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Lovers Key State Park

About

The Best of Friends

The Friends of Lovers Key, Inc., (FOLKS) is a non-profit Citizen Support Organization (CSO) established to protect, preserve and support Lovers Key State Park.

FOLKS is made up of a dedicated board of directors and park volunteers and people like you who work together with Lovers Key State Park Service staff to improve all aspects of the park through volunteer service and financial support.

Some of the projects FOLKS supports include maintenance of the Park’s native plant nursery, shorebird nesting protection, park staff fire training, the purchase of an ice machine and a new blower for the bridges. A portion of the FOLKS membership fees also go to savings for our vision for a Lovers Key Visitor center.

FOLKS raise 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.
Registration fees from special fundraising events.

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.

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.

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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.

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 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.

TThe FOLKS-C.S.O. is an important organization providing assistance and volunteer hours to Lovers Key State Park.

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The FOLKS are committed to enhancing the quality of ecosystems and experiences available within the diverse landscapes of Lovers Key State Park.

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The Friends of Lovers Key, Inc. was formed in 1997 and soon busy identifying projects and raising money to continue restoration to improve the functioning of beach and mangrove communities. Last year, they collected nearly $75,000 to support programs that benefit Lovers Key now, and for future generations.

Goals for the Future

When Lovers Key State Recreation Area merged with Carl Johnson County Park in 1997, the 278 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.

Dave and Marjorie Ward, long time local activists for the area were the first two members of FOLKS. Since that time, FOLKS has added many more members totaling over 350 today.

For the coming year, goals include:
  1. Provide a variety of activities so that members get to know each other and discover news ways to assist the organization.
  2. Continue to develop web based resources.
  3. Develop a 5 year plan for the Lovers Key State Park Visitor Center and continue to raise funds to support this project.
  4. Continue to support the shorebird, sea turtle nesting, and native plant nursery projects.
  5. Continue to work with the park management to enhance community awareness and preservation of the park.
  6. Establish a structured PR position for FOLKS to get out the word on programs, special events, membership drives and money raising initiatives.
  7. Continue to work with the park management to promote volunteer recognition and appreciation.
Gloria Beuchamp poses with Smoky the Bear

Hello, my name is Gloria Beauchamp and I am the Park Manager at Lovers Key State Park.  The FOLKS are a wonderful, hardworking group that works with me and other park staff to identify opportunities to enhance public access to the outstanding features of Lovers Key. I want to invite you to come out and enjoy your beautiful park and consider being our Friend.

Meet the FOLKS Board

Officers
Tim Horvatich – President
Joe Maccarone – Vice-President
Jack DeLancy – Treasurer
Flo Alexander – Secretary

Directors
Mark Generales
Neeley Murphy
Ray Murphy
Todd Richards

Membership Chair
Rosie Cordes

Chair Building Committee
Rich Donnelly

Event Chair
Judy Greenwood

Chair Capital Campaign
Pamela Jones-Morton

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.

2014 FOLKS Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the FOLKS Board meetings can be downloaded here in pdf format.
January, 2014 minutes
February, 2014 minutes
March, 2014 minutes
April, 2014 minutes
May, 2014 minutes

FOLKS Bylaws

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