This and That – Page 22 September Issue

Park. Fly. Win Sweepstakes

Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) has launched the Park. Fly. Win. Sweepstakes, which is designed to build awareness and promote the benefits of short- and long-term parking at RSW.

The sweepstakes is the opportunity for travelers and airport visitors to win a Grand Prize Luxury-Included® Vacation to Sandals Resorts that includes unlimited gourmet dining, daily and nightly entertainment as well as activities on land, in the water and more. The sweepstakes opened August 1 and runs through September 30. To enter, visit www.flylcpa.com/parking, click on the Park. Fly. Win. Sweepstakes box and fill out the entry form. The winner will be drawn at random in October 2016. The Park. Fly. Win. Sweepstakes is open to individuals who are 21 years of age or older and who are legal residents of the state of Florida.

 

Calling all Artists & Crafters

The 2016 Brookshire Holiday Boutique will take place on November 12. There are still a limited number of tables available for this popular event. The annual Boutique features a variety of unique holiday decorations and gifts created by local artists and crafters. It is open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., inside the Brookshire Clubhouse, just off Daniels at 6670 Southwell Drive, Fort Myers. If you are interested in participating or have any questions, please call “JJ” at 239-287-3271.

 

Historical Hike at Daniels Preserve at Spanish Creek

Learn about the history and lives of early farming settlers in Lee County by attending a free guided hike from 9 to 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 3, at Daniels Preserve at Spanish Creek in Alva. The 2-mile hike is a primitive trail that is not ADA-accessible. Due to limited parking the meeting location for this walk is at nearby Alva Community Park, 21471 North River Road, Alva. Daniels Preserve at Spanish Creek is managed as part of Lee County’s Conservation 20/20 program. Visit Conservation2020.org or call 239-204-1125 for more information.

 

Free Choral Clinic

Gateway Trinity Lutheran

The community is invited to participate in Gateway Trinity Lutheran Church’s free Choral Clinic featuring Mr. Dick Crofts. Mr. Crofts has fifty years of experience leading congregations and choirs in worship and praise. He will share tips in the technical areas of sight reading and singing, and will lead us through exercises to develop our singing skills. The clinic is September 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Please call the church office at 239-561-1188, or email to gatewaytrinity@gmail.com to register for this free event. Complimentary lunch will be served to participants following the clinic.

 

Fiddlesticks Bicycle/Pedestrian Path

Last month, the county began work on an eight-foot-wide bicycle and pedestrian path on the west side of the road from Daniels Parkway 1.5 miles south to the entrance of Fiddlesticks Country Club.

The project is expected to be completed before the end of the year. The project is not anticipated to impact traffic flow; only occasional single-lane closers will be necessary.

A ribbon-cutting celebration will be planned for the community when the project is completed. For more information about the Lee County Department of Transportation, visit www.leegov.com/dot.

 

Curvy Yoga

A NEW YOGA program for curvier body types is being offered at the Yoga with Sylvia Studio near Gateway. The poses developed by Anna Guest-Jelly, E-RYT500, for this program put to bed the stigma of being overweight and not being capable of participating in a Yoga practice. These methods allow everyone participating to feel comfortable and also be the beneficiary of all that Yoga brings.

The eight-week course entitled Curvy Yoga for Women Only begins October 8. Learn more at www.yogawithsylvia.net. or call 239-768-1458.

 

WOMEN’S CLUBS

Continental Women

Steven Norris with Prison Ministries will be the featured speaker at the Continental Women’s Club of Greater Fort Myers’ Thursday, September 1 luncheon meeting. Mr. Norris is a retired Navy Submarine veteran. He is passionately involved in Prison Ministries, and will explain the important, strictly volunteer program that they bring to the incarcerated.

The club’s monthly meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month at 11:30 a.m. at Colonial Country Club, 9181 Independence Way in Fort Myers. The cost for the luncheon is $19. Call 239-672-8683 for reservations.

Greeters Club

The Greeters Club September 15th luncheon speaker will be Paul Theberge who will give an introductory presentation about traditional Genealogy research with emphasis on how and where to start, identifying some of the pitfalls to avoid and highlighting some of the lessons learned during his many years of research. Paul is a member of the National Genealogical Society and the International Society of Genetic Genealogy. To make a reservation (cost $20), email greetersclub@gmail.com. Luncheons are held the third Thursday of the month at 10:45 a.m. at the Colonial Country Club, 9181 Independence Way, Fort Myers.

Fort Myers Republican Women

Staff Officer Scott Griffith, representing the Lee County Sheriff Department, is a recognized expert and author of a wide variety of self-defense and use-of-force considerations, and will be the speaker at the group’s regular monthly luncheon meeting on September 20. Situational awareness in this time of active shooters across the country (world) and spontaneous acts of violence is obviously a hot topic. Officer Griffith will present an interesting insight into law enforcement’s view. The public is invited. Luncheon held at The Helm Club, The Landings. Cost is $18. RSVP to Tina Laurie, 239-489-4701.

League of Women Voters

The League of Women Voters October 1st meeting will feature Yvonne McConnell, RN, BSN, Executive Community Health Nursing Director and Florida Department of Health Lee County. Ms. McConnell will be speaking on health issues concerning students, legislative priorities, and strategies for organizations to fight for mental health services in our community. The meeting is held at 9 a.m. at The Helm Club, The Landings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-Profits – Page 20 September Issue

MADD SWFL Growing

Walk/5K Run Discount Offered For Gateway/Daniels Neighbors

In February 2013, MADD SWFL opened an office in the Gateway community with one Program Specialist funded by a Florida Department of Transportation grant. The grant allowed MADD to establish itself, and in just three short years, offer free underage drinking prevention, education and awareness presentations and activities to over 30,000 youth, parents and community members. Locally, MADD has also honored more than 150 law enforcement officers for their dedication to drunk and drugged driving, held a victim/survivor tribute and educated more than 8,000 DUI offenders.

Part of MADD’s local strategy is to engage the community to become MADD Difference Makers. You can become a MADD Difference Maker by attending local events organized by the nonprofit in support of its mission. All events are family-friendly and fun.

On October 15, MADD is hosting a Home Run Derby and Family Fun Day at JetBlue Park at Fenway South. Learn more about the event at madd.org/homerunderby.

On December 17, MADD is hosting Walk Like MADD/MADD Dash 5K starting and ending at JetBlue Park at Fenway South and winding through the Gateway neighborhood. Get a discount for registration with promo code: DanielsDiscount. More information is at walklikemadd.org/southwestfl.

 

Kairos Outside Fundraiser

Paint and sip while raising money for a great cause. On September 11, from 2 to 4 p.m., join Vino’s to help raise money for Kairos Outside Ministry, a program  designed to support female loved ones of the men and women who are or have been incarcerated. The cost is $40 and includes all materials, fun instruction, and a donation to the cause. Ages 10+ are admitted. No experience necessary. Come dressed to paint and have fun. Register at VINOSpicasso.com, or call the Fort Myers studio at 239-288-6953.

 

Fort Myers Police Foundation Golf Invitational

Raises funds for lifesaving equipment 

Space is still available for golfers to take part in the Fort Myers Police Foundation’s 3rd Annual Golf Invitational on Monday, September 26, at Colonial Country Club. All funds raised will go toward purchasing life-saving equipment for the Fort Myers Police Department. Since its formation in 2014, the Police Foundation has raised $150,000.

Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. followed by lunch at 11:30 and a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. The tournament will be followed by a cocktail hour at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m. with an awards presentation, silent auction and 50/50 raffle. There will also be a hole-in-one contest to win a two-year lease from Galeana Dodge. The entry fee is $200 per player and $100 for a non-playing guest. Reservations can be made at www.fortmyerspolicefoundation.org or by calling 239-321-7740.

 

Valerie’s House Inaugural Fall Fundraiser

Valerie’s House, a non-profit organization devoted to providing grieving children and their families support, will hold its inaugural fall fundraiser for Thursday, October 13 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The island-themed event titled “Under the Stars at Shangri-La,” will be held at the historic Shangri-La Springs located at 27750 Old 41 Rd, in Bonita Springs.

Guests will experience the lush Shangri-La Springs property that encompasses the natural spring for which Bonita Springs was named. The historic hotel was built in the 1920’s and was once a retreat for Hollywood stars of the Golden Age. The event will include live calypso music, art gallery, flame throwers, island hors d’oeuvres, signature cocktails, and more.

Special art creations by Valerie’s House children will be auctioned, in addition to other signature silent auction packages. Individual reserved tickets are available at $100 each, with tables of eight for $1,000. Purchase online at ValeriesHouseSWFL.org.

 

2nd Annual Snow Day

Benefits Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence

Abuse Counseling and Treatment, Inc. (ACT) and the presenting sponsor ApothiCare 360, join several other organizations in bringing Snow Day 2016 to our community. This family-friendly fundraiser, which will be held on Saturday, October 1, at the Pediatric Dentistry of Fort Myers, is an effort to promote local education and awareness during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Event organizers have pledged to make this year’s event bigger and better. Promising sun and snow in one day, the Pediatric Dentistry of Fort Myers facilities, located at 8100 Summerlin Lakes Drive in Fort Myers, will be transformed into snowfall fun for all ages to enjoy. Attendees will have the opportunity to delight in the snowfall special effects, a large blizzard tent area with snowball fun, on-stage music and entertainment, as well as pictures with Disney tribute characters from the movie Frozen. Furthermore, bounce houses, food trucks, special giveaways for the children, and a chance for the adults to win a 4-pack of one-day hopper passes to Disney World (valued at $620) are planned.

As the only licensed and certified domestic and sexual violence center in Lee, Hendry, and Glades counties, ACT is a nonprofit providing safe, free, and confidential services for all survivors of domestic and sexual abuse seeking services. In 2015, the agency provided 5,654 clients with services. For more information regarding Snow Day 2016, please visit drverwest.com/snowday/.

 

JA Volunteers Needed

Inspire and educate local young people to value free enterprise, understand business, economics, and be workforce ready through fun and interactive classroom activities by becoming a Junior Achievement volunteer. Not sure about how much time you have to commit? Don’t worry! You can volunteer for as few as four hours. To learn more about the difference you can make, contact Junior Achievement of SWFL at jaswfl.org or call 239-225-2590.

Letter to the Editor: Stand With Us

by Clara Cain

Thousands of homes are ready to be built in Gateway and Lehigh, and along Tree Line and Daniels Parkway. Trees have been, and are being cut down, and our already congested traffic will only increase. You have no say in this. Soon there will be few trees left along our corridor. Just take note the next time you drive along Daniels how many new houses and signs, signs, and more signs you see.

It is important that all residents of The Corridor and those that drive Daniels be informed and get involved. You have a vested interest in expressing your views. These changes can set precedent and can endanger the Slough, your quality of life, and even your life. Even at the current density, emergency services are unable to meet response times.

You can have a say in a request that is currently before the County Commissioners. A Comprehensive Plan Amendment change is being proposed for 137 acres between Palomino and Appaloosa Roads. The request is to change the present land use from Outlying Suburban to Central Urban. This area is in the Slough watershed area. When Lee County preserved the Slough, it was noted that the Slough was critical to water quality in Lee County and the health of Lee County residents.

If this is approved it will allow light industrial, commercial, and 15 to 20 dwellings per acre. One to three houses per acre is the allowance now. In this small area the build out population would increase from the now allowed 190 units to 1,267 units which would result in an increase of 1,077 dwelling units. Based on 2.2 persons per household that would be an increase from 418 persons to 2,788 persons. These people must exit onto Daniels.

All roads between I-75 and Six Mile Cypress are dead end roads. They all empty onto Daniels Parkway. The 2016 DOT Report analysis states that Daniels Parkway is a constrained roadway that cannot be widened. There are no north-south roads. If there is funding, Three Oaks Extension might be constructed starting in 2020. What kind of help is that? Are you going to drive near the Interstate to drive south to Alico Road to get to 41?

Daniels Parkway is rated an F road. Palomino is over capacity. There is only one way out for all the ranchettes, and the communities of Fiddlesticks, Renaissance, Paseo, Danforth Lakes, Reflection Isles, Cross Creek, etc. and that is Daniels Parkway – a failed road!

The Lee County Planning staff did an in depth report for this request and it can be viewed in its entirety at www.leegov.com/dcd/documents/agendas/LPA/2016/07/Jul252016.pdf.

The paid professional Lee County Planners recommended that this request be denied. Briefly this is what they said:

Central Urban uses are not compatible with the rural area and residences.

The present Outlying Suburban classification limits negative impacts on the Six Mile Cypress Watershed.

The subject property and surrounding properties are not fully developed under the existing land use classification—so there is no immediate need to increase the density/intensity at this time.

Allowing more density/intensity of development in this area will further exacerbate the existing traffic conditions.

The Lee County Staff Report said while the County is exploring the possibility of creating more urban nodes, with higher densities in unincorporated Lee County to promote use of transit and walkability, the character of this specific location does not make it appropriate for such treatment. In conclusion, it said, “The current Outlying Suburban Future Land Use Map category remains appropriate for the subject property.” We agree with this. Do you?

Those that are for the increase in density/intensity are represented by professional land planners, attorneys, and realtors. It seems that they expect to make a significant return on their efforts.

At the first hearing on this proposed land use, the vote was two to two. It was sent back by the County Commissioners for a re-hearing and another vote was to take place on August 22, but was cancelled because an even number were present to vote and the board wants an odd number to vote. At the time of submitting this editorial, the date of the next hearing has yet to be set.

The time to speak up is now. I encourage you to call the Lee County Community Development office at 239-533-8585 to inquire about the date of the next hearing so you can attend and voice your opinion and concerns. Additionally, there would be great benefit in emailing the county commissioners to say “Please DO NOT increase the density/intensity to Central Urban for the CPA2015-00010.” Send this e-mail to SJenkins-Owen@leegov.com, you must give your name and address in the email, and ask that she please forward your opinion on to all five of the county commissioners.

We the people that live and work in The Corridor need to keep the slough safe, preserve our way of life, and the quality of our life. This is your opportunity to speak up, you have a choice.

Clara Cain is a Corridor resident living on a ranchette near the affected area. You may contact her to discuss your support by calling santaclararanch@embarqmail.com.

Local Strength and Balance Screening

Every 13 seconds an older adult lands in an emergency department for a fall. In 2013, over 25,000 older adults died from unintentional fall injuries and 2.5 million were treated in emergency departments for nonfatal falls. More than 734,000 were hospitalized. Falls are the leading cause of hip fractures and the health care costs associated with fall-related injuries totaled $34 billion in 2013.

American Bone Health is joining the national movement to prevent falls and fractures with a special screening to be held at the Yoga with Sylvia studio on Tuesday, September 20 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and 3 to 4 p.m. Trained Peer Educators will screen older adults for balance and strength, and to educate them about how to reduce their risk of falling. The theme of this year’s event is Ready, Steady, Balance: Prevent Falls in 2016. The official social media hashtag is #FPAD2016. This event is being held in a number of communities throughout the country during the week of September 19th, in conjunction with the 9th annual Fall Prevention Week Activities. The event raises awareness about how to prevent fall-related injuries among older adults. American Bone Health is a national grass roots organization mobilizing individuals and communities with timely health information that supports strong and healthy bones and prevent osteoporosis and fractures.

To schedule a screening, call 239-768-1458 or email yogawithsylvia@comcast.net.

What is Health?

by Dr. Darin Stokke

I remember the day 13 years ago when a kind, soft-spoken gentleman called our office requesting a new patient consultation, not for himself, but for his wife. Oddly, the gentleman arrived at the appointment alone and brought with him several pages of his wife’s very extensive health assessment performed just a few weeks prior by a well known testing company. The testing appeared to focus on risks for stroke, heart disease, and osteoporosis and included the use of a variety of diagnostic testing equipment, some common blood tests, vital signs, and bone density radiographs. I had never met his wife nor had the opportunity to perform an examination on her.  However, on paper, looking only at the results of the testing, his wife appeared to be in excellent health in all categories and had been rated to have minimal to no risks across the board in all test results. The problem was, he had just received his wife’s test results from the company that performed the testing two days after his wife had died unexpectedly from a cardiac health crisis. The poor man was obviously hurting from his loss and was hoping for a second opinion of the results. The question was quite clear: what happened if the testing showed his wife was in excellent health just two weeks prior? The fault certainly wasn’t on the quality of the testing nor on the company doing the testing, but rather on the obvious limitation of the tests and our culture’s misunderstanding of the word “Health.”

Traditionally, most of us have assessed our health as either the presence or absence of symptoms or abnormalities. If we are free of pain, have normal blood pressure, are thin, have a good pulse rate and have normal cholesterol levels, we often feel confident we are healthy. The problem is, defining health isn’t as simple as a lack of pain or a number on a test. The definition of “Health” according to the World Health Organization is a “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Anything less than an optimally functioning body and mind is often the first warning sign of an underlying disease or a lack of health. If we are experiencing pain, headaches, lack energy, have trouble sleeping, feel stiff and sore, or don’t feel the normal “mojo” we used to feel, then our body is clearly not experiencing health, no matter what any test results may show.

Optimal functioning means having everything in balance or what science calls “Homeostasis.” Every moment of our life, our body is adapting to the world around us and inside us. True health can be looked at as a process of continuous adaptation to the myriad of microbes, irritants, pressures, thoughts, and problems that challenge us daily. Maintaining balance may require our body to shiver when it’s cold, sweat when it’s hot, vomit when we eat rotten food, produce a fever when we are under attack from a microbe, or raise our pulse and blood pressure when we rise out of bed or lift a heavy object. These are healthy adaptations! The ability of our body to adapt and maintain balance or homeostasis is health.

Early detection tests are often very helpful and necessary, but also very limited in many respects. Let’s not be fooled into thinking a normal reading or a lack of abnormal findings means we’re perfectly healthy. Health is a daily journey, not a destination. Health begins today with the choices we make. To experience health we can start by honoring our body’s normal functioning, connect more to nature, eat foods in their most natural state, let go of anger and resentment, find peace in work and relationships, be filled with gratitude, maintain a balanced body, enjoy healthy movements each day, maintain proper posture, limit things that pollute our body, and sleep in peace all night.

Don’t wait…life is meant to be lived so live it well and live it with purpose. Don’t wait for a health crisis to occur. Choose well and begin today living the life you desire and deserve.

Dr. Stokke is a Chiropractic Physician at Lifestyles Chiropractic located on Lindbergh Avenue near Norman Love Confections. You may reach him by calling 230-334-9355, or visit www.LifestylesChiro.com.    

New Fourth Saturday Guided Walks at the Slough

Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve is offering guided walks on the fourth Saturday of the month in September and October. The new walks are scheduled at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, and Saturday, Oct. 22, at the slough, 7751 Penzance Blvd. As in years past, boardwalk tours also occur every Wednesday morning through the end of October. Tours will be offered daily beginning Nov. 1.

Slough guided walks are provided by experienced Volunteer Naturalists free of charge. Tour guides introduce visitors to the plant and animal life of the slough, plus interpret its history and ecosystem functions. Every tour is a little bit different depending on what’s happening in the slough that day. Tours last 90 minutes and cover three-quarters of a mile on a fully accessible boardwalk.

Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve is open daily from dawn until dusk. Restrooms and a water fountain are available near the boardwalk entrance. The Interpretive Center is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday. A parking fee of $1 per hour per vehicle is required. Bicycle parking is free. For more info, call 239-533-7550 or visit LeeParks.org.

Dig In: Peppers!

by Adrienne Diaz

One of the staples I grow in my SW Florida Garden is peppers. There is such a wide variety of peppers to grow here, and they all love our hot, humid environment during the spring, summer and fall months. Pepper plants prefer moist – but not wet soil. They all have little to no bug predators, however aphids may try to attack a fast growing plant and nematodes may try to hinder an under-watered or under-irrigated plant.

But no two peppers are created equal. You have sweet, hot and ornamental pepper as choices. Even though all do extremely well here, choose which kinds you want and plant them together – or separate the kinds you are planting from each other.

Sweet Peppers

Bell peppers are the most commonly grown. These sweet peppers are a great source of vitamins and add beautiful colors to your garden and table. There are yellow, orange, red and purple. Often harvested while green, all bell peppers can be left on the plant to ripen further into red or other determined colored peppers. When left to develop into their determined colors, all will become sweet. The darker the color as it ripens, the sweeter the flavor.

Hot Peppers

Hot peppers, or chili peppers, get their spicy flavor from a compound known as capsaicin and the relative spiciness of peppers is compared on a heat index known as the Scoville scale. The Scoville scale is a measurement of the pungency (spicy heat) of chili peppers. If you are hot pepper junkie, then you can grow such varieties as ghost pepper, scotch bonnet, aji, and Serrano. Other hot peppers are, pequine, cayenne, pablano, ancho, banana, cubaanelle, paprika or pimento, in that order.

Ornamental Peppers

Ornamental peppers are compact, reaching ten to twenty inches in height. Their size, interesting foliage, and attractive fruit make them ideal plants for a container garden. You can also place them in borders or use them as a groundcover as they have attractive foliage.

Growing Tips

Growing peppers is easy in any sunny, well-drained spot. They are perfect candidates for containers as long as you give them enough room. Peppers have a naturally upright growth habit, so they often benefit from staking, which keeps brittle branches from breaking when they become heavy with fruit. Colorful peppers also make great additions to beds planted with flowers and other edible ornamentals, where they can easily serve as specimen plants. In beds or rows, the best spacing for most pepper plants is 18 to 24 inches apart. Just make sure you make available a generous amount of organic matter, such as compost, so you do not have to add any chemical fertilizers, as they are pretty heavy feeders.

Peppers do not like frost. Should we experience one, be sure to cover.

Use pruning shears or a sharp knife to cut peppers from the plants, leaving a short stub of stem attached. Pulling peppers by hand can cause entire branches to break off. Rinse harvested peppers with water, pat them dry, and then store them in your refrigerator. Too many peppers to use fresh all at once? Extras can be easily dried, frozen, or pickled.

Adrienne Diaz, a Certified Square Foot Garden Instructor, a Lee County Master Gardener and the Project Director of the Six Mile Charter Academy School Garden, has been edible gardening for 6 years in SW Florida. She grows numerous fruits, vegetables and herbs year round. In addition to teaching at the school, she offers FREE workshops & classes monthly, gives garden tours or can speak to your group. Contact her on Facebook at Miss Potters Place, apdwith5@gmail.com, or 239-464-5754.

A Living Laboratory in our Own Backyard

by Yvette Bone

Residents invited to enjoy and partner with Holton Eco-Preserve

In September of 2015, the Holton Eco-Preserve debuted its family gardens to The Corridor community, offering 64 rentable garden beds and a host of free and paid classes to help local residents learn more about organic and clean gardening practices.

The family gardens were just one portion of the overall master plan and vision of the Holton Eco-Preserve. Today, just a year later, 36 additional garden beds have been added to meet demand, the Preserve continues to be restored to its natural habitat, hiking trails are being added, educational offerings have expanded, and special places are being designated for children’s programs.

The mission of the Holton Eco-Preserve is to protect green space along the Daniels corridor that residents of all ages can enjoy – a living laboratory for exploration and hands on experience. It is a place where the whole family can learn how to love nature, live lightly on the earth and grow organic produce throughout the year.

With all the demolition and building going on in our community, it’s easy to see why the Preserve is important. And while the gardens are a great way for area residents to be part of the Preserve, Director Peg Eisenberg hopes people will connect more deeply through the many programs and outdoor environments.

“We want residents of this area – young and old – to come here and enjoy the property and learn from what we offer,” she said. “Whether through education, children’s programming, or workshops for HOA’s, we want the community to know we are here to support them and show them the practices of conserving our resources, our land, and our earth.”

One of the most natural ways this is done is through the restoration of the entire Holton Eco-Preserve to a native habitat that utilizes Florida-friendly landscaping. Invasive plants were moved out before the gardens went in, and different kinds of native habitats are being planted around the property. Visitors can not only experience and enjoy each habitat, but also learn to replicate it in their own yard.

As no surprise to the managers of the Preserve, a slow but steady influx of animals have come back since the invasive vegetation has been removed. Visitors can now see otters playing in the pond, blue birds nesting and other species thriving. They next hope to attract Purple Martins back on the property using donated birdhouses and bird-attracting plants.

Future phases of the Holton Eco-Preserve include installing a playground and learning center for kids, adding space for youth summer camps that teach environmental stewardship, organized evening stargazing and fire pit programs, and expanding the list of community events and classes.

A trail around the grounds is partially developed and will continue to be worked on for those looking for serene places to hike, with opportunities for both self-guided and paid tours.

Among the many other exciting plans in the works are:

  • Homeschooling programs
  • Green living and rain barrel workshops
  • Florida Yard and Neighborhood™ classes (geared toward HOAs and homeowners)
  • Multiple specialty gardens, including hummingbird/butterfly, fragrance and sensory gardens
  • Edible landscaping classes

The Preserve is hoping to raise funds for these projects through a new family membership program that would allow area residents to partner with the ongoing restoration and preservation of the green space. While the grounds are always free to walk on and visit, a family membership of just $35 per year provides the opportunity to attend any of the several classes offered each month for free or at a substantial discount, discounts on products sold at classes, and free entry to major environmental events offered in October, February and May. Most importantly, a membership allows residents to link arms with the Holton Eco-Preserve in its mission to protect natural green space along the Daniels Corridor.

Vision partner and master gardener teacher at the Preserve, Adrienne Diaz, emphasizes the importance of this space. “I want to drive as many people that live along Daniels to this space as possible,” she said. “They need to know what is going on – it’s some really great stuff being done by a small group of people who have a vision for an entire community for generations to come. And, it’s right in their own backyard!”

Annual memberships are available by visiting www.holtonecopreserve.com or calling Peg Eisenberg at 239-826-0475. Guests are welcome to visit the grounds at any time. Those interested in volunteering or learning more about native habitats and preservation are welcome to work alongside other like-minded souls should call Eisenberg or email her at Pegger103@hotmail.com for more information.

The Holton Eco-Preserve is located on the north and east sides of the Unitarian Universalist Church located at 13411 Shire Lane in Fort Myers.

FACTS:

  • The Holton Eco-Preserve / UU Church is a drop-off site for Worden Farms CSA.
  • The Holton Eco-Preserve is a green space supported by the IFAS master gardener and master naturalist programs, and the FGCU colloquium program for volunteer hours.
  • The Holton family donated the land for the purpose of preservation to the Unitarian Church.
  • The preserve is approximately eight acres and a seasonal wetland area.

UPCOMING:

October 1:

Herb Day Festival celebrating the Year of the Pepper. Lots of fun activities for everyone, including a lady bug release, artisan type farmer’s market, vendors, speakers and more. Entry is $12 per person or $15 per family or free to HEP members.

Get Complete Health – CHIP

CHIP – the Complete Health Improvement Program is kicking off a new season. Do you truly want better health, but need some coaching and support? This internationally acclaimed 18-session program is for you. With full health assessments, expert instruction, interactive learning, and simple cooking demonstrations, this program has proven results with 60,000 graduates.

Always encouraged to attend, social activities are scheduled at no charge and no RSVP is required.

Tuesday, Sept. 6, 5:30 p.m. – “Wellness One Step Further” with Lora Ulrich, wellness consultant, Lee County School District Bldg, 2855 Colonial Blvd, Fort Myers; Contact: lora@thenewyoulifestyle.com

Thursday, Sept. 8, 6:15 p.m. – ClubCHIP Salad Bar Potluck & Presentation; topic to be announced at FortMyersCHIP.com; Better Living Center, 3451 Ortiz Ave, Fort Myers.

Wednesday, Sept. 21, 5:30 p.m. – ClubCHIP Potluck, Presentation, and Cooking Demos; Cape Coral Hospital, Room A; 636 Del Prado Blvd, Cape Coral; Contact: Donna.Bradish@LeeMemorial.org / 239-823-1020.

Thursday, Sept. 22, 6:15 p.m. – ClubCHIP Popcorn and Movie Night; Movie: health related; title to be announced at FortMyersCHIP.com; Better Living Center, 3451 Ortiz Ave.

Premium Culinary Event at the Club at Renaissance

The prestigious Club at Renaissance located off Daniels at 12801 Renaissance Way will provide a beautiful setting for “Under the Harvest Moon”- a culinary celebration of the autumn harvest. The evening is set for Thursday, October 13 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Proceeds support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County primarily in the after-school program areas providing educational assistance and computer learning skills for at-risk children and teens.

Upscale attire is requested. A $100 per person donation will include cocktails, wine, gourmet culinary stations, live entertainment and the opportunity to bid on some of the most exclusive auction items available.

To reserve your space at this truly special evening, please call Shannon Lane of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County at 239-334-1886.

To inquire about corporate or individual sponsorship opportunities, call Jeannie Cummings at 239-938-6516.