The team at Lovers Key Adventure is very excited about the plans laid out by the park’s new superintendent Robert Steiger. This is actually Bob’s second time to head Lovers Key State Park as he was here from 1994 to 1996 when leadership was combined with Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park. When the parks became independent, he went to Delnor Wiggins where he has spent 20 years being their head. The team there says that they will miss him because of his great teaching techniques.
Stopping the Australian Pine
One of Bob’s primary focuses will be on eradicating Australian Pine seedlings. These trees got their start as windbreaks during the late 1800s, but they lead to beach erosion. Their quick growth displaces native vegetation with deeper roots that help to stop beach erosion. Their growth also prevents sea turtles and American crocodiles from building coastal nests. They provide very few resources to wildlife.
The End of Brazilian Pepper Plants
Bob will also be working to stop Brazilian pepper plants. These plants often prevent the growth of plants that do a much better job of providing food for wildlife. Like poison ivy, direct contact with the skin can cause severe irritation. Unless these plants are limited to specific areas, they can cause the total extinction of some plant species in the area who cannot compete against them.
Stopping the Invasive Growth of Ear Leaf Acacia
Bob will also be working to halt the growth of Ear Leaf Acacia. Like the Australian Pine, these trees grow extremely rapidly, so they may stop native species from growing deep roots. They are a nuisance to the environment because they do not break down when dead as regular trees do. They are also a problem because they do not provide many resources for wildlife.
Protecting the Park for Future Generations
Bob says that he has a granddaughter who is two. He hopes that the steps that he takes now will help promote Lovers Key State Park’s native ecosystem so that she can enjoy it as she matures. Bob is just two years away from retirement, but he hopes that he can quickly teach those around him to take better care of the park so that it can be preserved for many years to come. He says that the 1.4 million people who come to the park annually have almost loved it to death.
We look forward to working with Bob in his new capacity. Together, we know that we can help build a park that future generations can enjoy.
Lovers Key Adventures
8700 Estero Blvd,
Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931