Lee County Commissioners announced on Tuesday the death of District 5 Commissioner Frank Mann. In his honor, they voted to rename an east Lee County Conservation 20/20 preserve the Frank Mann Preserve.
The announcement came at the Board of County Commissioners’ regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday. Commissioner Mann passed away early Tuesday morning at his home in Alva.
Commissioner Mann was a lifelong resident of Lee County who began his career in public service in 1974 in the Florida House of Representatives, where he served eight years before moving on to the Florida Senate for four years. He served as Lee County’s District 5 commissioner for more than 15 years. Services for Commissioner Mann are planned for 11 a.m. Saturday, July 2, at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 2439 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers.
“Commissioner Mann was a tireless advocate for the people of east Lee County and for recreational opportunities, amenities and open spaces in District 5,” said Chairman Cecil Pendergrass, who made the motion to approve the name change. “Frank was instrumental in both the creation of the preserve and the opening earlier this year of part of the site for fishing and kayaking.”
Commissioners approved the purchase of the nearly 625-acre preserve in April 2019 through the Conservation 20/20 program. The Board and Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District (LA-MSID) entered into a memorandum of understanding to partner on the management of the land; it was formerly known as Greenbriar Swamp (GS) or “Section 10,” and mining activities occurred there.
LA-MSID is removing exotic plants and reconfiguring the existing mine lake into a filter marsh for stormwater treatment and a storage reservoir for flood control. The majority of the property is closed to the public while this process is underway.
However, a portion of GS-10 Preserve opened in February for fishing, kayaking, paddling and wildlife observation.
The preserve features a paddlecraft launch into a lake, offering a safe and easy location for beginner kayakers and paddlers. Anglers can fish from the lake’s shore for bass and crappie. Bird-watchers can observe Florida scrub jays, great blue herons, woodstorks, ospreys and hawks. Park hours are dawn until dusk. Future plans include hiking trails, pavilions and picnic tables.
To learn more about the Frank Mann Preserve and other Conservation 20/20 preserves, visit leeparks.org, call (239)533-7275 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.