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News from the Friends of Lovers Key State Park
October 31, 2016 - All treats, no tricks at Lovers Key!
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President's Greeting

It’s been a great summer at Lovers Key and now, we are cranking up for another exciting winter season at the park. We’ve scheduled a great line-up of fun and informative special events, presentations, and unique activities. 

Our November kick-off includes a terrific presentation on the park's Manatee population and also a unique evening on the beach gazing at the skies through the telescopes of the Everglades Astronomical Society.  December marks the beginning of the popular and entertaining Songwriters at Sunset concerts series.  It also provides an opportunity to come out and really experience the park by participating in our annual Great Outdoor Adventure Day. We also have a new Santa on the Sand event which offers fun for children of all ages while generating special holiday gifts for underprivileged kids.  

The new year will start off with special presentations on injured wildlife care from the Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) and the rehabilitation of captive bred wolfs and other exotic animals from Shy Wolf Sanctuary.   As always, we will continue with our key annual events including the Valentine’s Day Vow Renewal, Lovers Key Flea Market and Boat Show, and Turtle Trot 5K Race. There are also special presentations planned on Sea Turtles and local Shore Birds.

The season will finish off with a 20th Birthday Bash for Friends of Lovers Key and a new Luau on the Beach celebration.   It’s going to be an exciting year that you will not want to miss.

Thank you for your continuing support and participation. Our goal is not only to help our visitors to have great time in the park but also to remind us all of the importance of protecting and preserving this unique habitats and wildlife sanctuary.  Together, we are making a real difference.  

Tim Horvatich
President, Friends of Lovers Key

Mark Your Calendar for Upcoming Events


Back for a second season!

Songwriters at Sunset - December 1


Mark your calendar with the 2016-2017 Free Acoustic Concert Schedule at Lovers Key State Park. All shows are on the first Thursday of each month and start 2 hours before sunset. Here are the dates and times:

Dec. 1    3:30pm     March 2  4:30pm
Jan. 5     3:45pm     April 6    5:30pm
Feb. 2    4:00pm

The first Concert on December 1 features Roy Schneider, Kim Mayfield, and J. Robert, and runs from 3:30pm to sunset.

Roy Schneider is a singer songwriter in the grandest tradition of Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, Guy Clark, and Lyle Lovett, with a voice, songwriting skill, stagecraft and instrumental talent all his own. Kim Mayfield has toured with Roy for years across America and abroad as part of a duo.

J. Robert is a musician, composer, songwriter, and producer, recently named Marco Island Artist of the Year. He has been singing, playing acoustic and electri guitars, violin, and steel drums for over 15 years.

Park entry fees are $8.00 for vehicles with 2-8 people, $4.00 for single person in vehicle.
Lovers Key State Park Interpretive Events
November, 2016

Fri. Nov 11, 10am
Florida Manatee Ranger talk

Tues. Nov 15, 10am
Lovers Key Fishing Clinic

Space is limited – Call for Reservations: 239-463-4588  


More exciting events!

Nov. 16 – Special Talk with Speaker from Manatee Park, 11am to 1 pm (FOLKS Members only; see below)

Nov. 30 – Star Gazing on the beach with the Everglades Astronomical Society 5:30pm (Members Only)

Dec. 3 – Great Outdoor Adventure Day

Dec. 19 – Santa on the Sand, 1pm to 4pm (Partnered with the Bonita Springs Rotary Club)

Jan. 18 – Educational Talk from CROW,  5pm to 7pm (Members Only)

Members Only Events!

Join the FOLKS today to join in

November 16, 11am to 1pm

Educational Talk about Manatees

by Nancy Kilmartin, CIG from Manatee Park in Fort Myers 



Join us on Nov. 16 from 11am to 1pm at the gazebo on the beach to learn about the biological and physiological characteristics and habitats of the Florida Manatee. Discover where manatees live, what they eat, and the challenges they face in the shallow coastal waters of Florida. See, touch, and feel a manatee rib bones and skulls.

There will be  a Q & A following the program.  Light refreshments will be served. Bring a friend!

Free for FOLKS members with Park Entry.  RSVP to Judy Greenwood #706-359-0466 or email: fjgreenwood@gmail.com  

About our presenter. Nancy Kilmartin was born and raised in Florida. She grew up in Lee County, and received her Bachelors Desgree from USF. She previously worked for Ding Darling NWR, the Florida Park Service, and is now currently employed by Lee County Parks and Recreation.  


Nov. 30 5:30pm, Dec. 29 Raindate

Stargazing on the beach with the Everglades Astronomical Society

Join us on the beach by the gazebo  for an up close look at the night sky!  Members from the Everglades Astronomical Society, a group of amateur astronomers, will be on hand with multiple large telescopes to observe the night sky with us on the beach at Lovers Key.  

Space is limited for this special program.  Light refreshments will be served.

Free for FOLKS members with Park Entry.  RSVP to Judy Greenwood #706-359-0466 or email: fjgreenwood@gmail.com  

Saturday, December 3rd, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Great Outdoor Adventure Day 
Let's Get Outside!

Join us at the Kayak Launch/ Picnic Area of the park for food, touch tanks, children’s activities, as well as Ranger-led programs. This fun-filled day is geared towards encouraging us all to recreate responsibly while enjoying the park’s unique habitats and wide variety of wildlife.

Rangers and volunteers will offer guided kayak tours, walking nature tours, bike tours (bike and helmets provided), geo-caching, fishing clinics, and more! Exhibitors will include local environmental organizations, as well as outdoor equipment and healthy lifestyle vendors. Great door prizes will be given away throughout the event. Make sure to check out one of the exciting paddle boarding clinics for kids, beginners, and advanced paddlers!

There will also be lots of children’s activities throughout the event as well as a Scavenger Hunt. Young people (or those young at heart), can pick up a Junior Ranger Activity Kit and use the self-guided program to earn yourself a certificate, member card, and earn a Junior Ranger patch, badge, or pin.

This community-based event is free with regular park entrance of $8 per vehicle of up to eight people, $4 for a single occupant and $2 per pedestrian or bicyclist. Guided Kayak tours will be $10/per person, kayak rental included. Bring your family to Lovers Key State Park on December 3rd, 2016 and discover why everyone is “Lovin’ it at Lovers Key!”


Monday, December 19th, 1:00 - 4:00 pm

Santa on the Sand at Lovers Key State Park

Sponsored by the FOLKS and Rotary Club of Bonita Springs

Bring your children, grandchildren, and friends for an afternoon of lunch, games and prizes on the beach near the gazebo with Santa. We will be collecting unwrapped toys, which the Rotary Club will distribute to local children.

Each child (aged 8 and under) who donates an unwrapped toy will visit with Santa and receive a small gift. Bring your camera or cell phone to take photos! Lunch will be provided for the children, and snacks for adults. 

Each family in attendance will be given a chance to win a fully decorated Christmas Tree donated by the Rotary Club of Bonita Springs.

CONTACT: Pre-registration required; space is limited to 100 children. For additional information or to RSVP please contact Judy Greenwood #708-359-0466 or email: fjgreenwood@gmail.com

Event Cost:   Donation of one unwrapped toy for each child age 8 and under.

Park entry fees are $8 for vehicles (2-8 People), $4 for single person in vehicle, $2 for pedestrian/bicyclist.

Creature Feature
The Tale of the Golden Silk Weaver

by Katie Moses
Park Services Specialist, Lovers Key State Park

Most of us see a spider in nature and want to either run away or squash it, there are a few people out there who embrace the beauty and intricate lives of our eight legged friends. One of the most intriguing spiders found in the area is also one of the largest, and can be the most intimidating!


The Golden Silk Orb-Weaver Nephilia clavipes (also known as the golden silk spider, or by its very common name Banana Spider) grows up to 2” (5” including leg span) and typically have a yellowish to brown abdomen with silvery spots. Three of its four pairs of legs have hairy black patches above the joints.

The intricate webs they weave are as beautiful as the spider itself. The yellowish silk appears golden when the sun shines against it, trapping bees which are drawn to the bright silk strands. This coloring and the intricate weave also helps the web to blend in with the foliage in darker and shadier spots capturing unsuspecting flying prey. Amazingly, these spiders have the ability to vary the color of the silk to maximize its camouflage. The webs can be over 3 feet wide and are usually spread across a path or open area to capture flying insects and surprise unwitting hikers.

If you come across one of their magnificent webs, take a closer look, you will first notice the very large female. With a closer inspection you will see what appear to be several smaller black spiders on the web as well, these are male spiders. You may also notice 1-2 egg sacs which hold hundreds of eggs as Golden Silk Orb-Weavers lay eggs throughout the year. Unluckily for the male spider, he is usually eaten after mating.

The golden silk of this spider’s web has attracted interest over the centuries for its beauty and strength and artists have produced textiles from the silk. Although it can be a painstakingly slow process, the items are magnificent looking. A shawl made from the golden silk was exhibited at the American Museum of Natural History in 2009.

So next time you see one of these large spiders, take a moment to appreciate their beauty and if you have one in your yard, enjoy that these predators will eat mosquitos, bees, butterflies, flies, small moths, wasps, grasshoppers, sting bugs, and leaf-footed bugs!

Show your Love for Lovers Key!


Did you know you can now purchase Lovers Key T-shirts and ladies Tank Tops on our on-line store for only $17 each, plus tax?

Ladies Tank Tops are side seamed and contoured, 5.4 oz 100% cotton, and come in 4 colors.

T-shirts are heavyweight, 6.1 oz 100% cotton, and come in 5 colors. All are available in four popular sizes - M, L, X-L, and XX-L at our website.

Visit http://friendsofloverskey.org/shop.html to see all styles and colors.
The sale of merchandise, shirts and cookbooks is our top fundraising activity. All proceeds go to the support of Lovers Key State Park. A primary goal of the Friends of Lovers Key Is to help fund the development and construction of a Visitors Center at the Park.

Calling Volunteers!

Photo by T. Srock.There are many ways to volunteer your time and talents at Lovers Key. Whether you're a people person or more hands-on, we need you now! You don't have to be a full-time resident to lend a hand. Please take our Volunteer Interest Survey to let us know what you like to do, and that you're willing and able to help.

More great taste from the FOLKS Love'n to Cook Cookbook

 Turkey and Dressing Casserole

Left-over turkey
2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
1 C. Milk
3 C. seasoned stuffing mix
3/4 C. hot water
1 stick margarine or butter

Bone turkey and break into large pieces.
Cover bottom of greased pan.
Mix milk and soup together and pour over turkey.
Melt margarine/butter in boiling water and add to stuffing mix.
Sprinkle over top of turkey.
Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.
– from the kitchen of Rosie Cordes
 
The FOLKS Love'n to Cook Cookbook gives you 200 pages of delicious and inventive recipes from FOLKS members and local chefs. Original illustrations throughout by FOLKS Board Member Rich Donnelly. Purchase yours at the FOLKS online store.


Lovers Key #1 on Trip Advisor

TripAdvisor currently lists Lovers Key State Park as #1 of the 45 "Things to Do" for Fort Myers Beach. In fact, the culmination of positive ratings earned the park the Certificate of Excellence for 2015.

"We have visited Lovers Key every time we are in this area. The scenery is beautiful, peaceful, definitely not like other beaches around this area. We have seen manatees on our walks on the beach in the past as well as birds of all types. "
– Visitor from Cincinnati, Ohio

The Friends of Lovers Key, Inc. is a non-profit organization formed by the citizens of the community to support Lovers Key State Park and is registered as a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. As such, your Membership and Donations are tax-deductible.

 
Business Partners help support the environmental education mission of the Park.

Ashmore & Associates
Bonita Beach Jewelers
John Brady/Everglades Wonder Garden
Donnelly Design Build
Florida Everblades
Guest Services, Inc.
IconDo Design
Johnson Engineering
​Lovers Key Adventures
Lovers Key Resort
Newlove Vacation Rentals
Presstige Printing
Maureen Guenther & Tom Reed: Sunshine Team-Sunstream Realty
The Sand Lovers

Add your business to the list! Contact Contact Shelley-Sue Williams at (516) 381-3518.

The Environmental Education work of the Friends of Lovers Key is made possible thanks to our generous sponsors.​
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