Helene Klein Pineland Preserve

Broward Countyruddy daggerwing

4701 W. Hillsboro Boulevard
Coconut Creek


At 13 acres, the Helene Klein Pineland Preserve is among the smallest natural areas in South Florida, but according to the Broward County parks people who run the place, it has one of the most diverse lists of resident species of any site in the county. It has a heavy canope of pines, and the thick vegetation disguises the property's small size.

The preserve is mainly pine flatwoods, with slash pines the dominant species, but there's also a small dome swamp and two small sections of marl prairie.

The History: The preserve is named after Helene Klein, a Broward County resident and environmental activist who lobbied the county to preserve natural lands, including this site. Klein also campaigned for passage of the $400 million 2000 Safe Parks and Land Preservation Bond. Klein died in 2001; Broward County bought the land in 2003 for $3.4 million, using funds from the bond issue and the Florida Communities Trust Preservation Fund. Until a century ago, this land was part of the headwaters of the Hillsboro River, which explains the swamp and marl prairie habitats. It sits less than a mile south of the Hillsboro Canal.

What You'll See: Species we found on the site include prairie warbler, northern cardinal, red-shouldered hawk, staggerbush, julia butterfly, zebra longwing butterfly, ruddy daggerwing butterfly, saw palmetto, wild coffee and beautyberry.

Amenities: Helene Klein offers adequate parking, a covered sitting area, informational kiosk, 2,400-foot accessible trail — mostly concrete, plus some boardwalk over wetter areas — and a covered observation platform. There is no drinking water or restrooms.

Nearby: There two other small natural areas within walking distance of Helene Klein, the West Creek Pinelands Natural Area and the Saw Palmetto Natural Area. The three natural areas form the Coconut Creek Greenway. The Kristen Jacobs Hillsboro Pineland Natural Area is a five-minute drive to the north off U.S. 441. Still a bit farther out are the Broward County entrance for the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge and the Daggerwing Nature Center off Glades Road west of 441 in Boca Raton.

Virtual Tour

Cover Photo: Coconut Creek bills itself as the butterfly capital of the world, undoubtedly because of Butterfly World and its collection of 20,000 butterflies a bit to the south of here in Tradewinds park. But we've found Helene Klein and its two neighboring preserves pretty good places to find the winged creatures. The photo above is of a ruddy daggerwing nectaring on saw palmetto we took during our first visit here in 2014. Another reason we're using it here: we just like it.

Getting There ...
Helene Klein Pineland Preserve sits at the northwest corner of Lyons Road and Hillsboro Boulevard in Coconut Creek. It can be reached from the east via Hillsboro Boulevard or the Sawgrass Expressway, exiting at Lyons Road and turning north. From the south, take Florida's Turnpike and exit at the Sawgrass and head west to Lyons Road. Both the turnpike and the Sawgrass are toll roads. An alternative route: take U.S. 441 to Hillsboro and head east. NOTE: The sign for the preserve is on the corner of Lyons and Hillsboro, but the entrance to the parking lot is a bit farther west on Hillsboro. There is a turning lane, but it goes nowhere. Look for a Cubesmart Storage sign and turn into the parking lot.

Photo Gallery for Helene Klein Pineland Preserve

Click on the photograph to see an enlarged image. Click on the name to read more about the species.

Published by Wild South Florida, PO Box 7241, Delray Beach, FL 33482.
Photographs by David Sedore. Photographs are property of the publishers and may not be used without permission.