Friends of Lovers Key State Park

Together, we protect, preserve and support Lovers Key State Park

We raise money to help the park obtain much needed equipment, and volunteer our time and skills to help with repairs, remove invasive non-native plants, drive the tram, lead interpretive nature tours, and work the ranger station.

We encourage you to join us in supporting our favorite state park. Get involved by becoming a member, volunteer or donor and bring your friends and family to our special events. Together, we can preserve our Florida coastal legacy and ensure that it is available for future generations.

Mark your calendar for upcoming events!

Please visit our Events page for complete information and our event calendar.

First Thursdays through April

Songwriters at Sunset begins new season

An intimate experience with local ACMA artists sharing their original Americana/Acoustic songs and background stories. The concerts at the Gazebo are free with paid admission to the park. Songwriters at Sunset concert dates are scheduled for Feb 1, Mar 1, and Apr 5, 2018.

Please allow time to reach the beach. Seating is available in the shaded gazebo for the first 80 people. Additional seating is available on the sand, so bring a beach chair and a few friends.

New! Come early for a beach BBQ!

Park entry fees are $8.00 for vehicles with 2-8 people, $4.00 for single person in vehicle. There is no extra charge for the concerts. More Information >

Every Monday through April, 9:30am to 10:30am

Yoga on the Gazebo at Lovers Key State Park

The Friends of Lovers Key (FOLKS) and the Naples Yoga Center (NYC) offer Monday morning yoga at the gazebo at Lovers Key through April. Your participation helps to fund the future Welcome and Discovery Center, as a portion of the class fee will be donated to the FOLKS.

$10 per class plus park entry fee. Bring a yoga mat, water, and any props you may need. Be sure to give yourself time to park, and take the tram down to the gazebo.

February 23, 2018 – at Dusk

Reach for the Stars with the Marco Island Astronomy Club

Join us on the beach by the gazebo for an up close look at the night sky! Marco Island Astronomy Club members will be on hand with their instruments to observe the night sky with us. Light refreshments will be served.

FOLKS Members Event (plus their guests).

Free for FOLKS members with Park Entry.
Don't miss out!  Join the FOLKS now!

Space is limited for this special program.
RSVP to Judy Greenwood at fjgreenwood@gmail.com or call 708-359-0466.

March 8, 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Tropical Beach Party

Unusually chilly temperatures descended upon Southwest Florida’s beaches and changed plans for our scheduled Tropical Beach Party.

The new date is March 8.

Join the FOLKS for a special “Island” evening on the beach at Lovers Key State Park. Wear your favorite tropical outfit and your dancing shoes as we enjoy the sounds of Johnny Caribe. Feast on a BBQ meal of ribs, chicken, pulled pork catered by Texas Tony’s. Enjoy specialty desserts with an island flavor. All proceeds for the event benefit the future Welcome and Discovery Center at Lovers Key State Park.

Cost is $50 per person includes park admission, food, dancing and 2 drinks. Cash bar will be available as well. There will be drawings of chance for items from local artists and shops. For additional information or to RSVP Contact Sarah at #513-503-8750 or beachparty@friendsofloverskey.org

May 12, 2018

Registration is now open for the 13th Annual Lovers Key Turtle Trot

Participants run and walk the 5K trail course through a shady maritime hammock ecosystem on a hard-packed shell path. The course ends on the beach sand of the Gulf of Mexico. Refreshments are then served and awards presented at the pavilion overlooking the beach.

Visit our Turtle Trot event page to register for the 13th Annual on May 12, 2018.

Maribeth Richards ran the 2016 race. Here's what she had to say when she finished:

"I loved running this race course, especially the shady portion of the trail. I loved finishing on the beach, where after the race I jumped in the Gulf to cool off!"

 

"This is the place to go for a 'Truly Great Experience.' If you get a chance to visit, you will not have regrets…Kayaking, Fishing, Swimming, Hiking, etc."

Kenneth Petrie

In the News

President's Message – Welcome and Discovery Center is underway!

New renderings of the planned Welcome and Discovery Center reveal the grand plan for our visitors

Some seven years ago the FOLKS Board of Directors shouldered the daunting task of creating a Welcome and Discovery Center for our Park. It made no sense that the second most visited Park of 174 Parks in the State system did not have a Visitor Center.As you may have seen in the media, the Florida Legislature with the Governor’s approval has granted the Park Service the funds to make this dream a reality! Design of the building is now underway! (See new renderings of the Welcome and Discovery Center at the FOLKS website.) Budgets are being developed and FOLKS is staying closely involved in the process.

Park visitors will experience a new and exciting range of classes, lectures, special events, fundraisers, community programs in our planned facility. We also plan to incorporate state-of-the-art exhibits that explain the unique variety of the ecosystems featured in our beautiful barrier islands.

There is still much to be done in the days ahead, and we pledge to keep you informed of progress through this letter. For now we wish to thank the many of you who have helped in realizing the dream. It has been the support of friends, certain individuals, community groups, and the efforts of the local governments of Bonita Springs, Estero and Fort Myers Beach that have brought us to where we are today. So stay tuned, there's more exciting news to come! And we will be asking for your continuing support! Thanks.

Rich Donnelly, President FOLKS.
The Island Sandpaper recently published a great article on our Welcome and Discovery Center! You can read it here.

20th Anniversary Birthday Bash celebrates a History of Love for Lovers Key

Friday night November 17 the Friends of Lovers Key celebrated their 20th birthday as a Citizen Support Organization for Lovers Key State Park. Architectural renderings and plans for the future Welcome and Discovery at Lovers Key State Park were shared with guests,who toasted the past, present and future of the FOLKS in style at sunset.

The Fort Myers Beach news Island Sand Paper hit the highlights of the FOLKS Birthday Bash in an article titled, "Lovers Key State Park Turns 20!" They quote Pamela Jones-Morton, former president of the Friends of Lovers Key State Park (FOLKS) who provided a brief history: “Go back in your mind over one thousand years,” she instructed, “and close your eyes and just listen,” as waves lapped against the shore, complemented by gentle migratory bird calls just after sunset.

FOLKS member Mark Generales stressed, "... it is the combination of the place and the people, because the park would not exist if it were not for the people saying that this site is too important to be just another beachfront housing development…People are dedicated to Lovers Key State Park, not only because they understand what it needs, but appreciate what it provides us in return.”

Park Manager Robert Steiger told the crowd he feels the park's finest days are just ahead: “This time next year, the new visitor center will be under construction, and that will provide people a better understanding of Southwest Florida’s coastline ecosystem…Remember most visitors and even residents are not native Floridians, so it is crucial they know its history, as one of our missions is education.”

Lovers Key 2018 Calendar

12 Months of spectacular photographs by award-winning photographer Dennis Goodman
Proceeds from the purchase of the FOLKS calendar will be used for the highly anticipated Welcome and Discovery Center. At $15.00 each, these calendars make amazing holiday gifts!
Shipping and handling be $2.45 per calendar.

More news

Volunteer Opportunities Abound

Apply your talents to help the FOLKS raise funds for educational exhibits.

volunteers

FOLKS is growing and looking to expand our volunteer base for the new season. Volunteers provide a much needed work force, making the park’s state dollars go further. FOLKS is currently looking for volunteers in the following positions- Volunteer Coordinator, Merchandise Manager, Merchandise Sales, Bookkeeper, Event Planners, Staff Writers, Social Media Networking, and Community Relations.

For additional information please contact FOLKS President Rich Donnelly at president@friendsofloverskey.org or visit our website at www. friendsofloverskey.org

Lovers Key on list of Southwest Florida great winter get-aways

Where better to spend the holiday?

beachphoto

Southwest Florida is home to some of the best winter outings in the nation. An article in The Naples News calls Lovers Key State Park, "one of the most popular beaches in Southwest Florida, regularly showing up on various top 10 beaches lists." The article, titled Get outta' here: Places to get away from the usual holiday grind, names five Real Florida places to visit, saving Lovers Key (the best, we think!) for last.

Park opens after Irma

Volunteers make the difference

shorebirds

Many of our friends and members have been wondering how our piece of paradise in Southwest Florida fared through Hurricane Irma. Lovers Key State Park had many trees downed and some buildings that had damage as well. The park was shut down following the storm and reopened on September 27.

Read more about our efforts to restore the park.

 

Lovers Key State Park Interpretative Programs


Walk on the Wild Side
Take a mile-long guided hike along our Black Island Trail with a park ranger to learn about the fascinating vegetation and wildlife that reside in this maritime hammock.

Nature's Drummers - SWFL Woodpeckers
Join one of our Park Naturalists for an interesting introduction to several of Florida’s native woodpeckers. You’ll explore some of the prime birding areas of Lovers Key State Park. Feel free to bring your own binoculars or camera. We also have a limited number of binoculars available. Due to limited space, reservations are required. Call 239-463-4588.

Black Island Bike Tour
Join a park naturalist for a three-mile adventure down our Black Island Trail. Learn a little park history and experience some of the wildlife that call this maritime hammock home. Bring your own bike or rent one from the park.

Lovers Key Fishing Clinic
Join park naturalists to learn a variety of tackle and fresh bait rigs, find out the best places to drop a line, and learn about the rules and regulations that pertain to game fishing in Southwest Florida.

Beach Walk and Estuary Tour
Take a leisurely one-mile walk over the estuary and along the beach with a park naturalist. Find out what washes ashore on the beach during the night and learn about coastal wildlife.

Florida Manatee Talk
Join a park ranger for an interesting and informative talk about the Florida Manatee. Learn about Florida’s gentle giants and the threats they face. Due to limited space, reservations are required. Call 239-463-4588.

Sensational Sharks!
Join a Park naturalist for an interesting and fun talk about sharks. Discover why sharks are often feared, but are an incredible group of animals which are commonly misunderstood. Explore why they’re important and how you can help protect them. Due to limited space, reservations are required. Call 239-463-4588.

Black Island Kayak Tour
Join a park ranger for a relaxing 1½ mile kayak tour. Learn the history of Black Island and experience some of the wildlife that call the waterways of Lovers Key home. Bring your own kayak or rent one from the park concession. Due to limited space, reservations are required. Call 239-463-4588.

Please note: Due to limited space, reservations are usually required. Call 239-463-4588.

Lovers Key State Park is a focal point for the Community. The park provides not only natural beauty, Florida's trademark seashells, and a home for wildlife, but the best in outdoor recreation for visitors and residents.

Welcome and Discovery Center

FOLKS has made its primary focus the development and construction of a Welcome and Discovery Center for the park. The purpose of the center will be to help visitors to the park learn about and appreciate the marvelous gem we have here at Lovers Key State Park.

See how you can help

The Friends of Lovers Key help create opportunities to learn, have fun, and give back to the Park. Whether your gift is financial, time or talent, the FOLKs want you as a member.

Volunteer

You too can be a volunteer! Many members of the Friends of Lovers Key State Park are also official State Park Volunteers, which give them a perfect excuse to spend more time at the park they love.

Find Out More

Take the Volunteer Interest Survey!