Friends of Lovers Key State Park

Together we protect, preserve and support Lovers Key State Park

About the Friends of Lovers Keys State Park

Who we are, what we do.

When Lovers Key State Recreation Area merged with Carl E. Johnson County Park in 1996, the 1,616 acre Lovers Key State Park was born. At that same time the Friends of Lovers Key, FOLKS, incorporated as a non-profit corporation and state sanctioned Citizen Support Organization (CSO) for the park.

FOLKS was soon busy identifying projects and raising money for restoration of the park's beach and mangrove communities. Each year the FOLKS raise funds to benefit Lovers Key now, and for future generations.

Typical projects include maintenance of the Park’s native plant nursery, shorebird nesting protection, and purchase of equipment. A portion of the FOLKS membership fees also go to the capital campaign or building the Lovers Key Welcome and Discovery Center.

The FOLKS sponsor activities throughout the year that bring the community together and raise funds to support the park. Events such as "Reggae and Ribs" bring out the skills and talents of the organization's members and supporters.

What is a CSO?

A Citizen Support Organization (CSO) is a non-profit corporation given special status by Florida law. By statute, CSOs are authorized to raise funds, seek and receive grants, accept gifts, bequests of money and tangible or real property on behalf of their host parks. In addition to monetary support, CSOs assist the parks through increasing community awareness and involvement in the parks and its programs.

The CSO supports the park by working on park projects or raising money to help meet the needs of a park as defined by park management and the Unit Management plan. The assistance CSOs provide the park may include but is not limited to, recruiting volunteers, helping with special work projects, serving as guides and docents and conducting tours or special programs. Members in the organization can also develop and promote special events and market the park and its programs to the community.

FOLKS raises funds through

  • Membership. Members receive benefits such as free admission to Lovers Key while lending financial support.
  • Donations. Donations—whether designated for a specific use or towards general support — fill the gaps in state funding.
  • Special event tickets, sponsorships and proceeds from silent auctions.

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 to the extent allowable by law.

Governance

FOLKS Goals

  1. Focus individual and Board energy, treasure, and support for the $1,500,000 Capital Campaign to provide exhibits and other fit up for the new Welcome and Discovery Center Building.
  2. Remain actively engaged with the DEP on the final building design and construction process relating to the new building.
  3. Remain actively involved with Split Rock Studios in moving forward with the design of the exhibits in a manner that will focus on education and learning.
  4. Improve professionally FOLKS major fundraising activities including Valentine’s Vow Renewal, Turtle Trot 5K Race, Nautical Market and Boat Show, and merchandise sales in 2018. Repeat the Santa on the Sand event.
  5. Support shorebird, sea turtle nesting, and native plant nursery projects at a level requested by the park manager and reflected in the FOLKS 2018 approved budget.
  6. Review the viability of all events to make sure that they are profitable as well as commensurate with the organizational effort that goes into planning and implementing them.
  7. Support the creation and ongoing efforts of the Volunteer Coordinator position and its base of volunteers by encouraging its involvement in creative projects that support the Park and build membership.
  8. Continue to increase community awareness by networking with local Chamber of Commerce organizations. Establish relationships at FGCU and also other like-minded non-profit organizations in order to focus on shared educational partnerships and learning opportunities.
  9. Work with park management to promote volunteer recognition coordination of programs and events, and appreciation as reflected in the FOLKS 2018 approved budget.
  10. Reestablish the position of Media Coordinator in order to provide consistent communication with public awareness of the Park, its programs, and the Campaign to include a review of the website.

FOLKS Bylaws
FOLKS bylaws were revised in December 2013. A pdf of the current version can be downloaded here.

FOLKS Code of Ethics
The FOLKS Board Code of Ethics is also available for download.
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Meet the FOLKS Board

  • Officers
  • Rich Donnelly – President
    Flo Alexander – Vice-Pres.
    Jack Delancy – Treasurer
    Shelia Armstrong  – Secretary
  • Directors
  • Frank Cassise
    Mark Generales
    Judy Greenwood
  • Tim Horvatich
    Neeley Murphy
    Todd Richards
  • David Szetela
  • Debbie Voorhees

Honorary Directors
Rosie Cordes
Joe Maccarone

Download the Code of Ethics

Board Meetings are the FIRST TUESDAY of the month at 2pm at the shop at LKSP. All meetings are open. Members and potential members are welcome to attend.

 

Committee Chairs

  • Membership Chair
    Rosie Cordes
  • Building Co-Chairs
    Rich Donnelly
    Tim Horvatich
  • Event Co-Chairs
    Judy Greenwood
    Flo Alexander
  • Capital Campaign Chair
    Kae Moore
  • Executive Committee Chair
    Rich Donnelly
  • Nominating Committee Chair
    Flo Alexander
  • Audit Committee Chair
    Todd Richards
  • Legacy Society Chair
    Flo Alexander
  • Merchandise Chair
    Jack Delancy
  • Grant Writer
    Debbie Voorhees
  • Volunteer Coordinator
    John Raymer

Each March hundreds of Least Terns come to park beaches to nest, laying speckled eggs in the sand. Protection of these nesting sites is a priority for the Friends of Lovers Key State Park, who work with volunteers to monitor nests.