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.

In the News

May 13, 2017 at 8:00 AM

12th Annual Turtle Trot

This unique 5k trail course takes runners through a shady maritime hammock ecosystem, and ends at the pavilion over looking the beach where refreshments are served and awards are presented. Here is a flyer with detailed information.

Register Now Click to see who won last year, and meet our sponsors

FOLKS Celebrates gifts of time and talent to Lovers' Key State Park

On April 5, all of the Park's volunteers and FOLKs volunteers were invited to the beach gazebo for an appreciation luncheon and awards ceremony. Attendees were treated to a delicious lunch catered by Moe's Southwest Grill, and many won gift certificates donated from local businesses.

Park Manager Robert Steiger shows sweet appreciation for the volunteers that make everything possible at Lovers Key State Park. The beautiful beach view made everything even more tasty.

Special awards were given to the volunteer of the year, and state park staff member of the year.

Volunteer of the Year: Jack Delancy

Jack Delancy has certainly been a "Jack of all trades" for Lovers Key, volunteering for maintenance projects for the park, and taking the reins on finance and merchandise for the FOLKS.

Originally from Clinton, Illinois, Jack split time between his hometown and Florida for 12 years; he now lives full time in S. Fort Myers. Eleven years ago Jack saw an article in the paper seeking park volunteers — he has committed one day a week (during season) to Lovers Key State Park ever since. His expertise as a general handyman on maintenance projects has proved invaluable to the park staff. Once Pamela Jones-Morton, Ph.D. enticed Jack to join FOLKS, he served first as a Director, and then as Treasurer during the launch of the Capital Campaign. Jack earned a reputation for keeping the books with a keen eye on finances.

Jack was nominated by FOLKS Board Member, Shelia Armstrong.

"Jack has devoted countless hours organizing and expanding our FOLKS merchandise for our fundraising efforts. He improved our presentation of the shirts, added colors and items based on customer demand (hats, tank tops), and has set up online sales through the website. He sells at the park once or twice a week, at events, and stays until dark when needed. He maintains inventory, and devotes many hours to ordering, folding and bagging shirts. Now he has his wife Judy helping out! Truly an exceptional volunteer, thank you Jack!"

More about Jack. Jack endorses South beach with its great view as his favorite spot in Lovers Key State Park. When it comes to wildlife, Jack favors the manatee, and treasures the memory of viewing a manatee mother with two nursing calves from an overlook.

After two years in the Army, Jack studied Civil Engineering at the University of Missouri in Rolla. He then worked as a Materials Inspector for the State of Illinois Department of Transportation for over 30 years. Fifty-four years ago Jack married his next door neighbor, Judy, 13 years after they first met. They have 2 daughters and 3 granddaughters. In his free time, Jack is researching his family ancestry via the web, and has so far discovered that one branch on the DeLancy family tree is of French origin.

Employee of the Year: Robert Hughes - Park Service Specialist.


Bob Steiger, Park Manager (left) and Matt Kruse Assistant Park Manager (right), recognize Robert Hughes, Park Service Specialist, as Park Staff Employee of the Year.

As the Lovers Key State Park Service Specialist, Robert Hughes has many responsibilities including working with park Volunteers, coordinating Special Events, and community outreach.

In his role working with official park volunteers, Robert recruits, interviews, processes, trains and schedules the projects. He maintains the park's volunteer database; he is responsible for recruiting community organizations for special volunteer work days.

Special events within his purview include Great Outdoor Adventure Day, National Public Lands Day, Literacy Day, Global Youth Services Day, and a Coastal Cleanup with the City of Bonita Springs. Robert serves as the liaison for the park with the media and press, attends local events, and represents the park in the community.

More about Robert. Robert is originally from Southern Idaho and has lived in Southwest Florida for 17 years. Robert Joined the Florida Park Service in 2006 as a Park Ranger at Lovers Key State Park. He was promoted to Park Services Specialist in 2016. Robert loves cats, Egyptology, and mountains.

More news

Season Finale celebrates Songwriters at Sunset Concert Series

Mark your calendar for next season!

songs-at-sunset

The season finale of the Songwriters at Sunset capped off a musical season of original acoustic music performed by members of the Americana Community Music Association (ACMA). Co-sponsored by FOLKS and the ACMA, the six concerts for the 2016/2017 Season entertained over 1,500 listeners from the gazebo stage right on the beach. Most of these listeners had never visited Lovers Key State Park before. Mark your calendar for next year's season which will begin in November and run through April, on the First Thursday of every month

Read more on our Events page >>

Reggae and Ribs bring dance to the beach

Friday March 24

ribs and reggae

Over 100 guests enjoyed a lovely evening socializing at Reggae and Ribs on Friday, March 24. The Dock Boys provided entertainment, and delicious BBQ was served by Texas Tony's. Photo by Shelley-Sue Williams.

2017 Valentines Day Vow Renewal a Lovely Success

85 couples renewed their vows.

vday

The ocean and gulls provided background music for the occasion, and Love was in the air on the beach at Lovers Key State Park. Couples were young and old, from newly married to past their golden anniversary. This hallmark FOLKS event is so popular that two must be scheduled to meet demand – one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Read more and view a slideshow on the Valentines Day Vow page.

FOLKS Give Energy to Lovers Key

Your donations and dues help FOLKS to help the park

golfcart

FOLKS recently donated funds to Lovers Key State Park to purchase 14 deep cell golf cart batteries and a riding mower clutch. These much needed items were requested by Matt Kruse, Assistant Park Manager, at our recent FOLKS Board Meeting and unanimously approved. This is one example of how your donations and membership dues can help FOLKS to help the park. Thank you for helping us to help the park!

Lovers Key State Park Manager, Robert Steiger

Bob brings a wealth of experience to our park

bobsteiger

Robert Steiger is no stranger to Lovers Key State Park. Before his homecoming in 2016, Bob served as Park Manager for both Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park and Lovers Key from 1994 - 1996; the parks were jointly administered at that time. Bob continued on at Delnor-Wiggins after Lovers Key’s 1996 merger with Carl Johnson County Park, at which point it gained operational independence and its own Manager.

Read more about Bob >>

 

Lovers Key State Park Interpretative Programs


Sea Turtle Talk
Join a park ranger to learn about the fascinating life of the marine turtles that visit Lovers Key each summer. Learn about their nesting behavior and find out what you can do to help protect them. Due to limited space, reservations are required. Call 239-463-4588.

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.

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.

Beginning Birding
Explore the prime birding areas of Lovers Key State Park with a park naturalist. Learn how to identify the birds you see and where to go in the park for great birding. A limited number of binoculars will be provided. Call 239-463-4588.

Estuary Wading Trip
Join a Park Naturalist to learn about the marine species that make the estuary and barrier island environments unique, and explore sea grass flats. Seahorses, shrimp, young fish, and egg casings of all sorts inhabit the grasses, which attract larger fish, mollusks and crustaceans, and manatees, dolphins and rays. Guests will get wet as they venture into the estuary. The Estuary Wading Trip is sponsored by the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program (CHNEP). Due to limited space, reservations are required. Call 239-463-4588.

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.

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.

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

"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

Mark your calendar for upcoming events!

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

May 13, 2017 at 8:00 AM

12th Annual Turtle Trot

This unique 5k trail course takes runners through a shady maritime hammock ecosystem, and ends at the pavilion over looking the beach where refreshments are served and awards are presented.

Registration is open for the 2017 Turtle Trot!

Here is a flyer with detailed information.

Register Now

See who won last year, and meet our sponsors >

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.

Visitor Center

FOLKS has made its primary focus the development and eventual construction of a Visitor 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!