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The Mission of the Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation is to enhance the beauty and experience of Lakes Park. 

April, 2022

Message From the President: 

It’s April! Four month into 2022. Time flies when you are having fun.  We hope you are enjoying all your time in the Park.
Highlights for April:
World Tai Chi day on the 30th! Don’t miss out on a chance to try this wonderful exercise and learn all about it! Read more below.
Farmers Market last day 27th
Plant Sales at the Farmer’s market 13th and 27th
Ding Darling Day the 24th.  
Lots of activities from 9-1.  Read more below.
Last but not least... buy a raffle ticket to win a basket from the Naples Botanic Garden that includes an annual Family membership,  See the article below.
Thanks for your continuing support.  The Foundation Board continues to work to improve the park and your experiences so enjoy every day with us. 
- Barbara Manzo

2021-2022 Leadership Team 

At the Annual Meeting, the following were elected:

Barbara Manzo, President – former Director of Lee County Parks & Recreation
Marsha Asp, Vice-President – Realtor, CornerStone Coastal Properties

Kathy Busick, Secretary – former educator, now LPEF’s volunteer Gardens
Kathleen Johnson, Treasurer - CPA and shareholder at Miller, Helms & Folk, P.A.

Laura Davis, Director - Amavida Resort Retirement Community.

Curious about what our foundation is and does for the park?  Click the video below to learn more!

We are Celebrating World Tai-Chi Day!
 April 30th, 2022

LPEF is partnering with Ellio Pilates to bring you Tai-Chi in Lakes Park for free! Now is your chance to learn the basics of Tai-Chi. It is proven to improve your balance, breath, and cardiovascular health among other benefits.
Join us on April 30th at 10am on the big field at shelter A-8 for a free class.
Over 80 countries will be participating around the world!

33rd Annual "Ding" Darling Day 
Conservation Carnival
Join us in 2022 for our annual "Ding" Darling Day. This year's family-centric event will be making the “great migration” across the Causeway to Lakes Park in Fort Myers to bring the Refuge to our local communities and a wider audience. The move is part of a larger Refuge System-wide Urban Initiative.
Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.
Gift Basket Raffle! 
 donated by the Naples Botanical Garden
The Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation will be Raffling this Gift Basket generously donated by the Naples Botanical Garden to raise money to build a Human Sundial in the Children’s Garden. Valued at $250!
The basket contains a one-year family membership to the Naples BotanicalGarden.   
It is chock full of “garden related goodies” such as a cultivator, baseball cap, Gardening Vertical Book, shopping bag and a Tervis Water Bottle.

The raffle tickets are $5 a piece or 3 for $10.
You can purchase your tickets at the Farmer’s Market each Wednesday at the Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation table.
The drawing will take place at the Travel Rally on May 3rd.
Bird Patrol led nature walk at Lakes Park
1st Saturday of every month!
What: Nature Walk offered by Bird Patrol in conjunction with Lee County Parks and Recreation. This easy walk along clear paths offers an opportunity to see birds in native vegetation with experienced Bird Patrol guides pointing out the many species in Lakes Park, a Lee County birding hot spot and crucial nesting area for many birds.
Parking: $1/hour or $5/all day.
When: 8 A.M. the FIRST Saturday of every month. Please arrive a few minutes before 8 A.M. for a brief intro and to sign waivers. Walks start promptly at 8 A.M.
Where: LAKES REGIONAL PARK, 7330 Gladiolus Drive, Fort Myers, Fl. 33908
Meet: at Shelter A7. Enter Lakes Park gate from Gladiolus. Turn right. Drive to end of road, continue through the parking lot. Shelter A7 is located near the Train Station.
Information:  Call (239)533-7275 or (239)229-0559 or online at
Please wear comfortable shoes and dress to be outside. Bring water, sunscreen and binoculars.
Growing Roses and Friendships in Lakes Park
Tucked at the back of the Fragrance Garden is a delightful gem of carefully tended roses and a brick walkway. The bricks in the area display the names of garden lovers, gardeners, and beloved family members honored by  donations to Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation. 

A group of dedicated volunteers keeps this area tidy and flourishing. 
In the Fall of 2021, volunteers Ann Krull and Karen Miller (who have been taking responsibility for the roses for several years) installed an improved watering system to bring drip irrigation to the roots of each individual plant.  
This reduces water waste and eliminates water spray on the leaves, which can cause fungus diseases to set in. 
Lakes Park Volunteers are hard at work with their weekly watering, deadheading, supplementing, hard pruning, mulching, and monthly fertilizing. These volunteers have made it their business to study Florida rose care, which differs from other places and climates. Karen is a certified master gardener. In summer, full time volunteers work with Karen Jarboe who takes over when snowbirds fly away.

Other dedicated volunteers keep the bricks cleaned, weeded, and tend the butterfly host-vines growing on the trellis. The visitors, workers, bees, birds and butterflies are happy here. Workers especially enjoy making friends with other gardeners, smelling and photographing the roses, and talking to passers by.  The rose garden is a gift to all.
Team Work Makes The Dream Work
By Kathy Busick
As the season draws to an end and many of the Lakes Park Garden Volunteers head back to their summer homes, I have time to reflect on all that can be accomplished when you have 25 to 30 volunteers working on Monday and Thursday mornings. I am proud to work with such an amazing and hard working crew of volunteers, both part and full time residents of Fort Myers. I will touch on just a few of the many things we accomplished.

The big building project for this season was to replace the propagation area behind the shed with a structure that was more user friendly and able to handle strong winds. It was a big project requiring lots of man hours and hard work.

Special thanks to Dan Flavin for designing and overseeing the build.
A brick path was placed around the rose garden using donated pavers. Norm Baziniet used his masonry skills to lead this project. He also used some left over pavers to create a path to the Butterfly Sign.
Mulch, mulch, mulch! This season we spread close to 10 pallets of mulch and 2 dump trucks full of loose mulch. A dedicated crew of ladies spend many weeks clearing beds, laying down cardboard and spreading bags of mulch. Hopefully this will keep the weeds down in the summer months.

The propagation shed is filled with a huge assortment of plants and cuttings to enhance the Gardens as well as sell at the Farmer’s Market from October through April. Paula Novander, Robin Brocious, Jane Cole and Dave Hallett have made quite the team. They also helped to introduce many new plants to the gardens.

The dedicated Children’s Garden ladies maintain all the beds with such joy and whimsy. They greet everyone who walks through, especially the children. They raise vegetables in the ABC garden to donate to the Community Cooperative through out the season, as well as pruning, trimming and weeding.

When everyone comes back next season, hopefully they will be greeted to a fully automated irrigation system in the Gardens thanks to The Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation funding this huge undertaking.
We are so proud of all we have accomplished to enhance the 6 acres of gardens we maintain at Lakes Park. We really appreciate it when folks walking through the gardens take the time to thank us for all of our hard work.
Volunteer appreciation below! 
1st photo: Debi, Renee, Brenda, Karen, Jean, Miso, Mary and Kristi taking a break from mulching. 
2nd photo: Debi, Sherry, Marge, Elvy and Sue are the “Winged Mamas” and have worked tirelessly to make the Family Greenhouse the place to see Monarchs raised. 
3rd Photo: Renee and Jean are willing to tackle any project, no matter how dirty!
4th photo: Dan is happiest  designing and implementing projects in the gardens such as the new bridge and the propagation shed. Next big project will be getting a Human Sun Dial in the Children’s Garden.

Lakes Park plant sale! 
Come to the Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation plant sale held the second and fourth Wednesdays of every month from the first week in October until the last Wednesday in April.
All of the plants we sell were propagated here at Lakes Park. Master Gardeners Paula Novander and Robin Brocious will answer your plant questions and help you choose the best plants for you.
Gators Removed from Lakes Park!
On March 29th two nuisance alligators were removed from Lakes Park. The first gator was 10”7” and the other was 9’ 8” and was missing the end of its tail. Both of the gators were moved to a gator farm to breed and live out the rest of their years.
Big thank you to our garden community! 
Children's Garden Joy!
1st photo: Bonnie Petroski gets great joy in adding whimsy to the Children’s Garden. She loves to see the smiles and joy her hand made wooden figures bring to both Children and adults alike.  Be sure to check out her cute gnomes sprinkled through out the Children’s Garden.
2nd photo: Roseanne, Deb, Betsy, Karen and Bonnie keep the Children’s Garden looking great!
 The two splash pads at Lakes Park, 7330 Gladiolus Drive, Fort Myers, will be closed temporarily from Monday, April 4, through Friday, April 8, for the installation of new shade structures.
The splash pads will reopen Saturday, April 9, weather permitting.
Following that installation, the small playground by parking lot No. 1 will close Monday, April 11, to install new playground equipment and shade structures. This project is expected to be complete by the end of May 2022. The train playground by parking lot No. 3 will remain open during this project.
The county has made it a priority to install shade structures throughout Lee County Parks & Recreation facilities.
For more information about Lee County Parks & Recreation projects, locations and amenities, visit, call 239-533-7275 or email
Thank You Periwinkle Garden Club!
The ladies of the Periwinkle Garden Club, established in 1928, recently came for a tour of our gardens led my Master Gardener Paula Novander. The LPEF would like to thank them for their generous donation.
Leave Your Mark On The Park
Bricks are a great gift and make a lasting memory. They are
located in three areas of the Park. Purchase your brick here and fill out the form by choosing your location and wording.
Only $100! 
we now have a data base of all the bricks in the Children’s Garden, Fragrance Garden, and Train Museum thanks to Scot Anderson and Howard Holden!
If you can’t find your brick e-mail and we will find it for you. Please include location, and inscription along with your name.
Become a volunteer

Volunteers are the very backbone of our ability to carry out the Foundation’s mission. We call our volunteers “Lakes Park Ambassadors” because of their tendency to share their passion and knowledge with park visitors.

Individuals wishing to volunteer should e-mail for more information.

Foundation Website
The six acres of gardens at Lakes Park that include the Children’s Garden, The Community Garden and the Botanical/Fragrance Garden are managed and maintained by an amazing crew of volunteers. The regular work days are Monday and Thursday mornings from 8 AM to 11 AM. These hours vary depending on the Florida weather. Our current need is for full time residents who are willing to help when the snowbirds fly north at the end of April.

Bench Dedication Program  
The bench catalog, pricing, terms and conditions, availability, etc. can be found 
by visiting our Bench Dedication landing page.

Pave the Park - Buy a Brick! 
Bricks are a very popular way to support the park.   Three locations to choose from! Find out  more 
by visiting our Pave the Park page. 

Donate through the PayPal Giving Fund 
PayPal has a special program - no one gets charged any credit card merchant fees! 
Click this link to find out how quick and easy it is to  donate through the PayPal Giving Fund

Interested in the Community Garden? 
We get many requests for a bed in the Community Garden. Whenever a bed becomes available, we hold  an "email lottery" to engage a new Community Garden member.  Get details and put your name on the Community Garden Notifications List - 
click here to find out more. 

Join the Board of Directors or the Advisory Board 
We're looking to build out our Board of Directors and Advisory Board with community leaders who love Lakes Park and are willing to tap their personal and professional networks as well as their own skills, knowledge, and wisdom to support the Foundation in achieving its mission - Enhancing the Beauty and Experience of Lakes Park.  
CONTACT US at if  you are interested in attending one of our Board meetings to see if this is the right mission for you. 
Copyright © 2022 Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation, All rights reserved.

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