Water-Related News

Lakes Regional Park Island restoration project to begin

FORT MYERS ‒ Visitors to Lakes Regional Park will see work beginning in the popular Lee County Parks & Recreation site as Lee County Natural Resources starts its first phase of an island restoration project.

A contractor for the county has installed orange safety fencing along the work site perimeter and will block 150 feet of walkway along the water’s edge. This is to ensure the safety of park visitors and is necessary for the contractor to have a landing zone for hauling away debris as they remove non-native trees from the islands within the park’s lakes. Lakes Regional Park visitors may also observe work crews, cranes and other construction equipment and a barge on the lake during this time.

In Phase 1, work crews will remove invasive exotic trees from the islands south of the park boardwalk. Phase 2 will include excavation of the islands below the lake control elevation to create littoral shelves with native wetland plants, which will absorb nutrients from the water column and create a native habitat. Natural Resources anticipates Phase 2 beginning in January 2018 and continuing through the winter.

The project’s purpose is to reshape and restore islands located south of the existing boardwalk. These islands were created via mining activities during the 1950s and 1960s on the site before it became a park. This project as well as prior Natural Resources projects in the park help with water quality. The park collects urban runoff and is adjacent Hendry Creek, which flows south to Estero Bay and is designated as a state aquatic preserve. For more information about the restoration project, call Lee County Natural Resources at 239-533-8109.

For more information about Lee County Parks & Recreation, locations, amenities and special events, visit www.leeparks.org, call 239-533-7275 or email leeparks@leegov.com.