Published: Oct 14, 2011 9:06 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 14, 2011 9:50 PM EDT

SOUTH FORT MYERS, Fla.- Lakes Park is being transformed into an full-out fall fairground. But there's a little more backbone to this group of scarecrows. Proceeds for the event are helping keep the park preserved.

"The more we can do and the more companies around town can get involved in supporting the park, the better we can make it be for all of our families," Marsha Asp of the Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation said Friday.

The foundation is throwing the 2nd annual Fall Festival.

The group of volunteers formed after Hurricane Charley devastated the park back in 2004.

"They all have a vested interest. Whether it's about our ecosystem, the habitat, the animals that live here. They all have something they love about this place," Christine Bailey of Lee County Parks & Recreation said Friday.

The foundation partners with the community to help fill the gaps of Lee County Parks & Rec's limited budget.

"We have a zero budget. And still there are so many things we need to do. They are so passionate about it, and we're all on the same page to do the same work," Bailey said.

This year, local businesses were asked to sponsor and decorate a scarecrow, with all contributions going back into the park. Last year, the fundraiser generated around $7,000, all going toward preserving a Lee County landmark.

"When times are tough and so forth, it's nice to have a really beautiful park with lots of activities to come to, that doesn't cost a family anything to enjoy," Asp said.

Lakes Park annual Fall Festival and Halloween Extravaganza kicks off Saturday at Lakes Park, located at 7330 Gladiolus Dr. in Fort Myers.

The event runs Oct. 15- 31st on Mondays through Thursdays from 6-9 p.m., Fridays from 5-10 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m.-10 p.m.