News from the Friends of Lovers Key State Park
March 1, 2017 - This year is FOLKS 20th Anniversary!
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Friends of Lovers Key Marks 20th Anniversary

FOLKs Charter Membersby Bill Schroeder

In 1996, the Carl E. Johnson County Park merged with the adjacent Lovers Key State Recreation Area. Now known as Lovers Key State Park, it is one of the area’s top attractions. Almost from the beginning the volunteer group Friends of Lovers Key, more commonly known by its acronym FOLKs, has contributed to its success.

According to FOLKs informal historian and long-time Board member Jack Delancy, a state application to form the citizens support organization FOLKs was filed by founders of the Citizens Association of Bonita Springs, Marjorie and David Ward, and ten others. It was to operate as a 501(c)(3) charitable and educational entity to increase public awareness of Lovers Key through programs, social functions, projects and events. The application was approved in July, 1997; thus, FOLKs celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
Charter members are commemorated on a plaque located near the tram stop in the park. One of the charter members so honored is Flo Alexander. She and her husband Vernon served the park in many ways. They started by keeping the beach clean, then operating the tram and selling tee shirts. Flo has been a FOLKs Board member for 15 years. She has served as Treasurer, Secretary, and is currently Vice President.

Originally from the beach town of Long Branch, NJ, Flo’s favorite part of Lovers Key Park is the unspoiled beach. However, she notes the park offers much beyond the beach. For example, you'll find hiking trails, birding, canoeing and kayaking, and a butterfly garden. Plus, a children’s playground and a boat launch area are right across Estero Blvd. on the bay side.

Flo points out that the park is a bargain for visitors. Park entry fees are $8 for vehicles (2-8 people), $4 for a single person in  a vehicle, $2 for pedestrian/bicyclist, the this fee includes parking and the use of all the park’s amenities, including the beach.

 Flo says, "Joining FOLKS is a great deal."  For an annual donation of $40 or more members receive 12 FREE visits to the park per year, a monthly newsletter, invitations to special member-only events, discounts at local restaurants and park concessionaire purchases, as well as other benefits (see the website membership page).

All of the money raised by FOLKs goes to support park programs, maintenance and improvements. Thanks in part to FOLKs, a Visitors/ Educational Center is currently in the planning stages. An architectural firm has been hired and concept designs have already been submitted. 

We are pleased to report that FOLKs is still going strong in supporting Lovers Key State Park, one of the most visited in Florida. For more information on the park, its activities and events, and FOLKs itself, visit or stop by the park at 8700 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach.

Mark Your Calendar for Upcoming Events

Thursday, March 2, 2017 – 4:30PM

Songwriters at Sunset Second Season

If you have not yet experienced this popular event, you should give it a try this month. The musicians share their original music in the intimate style of Nashville's acclaimed Bluebird Cafe. The March 2 show will feature a Blues Night with Mike McMillian, Bill Metts, and Karen Cohen.

Mike McMillian considers himself a student of acoustic blues, performing classics and originals.  

Bill Metts was influenced by the music of Taj Mahall, Mississippi John Hurt, Doc Watson and others.  Bill’s original songs are down home finger-picking style.
Karen Cohen is a finger-picking Guitarist who delivers songs form all different eras.  Her sets include Piedmont style pickin’ songs from the 20’s and 30’s, Blues, and Slide Guitar in the Mississippi Delta style.

All shows are on the first Thursday of each month and start 2 hours before sunset. Seating is available in the gazebo for the first 80 people. Additional seating is available on the sand, so bring a beach chair and a few friends. Allow 20 minutes to reach the beach! Here are the upcoming dates and times:

March 2  4:30pm      April 6    5:30pm

FREE Concert with park entry. Park entry fees are $8.00 for vehicles with 2-8 people, $4.00 for single person in vehicle, and $2.00 for pedestrian/ bicyclist.

Don't Miss it!

Mar. 31 - Apr. 2 – Nautical Flea Market and Boat Show

The Rotary Club of Bonita Springs and the Friends of Lovers Key work together to bring you the Lovers Key Nautical Flea Market & Boat Show. Need gear? We'll have it here.

Visit the Boat Show website for the latest info. >

Lovers Key State Park Interpretive Events
March, 2017

Friday. Mar 3, 10 am
Black Island Bike Tour

Wed. Mar 8 and
Fri. Mar 17, 10 am
Estuary Wading Trip

Weds. Feb 8 and
Mar 22, 10 am
Florida Manatee Talk

Thurs. Mar 9 and
Tues Mar 21, 10 am
Lovers Key Fishing Clinic

Wed, Mar 15, 10 am
Beginning Birding

Fri. Mar 24, 10 am
Walk on the Wild Side

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

85 couples renewed their vows on the beach
Valentines Vow Renewal at Lovers Key was Lovely

Love was in the air on the beach at Lovers Key State Park as 85 couples renewed their vows on Valentines Day. The ocean and gulls provided background music for the occasion.

Couples were young and old, newly married or past their golden anniversary. The annual vow renewals ceremony is so popular that two are scheduled to meet demand – one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Both events offered photo stations, champagne and mimosa toasts, delicious meals, coffee and wedding cake, gift certificate giveaways, door prizes, and a parting gift for each couple.

Several couples attend this event every year, and one couple has attended and renewed their vows 6 times. For many couples this was their first chance to recommit and renew the love they have for each other."To be able to say ‘I do’ all over again is an amazing and special thing.

Visit FOLKs Valentines Vow Renewal page for the full story and more pictures!

Wear your Support for FOLKS!

FOLKS new polo shirts and hats are for sale at the tram station every
Friday and Saturday!

Hats are one size with a velcro adjustment, made of 100% cotton twill, embroidered with the FOLKS logo. They come in 4 colors – white, oyster, blue and neon yellow at $17 each.

Polo shirts are available in White, Banana, Maui Blue and Mint Green, with the FOLKS logo embroidered on the left chest. Polos come in sizes L and XL only and are $35 each.

For information on how to order hats and polos, call Jack at #239-470-9556 or email

FOLKS colored tees and tanks are always available on our website. To see all styles and colors visit

The sale of merchandise, shirts and cookbooks is an important 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.
Start 2017 with a Donation to Support Lovers Key State Park

From the FOLKS Love'n to Cook Cookbook

Swedish Meatballs

1 1/2 lb. ground chuck
 4 T. minced onion
1 1/2 C. bread crumbs
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1 can mushroom soup
1/2 C. water
  1. Form mixture lightly into Balls.
  2. Roll in flour and brown in hot fat.
  3. Add mushroom soup diluted with water.
  4. Cover skillet and simmer meatballs for 1/2 hour
– from the kitchen of Josephine Bandura, Streator, Illinois

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 51 "Things to Do" for Fort Myers Beach. In fact, the culmination of positive ratings earned the park the Certificate of Excellence for both 2015 and 2016.

"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

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.

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.​
Copyright © 2017 Friends of Lovers Key State Park, All rights reserved.

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