Westglades Middle School Environmental Club

City of Parkland recognizes 


By Nicol Jenkins


Westglades Middle School students are bringing awareness to the importance of being environmentally conscious.


The Parkland City Commission has recognized the Westglades Middle School Environmental Club for their project focusing on the environment and education.


Recently, 150 future environmental leaders from 15 middle schools across Florida, New England and the Mid-Atlantic presented their six-month long sustainability projects as part of the 20th anniversary Wheelabrator Symposium for Environment and Education. Among them were 10 students from Westglades Middle School’s Environmental Club, who shared the importance of fishing ethics for our oceans, waterways and canals. The Westglades students focused their presentation on how to be an ethical and responsible fisherman by obtaining a fishing license, learning proper “catch and release” techniques, recycling fishing lines and more.


The students also educated Parkland residents on this important topic by setting up an information booth at the City of Parkland’s Farmer’s Market. The Westglades team presented its project and solutions to peers and a panel of partners comprised of educators and environmental experts at the annual Wheelabrator Symposium.

Ms. Shelby, the Environmental Club’s advisor and a science teacher at Westglades Middle School, has participated in all 20 years of Wheelabrator’s Symposium, impacting hundreds of students’ lives. Other Symposium projects have included saving the endangered wood stork and gopher tortoise, helping manatees and more.


Parkland Mayor Michael Udine and City Commissioners honored the Westglades Middle School Environmental Club, Wheelabrator Technologies and Stella Shelby for their amazing accomplishments and commitment to the City of Parkland’s environment and education.

Coral Springs Local Scholarships

Local students awarded Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarships


By Nicol Jenkins

Local students were honored for their dedication to their community through the City of Coral Springs scholarship program.

The Coral Springs City Commission recently recognized 16 deserving high school seniors who were awarded Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarships for their freshman year in college. The students were selected on the basis of financial need and quality of community involvement. They were interviewed by a panel made up of representatives of the Community Chest and Martin L. King, Jr. Committee.

With the generous assistance of the Coral Springs Community Chest as the major donor, the Coral Springs Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee was able to match their contribution, as well as supplement the Scholarship fund further by donations from various individuals and businesses in the community.

The recipients of the 2014 MLK scholarships are: Djery Clement, Dhina Clement, Tiffaney Thompson, Eliette Casimir, Jazmin Santamaria, Christie Jacques-Louis, Alejandro Rivera, Jessica Harrold, Francesca Arnillas, Anthony Castro, Shain Joseph, Domenica Vera, Roxana Cardenas, Maajiya Bintu Raqib, Landon Thaler and Nozama Vincent.

High school seniors who are residents of Coral Springs and attend Coral Glades High, Coral Springs Charter School, Coral Springs High, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High and J.P. Taravella High Schools are eligible to apply for this scholarship for the 2014/2015 school year. Applications can be obtained in the Fall from the Brace Advisors at each school or from the City’s website at

For further information or to donate to this worthy cause, contact Joyce Campos at 954-344-1005.School News - Local Scholars - Coral Springs Pic

Parkland Mayor’s Column

Mayor Michael Udine’s Parkland Report


By Michael Udine, Mayor of Parkland


More great news for the City of Parkland! We were recently notified by the Property Appraiser’s Office that again this year the overall assessment of our city-wide property values increased. This year our property values, according to the Property Appraiser’s Office, grew in excess of 6 percent!  This high growth rate allows us to keep our millage rate as low as possible, while continuing to add to our services. The City of Parkland continues to do things right and it shows in so many ways throughout our community.


While things typically slow down a little during the summer months, this year City staff will be busy with different projects throughout the City.


Our Parks and Recreation Department continues to lead the way with their services and offerings to our residents. I hope everyone had a chance to check out the Sunshine State Lacrosse Tournament that was held last month in Parkland at Pine Trails Park. What a fabulous event!  Teams from all over the State of Florida (and nation) made it to Parkland for a weekend of lacrosse. It was a great weekend and hosting the tournament in Parkland was a great way to show off the City to people from all over the State. As I walked around the event, I heard from many people complimenting the City, inquiring about home ownership and the schools in the area. Plus all of these out of town guests visited local businesses, restaurants and hotels in the area. These types of events that showcase the City of Parkland are a real positive for our area.


I hope everyone has a safe and relaxing summer! Please remember it is Hurricane Season so make sure you have your personal Hurricane plan in effect in the event of any type of storm or other emergency. Have a plan!!  It will help in the event that there is a situation; better safe than sorry! I urge you to sign up for our “Code Red” service on the City website so that you can get emergency updates. Think about adding both your home and cell phone numbers, this way you can be sure to receive any emergency messages should they be transmitted.


As always, I value your questions or comments. Reach out and “Friend me” if you want to follow me on Facebook, or look me up on Twitter ( if you want to follow my updates. I always try to tweet if there is an issue (traffic, water, etc.) that affects our residents; following me is a great way to stay informed. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please e-mail me at

Coral Springs Mayor’s Column

Hurricane season is here again and while we’ve been lucky the past 9 years, it’s important for our residents to be prepared. Our Under the Sun magazine is a great source of information and it includes a summary of all the City can do for you before, during and after a hurricane. In the event of a hurricane, residents can reach the City’s call center at 954-344-1001. You can also log onto or watch CityTV, Channel 25 on Advanced Cable and Channel 99 on U-Verse, for updates. Coral Springs residents can also tune their radio dials to AM 1670. CityRadio delivers information about City services, upcoming events, weather updates, and emergency bulletins when necessary.


On another note, if you haven’t stopped by the Coral Springs Mega Green Market, check it out every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The market is located at Downtown Coral Springs, just west of University Drive on Sample Road. There is fresh produce, vegan products and much more!


Join me and the City Commission on Saturday, June 14 as we celebrate Flag Day at 10 a.m. at the Veterans Park. This traditional Flag Day ceremony will include the ceremonial retirement and burning of frayed, tattered or faded flags. Residents may drop off any flags they want to be retired at City Hall or the Coral Springs Gymnasium, 2501 Coral Springs Drive. For more information, call 954-345-2200. The park is located at 8601 Royal Palm Blvd.


The City’s Fourth of July celebration will once again be held in Mullins Park. Join us for an evening of dazzling fireworks and entertainment for the entire family. Residents are encouraged to come out and celebrate on Friday, July 4. Starting at 6 p.m., families are invited to come and enjoy games, bounce houses, food and entertainment. The fireworks display will begin promptly at 9 p.m. The event is free, but there will be fees for food, bounce houses and games. Parking will be available for a $3 fee at the Coral Springs Gymnasium for early arrivers, and also at the main Mullins Park/Center for the Arts parking lot. No pets or alcoholic beverages are allowed in the park. Personal fireworks will be confiscated by Coral Springs Police. Mullins Park is located at 10150 Ben Geiger Dr. For more information, call 954-345-2200.


Now that summer is here and children are playing outdoors, it is critical that they have water-safety skills that could save their lives. Make sure to take advantage of the many drowning prevention and learn-to-swim programs the City has to offer. The Coral Springs Aquatic Complex, Cypress Pool and Mullins Park Pool each offer classes for all ages and skill levels. For more information, call 954-345-2121.

As always, if you would like to meet with me to discuss any City issues, feel free to visit with me during my office hours. To view my scheduled monthly hours, please visit Don’t forget to ‘Like’ the City on Facebook at For behind the scenes photos, follow us on Instagram at CoralSpringsFL. 

Mother’s Day – May 11th 2014




By Brian Weidenbacher


Being a mother is not only an honor and privilege, but a blessing bestowed on women.  It’s not just simply a result of giving birth, or receiving a child.  It’s a journey of spirit and time, transcending their own limitations and empowering their offspring to do, and be, more than they could ever envision.  It is a journey into the heart and soul of what it means to be woman, and to be fully present for the benefit of another human being that has unconditional love and trust in you.


The word “mother” is heavily defined by emotion, love, trust, protection, influence,  and truth.  It is, basically, an impossible task to be a mother …… but somehow every mom pulls it off with grace and style.  Moms are expected to be strong yet gentle, corrective yet conciliatory, accepting yet uncritical, and self-sacrificed yet self-fulfilled. Motherhood is a fraternity of loving, nurturing, and sincere women.


Motherhood is a beautiful ride, sometimes a wild ride, and the most incredible journey a woman can ever take.  It changes the way a woman thinks about herself, her family, her friends, and the world as a whole.  It changes the way she acts and reacts.  A woman becomes more beautiful after child birth.  She glows with a brighter love, not just for her child, but for everyone.


The Our Town News staff would like to wish every MOM a sincere “Happy Mother’s Day”.  It’s your day ……. enjoy your “day off” from not just the toughest, but the most blessed job in the world!


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