Park Improvements, August 2018

Lee County Parks and Recreation has been working on a number of park imrovements this summer to enhance the Lakes Park  experience for all visitors.  Check out some of what’s been going on.

New Trees

Lee County Parks & Recreation staff planting a new tree to replace one of the 300+ lost to Hurricane Irma

Lee County Parks & Recreation staff planting a new tree to replace one of the 300+ lost to Hurricane Irma

After having lost more than 300 trees to Hurricane Irma, tree replacement has become an ongoing activity. Parks & Rec Senior Supervisor Joe Debacker recently reported on the planting of a number of black olive trees, aka “Shady Lady”.  A total of six of these trees were planted on August 7th.

Also included in this order from Riverland Nursery (a great friend of the park and the Foundation) were 28 (1) gallon containers of Boston ferns. These were planted along the creek that separates the park from the Reflection Key community.  Also planted in that area – 50 leather/sword ferns, which will help to discourage fishing in the creek and improve privacy for the residents of Reflection Key.

The Railroad Museum and the Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation both contributed toward the purchase of these trees. We’re hoping they grow and thrive and stick around to provide shade to our guests for a long time to come!

Help Lakes Park in Fort Myers recover from Hurricane IrmaWant to help replace trees in Lakes Park?   You can help by contributing to our GoFundMe campaign.

CLICK HERE to donate! 

Lee County Parks & Rec staff - they have power tools, and they do GREAT work!

Lee County Parks & Rec staff – they have power tools, and they do GREAT work!

Storage Unit for the Children’s Garden

This is one of the summer’s improvements that is most dear to the Foundation’s hearts. The Children’s Garden Committee presents StoryTime In The Garden on the second Wednesday of each month from October through April. Pre-schoolers and their parents participate in this free program, where they learn about nature and gardening with an emphasis on reading readiness. Alphabet games, bug hunts, crafts, and other activities keep the children engaged and enthralled.

To make it easier for the Committee to access their StoryTime supplies, the Foundation recently purchased an outdoor storage unit from our partners at Lowe’s.  Parks & Rec staff generously assembled the unit and placed it in the Children’s Garden for convenient access to everything – except the crayons! We think they might melt in the Florida heat, so we’ll keep them somewhere cooler.

Many thanks to Parks & Rec for their expertise and skill in putting it together for us!

New cypress trees in their containers, awaiting planting in a newly reshaped and nearly-submerged lake island.

New cypress trees in their containers, awaiting planting in a newly reshaped and nearly-submerged lake island.

Scenes from the lake

Lee County Parks & Rec Volunteer Bill Price frequently patrols the park with his camera to capture whatever is new, or interesting, or beautiful.  This month, Bill provided some photos that are all three of those things.

As most are aware, the County has been working on the islands in the lake, removing invasive exotic trees and replacing them with natives.  The island restoration project began in August 2017 and continued through June 2018. Improvements included reshaping the island and replanting them with native trees that help with water quality. The park is adjacent to Hendry Creek, which in turn feeds Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve.

Bill managed to capture some new cypress trees before and after they were planted on one of the islands. The lake is now quite full; it captures runoff from our summer rains. Since cypress trees appreciate getting their feet wet, it’s a perfect match.

The lake restoration project started in August 2017 and concluded in June 2018

The lake restoration project started in August 2017 and concluded in June 2018

New native cypress trees planted on a now-submerged lake island.

New native cypress trees planted on a now-submerged lake island.

Many thanks to volunteer and photographer Bill Price

for his talent and generosity.