regional contests, representing each part of the country. In all, 49 projects from a record 34 states were judged in three categories: "Ahead of Schedule," "Under Budget" and "Best Use of Innovation."

    The finalists are now competing for the America's Transportation Awards' Grand Prize, selected by a panel of judges.The People's Choice Award will be decided by popular vote of the general public. Brevard County residents are encouraged to vote, and can do so up to 10 times a day. Online voting is under way and continues through Friday, Oct. 19, at www.AmericasTransportationAward.org.

    The winners of both the Grand Prize and the People's Choice awards will each receive $10,000, which will be donated by state Departments of Transportation to a charity or scholarship of their choice. Winners will be announced Nov. 18 at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' annual meeting in Pittsburgh.


    September 25, 2012

    Enrollment under way for Naturalist Program focused on Thousand Islands

    COCOA BEACH, Fla. – Enrollment is now open for "Learn About the Thousand Islands," the fourth installment of the Brevard Naturalist Program, which will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Cocoa Beach Public Library.

    Classroom presentations by subject experts will be followed by a paddling trip through Thousand Islands led by biologist Tim Kozusko and naturalist/paddling guide Jim Durocher.

    This workshop is offered to build knowledge of the Thousand Islands, the Indian River Lagoon and the environmental work at Port Canaveral. Cost is $50 if a kayak is needed or $35 if you bring a kayak or canoe. Entry fees will be treated as donations to the Friends of the Thousand Islands to benefit land conservation and passive recreation. Limited to 25 persons. Please register at www.1000Islands.eventbrite.com.

    For more information, contact Program Coordinator Vince Lamb at (321) 258-5168 or vince@vincelamb.com.


    October 05, 2012

    UF/Brevard County Extension Service hosts Youth Science Day Events

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will host 4-H Youth Engineer Environmental Robotic Solutions on 4-H National Youth Science Day this month at Patrick Air Force Base and Walter Butler Community Center.

    On Wednesday, Oct. 10, millions of young people across the nation will become scientists for the day during the fifth annual 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD). This event seeks to spark an early youth interest in science and future science careers, and to reclaim the nation's position of leadership in scientific exploration. Youths will participate in the 4-H Eco-Bot Challenge: the 2012 National Science Experiment.

    Two sites in Brevard County will be hosting this experiment -- Patrick Air Force Base on Oct. 10, and Walter Butler Community Center on Oct. 15 and 16. For more information, contact Vanessa Spero-Swingle at (321) 633-1702, ext 231.

    Designed by The Ohio State University Extension, this year's experiment will introduce youths to robotic engineering concepts as they program a robot to clean up a simulated environmental spill. 4-H'ers will assemble their own Eco-Bots and surface controls to manage an environmental clean-up. Youth will then test the interaction between the Eco-Bot's design features and various surface control configurations to determine the most effective clean-up solution for the simulated spill.

    About 4-H National Youth Science Day: For more than 100 years, 4-H has been at the forefront of teaching youth about science, engineering and technology. Created to combat a shortage of American young people pursuing science college majors and careers, 4-H National Youth Science Day seeks to spark an early youth interest and leadership in science.

    This year's 4-H National Youth Science Day is jointly sponsored Lockheed Martin, Toyota, Donaldson Filtration Solutions, Motorola, Walmart and John Deere.


    October 04, 2012

    USDA: Conservation Assistance and Funding Opportunities Available

    COCOA, Fla. — If you are in commercial agriculture (rancher / grower) you may qualify for funding assistance through our programs listed below.

    The application process for 2008 Farm Bill conservation programs is continuous, but funding selections are only made once a year. The Florida NRCS application cutoff date for consideration for Federal Fiscal Year 2013 funds is Nov. 16. Cost share funding is available to eligible applicants for the following Farm Bill programs:

    • The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a conservation program that provides financial and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers who face threats to soil, water, air, and related natural resources on their land. Through EQIP, NRCS develops contracts with agricultural producers to voluntarily implement conservation practices. Persons engaged in livestock or agricultural production and owners of non–industrial private forestland are eligible for the program. Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pastureland, private non–industrial forestland, and other farm or ranch lands.
    • The Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) provides technical and financial assistance to private landowners and Tribes to restore, protect, and enhance wetlands in exchange for retiring eligible land from agriculture.
    Additional information on NRCS, conservation assistance, and programs is available on its website at www.fl.nrcs.usda.gov or at the Cocoa Field Office, phone David Millard at (321) 633–1702 ext.241 or send me an email at david.millard@fl.usda.gov.

    USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250–9410 or call (800) 795–3272 (voice) or (202) 720–6382 (TDD).


    October 04, 2012

    Brevard County Fire Rescue Urges Residents to "Have Two Ways Out!" During Fire Prevention Week

    (Brevard County, FL) – If you woke up to a fire in your home, how much time do you think you would have to get to safety? According to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), one–third of Americans households who made and estimate they thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening. Unfortunately, the time available is often less.

    That's why Brevard County Fire Rescue is teaming up with NFPA during Fire Prevention Week, October 7–13, 2012, to urge residents to "Have Two Ways Out!" This year's theme focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice.

    In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to 369,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 13,350 civilian injuries, 2,640 civilian deaths, and $6.9 billion in direct damage.

    "One home structure fire was reported every 85 seconds in 2010," says Fire Marshal Frank Scates. "Fire is unpredictable and moves faster than most people realize. Having a tried and true escape plan with two ways is essential to ensuring your family's safety should fire break out in your home."

    Brevard County Fire Rescue recommends the following tips for planning your family's escape:

    • Make a map of your home. Mark a door and a window that can be used to get out of every room.
    • Choose a meeting place outside in front of your home. This is where everyone can meet once they've escaped.
    Draw a picture of your outside meeting place on your escape plan.
    • Write the emergency telephone number for the fire department on your escape plan.
    • Have a grown–up sound the smoke alarm and practice your escape plan with everyone living in your home.
    • Keep your escape plan on the refrigerator and remind grown–ups to have your family practice the plan twice a year or whenever anyone in your home celebrates a birthday.
    BCFR fire prevention experts will be hosting activities at two locations during Fire Prevention Week to promote "Have Two Ways Out!" Through these educational, family–oriented activities, residents can learn more about the importance of fire escape planning and practice, as well as the power of prevention.

    Locations and times for the exhibits are:

    Merritt Square Mall (near the food court), 777 E. Merritt Island Causeway, Merritt Island

    • Friday, October 5th 4:00 PM to 8:30 PM
    • Saturday, October 6th 10:00 AM to 8:30 PM
    • Sunday, October 7th 12:00 PM to 5:30 PM
    Super Flea and Farmer's Market, 4835 W. Eau Gallie Boulevard, Melbourne
    • Saturday, October 20th 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
    • Sunday, October 21st 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
    In addition to static displays and giveaways, fire prevention experts will conduct live fire demonstrations at each location. The demonstrations will give onlookers the opportunity to see a fire how quickly a fire can develop from its beginning stage to total room involvement. A second fire, ignited in an identical room equipped with fire sprinklers, will illustrate the advantages of home and commercial sprinkler systems in preventing fire development and damage, as well as providing valuable time for occupants to escape to safety.

    Live fire burns will take place at both locations listed above at the following times:

    • Merritt Square Mall (near the Cobb Theater entrance) – Saturday, October 6th, 1:00 PM
    • Super Flea and Farmer's Market – Saturday, October 20th, 1:00 PM
    To find out more about Fire Prevention Week programs and activities in Brevard County, please contact the BCFR Fire Prevention Bureau at 321–633–2056. To learn more about "Have Two Ways Out!", visit NFPA's Web site at www.firepreventionweek.org.


    October 03, 2012

    Space Coast Area Transit Sets Ridership Record

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Preliminary ridership numbers for Space Coast Area Transit, Brevard's Public Transportation System, indicate 2,060,000 passenger boardings occurred on its fixed–route buses for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2012. That represents a 12 percent increase in ridership over Fiscal Year 2011, and the 20th consecutive year of ridership gains. Fiscal Year 2012 productivity of 25.52 passengers per hour of service is also a record.

    Both the State Road 520 and A1A corridors remain as the service areas with the most passenger boardings. The Palm Bay/Melbourne area shows the largest growth in the system, along with the most productive route in the County between US192 and Palm Bay Road.

    "It's quite an amazing accomplishment," said Transit Services Director Jim Liesenfelt, "especially when you realize that we passed the one–million boarding plateau just five years ago. It shows you how hard our employees work every day to provide needed transportation to our customers."

    Space Coast Area Transit's fixed route service operates 23 buses on 16 routes Monday through Friday, 14 routes on Saturday and 3 routes operating on Sunday. All transit buses are wheelchair–lift equipped.

    For more detailed information and exact time schedules, visit www.RideSCAT.com or contact customer service representatives at (321) 633–1878. Space Coast Area Transit has a trip planner on its RideSCAT.com website to assist passengers with transportation needs. Passengers can access a map and text directions from their front door, to the closest bus stop, to their final destination and back again.


    October 03, 2012

    Brevard County Fire Rescue Open House Announcement for National Fire Prevention Week

    (Brevard County, FL)– In honor of National Fire Prevention Week, Brevard County Fire Rescue (BCFR) will once again host county–wide open houses at each of its fire stations from Sunday, October 7th through Saturday, October 13th. Each station will be open to the public from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. each day.

    This year's National Fire Prevention Week safety message is "Have 2 Ways Out!" and focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice.

    During the open houses, the public will have an opportunity to create an escape plan for their home, tour their local BCFR fire/EMS station, get an up–close look at apparatus and equipment, and meet the crews that serve their community.

    For the location of your local BCFR station or for additional information, please contact Brevard County Fire Rescue's Fire Prevention Bureau at 321–633–2056 or visit our website at www.brevardfire.com.


    October 02, 2012

    Gap narrows, but A. Max Brewer Bridge leads in transportation award votes

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– A. Max Brewer Bridge, a Top 10 Finalist in a "Best in the Nation" transportation project competition, continues its stronghold in the national vote count, but a project in California has collected 17,000 votes in the past week to narrow the gap, according to the latest figures provided by Florida's Department of Transportation.

    Less than two weeks remains before a winner is declared, and Brevard County residents can vote as many as 10 times a day. The $44.8 million A. Max Brewer Bridge replacement project in Titusville was named among 10 top highway transportation projects across the nation going head to head in a competition to determine which projects earn the "Best in the Nation" title.

    The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced the bridge among 10 finalists in its 2012 America's Transportation Awards competition. The finalists included projects in California, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada and Virginia.

    According to the latest vote county, A. Max Brewer Bridge has collected 42,401 votes. Here's how other state projects are stacking up in the vote count: California, 30,691; Kentucky, 10,555; Missouri, 9,311; Iowa, 7,390; Virginia, 4,655; Massachusetts, 2,243; Louisiana, 2,145; Nevada, 1,957; and Maryland, 1,509.

    The 10 finalists received the highest number of overall points during four regional contests, representing each part of the country. In all, 49 projects from a record 34 states were judged in three categories: "Ahead of Schedule," "Under Budget" and "Best Use of Innovation."

    The finalists are now competing for the America's Transportation Awards' Grand Prize, selected by a panel of judges.The People's Choice Award will be decided by popular vote of the general public. Brevard County residents are encouraged to vote, and can do so up to 10 times a day. Online voting is under way and continues through Friday, Oct. 19, at www.AmericasTransportationAward.org.

    The winners of both the Grand Prize and the People's Choice awards will each receive $10,000, which will be donated by state Departments of Transportation to a charity or scholarship of their choice. Winners will be announced Nov. 18 at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' annual meeting in Pittsburgh.

    In its recognition of the A. Max Brewer Bridge replacement project, AASHTO wrote: "Florida Department of Transportation spent $44.8 million to replace the aging, structurally deficient A. Max Brewer Bridge while paying special attention to the environmental impacts and cutting down on congestion for drivers by installing a higher fixed span bridge instead of the swing bridge."


    October 02, 2012

    Free Movie in the Park, 'Monster House,' part of Chain of Lakes Fall Festival

    TITUSVILLE, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, will host a fall festival, including a free Movie in the Park, at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at Chain of Lakes Complex, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, in Titusville.

    Activities will include a costume contest, children's games, trunk n' treat, hay ride, face painting and a movie in the park. The movie, 'Monster House' rated PG, will be shown on a giant, 23–foot, outdoor movie screen beginning at 8 p.m. There will be a minimal fee for the hay ride.

    Patrons are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, food and drinks to enjoy during the movie. Concessions will be available for purchase. Call Mike Herman at (321) 264–5105 for additional information.


    October 02, 2012

    Reminder: Voter Registration Deadline for General Election is Oct. 9

    VIERA, Fla. — Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 5 p.m. is the deadline to register to vote for the Nov. 6 General Election. Voter Registration Applications received after Oct. 9 will be processed, but those voters will not be eligible to vote on Nov. 6. The General Election is open to all voters regardless of their political party affiliation.

    "The General Election ballot is a lengthy two–page (4–sided) ballot that includes 11 proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution," Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott said. "Voters may wish to make their mail box their ballot box and vote by mail."

    Mail/Absentee Ballots can be requested by calling (321) 633–2127 or by visiting www.VoteBrevard.com.

    Voter Registration Applications are available at all five Election Offices and on the VoteBrevard.com website. For more information on registering to vote or the General Election, call (321) 633–2124 or visit www.VoteBrevard.com. Information is also available via Twitter at www.twitter.com/VoteBrevard.


    October 01, 2012

    Brevard County Firefighters Wear Pink to Promote Breast Cancer Awareness

    Cancer awareness – Brevard firefighters
    Brevard County firefighters are trading in their blue shirts for pink
    in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
    Brevard County firefighters are trading in their blue shirts for pink in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For the entire month of October, Brevard County Fire Rescue (BCFR) has teamed with the Brevard County Professional Firefighters (BCPFF) Benevolent Association to raise awareness for the fight against breast cancer by allowing members to purchase and wear the pink shirts in place of their normal duty shirts.

    The shirts feature the benevolent logo on the front with "Brevard Fire– We Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month" on the back. The BCPFF will donate all funds raised by the sale of the shirts to the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) which is once again working with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure to offer the "Passionately Pink for the Cure" program for October 2012.

    According to www.breastcancer.org, about 1 in 8 U.S. women (just under 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. In 2011, an estimated 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 57,650 new cases of non–invasive breast cancer. In men the number of new cases of invasive breast cancer was expected to be about 2,140.


    October 01, 2012

    Business sponsors sought for Fall Festival events at Chain of Lakes Park

    TITUSVILLE, Fla. –– Brevard County Parks and Recreation will host a Fall Festival in north Brevard beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at Chain of Lakes Complex, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, in Titusville. The festival will include a costume contest, kids games, hay ride, face painting, trunk n' treat and a movie in the park.

    North Area Parks Operations is seeking sponsorship from local businesses to take part in the trunk n' treat portion of this event. Local businesses can promote their organization by providing and handing out candy to children participating in the event.

    For more information on sponsorship or to preregister for this event, contact Mike Herman by email at mike.herman@brevardparks.com or by phone at (321) 264–5105.


    September 28, 2012

    Space Coast Area Transit starts evening service Oct. 1 on Titusville Route 2

    COCOA, Fla. – Thanks to a monetary contribution from the City of Titusville and a 100 percent match in federal operating funds, Space Coast Area Transit will begin providing evening service on Route 2 in North Brevard until 8 p.m. on weekdays and until 6 p.m. on Saturdays, beginning Monday, Oct.1. The Titusville Wal–Mart is already a popular stop on the route, and now the Target on State Road 405 has been added.

    Searstown Mall on U.S. 1 and Country Club Drive have been established as a new transfer point, allowing Route 2 passengers to connect with Route 5, which provides service to locations such as Parrish Medical Center, Brevard Community College's Titusville campus, Mims and Scottsmoor. Passengers can also connect at Searstown Mall to countywide Route 1, which travels between Titusville and Melbourne.

    "The extended hours allow Route 2 to transport employees to and from work," said Jim Liesenfelt, director of Space Coast Area Transit. "Additionally, we are confident that adding Searstown Mall as a transfer point will increase the on–time performance of Route 1. Searstown Mall has been very welcoming and we're excited to be there," he said.

    Updated maps and schedules for Routes 1, 2 and 5 can be printed from RideSCAT.com starting Saturday, Sept. 29. For personalized service or maps by mail, call (321) 633–1878.


    September 28, 2012

    Free Kid's Wetland Festival to be held Oct. 6 in Viera

    VIERA, Fla. – Brevard County Natural Resources Management will hold its first Kid's Wetland Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands, also known as the Viera Wetland, 10000 West Wickham Road.

    Children will learn about the value of wetlands while enjoying hands–on activities. Activities offered include archeology, invasive species, butterfly host plants, feeding habits of birds, snakes, turtles and alligators, Japanese fish printing (Gyotaku), a pirate treasure hunt, boat building and a special tour of the South Central Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant. Most activities are one–half hour in duration.

    The event is sponsored by the Brevard County Natural Resources Management Office, Utility Services Department and the Friends of Viera Wetlands.

    Music will entertain attendees as they progress through the activity stations and food will be available for purchase. The event is free to the public.


    September 26, 2012

    Voter Registration Deadline for General Election is Oct. 9

    VIERA, Fla. –– Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 5 p.m. is the deadline to register to vote for the Nov. 6 General Election. Voter Registration Applications received after Oct. 9 will be processed, but those voters will not be eligible to vote on Nov. 6. The General Election is open to all voters regardless of their political party affiliation.

    "The General Election ballot is a lengthy two–page (4–sided) ballot that includes 11 proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution," Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott said. "Voters may wish to make their mail box their ballot box and vote by mail."

    Mail/Absentee Ballots can be requested by calling (321) 633–2127 or by visiting www.VoteBrevard.com.

    Voter Registration Applications are available at all five Election Offices and on the VoteBrevard.com website. For more information on registering to vote or the General Election, call (321) 633–2124 or visit www.VoteBrevard.com. Information is also available via Twitter at www.twitter.com/VoteBrevard.


    September 25, 2012

    A. Max Brewer Bridge leads in votes for nationwide transportation award

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– A. Max Brewer Bridge, a Top 10 Finalist in a "Best in the Nation" transportation project competition, is leading in the national vote count by an impressive 5–to–1 margin, according to Florida's Department of Transportation.

    But the voting is far from over. The $44.8 million A. Max Brewer Bridge replacement project in Titusville was recently named among 10 top highway transportation projects across the nation going head to head in a competition to determine which projects earn the title of "Best in the Nation."

    The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced the bridge among 10 finalists in its 2012 America's Transportation Awards competition. The finalists included projects in California, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada and Virginia.

    According to the latest vote county, A. Max Brewer Bridge has collected 29,699 votes. It's closest competitor is Missouri with 6,452 votes.

    The 10 finalists received the highest number of overall points during four regional contests, representing each part of the country. In all, 49 projects from a record 34 states were judged in three categories: "Ahead of Schedule;" "Under Budget;" and "Best Use of Innovation."

    The finalists are now competing for the America's Transportation Awards' Grand Prize, selected by a panel of judges.The People's Choice Award will be decided by popular vote of the general public. Brevard County residents are encouraged to vote, and can do so up to 10 times a day. Online voting is under way and continues through Friday, Oct. 19, at www.AmericasTransportationAward.org.

    The winners of both the Grand Prize and the People's Choice awards will each receive $10,000, which will be donated by state Departments of Transportation to a charity or scholarship of their choice. Winners will be announced Nov. 18 at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' annual meeting in Pittsburgh.

    "This is a project that we fought for long and hard and which is saving us a lot of money now. It has become a significant feature in the Titusville downtown area attracting tourists, birders, joggers, fisherman, shrimpers, etc.," said John Denninghoff, director of Brevard County Public Works. "It is impressive that the project has resulted in the recognition it has and regardless of any other honors it might get, this was and is a great project and all involved should be proud of the lasting outcome of this service to the public."

    In its recognition of the A. Max Brewer Bridge replacement project, AASHTO wrote: "Florida Department of Transportation spent $44.8 million to replace the aging, structurally deficient A. Max Brewer Bridge while paying special attention to the environmental impacts and cutting down on congestion for drivers by installing a higher fixed span bridge instead of the swing bridge."


    September 25, 2012

    North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation meets Oct. 11

    TITUSVILLE, Fla.––The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation will hold its next monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Ave. in Titusville.

    One or more members of Titusville City Council and the following committees may be present: Causeway Improvements Referendum Committee, Equestrian Trails & Facilities Referendum Committee, and the Mims–Scottsmoor Community Center Referendum Committee. The public is invited.

    The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center–North.

    For questions, call Terry Lane at (321) 264–5105.


    September 25, 2012

    'Cheersnastics' classes start Oct. 10 at Port St. John Community Center

    PORT ST. JOHN, Fla.––Cheernastics classes are beginning Oct. 10 at Port St. John Community Center, 6650 Corto Road, in Port St. John.

    These cheerleading and gymnastics classes will be held from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays for participants ages 5–12 years. The cost is $20 per month.

    This class is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations. For more information, call (321) 633–1904.


    September 25, 2012

    Lunch with Nature program focuses on 'The World of Waste'

    TITUSVILLE, Fla.–– Learn what's new and what happens to your garbage after it's picked up during the monthly Lunch with Nature program at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, 444 Columbia Blvd., Titusville.

    The topic for the luncheon will be "The World of Waste," presented by Hillary Arena of Brevard County's Department of Solid Waste Management.

    The program will be held at noon Tuesday, Oct. 16. Lunch with Nature is held the third Tuesday of the month with speakers who cover topics of interest for residents living along the East Coast. Topics include conservation, water management, historical sites, plants, sea turtles and other areas of interest. There is no fee for this program and participants provide their own lunch.

    This program is offered by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations and The Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Contact Andrea Chestnut at (321) 264–5105 for more information.


    September 19, 2012

    American Kenpo Karate classes offered at Sandrift Community Center

    TITUSVILLE, Fla.—American Kenpo Karate classes are being offered at Sandrift Community Center, 585 North Singleton Avenue in Titusville.

    Classes, beginning on Oct. 3, will be held on Wednesday afternoons. The cost is $30 per month for four sessions.

    This classes are sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations. To register or for further information, call (321) 264–5037. September 19, 2012

    Food vendors sought for 19th Annual Fox Lake Christmas Festival of Crafts

    TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Brevard County Parks and Recreation, North Area, is accepting applications for food vendors for the 19th Annual Fox Lake Christmas Festival Of Crafts.

    Vendors can obtain applications at the North Area Parks Operations Office, 475 North Williams Ave., in Titusville, or by email at jill.hill@brevardparks.com beginning Monday, Sept. 24. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The deadline for receipt of completed applications is 4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 19.

    Selected vendors will be notified by Friday, Oct. 26. Vendor selection is based on, but not limited to, application submittal date, price of product(s) to the public, proper licensing, and appropriateness of the product(s) to the nature of the event. Special consideration is given to not–for–profit service organizations. The county reserves the right to limit vendors to one or two vendors per product.

    There is no cost to submit an application. A $50 plus tax, non–refundable, special event fee, is due from selected vendors by Friday, Nov. 9. The festival will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 17 at Fox Lake Park, 4400 Fox Lake Road, Titusville. Call (321) 264–5105 for additional information on this and other recreation programs sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in North Brevard.


    September 18, 2012

    October is 'Fossil Month' at Sams House at Pine Island

    MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – The Sams House at Pine Island will offer a variety of free activities throughout October as part of "Fossil Month."
    • Ice Age Hike, 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Oct. 6: Enjoy a two–mile guided hike along one of the most beautiful hiking trails in the county. Hikers must be prepared for uneven terrain. Discover where Ice Age fossils were found and discuss what Florida was like 20,000 years ago.
    • Owl Prowl, 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 12: Back by popular demand. Join the search for resident barred owls and other creatures of the night along the 1/2–mile hammock loop trail. Limited to 20 participants. Reservations required. Call Katrina at (321) 432–3231 or email katrina.morrell@brevardparks.com.
    • Fossil Fish, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 13: Sturgeons have changed little over the past 200 million years. Mike Randall with the U.S. Geological Survey will discuss the biology of these unique fish and how Native Americans, pioneers, and commercial fisheries have historically exploited them.
    • Florida Fossils Display, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 13: Central Florida Fossils owner David Celli will set up a display of Florida fossils spanning the past 10 million years.
    • From Ice Age Megafauna to Ancient Peoples of Pine Island, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 20: Mastodons and giant ground sloths once called Pine Island home. See a presentation on these Ice Age megafauna and then take a short walk to the Indian Burial mound on site where we'll discuss the ancient people who lived here.
    • Appalachian Trails and Tales, 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 27: Rex and Colleen Derin will share their gear and many humorous stories from their adventures hiking the Appalachian Trail. Don't miss the return of this fantastic presentation.
    The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and managed by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. It is located at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half–mile west of State Road 3. The Center is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours of the cabin and the adjacent 1888 home are offered every Thursday at 3 p.m. For more information, call (321) 449–4720.


    September 18, 2012

    Repairs to begin next week on collapsed culvert on Windover Way in Titusville

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Work to replace a collapsed metal culvert on Windover Way, between Quail Trail and Canal Ridge Drive in Titusville, is targeted to begin next week and should take about a month to complete, Public Works Director John Denninghoff said Tuesday.

    Denninghoff said the collapsed metal culvert, estimated between 20 to 30 years old, will be replaced with a concrete culvert that has a life expectancy of 50–plus years. The project will cost an estimated $150,000, he said.

    Windover Way crosses Addison Canal in unincorporated Titusville. The culvert caved under the weight of a Public Works mower just before noon on Monday. There were no injuries reported.

    Both lanes of Windover Way at that location will remain closed until the project is completed. All residents of Windover Titusville can still gain access to their property. Residents located on or south of Quail Trail (south of the road closure) can gain access utilizing State Road 50 and Windover Way. Traffic control signs will be installed to assist the motoring public.


    September 11, 2012

    Space Coast Area Transit expands service hours in Titusville

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Effective Monday, Oct. 1, Space Coast Area Transit will begin extended hours for Route 2 in Titusville, starting at 6:17 a.m. and operating until 7:55 p.m. The extended service is made possible by funding from the City of Titusville and the Federal Transit Administration.

    Other enhancements to Route 2 include moving the transfer point from the Titusville Government Center to Searstown Mall, where it will connect with Route 1 and Route 5.

    For more detailed information and exact time schedule changes, visit www.RideSCAT.com or contact customer service representatives at (321) 633–1878. Space Coast Area Transit has a trip planner on its RideSCAT.com website to assist passengers with their transportation needs. Passengers can access a map and text directions from their front door to the closest bus stop, to their final destination, and back again.


    September 11, 2012

    A. Max Brewer Bridge project finalist for nationwide transportation award

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– The $44.8 million A. Max Brewer Bridge replacement project in Titusville is among 10 top highway transportation projects across the nation going head to head in a competition to determine which projects earn the title of "Best in the Nation."

    The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced the bridge among 10 finalists in its 2012 America's Transportation Awards competition. The finalists included projects in California, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada and Virginia.

    The 10 finalists received the highest number of overall points during four regional contests, representing each part of the country. In all, 49 projects from a record 34 states were judged in three categories: "Ahead of Schedule," "Under Budget" and "Best Use of Innovation."

    The finalists are now competing for the America's Transportation Awards' Grand Prize, selected by a panel of judges.The People's Choice Award will be decided by popular vote of the general public. Brevard County residents are encouraged to vote, and can do so up to 10 times a day. Online voting is under way and continues through Friday, Oct. 19, at www.AmericasTransportationAward.org.

    The winners of both the Grand Prize and the People's Choice awards will each receive $10,000, which will be donated by state Departments of Transportation to a charity or scholarship of their choice. Winners will be announced Nov. 18 at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' annual meeting in Pittsburgh.

    "This is a project that we fought for long and hard and which is saving us a lot of money now. It has become a significant feature in the Titusville downtown area attracting tourists, birders, joggers, fisherman, shrimpers, etc.," said John Denninghoff, director of Brevard County Public Works. "It is impressive that the project has resulted in the recognition it has and regardless of any other honors it might get, this was and is a great project and all involved should be proud of the lasting outcome of this service to the public."

    In its recognition of the A. Max Brewer Bridge replacement project, AASHTO wrote: "Florida Department of Transportation spent $44.8 million to replace the aging, structurally deficient A. Max Brewer Bridge while paying special attention to the environmental impacts and cutting down on congestion for drivers by installing a higher fixed span bridge instead of the swing bridge."


    September 11, 2012

    Sponsors sought for Movies in the Park series in North Brevard

    COCOA, MIMS, TITUSVILLE, Fla. –– Advertising opportunities are available for Brevard County Parks and Recreation's free Movies in the Park series in North Brevard.

    Sponsorship is open to non–profit, public and private organizations. A minimum of four movies will be shown per year. Sponsors will be advertised prior to the movie on a giant, 23–foot movie screen. The outdoor movies begin at dusk in a selected north area park.

    The events are for all ages and admission is free. For more information on sponsorships and vending, contact Mike Herman at mike.herman@brevardparks.com or (321) 264–5105.


    September 10, 2012

    Florida National Guard conducts joint training exercises in Cocoa Beach

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– The Florida National Guard's 44th Civil Support Team–Weapons of Mass Destruction, based out of Camp Blanding Joint Training Center in Starke, Fla., is conducting training and capability orientation with local and state Emergency Response partners this week in Cocoa Beach.

    The 44th CST, fresh off support to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, will host a myriad of response agencies that include NASA Protective Services Office, Department of Health Environmental Health Strike Team, Patrick Air Force Base Readiness and Emergency Management, Brevard County Emergency Management, Holmes Regional Medical Center, Brevard County Fire Rescue and Cape Canaveral Air Force Emergency Management.

    The relationships forged during these training opportunities are the exact ones that these collective teams will depend on should a weapons of mass destruction event occur in Florida. This training event will focus on techniques, tactics and procedures conducted during a WMD event, but will also provide opportunity for these various teams to exchange best practices, understand strengths and capability gaps and overlaps. Most importantly, the training will plant seeds for long–lasting relationships.

    The 44th Civil Support Team is a 22–person full–time National Guard unit comprised of both Army and Air Guard personnel. The team remains postured to support local, state and federal partners in the state, FEMA region and nationally. Its mission is to identify unknown hazards, assess their effects, advise on protective measures and assist in the request for follow on forces. Its mantra is "always ready."


    September 07, 2012

    Food vendors sought for 'Movie Night In The Park' series in North Brevard

    COCOA, MIMS, TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Brevard County Parks and Recreation, North Area, is accepting applications for food vendors for the Movie Night in the Park series.

    Vendors will be chosen for the entire movie series, which runs from October through April, and will be expected to attend all movie events. Movies will be shown on a giant 23–foot movie screen.

    Vendors may obtain applications at the North Area Parks Operations Office, 475 North Williams Ave., in Titusville beginning Monday, Sept. 10. Applications are accepted 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The deadline for receipt of completed applications is 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28.

    Selected vendors will be notified by Monday, Oct. 8. Vendor selection is based on, but not limited to, application submission date, price of product(s) to the public, proper licensing, and appropriateness of the product(s) to the nature of the event. Special consideration is given to not–for–profit service organizations. The county reserves the right to limit vendors to one or two vendors per product.

    There is no cost to submit an application. Upon selection as a vendor of this series, a non–refundable $50 plus tax fee per movie event is required. Fees are due for the first movie event by Friday, Oct. 19.

    The first movie in the series will be held on Oct. 27, with remaining movie dates to be announced. Contact Mike Herman at (321) 264–5105, or by email at mike.herman@brevardparks.com for additional information on this and other recreation programs sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in North Brevard.


    September 07, 2012

    SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans deadline looms

    ATLANTA, Ga. – The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private non–profit organizations of all sizes that Oct. 9 is the application deadline for federal economic injury disaster loans available in Florida as a result of excessive rain, flooding and high winds on Oct. 7–9, 2011.

    The SBA's disaster declaration includes the following counties: Brevard, Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, Osceola and Saint Lucie in Florida. "When the Sec

    retary of Agriculture issues a disaster declaration to help farmers recover from damages and losses to crops, the Small Business Administration issues a declaration help to eligible entities affected by the same disaster," said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA's Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.

    Under this declaration, the SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to eligible farm–related and nonfarm–related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster. With the exception of aquacultural enterprises, agricultural producers, farmers and ranchers are not eligible to apply to SBA.

    The loan amount can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 3 percent for private non–profit organizations of all sizes and 4 percent for small businesses, with terms up to 30 years. The SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition. These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.

    Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA's secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

    Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at 800–659–2955 (800–877–8339 for the deaf and hard–of–hearing) or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Loan applications can be downloaded from www.sba.gov. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

    Completed loan applications must be returned to SBA no later than Oct. 9, 2012.


    September 07, 2012

    Registration under way for Men's Flag Football League in North Brevard

    CANAVERAL GROVES, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, is hosting a Men's Flag Football League beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, at Space Coast Communities Sports Complex, 662 Canaveral Groves Boulevard.

    The fee of $492 per team is due by 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12, at the North Area Parks Operations Office, 475 North Williams Ave. in Titusville.

    To register or for information on other athletic activities in North Brevard, contact Mike Herman at (321) 264–5105.


    September 05, 2012

    Commissioners OK new director appointments for Libraries, Extension Service

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Jeff Thompson, who has worked in Brevard County libraries since 1994, has been promoted to Brevard County's new Director of Library Services, and Linda Seal, who joined the county extension service in 2006, has been named director of the University of Florida/Brevard County Extension Service.

    Both appointments were confirmed this week by unanimous vote of the Board of County Commissioners.

    Thompson, formerly area director for Brevard County north libraries, was promoted following a nationwide search for a replacement for Cathy Schweinsberg, who is retiring later this month after 14 years as Library Services Director. Thompson will oversee 17 libraries and a staff of more than 260 full– and part–time employees.

    Seals joined the extension service six years ago as a commercial horticultural extension agent. As director of the UF/Brevard Extension Service, she'll oversee a staff of 15 employees.


    September 05, 2012

    County residents urged to protect themselves against mosquito–borne illness

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– West Nile Virus has been reported in some areas of the United States. A few human cases of West Nile infection and several positive sentinel chickens have been reported in North and West Florida. Currently, no human cases have been reported in Brevard County this year. Our Sentinel Chicken Flocks have tested negative for the West Nile Virus.

    Brevard County Health Department and Brevard County Mosquito Control are urging residents to protect themselves against mosquito–borne illness.

    Stop mosquitoes from living and multiplying around your home or business. Protect yourself from mosquito's bites and the diseases they carry by following the below recommendations:

    Drain standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.

    • DRAIN: water from garbage cans, house gutters, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected.
    • DISCARD: Old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren't being used.
    • EMPTY and CLEAN: Birdbaths and pet's water bowls at least once or twice a week.
    • PROTECT: Boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don't accumulate water.
    • MAINTAIN: The water balance (pool chemistry) of swimming pools. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
    Cover your skin with clothing and use mosquito repellent.
    • CLOTHING: If you must be outside when mosquitoes are active, cover up. Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long sleeves
    • REPELLENT: Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are effective. Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months.
    Cover doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out.
    • Keep mosquitoes out of your house. Repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches, and patios.
    For more information see the: CDC's guidelines: www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile.


    September 04, 2012

    Brevard County animal shelters in need of food donations

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Brevard County animal shelters are in need of help in feeding all the hungry homeless pets in the county's shelters.

    Both the North and South Animal Care Centers are filled to capacity. County residents are asked to make food donations and to consider buying an extra bag or can of pet food while at the grocery store this week to donate to the shelters.

    Donations can be dropped off at the South Animal Care Center (SACC,) 5100 West Eau Gallie Blvd. (just west of Interstate 95 and the Super Flea Market in Melbourne) or the North Animal Care Center (NACC,) 2605 Flake Road (north end of Dunn Airport in Titusville).

    For more information, contact SACC at (321) 253–6608 or NACC at (321) 264–5119 or visit www.brevardcounty.us/animalservices.


    September 04, 2012

    Transportation Disadvantaged Services Board sets Sept. 10 public meeting

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– The Brevard County Local Coordinating Board for Transportation Disadvantaged Services, established by Chapter 427 of the Florida Statutes, will meet at 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10, at the Merritt Island Library Meeting Room, 1195 N. Courtenay Parkway, Merritt Island.

    This meeting was rescheduled from Aug. 27. Questions pertaining to this meeting should be directed to James Liesenfelt at (321) 635–7815 or e–mail at Jim.Liesenfelt@brevardcounty.us.

    If a person desires to appeal any decision made by this board, agency, or commission with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of the proceedings and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which such appeal is to be based.

    In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, F.S., persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notice the Transit Services Department no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting at 635–7815 ext. 601.


    Wildfire preparedness checklist.
    Wildfire Survival Checklist
    Click for printable list.
    August 30, 2012

    Rain Barrel Workshops offered in Rockledge in September

    ROCKLEDGE, Fla. –– Residents interested in putting rainwater to use in their landscapes and gardens will have the opportunity to create their own rain barrels at workshops in September.

    The workshops will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, Sept. 21, and Saturday, Sept. 29, at Rockledge Gardens, 2153 U.S. Highway 1, in Rockledge.

    Participants will learn about the benefits of collecting rain while enjoying hands–on construction of 55–gallon rain barrels. The workshop is sponsored by University of Florida Brevard County Extension, Brevard County Natural Resources Management Office, University of Central Florida Stormwater Academy, and Community Matters, Inc.

    The rain barrel kit includes the 55–gallon barrel, faucet, flexible downspout extender, leaf filter, and a DVD of instructions for building, installing, and painting the barrel. Cost for the rain barrel kit is $45, paid by cash or check at the door.

    Seating is limited and pre–registration is required. To ensure that all materials are available; open–top or closed–top barrel should be specified.

    To pre–register for the workshop, call Elizabeth Melvin at (321) 633–2016 ext 56721, e–mail elizabeth.melvin@brevardcounty.us, or register online at www.brevstorm.org/calendar.cfm.


    August 30, 2012

    NFL's Punt, Pass and Kick competition to be held Sept. 23 in Merritt Island

    MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – The NFL's Punt, Pass and Kick competition, hosted by Brevard County Central Area Parks and Recreation, will be held on Sunday, Sept. 23, at Kelly Park West, 2455 North Banana River Drive, Merritt Island.

    Registration starts at 9:30 a.m. and the competition begins at 10 a.m. The NFL Pump, Pass, and Kick is a free competition open to boys and girls ages 6–15. Birth certificate is required to compete. Sneakers must be worn; no cleats allowed.

    For more information visit www.nfl.ppk.com or contact Don Ingram (321) 455–1380.


    August 30, 2012

    North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation meets Sept. 13

    TITUSVILLE, Fla.—The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation will hold its next monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, in the Brevard Room, 518 South Palm Ave. in Titusville.

    One or more members of Titusville City Council and the following committees may be present: Causeway Improvements Referendum Committee, Equestrian Trails & Facilities Referendum Committee, and the Mims–Scottsmoor Community Center Referendum Committee. The meeting is open to the public.

    The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center–North.

    For questions call Terry Lane at (321) 264–5105.


    August 29, 2012

    Brevard residents can 'zone in' on Parks and Recreation programs

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County Government is going "hyper local" in its efforts to provide county residents with the latest Parks and Recreation programs available in your area.

    The Parks and Recreation public information release category has been updated to include three subcategories: North Area, Central Area, and South Area.

    The North Area encompasses Scottsmoor, Mims, Titusville, Sharpes, Port St. John and Cocoa north of State Road 528.

    The Central Area includes Merritt Island, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach and Rockledge.

    The South Area is comprised of Viera, Satellite Beach, Indian Harbor Beach, Indialantic, Melbourne, Melbourne Beach, West Melbourne, Palm Bay, Malabar, Grant–Valkaria and Micco.

    If you would like to begin receiving Parks and Recreation press releases, simply click on the subscribe button at the bottom of the web page www.brevardcounty.us and subscribe with your email address. For more information, please call (321) 633–2046.


    August 28, 2012

    Sanctuary School part of September activities at the Enchanted Forest

    TITUSVILLE, Fla. –– Music in the Forest and a new Sanctuary School for children and their families are among the many free events planned in September at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary in Titusville.

    MUSIC IN THE FOREST, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, invites families to bring a picnic dinner and enjoy the sights and sounds of the forest along with Florida folk music played live on the screened porch.

    SANCTUARY SCHOOL, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., will be held every second of the month through November. The free Sanctuary School program, for home schoolers ages 6 to 10, includes journaling for beginning naturalists, Sept. 14; hands–on activities focusing on amazing arachnids, Oct. 12; and wild edibles, a look at nature's secret medicines and tasty treats, Nov. 9. Spots are limited and registration is required by the Wednesday prior to the class by calling (321) 264–5185. Adults must accompany children. For more information, contact naturalist Sarah Kraum at sarah.kraum@brevardparks.com.

    Other events in September at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, 444 Columbia Blvd., in Titusville, include:

    • GUIDED NATURE HIKES, 10 a.m. Saturdays: A 45–minute interpretive hike offered every Saturday at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. Bring hat, water and walking shoes. No reservations needed. Groups of five or more, please RSVP.
    • PHOTOGRAPHY CLUB, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Sept. 15: Program for all levels of photography. Reservations are not required.
    • FOREST FUNDAY for children, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sept. 16: Nature program for children and families to help them enjoy the outdoors. Includes a Sanctuary Search (a non–collecting scavenger hunt), an activity and an art project.
    • LUNCH with NATURE, noon to 1 p.m., Sept. 18: Nature program presentation. You may bring your lunch to enjoy during the talk.
    • OYSTER MAT MAKING, noon to 2 p.m., Sept. 26: Come help make oyster mats to restore the oyster beds in the Indian River Lagoon.
    • FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY, 6:30 p.m., Sept. 26.


    August 27, 2012

    Space Coast Area Transit services altered for Labor Day holiday

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Space Coast Area Transit is changing its fixed route bus service for the upcoming Labor Day holiday:
    • Monday, Sept. 3: All fixed routes will not operate.
    • Tuesday, Sept. 4: All fixed route bus service will return to regular schedule.
    Questions or requests for additional information should be directed to the Bus Information Line at (321) 633–1878 (952–4672 for South Mainland residents) or online at www.RideSCAT.com.


    August 26, 2012

    Brevard schools to stay open; caution advised on roadways

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– At this time there are no plans to cancel schools in Brevard County on Monday, a decision based on the latest weather forecasts and the shift west–northwest of Tropical Storm Isaac.

    All drivers, including bus drivers, are encouraged to use caution when traveling today and tomorrow as they may pass through gusty squalls. Extra caution is advised when crossing causeways.

    According to the National Weather Service, it is anticipated Brevard County will experience sustained winds of 20 to 35 mph, and gusts as high as 50 to 55 mph. Rainfall of 3 to 5 inches is expected, but significant flooding is not anticipated.

    Along the coast, rough surf, beach erosion and rip currents are expected.


    August 23, 2012

    Free Movie in the Park on Saturday moved to Walter Butler Community Center

    TITUSVILLE, Fla.— Dr. Seuss' 'The Lorax' will be featured at a free Movie in the Park at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, at Sand Point Park, 101 N. Washington Ave. in Titusville.

    The event is hosted by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area. The movie, which is rated PG, will be shown on a giant, 23–foot, outdoor movie screen. In the event of inclement weather, the movie will be shown at 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26.

    Patrons are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, food and drinks to enjoy during the movie. HOPE of North Brevard will have concessions available for purchase. Call Mike Herman (321) 264–5105 for additional information.


    August 23, 2012

    Waste Management, county landfill operating on normal schedules this week

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– In preparation for the first possible storm impact in Brevard County this year, Waste Management announces that all solid waste services are operating on their normal schedules this week. The Brevard County landfill, mulching facilities, and transfer stations are also operating on normal schedules this week.

    Residents who have concerns about trees or limbs that could potentially threaten persons or property are advised to place their trimmings at the curb on their regular collection day only and that residents only trim where it could pose an imminent threat in a high wind situation.

    Residents are also advised that commercial landscape and tree trimming contractors are required, by Brevard County and municipal ordinances, to haul away any trimmings they generate. It is critically important in periods where high volumes of yard waste are likely that residents ensure their licensed contractor abides by the ordinance requirements.

    Trimmings placed at the curb are required to be cut to the following limits: four feet in length, 24 inches in diameter and no more than 50 pounds in weight. These requirements are necessary to protect collection crews from injury during the collection process.

    Waste Management's Customer Service Center is available during regular business hours at (321) 636–6894 (north Brevard), (321) 723–4455 (south Brevard), and via live chat online at WM.com. Inquiries can also be emailed to CentralFloridaService@wm.com.

    Residents who live in a city that is not serviced by Waste Management should contact their city for more information.


    August 22, 2012

    Sign–up under way for Coed Fall Softball League in North Brevard

    TITUSVILLE, Fla. –– A coed softball league, sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12, at Chain of Lakes Recreational Complex, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, in Titusville.

    The fee of $368 for a 12–game schedule, including a single–elimination tournament, is due by 4 p.m. Monday, Sept 10, at the North Area Parks Operations office at 475 North Williams Avenue in Titusville.

    Call (321) 264–5105 for information on this and other athletic activities in North Brevard.


    August 21, 2012

    Free events planned throughout Brevard for National Public Lands Day

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) Program has planned a number of free events for National Public Lands Day – a nationwide event that encourages people to explore, volunteer, and help support public lands. This year's event takes place on Saturday, Sept. 29.

    Fox Lake Sanctuary Trail Fun Run, 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.: Join EEL staff for guided 4.5–mile trail run. Participants should be comfortable running on a trail with unstable footing and plenty of trip hazards. Don't bring your new running shoes unless you're OK with getting them dirty! Meet at Fox Lake Park, 4400 Fox Lake Road, in Titusville.

    Indian Mound Station Sanctuary Workday, 9:00 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Help pick up trash at this unique and beautiful site. Suitable for ages 10 and up. Meet at Indian Mound Station Sanctuary, 4001 Parrish Road, in Mims.

    Interpretive Hikes at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary: Two hikes, one at 10 a.m. and another at 2 p.m. Each hike focuses on geology and biodiversity. Meet at Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, 444 Columbia Blvd., in Titusville.

    Scrub Jay Walk and Talk at Cruickshank Sanctuary, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.: Meet our resident Florida Scrub Jays as we hike a one–mile loop through Cruickshank Sanctuary. Limited to 15 participants. Call 321–449–4720 or email katrina.morrell@brevardparks.com to reserve a spot.

    Why Conservation Lands Matter slideshow, 11 a.m. to noon: In this presentation, we'll explore the benefits conservation lands provide to animals, plants, and people. At the Sams House at Pine Island, 6195 North Tropical Trail, in Merritt Island.

    Malabar Scrub Sanctuary Trail Mountain Bike Ride, 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.: Two bicycle rides available, an easy, guided 3–mile ride and a more difficult 8–10 mile ride on new single–track trails. Guided ride is limited to 15 people. Participants must bring their own fat–tire bike suitable for off–road riding. To RSVP, call or email Brad Manley at (321) 255–4466 ext. 32 or brad.manley@brevardparks.com.

    Barrier Island Sanctuary Seining, 10 a.m. to noon: Assist Barrier Island Center biologists in using large nets to catch and identify Indian River Lagoon species. All children (ages 5 and up) must be with an adult. Water shoes required. Meet on the Barrier Island Center oceanfront deck at 9:30 a.m. to prepare for departure to the waterfront, 8385 South Highway A1A, Melbourne Beach.

    Barrier Island Sanctuary Kayak Paddle: Two sessions: 9 a.m. or 11 a.m. Paddle and explore with a free, guided kayak tour. Enrollment is limited. Children (ages 5 and up) must paddle tandem with an adult. Call 321–723–3556 to make your reservation by Thursday, Sept. 27.

    To learn more about National Public Lands Day, visit: www.publiclandsday.org. For more about the EEL Program, visit: www.eelbrevard.com.


    August 17, 2012

    Sign–up under way for Women's Fall Softball League in North Brevard

    TITUSVILLE, Fla. –– A women's softball league sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10, at Chain of Lakes Recreational Complex, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, in Titusville.

    The fee of $290 for a nine–game schedule, including a single–elimination tournament, is due by 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, at the North Area Parks Operations office, 475 North Williams Avenue in Titusville.

    Call (321)264–5105 for information on this and other athletic activities in North Brevard.


    August 17, 2012

    North Area Parks to kick off Fall Adult 6v6 Soccer League

    TITUSVILLE, Fla. –– An adult 6 v 6 soccer league sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, will begin at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30, at Space Coast Communities Sports Complex, 662 Canaveral Groves Boulevard in Sharpes.

    A fee of $318 for an eight–game schedule, including a single–elimination tournament, is due by 4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24, at the North Area Parks Operations office, 475 North Williams Avenue in Titusville.

    Call (321) 264–5105 for information on this and other athletic activities in North Brevard.


    August 16, 2012

    Sams House at Pine Island invites residents to Celebrate Public Lands

    MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – The Sams House at Pine Island will offer a variety of free activities in September in celebration of public lands.

    Sounds of the Night: 3 p.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 1: Can you identify the creatures you hear at night? Discover the sounds of the night with this family–friendly slideshow presentation.

    Up From the Ashes: 3 p.m. – 4 p.m., Friday, Sept. 7.: Why is prescribed fire needed? What equipment is used? Get the answers to these questions and more with this slideshow presentation given by EEL Program Fire Manager, Steve McGuffey.

    Brevard's Best Hiking Trails: 3 p.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 8: Take a virtual tour of the best trails in Brevard, including a sneak peak at some of the newest trails in the EEL Sanctuary network.

    Sea Turtles Dig the Dark: 11 a.m. – noon, Saturday, Sept. 15: Nichole Perna, EEL Program Assistant Land Manager for the South Beaches, will give a presentation on the threatened and endangered sea turtles of Brevard County.

    History Garden Tour and Garden Workday: 10 a.m. – noon, Saturday, Sept. 22: Discover how Native Americans and pioneers used native plants for food, medicine, and fiber by Native Americans and pioneers. Then stick around and help weed the garden!

    Historical Monument Tour: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Friday, Sept. 28: This tour includes late 1800s and early 1900s sites throughout