Lee County Spending $1 Million on Crescent Beach

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Lee County Commissioners were throwing money at Fort Myers Beach this week. In addition to the pier, Commissioner’s voted to give Crescent Beach Park a major upgrade. The 12 month project will cost a total of $2 Million with FEMA picking up half the cost.

The County money will come from TDC funds and other alternatives, according to Assistant County Manager Robert Codie.

The County plans to add shade structures, picnic tables, impervious buffers, greenery, and three pads of artificial turf to the park. The artificial turf areas could be used as special event space like for a Farmers Market or for fireworks viewing.
There will be two access points to the beach from the back of the park and a sidewalk all the way around. The County will be keeping the two restroom trailers which are already at the park now. The volleyball courts, wiped out by Hurricane Ian, will not return.

Lee County owns Crescent Beach Park which is just over the Matanzas Pass Bridge adjacent to Times Square. The park was heavily damaged by Ian and had to be fenced off for over a year as Commissioners and staff dealt with major projects across the entire County. After the storm the park was being used to sift debris from sand that was placed back on the beach. A major part of cleaning up the park was making sure all the tiny pieces of glass were removed from the sand. The park has been open since January 2024.

Commissioner’s had two options to consider. Option #1 would have been to restore the park to pre-Ian conditions at no extra cost to the County.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Agree that they need to keep one volleyball court. It was refreshing to see kids playing volleyball and having fun. Can’t be that expensive!!

  2. 7 yrs of experience with artificial grass in FLA – big mistake using it in large sections – people will not be able to touch , sit on or walk barefoot for majority of beach hours –
    Artificial Grass is great in proper places and uses – Major issue with holding heat –

  3. I think it would be nice to put at least one volleyball court back in. Seems like the teenage kids especially liked it and I don’t know if there is another public space for them to play. Good for spring break kids who are under 21 to have a public space to play volleyball

    • Dean,
      The idea of transforming that
      vacant commercial property into a public park was triggered in 2009 in a column by former
      News-Press columnist Joe Workman, a beach resident. He wanted more public land along a shore quickly being walled off by private owners. County Commissioner Frank Mann leaped at the idea, lobbied the rest of the board, the land was purchased and the park was born.
      Some town council members wanted it left to private development, tax dollars dancing in their heads. Fortunately, they lost.
      That park represents one of the county’s finest hours after a long history of ignoring Fort Myers Beach.

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