Public Notice for Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve Land Management Plan Update
To learn more about the Land Management Plan, the public is invited to attend a free public hearing at Rotary Park (5505 Rose Garden Road) on Tuesday, April 7 from 3-5 p.m. Representatives from Johnson Engineering will be on hand at this meeting to answer questions about the plan.
The Land Management Plan hearing will be postponed until further notice.
FOUR MILE COVE ECOLOGICAL PRESERVE
City of Cape Coral
The Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve (FMCEP) comprises approximately 365 acres of land located along the northwestern shore of the Caloosahatchee River in the City of Cape Coral. FMCEP is the second largest preserved green space within Cape Coral, providing residents access to walking trails, a visitor center, the Veteran’s Memorial Area, and seasonal kayak rentals to explore scenic southwest Florida coastal habitats. FMCEP was purchased in August of 1977 by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of the State of Florida as a wilderness area and has been maintained by the City as a natural preserve and park for 40 years.
The FMCEP provides access to unique wetland habitats of southwest Florida including mangrove forests and needlerush marshes with boardwalks, kayak trails, kayak rentals, fishing piers and a visitor’s center. FMCEP is also home to the Veterans Memorial Park providing memorial monuments and services to this country’s veterans.
The City of Cape Coral prioritizes the conservation and preservation of unique native habitats at Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve (FMCEP) while offering recreational and educational opportunities to learn about and enjoy natural communities occurring in southwest Florida. FMCEP will continue to provide facilities to honor members of the armed services in the Veterans’ Memorial Area located along the southern boundary of the preserve.
Conditions Affecting Intensity of Management
FMCEP is an established park offering access to outdoor amenities including fishing, hiking, kayaking, veteran memorials and others. Conditions affecting the management of FMCEP include existing infrastructure and amenities that have been worn or damaged over time that need to be repaired or replaced. Additionally, funding received from the City, FWC, The Tourist Development Council (TDC), and other entities governs the ability of FMCEP to plan, design and construct new or replacement facilities and conduct habitat and wildlife management activities.
Timetable for Implementing Management Provisions
As the FMCEP is an established park, the management activities and provisions are expected to remain for the foreseeable future. Management activities are dependent on environmental conditions, infrastructure needs, recreational conditions and funding opportunities available for the FMCEP. Long-range management provisions include continued and expanded management of exotic vegetation, repairs to existing facilities and feasibility studies for new and expanded features.
Estimate of Revenue-Generating Potential
The FMCEP receives funding from several separate sources including The Tourist Development Council (TDC), kayak rentals, donations from the Veterans Midpoint Memorial Charitable Trust (VMMCT) and funding from the City and FWC.
The TDC is an advisory committee to the Lee County Board of Commissioners and oversees the distribution of taxes collected through the tourist development tax fund. Each year the TDC approves funding for the maintenance of Lee County beaches, beach re-nourishment projects, parks and shoreline capital projects such as piers and boardwalks (LCVCB, 2018). Currently, the FMCEP receives $52,500 annually for maintenance and staffing requirements. The kayak rental shack generates approximately $11,000 per year and the City funds approximately $10,000 per year in exotic vegetation removal staffing and materials. FMCEP also receives funding from FWC for ongoing exotic vegetation management. Donations toward maintenance and improvement of the veterans’ memorial varies year to year
Potential Multiple Use Activities
The FMCEP is used for natural, scenic and historical resource conservation, outdoor recreation, ecotourism, environmental education and memorial uses as specified in the FMCEP Land Management plan.
Security and Infrastructure Protection.
Hours of operation for FMCEP are from 8:00 am to dusk, year-round. Security for FMCEP is provided by the Cape Coral Police Department. Additional security measures include locked gates to the parking area and visitor center, along with protective bollards and signage. Cape Coral Police Department will continue to keep FMCEP on the typical patrol route to help keep FMCEP secure.
The City of Cape Coral will continue to cooperate with other state and local government agencies and local volunteer groups, including the FWC, DOF, Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife, Veterans’ Midpoint Memorial Charitable Trust and others to continue providing natural, cultural and scenic resource preservation and conservation, outdoor passive recreation and veteran memorials.