June Newsletter

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

June, 2022

Message From the President: 
It’s June and summer has arrived in full force!  School is out and Summer Camp is full, as usual. Bus trips have become more expensive than ever but thanks to your generous donations, LPEF is able to fully fund two day trips for the campers.  
What would camp be without an outing?! 
If you’re in the park for a picnic or a walk enjoy the well kept gardens and paths.  If you see the Park staff, remember to thank them for their hard work.  We certainly appreciate all they do to keep the park in such great shape. Don’t forget all the wonderful volunteers who maintain the gardens.  Lakes Park would not be what it is today without them!
Stay safe and enjoy your summer, in and out of the park. If you’d like to donate to the park, go to the Iron Ranger near the Community Garden and help us accomplish our goals.
– Barbara Manzo

Lakes Park Summer Camp starts on Monday June 13th!

Camp is completely filled the first week with sixty camper. Ross Becker, who is running camp again this summer, was able to hire four counsellors, so we have all positions filled.
Besides Ross, Dennis Porter, and Della Parker return with many years of experience. The two new counselors this summer are Mikaba Santiago, and Noelle Wagner.
Lakes Park staff, Kolby Taylor, and Bonnie Bahr completed their lifeguard Certification. This will allow our campers to swim at the Cypress Lake Pool.
We are looking forward to camp and we’ll keep them safe and busy having fun.

Now’s the time to be dreaming up YOUR Scarecrow!

Movie character scarecrows will fill the Children’s Garden Oct. 14 – 30 bringing delight once again to children and adults from 2 to 80 years old! Everyone is invited to participate – companies, schools, families.  The entry fee is modest and goes to enhancements for Lakes Park.

This is a contest with prizes for the winners.  The theme this year is a movie character—Marilyn Monroe with a billowing skirt, Dracula, a favorite Disney character, Space Age heroes?  Who would you like to showcase?  A single figure mounted securely on a pole; creativity encouraged!
 Watch for details soon or email us at info@lakespark.org.

Decoration Donations! 

Angie and Troy Wright generously donated all of their handmade wooden decorations to the LPEF and the Train Crew!
Special thanks to the Train Museum for storing these decorations until the Fall Festival in October 2022. We wish Angie and Troy the best as they journey to their new home in North Carolina.

Canterbury School Fort Myers
Creativity and Innovation
We are very impressed with the fourth grade class at Canterbury School Fort Myers for their creativity and innovation. They presented at the park last month to enhance the Railroad Museum of South Florida at Lakes Park. These innovative students brought forth several creative solutions, including:🚂 Ways to create less friction on the tracks🚂 Creative price structures, such as discounts for digital tickets and fast passes🚂 Ways to promote the museum’s educational program for field tripsThe future is bright!

Parasol Leaf Tree

Macaranga grandifolia is a gorgeous tropical shrub/tree that is endemic to The Philippines. It develops showy, large, rounded-ovate leaves that resemble a parasol umbrella. These grand leaves will be a show stopper in your yard. Male plants produce a pinkish inflorescence, but I would not purchase this tree for the flowers. Macaranga can grow in frost free locations. They can grow anywhere from full sun to shade. This is a rare and unusual plant that you don’t see in everyone’s garden.

The Beautiful Crape Myrtle
Lagerstroemia, commonly known as crepe myrtle is a genus of around 50 specious of deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs native to the Indian subcontinent, southeast Asia, northern Australia and other parts of Oceania. They are cultivated in warmer climates. They can live to be 50 years old! The ones in Lakes Park are especially beautiful this time of year.

Community Gardens’ Generous Contributions!
The Community Garden had another great season of contributions to the Community Cooperative Food Pantry. With generous donations of canned and dried goods and produce from the garden, we were able to give them 1650 pounds of food. Big thanks to everyone who participated. We look forward to another great season.

In case you aren’t familiar with the wonderful work that Community Cooperative Food Pantry does, check out their website here.

Many new projects in the works for the garden for the 2022-2023 Season!  One of these is to request that each gardener grow one plant of greens such as collards.  Fresh greens are scarce and go so fast at the pantry.   

Thanks and happy gardening,
Community Garden Committee

The Liberty Express is running!
The Railroad Museum of South Florida decorated for Memorial Day May 30th. We will also be hosting “The Liberty Express” again this year.  Come on out and ride our miniature railroad. We have many American flags, the flags of our fifty states, territories of the U.S. and the District of Columbia featured. 
The Railroad Museum of South Florida entrance is to the left of the train ticket window, admission is FREE.

Honoring Bobby Jackson
“My husband, Bobby Jackson, devoted his entire life to horticulture. He especially loved propagating and growing flowering plants.
He began his career as a “water boy” at a nursery in Winter Garden, Florida. The importance of proper watering remained with him his entire life.
Shortly after we married in 1973, his dream of owning a wholesale nursery was fulfilled. Along with his uncle and aunt we established Woodway Tropical Greenhouses Inc in Apopka, Florida. It was known as the Foliage Capital of the World because there were over a thousand wholesale nurseries there. We grew all types of ferns and had a reputation for producing a high quality product.
In 1981 Bobby and I decided to open a southern branch of our nursery on Nursery Lane in Naples, Florida. He started out growing mainly indoor foliage but later on annuals, perennials and flowering baskets became the primary crops.  We raised our two sons there and enjoyed the country life.
Bobby took pride in producing a quality product and customer service. He wouldn’t sell a plant that wasn’t ready unless the customer insisted on it. He was well liked and respected by his friends, colleagues and customers.
In his later years he worked at Ray’s Lawn and Garden in Naples and Sunman’s Nursery in Ft Myers. Bobby loved to come to Lakes Park and stroll through the gardens.  I know that these walks helped to give him the strength to endure his health challenges.  He is greatly missed by all of us who loved and knew him.”

-Written by Paula Jackson, His beloved wife who donated the bench in the Children’s Garden to honor his memory and love of gardens!

Amazon Smile – buying with intentionIf you’re an Amazon shopper, you can help out the Foundation at no cost to you.
The Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation is a registered charity with Amazon Smile.  For every purchase you make we get a small donation.
Just type in your browser  smile.amazon.com  or click here.
Sign in, then where it says ‘charity’ type in Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation and start shopping!
Remember to always use smile.amazon.com and you are donating to us.

Bird Patrol led nature walk at Lakes Park

What: Nature Walk offered by Bird Patrol in conjunction with Lee County Parks and Recreation. This easy walk along clear paths offers an opportunity to see birds in native vegetation with experienced Bird Patrol guides pointing out the many species in Lakes Park, a Lee County birding hot spot and crucial nesting area for many birds.
Parking: $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. for a brief intro and to sign waivers. Walks start promptly at 8 A.M.
Where: LAKES REGIONAL PARK, 7330 Gladiolus Drive, Fort Myers, Fl. 33908
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 or (239)229-0559 or online at www.birdpatrol.org
Please wear comfortable shoes and dress to be outside. Bring water, sunscreen and binoculars.Curious about what our foundation is and does for the park? Click the video below to learn more!

2021-2022 Leadership Team
Barbara Manzo, President – former Director of Lee County Parks & Recreation
Marsha Asp, Vice-President – Realtor, CornerStone Coastal Properties
Kathy Busick, Secretary – former educator, now LPEF’s volunteer Gardens
Kathleen Johnson, Treasurer – CPA and shareholder at Miller, Helms & Folk, P.A.
Laura Davis, Director – Amavida Resort Retirement Community.
Bill Gray, Director.

Leave Your Mark On The Park
Bricks are a great gift and make a lasting memory. They arelocated in three areas of the Park. Purchase your brick here and fill out the form by choosing your location and wording.Only $100! 
we now have a data base of all the bricks in the Children’s Garden, Fragrance Garden, and Train Museum thanks to Scot Anderson and Howard Holden!
If you can’t find your brick e-mail info@lakespark.com and we will find it for you. Please include location, and inscription along with your name.

Become a volunteer
Volunteers are the very backbone of our ability to carry out the Foundation’s mission. We call our volunteers “Lakes Park Ambassadors” because of their tendency to share their passion and knowledge with park visitors.Individuals wishing to volunteer should e-mail VolunteerServices@leegov.com for more information.
The six acres of gardens at Lakes Park that include the Children’s Garden, The Community Garden and the Botanical/Fragrance Garden are managed and maintained by an amazing crew of volunteers. The regular work days are Monday and Thursday mornings from 8 AM to 11 AM. These hours vary depending on the Florida weather. Our current need is for full time residents who are willing to help when the snowbirds fly north at the end of April.

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. Copyright © 2022 Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because of your interest and/or participation in the Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation.