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News from the Friends of Lovers Key State Park
September 28, 2016 - Come ride the new tram!
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Grant from Lee County Equips New Tram System 


We are pleased to announce that Lovers Key State Park will begin the busy season with a brand new tram system to transport visitors from the main use area to the south beach access area. 

The park received a generous grant from the Tourist Development Council of Lee County to fund the new tram system equipment. Park staff and volunteers have been anxiously awaiting the brand new Chevy Silverado 3500 diesel truck which will tow two new 35 passenger trailers.

The new truck is quieter with lower emissions, reducing the Park’s impact on the environment while providing great access to the beach. Both trailers are equipped with wheel chair ramps to ensure all visitors have safe, easy, and convenient access to the south end of Lovers Key.  Don’t forget that Lovers Key offers beach wheelchairs for any visitors which may need them free of charge! 

Want to help us further reduce our impact on the environment? Please consider carpooling to the park (which also makes entrance to the park less time consuming), and bring a reusable water bottle to use during your enjoyment of the beautiful park. 

Thank you to all our Friends and Supporters

With your support, we met our fundraising goal of $1,000 in our recent on air segment raising money for WGCU!

When organizations work together through teamwork and collaboration, exceptional things happen...

We partnered with WGCU Public Media for the "WGCU Community Campaign” radio pledge drive, and in return for raising $1,000, WGCU awarded us with free radio promos that we can use to promote our events and our mission throughout the next year. 

With your support we have now received 28  free radio spots!
Thank you again for all of your support to WGCU and FOLKS.

Friday, October 14 - 5pm

Sunset/ Moonlight Kayaking at Lovers Key State Park

Join us for a Sunset/ Moonlight paddle through the mangrove-protected estuary inside Lovers Key State Park. This 2 to 2.5 hour guided tour will transport you back to old time Florida as you peacefully paddle through the winding waters around Black Island. You may encounter Manatee, dolphin, and Tarpon as you glide through the waterways.

A Lovers Key Adventure guide will point out the wildlife and explain the background of each species including the plants, trees and flowers. The guide will amaze you with the stories of how a bearded pirate lived on Black Island, and his treasure that is said to be hidden in the park.

RSVP to Judy Greenwood at 708-359-0466, or email: fjgreenwood@gmail.com

All of the kayak rental costs will be donated back to FOLKS from our generous sponsor Lovers Key Adventures. Thanks!

Tour cost includes Park Entrance Fee:  $15 per person FOLKS members, $20 per person non-FOLKS members

plus kayak rental:  $38 Single kayak, $58 Double kayak

Mark Your Calendar for Upcoming Events


Back for a second season!

Songwriters at Sunset


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:

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

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
October, 2016

Thurs. Oct. 6 & 20, 10am
Beach Walk and Estuary Tour

Tues. Oct. 11 10am
Lovers Key Fishing Clinic

Thurs. Oct 13, 10am
Beginning Butterflies

Fri. Oct. 21, 10am
The Gopher Tortoise

Thurs. Oct. 27, 10am
Beginning Photography

Fri. Oct. 28, 10am
Florida Manatee talk

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

More exciting events!
Details to follow in the next newsletter.

Nov. 16 – Educational Talk from Manatee Park, 11am to 1 pm

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)

Blowin’ in the Wind

by Katie Moses
Park Services Specialist, Lovers Key State Park

If you’ve visited Lovers Key or seen pictures of any Gulf or East Coast beach, then you’ve probably witnessed the magnificence of Sea Oats.  Sea Oats (Uniola paniculata) are hardy, tough, and incredibly efficient at  creating sand dunes and protecting all the habitats, animals, plants, houses, and people on the landward side of them.

These incredible plants are a type of grass which thrives in hot sands where temperatures can reach from 120° to 127° F, are incredibly drought tolerant, survive the harsh salt spray from the sea, and withstand hurricane force winds like a champion. 

Sea Oats grow up to 6 feet in height and have prolific root systems which can reach 30 feet in length! So why are sea oats so important? Bob Dylan said it best, “The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.” Their roots are the key to development of sand dunes. Think of a large net or fence stretching across the beach that stops the sand as the wind blows. Just like a snow drift in the northern states, a “sand drift” starts to form against the sea oats and their roots help to hold it all in place. This “sand drift” is the beginning formation of sand dunes, which are essential barriers against storm surge from significant storms like hurricanes.



Without sea oats, we wouldn’t have sand dunes, and without sand dunes nothing would be able to survive hurricane storm surge along the coastline. Thankfully, Sea Oats can also survive inundation by saltwater. Sea Turtles also use these sand dunes as important nesting areas, along with a lot of other animals and plants that rely on the security of sand dunes.

Next time you visit Lovers Key State Park (or any beach) stop and take a moment to thank these amazing plants and look at how they interact and protect the beach. Please also respect the fragile habitat of sand dunes, as amazing as these grasses are, they are incredibly vulnerable to being harmed by the footprint of humans. 

Make sure to heed all signs protecting sand dunes and follow the designated paths to the beach. Harvesting or harming sea oats are prohibited by law, offenders could face up to a year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.  
 

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

 Easy Key Lime Pie

1 Box Vanilla Wafers
1 C. Lime Juice
2 14-oz cans Condensed Milk
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
Whipped Cream for garnish

Line pie plate with vanilla wafers, bottom and sides.
Mix together lime juice, condensed milk, eggs, vanilla and pour into crust.
Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Bake for 15 minutes
Chill 2 hours before putting on whipped cream.
– from the kitchen of Neeley Murphy
 
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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