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 Environmental Education 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.



  1. Fully support existing major fundraising activities including Valentine’s Vow Renewal, Turtle Trot 5K Race, Images of Nature, and merchandise sales as well initiate a new Nautical Flea Market and Boat Show event in 2016.
  2. Support shorebird, sea turtle nesting, and native plant nursery projects at a level requested by the park manager and reflected in the FOLKS 2016 approved budget.
  3. 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, Estero, and Naples.
  4. Work with park management to promote volunteer recognition and appreciation as reflected in the FOLKS 2016 approved budget.
  5. Refocus and energize the Environmental Education Center campaign by reevaluating and refreshing campaign goals and strategy as well as assessing and implementing, as appropriate, some interim, smaller projects/goals that can help to expand near-term capability and help potential donors to better see the advantages and benefits of the full Environmental Education Center project.
  6. Continue process to revamp, resource, and re-energize T-shirt sales as well as introduce e-commerce capability on FOLKS website.
  7. Establish FOLKS volunteer database and expand available volunteer core to at least 30 individuals covering all needed disciplines.
  8. Continue to pursue discussions with other local like-minded non-profit organizations (CROW, Naples Zoo, etc) to identify sharing and/or partnering opportunities.
  9. All FOLKS Board members will serve on a committee and/or assume a committee chair or Board officer position during 2016.

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.

Meet the FOLKS Board

  • Officers
  • Tim Horvatich – President
  • Joe Maccarone – Vice-President
  • Sharon Downey– Treasurer
  • Flo Alexander – Secretary
  • Directors
  • Rosie Cordes
  • Jack DeLancy
  • Rich Donnelly
  • Mark Generales
  • Judy Greenwood
  • Neeley Murphy
  • Todd Richards
  • Sean Sanders
  • Shelley-Sue Williams

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 Committee Chair
    Rich Donnelly
  • Event Chair
    Judy Greenwood
  • Capital Campaign Chair
    Tim Horvatich
  • Communications Chair
    Shelley-Sue Williams

Board Meeting Minutes




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.