January 2023 Newsletter

Dear Friends of Lakes Park,

Welcome back! We are so happy that our beloved park is open and being enjoyed by all.  We want to thank all the fantastic volunteers who showed up after Hurricane Ian to help us clean up the gardens. Without them, the park would not be as beautiful as it is today.  Special thanks to all the park staff who worked so hard to restore the park to usable condition. Their dedication and hard work continues to amaze us.  There is so much going on in the park right now so check the following articles to see what’s happening.  Not all amenities are fixed and open yet but there is still plenty to do. We have the Farmers Market every Wednesday and the plant sale is the 2nd and the 4th Wednesday of the month, Bird walks, community gardens, beautiful swan paddle boats, the train ride, biking, picnicking, fishing, and so much more. It is amazing to see the smiles on everyone’s faces. Come on out enjoy the park and support our vendors! Don’t forget to join us as volunteers or make a donation to help us restore our beautiful gardens.

See you there,
Barbara Manzo

President LPEFMary P. Leland
William Conner
Dabney Turley
Natl. Philanthropic Trust
Denise Pfeiffer
Paula Jackson
Home Depot/Jackson
John A. Mayer
Margaret Mary Floyd
Nason Family Charitable Fund
Blackbaud Giving Fund – ITW

We are very grateful to the many more donors–at all donation levels, many of whom are repeat donors who’ve assisted us in 2022. Hurricane Ian dealt Lakes Park a mighty blow but with the Herculean efforts of park staff, dedicated volunteers and Mother Nature’s amazing regenerative powers our
beloved park is open to the public once again. These funds will be directed first toward repairing the gardens, irrigation systems, replanting our Botanic, Children’s, and Community Gardens to prepare for the dry season. Thank you again!

Thank you, The Veransa Group!

The Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation is thrilled with the generous donation from Denise Houghtaling and the Veransa Group for their generous donation of 18 cubic yards of Organic Compost. The Community Garden members are beyond thrilled with the quality of the compost. 

“I am very pleased to announce that the Veransa Group, Inc donated 18 cubic yards of REGEN Organic Compost to Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation for their raised garden beds.  We are very happy we can help Kathy Busick and Barbara Manzo and their team get back to growing food here locally in SW Florida.”  – Denise Houghtaling

Free book box at the Childrens Garden!

The Free Book Box in the Children’s Garden was recently refurbished by Ed Corrigan including roof repairs and a new cement base. The “Little Lending Library” is ready for families to come and take a book or leave a book. Thanks to Girl Scout Troupe 297 for this special addition to the Children’s Garden.

Plant sale is back!
It will be on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month. Be back January 25th.

Bird Patrol Led Nature Walks
1st Saturday of every month!
Tour is FREE with PAID PARKING. Parking is $1/hour or $5/all day.
WHEN:  8 A.M. the FIRST Saturday of every month. Please arrive a few minutes before 8 A.M.
Walks start promptly at 8 A.M.

WHERE:  LAKES REGIONAL PARK, 7330 Gladiolus Drive, Fort Myers, Fl. 33908

Please meet at Shelter A7. Enter Lakes Park gate from Gladiolus. Turn right. Drive to end of road, continue through the parking lot. Shelter A7 is located near the Train Station. 

INFORMATION:  Call (239)533-7275 

Please wear comfortable shoes and dress to be outside. Bring water, sunscreen and binoculars.

All are welcome.
Hope to see you there!

Community Garden Updates!

The CG steering committee working on cleaning beds for new gardeners. The beds were overgrown, some the size of trees!
LCSO Fallen Officers Memorial update

The bronze statues were installed this morning for the LCSO Fallen Officer’s Memorial.
The ribbon cutting date has been set for Thursday, March 16th at 9:00 AM. 

Reflecting on Hurricane Ian – after the storm

Shark in the park!

Lakes Park has never had a shark caught here until earlier this month! This is more evidence that the Hurricane Ian storm surge (saltwater) reached as far as Lakes Park.

Please note that this is a FEMA worker who had access prior to our opening.

Why no pets at Lakes Park
Lakes park is home to the Florida alligator and we’d like to remind you all to be mindful when you are near the shoreline.
This is also one of the primary reasons pets , especially dogs, are not allowed here. Alligators see those four legs and instinctually see them as a food source.
More info here.
Follow this link for a brick donation and this link for a general donation. Thank you for your support!