News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
March 07, 2011

Media Contact:
Laura Phillips

Miami-Dade Parks combats childhood obesity, encourages healthy habits and exposes kids to cultural arts and nature in unique camps program

(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- 
Spring time is almost here. This year, get the kids away from the TV and game systems and treat them to fresh air, awesome outdoor activities and the opportunity to make new friends and life-long memories, by enrolling them in one of these exciting "Fit to Play, Green It Up" Summer Camps offered by the Miami-Dade Park and Recreation Department (MDPR) located at more than 40 parks around the County from June 13-August 19. Camps will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and offer an early drop-offs at 7:30 a.m. and late pick-ups until 6:00 p.m.

MDPR's General Camps are affordable, with special discounts and scholarships available to those to who qualify. General Camps will not only thrill and challenge your child, but are fully-supervised, offering Parents peace of mind, while their child enjoys a full recreational schedule, with everything from fitness and sports and arts & crafts, to nature encounters, games and field trips.

MDPR has been running Summer Camp programs since 1957. Together with the University of Miami Health System (UHealth) and the UM Miller School of Medicine, our partner-sponsor of the Fit-to-Play, Green-it-Up general program camp, children will learn the fundamentals of living a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and fitness-exercise education and activities, as well as safety and preventative education. In addition, children will learn about the health benefits of going green as they discover that a healthy planet is essential for a healthy life by learning the basics of recycling, water conservation, and other eco-friendly behaviors that are beneficial for the planet.

There are also Specialized Camps which focus on a specific interest and offer unique experiences that include EcoAdventures™, Nature-Science, Sports, Cultural Arts and Zoo Miami camps. MDPR's Disability Services also offers inclusion programs and specialized camps for those with disabilities,managed by certified therapeutic recreation specialists. Also offerd are Learn-to-Swim programs at most of its parks with pools, taught by American Red Cross-certified water-safety instructors.

General and specialty camps also feature exciting field trips to sites such as Zoo Miami, Crandon Park Visitors and Nature Center, Deering Estate at Cutler, Pelican Island, and Joseph Caleb Auditorium for theatre and film programs. Campers will also enjoy an end-of-summer bash with games, contests and lunch, scheduled for July 26-29 at the Tropical Park Equestrian Center. Most of our camps have rolling registration, so parents can enroll their child for one week or for several weeks at any time throughout the summer, but they must register at least one week prior to the desired start date, in some cases. Prices for summer camps vary. Those with disabilities are welcome in all MDPR programs and should call the program of interest or 305-365-6706 for inclusion information. To register for a MDPR Summer Camp, parents must call the individual camp/ park of interest. A full listing of summer camps follows below. For more information, patrons are encourage to visit the MDPR website at, call their local park, or call 311.

General Camps -- "Fit to Play, Green it Up"

Arcola Park, 1680 NW 87 St., 305-835-7987; Arcola Lakes Park, 1301 NW 83 St., 305-836-5095; Country Village Park, 6550 NW 188 Terr., 305-622-2594; Gwen Cherry Park; (Y.E.T.), 7090 NW 22 Ave., 305-694-4889; Highland Oaks Park, 20459 NE 24 Ave., 305-932-2164; Little River Park, 10525 N.W. 24 Ave, 305-694-5121; * M. L. King, Jr. Park, 6100 NW 32 Ct., 305-633-2044; Norman and Jean Reach Park (P.S.N.), 7901 NW 176 St., 305-823-2414; North Glade Park, 17355 NW 52 Ave., 305-621-2461; Oak Grove Park, 690 NE 159 St., 305-944-8670; ***Ojus Park, 18995 W. Dixie Highway, 305-931-5726; Olinda Park, 2101 NW 51 St., 305-633-4066; and **Soar Park, 120 NW 83 Street, 305-756-4165.

Bird Lakes Park, 14365 SW 48 Lane., 305-207-1644; Continental Park, 10000 SW 82 Ave., 305-274-9666; **Kendale Lakes Park, 7850 SW 142 Ave., 305-385-4750; McMillan Park, 6125 SW 133 Ave., 305-382-6407; North Trail Park, 780 NW 127 Ave., 305-207-2420; Rockway Park, 9460 SW 27 Dr., 305-223-8769; Ron Ehmann Park, 10995 SW 97 Ave., 305-271-3853; Ruben Dario Park, 9825 W. Flagler St., 305-222-2194; Tamiami Park, 10901 SW 24 St., 786-315-5295; Tropical Estates Park, 10201 SW 48 St., 305-226-5782; and Westwind Lakes Park, 6805 SW152 Ave., 305-388-4771.

* Cinco de Mayo Park, 19350 SW 384 St., 305-242-7930; Colonial Drive Park, 10750 SW 156 Terr., 305-233-3045; Deerwood Bonita Lakes Park -- 14445 SW 122 Avenue; 305-235-2053; Devon Aire Park, 10411 SW 122 Ave., 305-270-4951; Eureka Park, 18320 SW 119 Ave., 305-235-2151; Eureka Villas Park, 14301 SW 180 St., 305-254-5856; * Goulds Park, 11350 SW 216 St., 305-255-2399; Hammocks Community Park, 9885 Hammocks Blvd., 305-380-6917; * Leisure Lake Park, 29305 Illinois Rd., 305-248-1527; Modello Park, 28450 SW 152 Ave., 305-247-1553; * Naranja Park, 14150 SW 264 St., 305-258-1945; Sgt. Joseph Delancy Park, 14450 Boggs Dr., 305-235-4503; South Dade Park, 28151 SW 164 Ave., 305-247-9453; Southridge Park, 11250 SW 192 St., 786-293-4549; West Perrine Park, 10301 SW 170 Terr., 305-235-2053; and Wild Lime Park, 14751 Hammocks Blvd., 305-386-0227.

  • * These sites are sponsored by The Children's Trust
  • **These programs are operated by Dade County Sports Foundation
  • ***These programs are operated by the YMCA

Specialty Camps

EcoAdventures™ Nature Adventure Camps for Children & Teens (June 13-August 19)
Boys and girls will have fun exploring the South Florida environment through a variety of fun and exciting activities in a safe park environment ranging from nature hikes on wooded trails, canoeing 9-year olds and older, swimming (guarded pools), playing interactive nature games, arts and crafts, field trips to local park preserves, Zoo Miami, Monkey Jungle, Crandon Park, Shark Valley in Everglades National Park and more. For additional information or to locate an EcoAdventuresâ„¢ Camp near you, visit, or see the below listing and contacts:

Sense of Wonder Nature Center at A.D. Barnes Park
Nature Detectives (Ages 6-8); Nature Explorers (Ages 9-12)
Meets at the AD Barnes Park Nature Center, 3401 SW 72 Ave., Miami; for more information, call 305-662-4124.

Camp Manatee at Greynolds Park (Ages 6-11)
Meets at the boathouse, Greynolds Park, 17530 West Dixie Hwy., N. Miami Beach; for more information, call 305-948-2891/ 305-944-6111.

Eco Explorers at Bill Sadowski Park & Nature Center (Ages 6-8)
Meets at the Nature Center, 17555 SW 79 Ave., Palmetto Bay; for more information, call 305-255-4767.

Camp on the Sea at Matheson Hammock Park (Ages 12-17)
Marine science, South Florida ecology, and aquatic adventures are the focus of this unique camp based at Matheson Hammock Park located on Biscayne Bay. Campers will explore the coastal waters and off-shore coral reefs through snorkeling, kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding activities. Participants must be able to pass a mandatory swim test; June 13--July 8. 9610 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables. For more information, call 305-365-3018.

Camp Kingfisher at Greynolds Park -- New! (Ages 12-16)
Teens who love nature, but crave the thrill of adventure, will enjoy these unique excursions, such as canoeing, paddle boarding, snorkeling, swamp tromps, overnight camp-outs and participate in eco-projects. Fieldtrips (Northern Everglades to the upper Florida Keys) may require additional costs. Participants must pass a mandatory swim test; June 13-August 19. Meets at the boathouse, Greynolds Park,17530 West Dixie Highway, N. Miami Beach. For more information, call 305-948-289/ 305-944-6111.

Fishing Camp (Freshwater) at Tropical Park -- New! (Ages 9-15)
Developed in partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, this camp is designed for kids who love fresh water fishing and want to improve their fishing skills. They'll learn about fish biology, and get fishing tips and instruction in safe boating. There's a "Fish Fry-Day Party" on the last day of camp. July 11-22. Meets at the lake-side pavilion, Tropical Park, 7900 SW 40 St. (Bird Road). For more information, call 305-255-4767/ 305-365-3018.

Camp Cutler Teen Adventure Camp at Bill Sadowski Park -- New! (Ages 12-16)
Teens who want to learn about S. Florida's environment and enjoy adventure treks, will enjoy unique outings with canoeing, kayaking and snorkeling, and participate in eco-projects. Fieldtrips (Northern Everglades to the upper Florida Keys and other Eco-tour sites) may require additional costs. Participants must pass a mandatory swim test; July 25-August 19. Meets at the Nature Center, Bill Sadowski Park, 17555 SW 79 Ave., Palmetto Bay. For more information, call, 305-255-4767.

Camps at the Deering Estate at Cutler

Deering Discovery Camp (Ages 9-11)
Children will learn about history, archeology, and nature by taking part in a series of hands-on activities, including nature hikes, educational environmental projects, a canoe trip to Chicken Key, and participation in an exciting archeological dig, along with other enrichment and recreational activities. Deering Estate at Cutler, 16701 SW 72 Ave. For more information, call 305-235-1668 ext. 233.

Camp Ikana Okee (Ages 12-15)
Camp Ikana Okee (which means sea & land, is an adventure camp where science, education and adventure are the focus, as campers will explore the wonders of the natural and marine world. The mysteries of the oceans are revealed through innovative hands-on activities that take campers above, beside and below the water's surface. Deering Estate at Cutler, 16701 SW 72 Ave. For more information, call 305-235-1668 ext. 233.

Sport Camps

Cheerleading/ Dance Camp (Ages 6-14)
Learn jumps, chants, and modern and jazz dance techniques. Program includes field trips. Tamiami Park, 10901 SW 24 St. For more information, call 786-315-5295
Basketball Camp (Ages 8-14)
Trained staff will teach team and individual play using defensive and offensive drills to improve skills and knowledge of the game. Program includes field trips and tournaments. Tamiami Park, 10901 SW 24 St. For more information, call 786-315-5295.
Football Camp (Ages 9-17)
This is an intensive camp on football fundamentals, including position skill drills, film sessions and 7-on-7 games. Tropical Park, 7900 SW 40 St. For more information, call 305-226-8315, ext. 221.
Golf Camp (Ages 8-15)
Kids will learn the fundamentals of golf. Topics include putting, short games, full swing, bunkers, rules, and etiquette. Resident instructor and golf pro Larry Levow, has been featured on the Golf Channel and has taught golfers of all levels, even some of the world's top PGA Tour players. Camp is Tuesday-Friday, with full and half-day sessions. Students must provide their own lunch. Country Club of Miami, 6801 NW 168 St. For more information call 305-828-8456, Ext. 249.

Cultural Arts Camps

African Heritage Cultural Arts Center Camp (Ages 6-16)
The Summer Arts Academy provides developmental instruction in the visual arts, dance, costume design, musical theatre, Drama, instrumental and vocal music, taught by experienced arts professionals. Included is a Summer Arts Showcase featuring campers at the Joseph Caleb. Offering early drop-offs at 7:30 a.m., and late pick-ups until 6:00 p.m. African Heritage Cultural Arts Center Auditorium, 6161 NW 22 Ave; for more information, call 305-638-6771.
"Raices" Cultural Arts Center Camp (Ages 6-14)
The Summer Arts Camp is structured to cultivate the tradition of valuing culture within the Hispanic communities through classes in dance, music, theatre, visual arts, and folk arts, presented by a distinguished staff of arts professionals. Offering early drop-offs at 7:30 a.m., and late pick-ups until 6:00 p.m. Miller Drive Park, 5510 SW 94 Ct. For more information, call 305-271-0812.
Women's Park Camp (Ages 11-16)
GEM (Girls Empowerment and Mentoring), at Women's Park, focuses on the role of women in
the development of our community and the arts. Participants will enjoy classes and workshops in the visual and performing arts, multimedia (film, computers) and women's history. Offering early drop-offs, 7:30 a.m., and late pick-ups until 6:00 p.m. Women's Park, 10251 W Flagler St. For more information, call 305-480-1717.

MDPR is funded in part by The Children's Trust. The Children's Trust is a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County.

Camp at Zoo Miami

Bank of America Zoofari Summer Camp at Zoo Miami (Ages 4-10)
Bank of America Zoofari Summer Camp will be held Monday, June 20-Friday, August 5. This fun-filled learning adventure for children includes live animal presentations, craft projects, special zookeeper talks, wildlife enrichment activities, visits to exhibits, recreational games and more! Pre-registration is required. Zoo Miami, 12400 SW 152 St. For more information, call the Zoological Society of Florida at 305-255-5551, or visit:

Disability Services Camps

Disability Services Camps
Those with disabilities will find enriching camp experiences, including sports, swimming, arts and crafts and field trips. These camps are sponsored by The Children's Trust, a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County. Seven locations for this camp:

Oak Grove Park, 690 NE 159 St.; for more information, call Maria Vazquez, 305-954-3425, or e-mail:

Greynolds Park,18601 NE 22 Ave.; for more information, call Kim Fowler, 305-954-3425, or e-mail:

Coral Estates Park, 1405 SW 97 Ave.; for more information, call Celia Leyva, 305-226-1622, or e-mail:

Tamiami Park, 11201 SW 24 St.; for more information, call Arlene Bouza-Jou, 305-222-2128, or e-mail:

Westwind Lakes Park, 6805 SW 152 Ave.; for more information, call Diana Bonet, 305-380-9106, or e-mail:

Camp Matecumbe, 13841 SW 120 St.; for more information, call Belinda Phillips, 305-752-4966, or e-mail:

Goulds Park, 21805 SW 114 Ave.; for more information, call Jody Cox, 305-234-1673, or e-mail:

Aquatic and Learn-to-Swim Programs

Boys and girls are taught to swim by certified American Red Cross Water Safety Instructors. Various levels of courses are offered for children, adults, persons with disabilities, and Tiny Tots (ages 3-5). For more information or to register, contact the pool of your interest.

Pools (*accessible to people with disabilities): A.D. Barnes, 3401 SW 72 Ave., 305-665-1626; Arcola, 1680 NW 87 St., 305-691-5104; * Helen Sands (South Dade), 16350 SW 280 St., 305-248-1386; Little River, 10525 NW 24 Ave., 305-696-7651; * Palm Springs North, 7901 NW 176 St., 305-558-3762; Rockway, 9460 SW 27 Dr., 305-223-8742; Richmond (Sgt. Delancy Park), 14450 Boggs Dr., 305-238-5692; * Tamiami, 11201 SW 24 St., 305-223-7077; Tropical Estates, 10201 SW 48 St., 305-221-5041; and Gwen Cherry, 7090 NW 22 Ave., 305-694-4889.

About the Miami-Dade Park and Recreation Department (MDPR)
Nationally accredited, a three-time winner of the National Gold Medal Award, 2009 Florida Governor's Sterling Award winner for excellence in management and operations, MDPR is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 263 parks and more than 12,848 acres of land. It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world. Made up of more than just playgrounds and athletic fields, it also comprises out-of-school, sports-development, and summer-camp programs; programs for seniors and people with disabilities; educational nature centers and nature preserves; environmental restoration efforts; arts and culture programs and events; the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler; the Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Ericsson Open; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; pools; and more. For information about MDPR the public can call 3-1-1 or visit


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