WINK News given sneak peek of what’s to come on Legacy Island

Writer: Camila Pereira
Published: Updated:

Legacy Island Park is on the horizon, and for the first time, the City of Fort Myers took WINK News on the Caloosahatchee River to see what the island looks like now and what’s to come.

“Legacy Island is, we call it a future park for the City of Fort Myers,” said Nicole Setzer, an engineer for the city’s Public Works Department. “It is unique to us. It’s the first of its kind for us.”

Legacy Island, formerly known as Clint’s Island or Rat Island, will transform into a park with walking trails, a dock, an observation platform and a beach on the island.

But, right now, it’s still far from being a sight to see.

Trees and debris still on Legacy Island (CREDIT: WINK News).

“It does look a little shabby right now,” Setzer said, “but I think in very short, or in the next couple of months or so, they’ll see some new vegetation going on the outside of the island, they’ll see just generally cleaned up and some of the dead debris gone.”

So, come July, if weather permits, the city expects phase one of the Legacy Island Park project to be complete and ready for boaters to visit– another sign of progress for Southwest Florida.

The island park is the result of a compromise the city reached with relatives of a founding Fort Myers family — the Deans. Their relatives, the Powells, gave the city the land where the Luminary Hotel now sits for a park.

Almost four years ago, the family reached a deal with the city to build the hotel and create a park in the Caloosahatchee, so it’s been something both the family and residents of Fort Myers have been waiting for years.

“I’m excited,” said Setzer. “I’ve lived in Fort Myers for 45 years. I lived within view of this island for a number of years, so we’re excited that we’re seeing some progress on this, and hopefully, it’ll become a very nice and well-used feature for the city.”

A barge was expected to take equipment needed for the project to the island on Monday, and residents might see smoke coming from the island in the coming weeks, too, for two more controlled burns.

Construction costs for phase one come out to over $800,000, which Setzer said will all be funded by the city’s Parks and Recreation general fund.

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