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

February, 2022

Message From the President: 

Can you believe it is 2022!  Through the last couple of turbulent years the LPEF Board has continued our work in Lakes Park and our gardens are looking spectacular!
Our donors have been extremely generous and we thank everyone who has contributed to our beloved park.
Check out some of the stories in this newsletter and be on the lookout for some additions in the park.
We appreciate everyone who visits, donates, and especially those who volunteer!
Keep up the great work and we will continue working hard alongside the staff and our partners to make the park even better than it is!
- 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.

Joining the Board as a Director is Laura Davis, Amavida Resort Retirement Community.  Her presence will help to keep LPEF’s partnership with Amavida Living going strong.

Welcome Our New Board Member

Laura Davis has recently joined the Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation Board of Directors.  Laura is the Leasing Manager for Amavida Living Center(a partner with  LPEF) in Fort Myers which is adjacent to Lakes Park. She is originally from Western New York.
Laura has 20 years of experience in the senior care industry and enjoys serving the Lee County community of professionals. Laura and her husband have been married 21 years, have 2 teenage children, Kannon and Ashley, along with their dog Max! They enjoy the outdoors
and escaping to The Keys to snorkel.
"My passion is serving seniors and helping them to make decisions to better enhance their quality of life. It will be an honor and privilege to serve on the board. I look forward to our partnership."  - Laura Davis

Roger Tosch Estate

Dabney Turley

Anthony Yemin

Lawrence & Libby Smith

Phil &Andi Hourican

Beth & Tuck Nason

Jonathon Busa

Jackie Thompson

Elizabeth Dosoretz

Tim & Angie Young

Vicki McEntaffer

Enterprise Holdings Foundation

John A. Mayer

John & Joann Soyka

Katy Chiang

Maria Pan

Blackbaud Giving Fund

Their gifts made possible multiple additions and improvements to the Gardens, new educational signage and enhancements to the Summer Camp program!
Donate here today to make a difference. 

2021 Scarecrows in the Park Winners!

           The Foundation’s major fundraiser was very well attended and a big hit with park visitors. It concluded on October 31, 2021 with the announcement of all the Scarecrow winners.  This year’s theme was “Favorite Book Character”. 

There were 21 colorful scarecrows lining the trail in the Children’s Garden—and while all were wonderful—the winners were:
“Medusa” created by The O’Hern Family,
“Peter Parker” built by Scout Troop 82 ,
“Jack Skellingcrow” created by The Castellano’s ,
“Waldo” built by Lehigh Regional Medical Center and “Wild Thing” sponsored by Doma Title Services and built by Harns Marsh Elementary School. 
Winners received “A Party in the Park".  A big THANK YOU to Sunrise Rotary for providing parking assistance for the event and all our volunteers. 

              Plan now to participate in the 2022 event, “Scarecrows Go to the Movies”, which will run the last two weeks of October. Details will be posted on or let us know now your interest in participating by contacting us at

           A fun time for all with great benefits to Lakes Park!
A whole lot of mulching going on!
We’ve been busy mulching many of the beds in the Fragrance and Children's Gardens. This year we are trying “sheet mulching” with heavy cardboard. By using the cardboard and mulch, we hope to decrease the amount of time weeding. It has been impressive watching the crew of volunteers working together to beautify our gardens, and limit the amount of cardboard in the trash.
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.
Where do poinsettias go after Christmas?
Riva Del Lago Condo owners sent theirs to Lakes Park.  The garden volunteers have replanted them with others from years previous. Next holiday season, look for a bright red bed just behind the wedding gazebo!
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.
Building Projects in the Fragrance Garden
There is always a project or two going on in the Fragrance Garden! Currently, a path is being installed near the rose garden with paver bricks, generously donated to us.
The big project is replacing the section of the propagation area that was in dire need of repair. Thanks to the generosity of the Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation, and all the hard work of the Garden Volunteers, we’ll soon have a new area that far exceeds the old one.
Water Purification Project underway
               Have you seen this boat on the lakes and wondered what is going on? 
This is a project to add alum to the lake’s surface with the goal of clarifying the water and preventing algae blooms.  The alum creates an aluminum hydroxide precipitate which removes phosphorous and particulates from the water as it settles and acts as a barrier to phosphorus being released from sediments.  An additional treatment will take place in a few months.  Let’s hope it will be successful and make our lakes even more attractive!
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!  
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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