What’s Happening at Lakes Park?

July-August 2019

Ross Becker, Program Specialist at Lakes Park, conducting covert operations at the Lakes Park Summer Camp; they say hes "too good at this"

Ross Becker, Program Specialist at Lakes Park, conducting covert operations at the Lakes Park Summer Camp; they say he’s “too good at this”

Summer Camp at Lakes Park

Each summer, children from all over Lee County attend Camp Tahini Hatchee at Lakes Park. Through a combination of games, traditional outdoor recreation activities, and hands on educational experiences, campers spend up to 8 idyllic weeks reveling in the glory of nature at Lakes Park. This summer, your donations helped!  The Foundation sent the Camp Tahini Hatchee kids on a field trip to the IMAG History and Science Center (formerly The Imaginarium). Park staff had expressed a desire to provide STEM programming for the campers (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). The Foundation had raised funds at our Spring Gala designated for Summer Camp, and added to those funds from reserves. The result was a hired bus and a day of exploration and learning at the IMAG Center. They liked it so much, we’ll probably do it again next year – and YOU can help!

VISIT THE GIVING TREE to make a contribution toward future Summer Camp programs – CLICK HERE

New wildlife alert signs have been installed in Lakes Park

New wildlife alert signs installed this summer at Lakes Park

Lakes Park is a popular “natural place to play” in Fort Myers, not only with people but with critters! The park is an officially designated stop along the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. It’s home to countless species of birds, mammals, and reptiles, providing wildlife observation opportunities for naturalists, bird watchers, and nature photographers of all ages. The park is a testament to the ability of humans and animals to live, work, and play alongside one another. The key component to achieving that is respect.

Juvenile gopher tortoise at Lakes Park

Juvenile gopher tortoise at Lakes Park

Many of us have heard the phrase, “Fed wildlife is dead wildlife”. Consider what this means. Wildlife has a natural fear of humans. This natural fear supports their protection as well as ours. When wildlife learns to associate people with food, they lose this fear and become bolder about approaching humans. Some animals have a difficult time discerning where the food ends and the person begins. The results of feeding wildlife can be disastrous for both the human and the animal. Remembering the rules is the best way to prevent a tragedy from occurring.

A young alligator hunts at Lakes Park

A young alligator hunts at Lakes Park

Respect the animal and respect the law. Don’t feed, tease or otherwise engage the wildlife – it’s dangerous and in most cases, it’s illegal. If you see something, say something. Program your phone with the numbers for Parks & Rec as well as Florida Fish and Wildlife, so you’ll be prepared to report anything you might see that could pose a threat to either humans or wildlife.

Peaceful coexistence IS possible. All it takes is respect.