May Newsletter

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

May, 2022

Message From the President: It finally rained and boy did we need  it! Lakes Park got over 7 inches in the last couple of days to help the drought conditions we have been experiencing. The plants are happy so take a walk through the gardens and enjoy the beauty.
 April was a busy month.  Ding Darling Days and World Tai Chi Day were well attended, Our Plant Sales were very successful and the Farmers Market finished out its last month.
Your donations are being put to good use.  The Foundation is adding a much needed sprinkler system to all the remaining gardens and once again we are funding field trips for Summer Camp. So keep those donations coming and help us keep improving your park.
Thank you.
– Barbara Manzo

Amazon Smile – buying with intention
If 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  or click here.
Sign in, then where it says ‘charity’ type in Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation and start shopping!
Remember to always use and you are donating to us.

2021-2022 Leadership Team Barbara Manzo, President – former Director of Lee County Parks & Recreation
Marsha Asp, Vice-President – Realtor, CornerStone Coastal PropertiesKathy 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

Curious about what our foundation is and does for the park?  Click the video below to learn more!Excellent turn out for
 World Tai-Chi Day!

the Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation participated in the World Wide Tai Chi Day Event along with 80 other countries world wide! Thirty people attended and they had a nice and relaxing time.
33rd Annual “Ding” Darling Day 
Conservation Carnival

We hosted our first Conservation Carnival with Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge. It was an Earth Day centric event, gearing towards children.  It was very well received and we estimate over 600 people attended! We hope to have the chance to host them again next year!
Ding Darling Day

Final plant sale

Kathy Busick, Robin Brocious and Paula Novander at Ding Darling Days at Lakes Park. After a very successful plant sale season WE NEED POTS! Our inventory is low and would appreciate donations of small plastic pots as well as some “fancy pots” for next season.
You can drop the pots off in the back of the Fragrance Garden or contact Kathy Busick –

Naples Botanic Garden Raffle Winner!
Congratulations to Karen Miller!
Kathy Busick, secretary of the LPEF presenting the Gift Basket to raffle winner Karen Miller. The Basket contains an annual pass to the Naples Botanic Garden and other garden goodies.

Karen is a long time volunteer in the Fragrance Garden and we couldn’t be happier that she was the winner. The money raised from this raffle will be used to build a Human Sundial in the Children’s Garden next fall. A special thanks to the Naples Botanical Garden for their generous donation.

Congratulations Izabella!

The Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation and Fragrance Garden Volunteers would like to congratulate Izabella Smolnicka-Dos Santos on her graduation from Florida South Western Collegiate High School.

Izabella will be heading to Stanford University in the fall for environmental studies and sustainability. Since last summer, she has been volunteering in the Lakes Park Gardens. Her sunshine smile, eagerness to learn, willingness to work hard and get dirty made her one of our favorite student volunteers. We will miss her and know she will stop by when she is back in Florida. Good Luck Izabella, there is no stopping you now!   
Volunteer appreciation below!

1st photo: Kevin and Johnnie drive the cart to pick up debris, haul cardboard, haul mulch and anything else that needs to be transported.
2nd photo: Sandy and Kristie aren’t afraid of tackling the weeds in the Cactus Garden, or another place that needs weeding.*
3rd Photo: Kathy and Deb LOVE working in the Children’s Garden. It is sad when the leave for their summer homes up north.
4th photo: Karen has been volunteering in the gardens for a long time and works wherever she sees a need.

Farmer’s Market On Summer Leave
In case you forgot the Farmer’s Market is closed for the summer but will be back in October.  This is one of the favorite events at Lakes Park and the Foundation is pleased to sponsor this for you.

Lake Irrigation Update

Thanks to a generous donation from the estate of Roger Tosch, the LPEF is able to install an automatic irrigation system in all six acres of gardens except the community garden. The work is slated to be finished by May 6th. When the project is finished, the gardens will no longer being using city water instead the water will be coming from the Lakes. Having a regular automatic irrigation system will make a big change in how the gardens are planted and maintained!

New Playground At Lakes Park!
The new south playground installation at Lakes Park has started. It will be working on through out the month of may and hopefully ready for summer time! 

Bird Patrol led nature walk at Lakes Park
1st Saturday of every month!

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

Big thank you to our garden community! 

Leave Your Mark On The Park
Bricks are a great gift and make a lasting memory. They are
located 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 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 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 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.