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 to build the Lovers Key Visitor 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. Fully support existing major fundraising activities including Valentine’s Vow Renewal, Turtle Trot 5K Race, Nautical Flea Market and Boat Show, and merchandise sales in 2017.
  2. Support shorebird, sea turtle nesting, and native plant nursery projects at a level requested by the park manager and reflected in the FOLKS 2017 approved budget.
  3. Refocus and energize the Visitors/Education Center campaign by identifying a new Campaign Committee Chairperson and refreshing/re-establishing campaign goals and strategy for 2017/2018.
  4. Revamp, resource, and reenergize the Events Committee to ensure that schedule/calendar and associated coordinators are established and finalized at least six months prior to any proposed event or activity.
  5. Increase the utilization of the FOLKS volunteer database by establishing and reinforcing a process to identify and funnel volunteers to FOLKS activities and events.
  6. Work with park management to enhance community awareness and preservation of the park. Increase community awareness by joining and networking with local Chamber of Commerce’s organizations in Fort Myers Beach, Bonita Springs, and Estero.
  7. Work with park management to promote volunteer recognition and appreciation as reflected in the FOLKS 2017 approved budget.
  8. All FOLKS Board members will serve on a committee and/or assume a committee chair or Board officer position during 2017.
  9. Continue to pursue discussions with other local like-minded non-profit organizations (CROW, etc) to identify sharing and/or partnering opportunities.

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
  • Sharon Downey
    Mark Generales
    Judy Greenwood
  • Tim Horvatich
    Neeley Murphy
    Todd Richards
    Shelley-Sue Williams

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.

Board Meeting Minutes

2016

2015

2014

Committee Chairs

  • Membership Chair
    Rosie Cordes
  • Building Co-Chairs
    Rich Donnelly
    Tim Horvatich
  • Event Co-Chairs
    Judy Greenwood
    Flo Alexander
  • Capital Campaign Chair
    David Szetela
  • Communications/Media Chair
    Shelley-Sue Williams
  • Executive Committee Chair
    Rich Donnelly
  • Nominating Committee Chair
    Flo Alexander
  • Finance Committee Chair
    Sharon Downey
  • Audit Committee Chair
    Todd Richards
  • Legacy Society Chair
    Flo Alexander
  • E-Commerce/T-Shirt Sales Chair
    Jack Delancy
  • Marketing Chair
    Leslie Kern

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.