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Visitor Center to be Built at Lovers Key After Legislators Approve Nearly $4M in Funding

Jul 17, 2017 01:38PM ● Published by Kevin

"Sea Oats at Sunset" at Lovers Key State Park. Photo by Will Hellman.

Florida legislators have set aside nearly $4 million for a new visitor center at Lovers Key State Park,  according to a June 20 article by Thaddeus Mast of the Naples News. The park is located off of Estero Boulevard, between Fort Myers Beach and Big Hickory Island (GPS coordinates: N 26° 23.578 W 81° 52.063).

Friends of Lovers Key, a nonprofit booster club that supports the state park, said Lovers Key has long lacked a proper visitor center.

Lovers Key was originally accessible only by boat. According to the official website of Florida State Parks, it was said that only lovers traveled to the island to enjoy its remote and solitary beach. Today, it is one of four barrier islands that make up the entire state park.

"A haven for wildlife, the islands and their waters are home to West Indian manatees, bottlenose dolphins, roseate spoonbills, marsh rabbits, and bald eagles," the site says. "The two-mile-long beach is accessible by boardwalk or tram and is popular for shelling, swimming, picnicking and sunbathing. Black Island has more than five miles of multiuse trails for hiking and bicycling.

"Anglers and boaters can launch their vessels from the park's boat ramp. The park's concession offers kayak tours, as well as bicycle, canoe, kayak, paddleboard, beach chair and umbrella rentals."

The Visitor Center will be a 3500-sq-ft, one-story elevated building, according to plans outlined on the Friends of Lovers Key website.

"Inside you'll find exhibit space, a multi-purpose meeting room, a gift shop and office," the site says. "Outside, the ramp and deck will provide wildlife watching for all. The Center will also feature a fully accessible playground for young visitors."

To read the full story, click here. To find out more and to follow the plans unfold, visit http://friendsofloverskey.org/

Gulf & Main outdoors state parks lovers key recreation government funding tourism
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