June Newsletter

The Mission of the Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation is to enhance the beauty and experience of Lakes Park. 

Message From the President:

Spring is in the air with summer on its heels! The park is in full bloom and buzzing with families, flowers and fun! Along with summer comes our campers, so keep an eye out for them exploring learning and even fishing! 

The Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation is already planning for Scarecrows in the Park. The dates for the fall festival are October 15th to the 30th. More info on how to register and this year’s theme will be coming soon. 

Thank you to our supporters and I hope to see you all in the park! 

Sarah Selfridge


The Railroad Museum of South Florida, located in Lee County’s Lakes Regional Park, 7330 Gladiolus Drive, Fort Myers, will be reopening its miniature, one mile train ride, initially for a limited three day per week schedule, only on Sundays from 10 to 4, and Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 to 2, beginning Sunday May 23, 2021.
For the most up to date information, and to check on additional days of operation as they are added and for information on the Railroad Museum, check their website:  www.rrmsf.org or their Facebook page: Railroad Museum of South Florida.

Plant Sales at the Farmers Market

On the second and fourth Wednesday of every month from October through April the Lakes Park garden volunteers sold plants and veggies that were propagated in the sheds in the back of the Fragrance Garden. Master gardener Paula Novander, Kathy Busick and Jane Cole held the sales in the LPEF booth area. We are thrilled to report that during this time we raised over $900 to benefit the Foundation. It was a pleasure to meet and talk with so many interested gardeners who were just learning about gardening in Florida as well as experienced gardeners who shared their expertise.

Our inventory is currently low as we head into the summer months, but we look forward to seeing so many of you in October when the Farmer’s Market reopens. If you have any suggestions as to what we should grow, please send an e-mail to info@lakespark.org.
Kathy Busick

Our Volunteers are the BEST!!!

A special thanks to our many Garden Volunteers who work tirelessly during the season to keep all the gardens awesome. I regret not having photos of everyone, as this is just a small sample. Many have gone back to their summer homes and we look forward to their return in the fall. Now our core group of full timers have the task of maintaining the gardens throughout the HOT summer months. We are up to the task!

Art in the Park

Local artist Alison Lovett volunteered to use her talents to create murals for our sheds in the back of the Fragrance Garden. Her vision was to bring the colors and sights of the gardens to the doors of some pretty shabby looking sheds. If you walk in the park please make sure to stop and see Alison’s work. She is a snowbird and will return next fall to complete her work.

By Alison V Lovett 
April 29, 2021

“My confidence in art became evident by the influence of my 11th grade art teacher. Since high school I have always found time to create works of art either from acrylics or oil painting. When attending Case Western Reserve, majoring in special education I took classes at the Cleveland Institute of Art. While living in Connecticut I attended the Fairfield Adult Art Program and later at the Long Island Art League in Huntington, NY

My art became and still is an avocation of mine that has brought me much pleasure. I have exhibited at the Huntington Arts Council including a juried exhibit, and Firefly Gallery in Northport, New York.

Since 2015, I have offered an opportunity for people to buy my paintings or commission me to do personal requests. This past season in Fort Myers, Florida I organized an art exhibit at the Heritage Pointe Community and I am in the process of painting door murals at Lakes Park.”  – Alison

Hertz Rental Group Volunteers at the Park

Hertz Rental Group came to Lakes Regional Park for a day of volunteering on Saturday, May 2nd.Tasks included mulching beds in our Children’s Garden with recycled mulch product and trash removal along our southern lake. This will help to provide a clean environment for birds and other wildlife in the park. Lastly, they did a large cutting project on a palmetto patch near the Children’s Garden, cleaning it out and removing all trash. Thank you, Hertz Rental for an amazing day! 
Ross Becker

Koi Pond Bridge Renovation

The small bridge that goes over the pond in the back of the Fragrance Garden was in need of repair. No one could remember when it was first build. It is a very popular photo op spot for visitors. I recently met a couple who got engaged on that bridge. Over the years the bridge as begun to shows signs of age and was in need of a full overhaul. Dan Flavin, a volunteer in the gardens offered to spear head this project with help from Norm Bazinet and Mike Pacitto and other volunteers along the way. The new bridge will be structurally sound and should last for many years of picture taking in the gardens. The Lakes Enrichment Foundation has provided all the materials. 

Lakes Park’s Bench Dedication Program on Hold Until the Fall

 Our bench donation program has been extremely successful during the pandemic. We want to thank everyone who chose a bench and made a generous donation. Those donations helped sustain the Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation so it could continue to enrich and support the park during a stressful time when we were unable to hold our crowd gathering fundraisers. 

But, because so many patrons chose to dedicate a bench we are going to suspend this program until the fall. We have so few spots left to choose from (only 3). We need to work to open up new spots through-out the park and update the catalog. Stay patient and we will have options for you in a few months. Once again, thank you so much for your generosity and love of Lakes Park,

Kathy Busick

EZ Rider Tours

We are thrilled to announce that the EZ Rider Tours are once again running on a limited basis depending on driver availability. We ask that riders wear masks unless fully vaccinated. The tour size will be limited to four. For reservations call Mary Ellen at 239-533-7578.

We believe everyone should be able to enjoy Lakes Park, seeing its natural beauty and wildlife first hand. That’s why we offer courtesy in park transportation. Park visitors can reserve a seat on the E.Z. Rider, a six-passenger golf cart provided by the Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation. Driven by a Lee County Parks & Recreation certified Volunteer Guide, E.Z. Rider tours span 1 to 1 1/2 hours with commentary that can be customized for those with a particular interest in the gardens or bird viewing. Now everyone can enjoy the beauty and tranquility of Lakes Park.

Rules of Transport

  • Passengers ages 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Guests who require physical assistance must be accompanied by a caregiver.

Right now, our biggest need is having enough help to keep the Botanic Garden watered, trimmed and tidy. Volunteers meet to work their magic in the gardens on Monday and Thursday mornings from 7:00 – 10:00 AM, before the heat of the day sets in. Registered Lee County Volunteers,  go to the end of parking lot 3 and find the path that leads up along the left side of the Community Garden. Keep following until you get to the Rose Garden gazebo – you’ll find fellow volunteers at the sheds just beyond. 

Bench Dedication Program  
The bench catalog, pricing, terms and conditions, availability, etc. can be found by visiting our Bench Dedication landing page 

Pave the Park – Buy a Brick! 
Bricks are a very popular way to support the park.   Three locations to choose from! Find out  more by visiting our Pave the Park page. 

Donate through the PayPal Giving Fund 
PayPal has a special program – no one gets charged any credit card merchant fees! Click this link to find out how quick and easy it is to  donate through the PayPal Giving Fund

Interested in the Community Garden? 
We get many requests for a bed in the Community Garden. Whenever a bed becomes available, we hold  an “email lottery” to engage a new Community Garden member.  Get details and put your name on the Community Garden Notifications List – click here to find out more. 

Join the Board of Directors or the Advisory Board 
We’re looking to build out our Board of Directors and Advisory Board with community leaders who love Lakes Park and are willing to tap their personal and professional networks as well as their own skills, knowledge, and wisdom to support the Foundation in achieving its mission – Enhancing the Beauty and Experience of Lakes Park.  CONTACT US at Info@LakesPark.org if  you are interested in attending one of our Board meetings to see if this is the right mission for you.