LAKES REGIONAL PARK ../images/detail_photos/lakes42.jpgLAKES REGIONAL PARK Address 7330 Gladiolus Drive Fort Myers, FL 33908 Google Map/Directions Contact Information Dan Lott 239-533-7578 KLott@leegov.com Facility Staff Events Lee County Event CalendarLakes Park Event Calendar Hours 7 a.m. to dusk seven days a week. Museum and Railroad Operation Hours: Monday - Friday: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Saturday/Sunday: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Aug 14 - Sept 29: Open weekends only. Saturday/Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Splash Pad Hours Spring and summer 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Winter 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Closures Information General Information Parking Fee is $1 per hour or $5 per day. Pavilions are available to rent online or calling (239) 533-7578. The Lodge, Amphitheater and Garden Gazebo may only be reserved by calling (239) 533-7578. The earliest your reservation may be done is no more than 180 days prior to your event date. Book ahead of time because they typically book 4-6 months in advance! Dogs are not permitted at this park. Find a list of dog-friendly parks here Volunteer Opportunities are available View the land stewardship plan and Island Restoration Project for Lakes Park Park Features Lakes Park Overview Map Cycling, fishing, gardens, miniature train rides, outdoor fitness equipment, paddleboard launch (no motorized boats), picnic areas, playgrounds, rentals (bicycle and boat), sand volleyball, splash pads, walking/running trails, wildlife viewing Programs & Events Farmers Market Every Wednesday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. beginning October 4th, 2017 and Ending April 24th, 2018 Fragrance Garden Plant Sale 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. the last Wednesday of the month (October-May) Tours Lakes Park Walking Tour with Bird Patrol: 8:00 a.m. the first Saturday of every month at Shelter A-7 Story Time In the Garden: 10:00 a.m. the third Wednesday of the month (October-April) in the Children's Garden. Content is appropriate for infants to 3rd graders. E.Z. Rider Program is an assisted tour service by reservation. Call 239-533-7575 (ext. 5) to schedule. History Lakes Regional Park began as a man-made area where rock was quarried during the 1960's. The water comes from groundwater influx, surface water run-off and rainfall. The depth varies from a few inches to over 20 feet. It covers 158 acres of the 279 acre facility. It was purchased by the County in 1978. In 1982 ground was broken and it was developed for recreational use with the official "Grand Opening" on April 21, 1984. The basic facility has remained relatively unchanged since then with a few exceptions. In 1991 the "Fragrance Garden" was introduced and has grown from a small area of fragrant herbs, flowers and plants to a botanical type status with wide variety of plants, trees, shrubs and ground cover. In addition to this a "Memory Lane" was also started. This is achieved by monetary donations which dedicate Trees, shrubs, plants or benches to the memory of loved ones that are designated by plaques. The Lakes Regional Park Botanic Garden is in the conceptual phase. Fred Johnson, former Planning Manager for Lee County Parks, and Greg Diserio, Partner at David Jones Jr. and Associates, collaborated on the project. A presentation meeting was held on March 19th at Lakes Park. The concept plan will be available to view soon. In 1992 the re-alignment of Gladiolus Drive brought changes to the entrance of the facility and initiated the process of exotic vegetation removal and the replanting of native species, which continues today. In 1995 the "Miniature Railroad" opened for business. This is a scale model railroad that offers a 15 minute ride through the northern areas of the park. The ride runs beside the lake, through a tunnel and past several displays, such as scale villages, towns and natural areas. In 2004, the Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation a 501.C(3) non for profit group was formed. This organization is organized by Lee County business leaders along with dedicated citizens who recognize Lakes Regional Park as an extremely important green area in Lee County. This foundation is dedicated to helping restore Lakes Regional Park to a native Florida wildlife environment through assisting Lee County Parks & Recreation with the implementation of its Master Plan. The plan includes themed areas of native vegetation, additional meandering boardwalks, paths and nature trails through the Lakes preserve and new park amenities. In 2014, three outdoor total body fitness stations were added to offer dozens of exercise options, from basic stretching and stair steps to more strenuous pull-ups and squats. Two more stations will be added along the biking and jogging trail once donations are secured. This equipment also includes fitness guides for beginners and advanced athletes, suggested daily workout schedules and accompanying videos that users can view from a smart phone. Overall, the future restoration and enhancements will create an even more attractive wildlife environment for the community to enjoy. If you are interested in being a member of this group to help restore and preserve this beautiful park please call 239-533-7575 (ext. 5) or visit Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation.