More than $1 million worth of improvements are coming to a Southwest Florida park. We looked at what will be new at a place people in the region often take a day trip to.
Big bucks are being allocated for Tigertail Beach Park on Marco Island. Collier County says it’s working to bring back park features this season.
Linda Colombo, the president of Friends of Tigertail, has a lot on her wish list for Tigertail Beach Park, but one issue takes precedence.
“The main concern at this time with Tigertail Beach Park is actually the water,” Colombo said.
Sand has been pushed by storms into a zone of the water system.
“So it’s narrower,” Colombo said. “It’s being choked.”
The fear is the flow of water will get cut off, making the lagoon water stagnant, locking the way of kayakers and paddle boaters and hurting the ecosystem.
“We do not want to have any bacterial closings as we did have in March 2019 because of the water quality of the lagoon,” Colombo said. “We don’t want to have manatees stranded any longer. We had two stranded in October this year.”
It’s a concern for other longtime islanders such as Joan Gerberding.
“I just think that we as residents of Marco Island and even as visitors of Marco Island, we really need to take care of our island,” Gerberding said. “We need to be conservators of nature and wildlife.”
The county money has been budgeted to improve park features, including the boardwalk, a playground and bathrooms. Those in the community hope the environmental changes they want will come next.
“Some would say, like I said, let nature take its course,” Commissioner Rick LoCastro said. “But the example I use is, if you went to the Everglades, we constantly do controlled burns. Why? Because we don’t want to let nature take its course. We want to help nature.”