Friends of Lovers Key State Park

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

Building the Visitor Center

Bringing the best of Lovers Key Indoors

Lovers Key State Park is one of the most visited State Parks in Florida. Over 300 official talks and tours each year (nearly one a day!) show over 2,000 people more about manatees, butterflies, plant life and sea life. These visitors wade, hike, paddle and fish, and have a wonderful time learning about the outdoors at Lovers Key.

Unfortunately, when the weather is stormy, hot, or cold, educational programs have no retreat at the park – there currently is no indoor space! The FOLKS will solve this problem by raising funds to build a state-of-the-art Visitor Center. Then we can entice the nearly 1 million park visitors to come indoors and learn more about Florida and Lovers Key.

The FOLKS sponsor activities throughout the year that bring the community together and raise funds to support the park. Completion of a Visitor Center would enrich the Lovers Key State Park experience for all.
(Conceptual drawings of the Visitor Center are not intended for final detail.)

In the new Center, visitors could experience Lovers Key State Park regardless of the weather.

What’s in the plans?

The Visitor Center will be a 3500-sq-ft, one-story elevated building. Inside you'll find exhibit space, a multi-purpose meeting room, a gift shop and office. Outside, the ramp and deck will provide wildlife watching for all. The Center will also feature a fully accessible playground for young visitors.

It's All About Access

How we open the door to learning

  • For many, the heat can be hard to take. Come on indoors and study nature in comfort.
  • The Florida Park Service will accommodate: we'll support access for all with ramps, and visual, touch and auditory aids throughout the Center.
  • Perhaps you love the park's 10:00 am programs, but you want more! The Center will offer learning on your own schedule, at your own pace, 365 days a year.
  • Many exhibits will interpret nature for all in different languages. Ja! Sí! Oui!

Environmental Education:
A Message with Special Meaning in Florida

Tourists and retirees love southwest Florida, its natural beauty, so evident at Lovers Key State Park. Our unique barrier island environment beckons for shelling, swimming, fishing, photography, boating, birding and botanizing. But all this natural beauty is fragile, and we need to inspire our visitors to help protect it.

Florida is now the 3rd most populous state in the USA, and all these people put pressure on the ecosystem. Our Environmental Nature Education Center will focus on protecting the health of our natural communities, which means better health for the human community.

Educational Features

  • Exhibits on the wonders of Lovers Key State Park – shore birds, gopher tortoise, dolphins, osprey, reptiles, butterflies, native plants and more.
  • A selection of interactive multilingual exhibits using the best in learning technology to engage visitors of all ages.
  • A hands-on section where children can explore sand, shells, water, plants and animals.
  • Room for workshops on environmental issues with space to collaborate and study.

Thanks to our sponsors!

The Capital Campaign Sponsors below are key partners in our ground-breaking work to build the Lovers Key State Park Visitor Center. The Friends of Lovers Key, Inc. – and all the staff, volunteers and visitors who love Lovers Key State Park – thank our Capital Campaign sponsors for their generous support of our fundraising efforts. Each one of them has brought us closer to breaking ground on our dream: The Lovers Key State Park Visitor Center. Your organization can become a Capital Campaign Sponsor. Contact Tim Horvatich at 513 777-9712 or FOLKScampaign@gmail.com to see how.

The Martin Foundation

Thanks to the Martin Foundation for their generous support for the Educational Education Center project.

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Ashmore & Associates

Ashmore & Associates, LLC is a consulting company that specializes in drafting and structural design. We can assist you through the entire design or remodel process for your home or business.

Donnelly Design Build, Inc.

Donnelly Design Build Inc, owned by Richard Donnelly, has served the Bonita Springs area as a general contractor since 1999. This company is a principal sponsor for the capital campaign.

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Johnson Engineering

Established in 1946, Johnson Engineering has a team of nearly 100 professional engineers, ecologists, scientists, geologists, surveyors and mappers, certified land planners and landscape architects throughout Florida. We offer a wide variety of services, with offices in Fort Myers, Naples, Port Charlotte, LaBelle, Sebring, Clewiston, Pembroke Pines and Land O’Lakes.

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Southwest Florida Community Foundation

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation helps donors to establish endowed funds that see to the sustainability of our community well into the future.

 

Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation

Dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Fort Myers Beach area through friendship and community service.

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John D. Spear

Established in 1982, Law Offices of John D. Spear, P.A. is a well recognized law firm with a reputation for high legal ability and integrity. The John D. Spear and James E. Kerr practice is focused on title insurance, the closing of residential and commercial real estate transactions, and on estate planning, wills, trusts, and the administration of trusts and probates.

lovers key resort

Lovers Key Resort

Escape to an intriguing island getaway where dreams become reality, with impeccable beauty, amazing wildlife, and your own private balcony for viewing sensational SW Florida sunsets and star gazing at night.

Florida Everblades

Florida Everblades

The Florida Everblades is Southwest Florida's ECHL franchise, offering premier AA Hockey to Naples, Estero, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs and the surrounding area.  The minor league ice hockey team based in Estero, Florida, is affiliated with the Carolina Hurricanes of the NHL and the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL.  Their home arena is Germain Arena.

Sand Lovers

The Sand Lovers

Our master sculptors create beautiful sand sculptures from from piles of sand, for any occasion, in any location, and any size. We also give sand sculpting lessons. We combine our years of experience as sculptors with our years' experience as corporate executives and event managers.

Fish Tale Marina

 

Fish Tale Marina

A full service marina on Fort Myers Beach offering a Ship's Store, bait, tackle, fuel, storage, powerboat and kayak rentals, dolphin cruises, charters, service, parts and sales.

The Visitor Center will provide answers to the mysteries of Lovers Key's sea shells.