Counting Nests: An Annual Bonita Bay Event

Bonita Bay has one of the largest documented Bird Nesting Sanctuaries of any private community in Southwest Florida.  A bird count is conducted every April to monitor the productivity of the three bird islands. While Bonita Bay has two other neighborhoods where birds nest – Wedgewood and Rookery Lakes – there is one lake (Lake 31) that is surrounded by the neighborhoods of Sandpiper, Hidden Harbor, and Oak Knoll that is a true super nesting sanctuary comprised of three separate islands.  Lake 31 is home to 13 species of birds: Anhinga, Least Bittern, Great Blue Heron, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Little Blue Herons, Cattle Egrets, Green Herons, White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Roseate Spoonbills, Black-Crown Night-Heron, and the Tricolored Heron. The Lake 31 islands are unique since they were “man-made islands” and are patrolled by neighborhood gators who happily discourage egg-eating predators from gaining entry to the over 600 nests on these islands.

Continue reading “Counting Nests: An Annual Bonita Bay Event”

Celebrating Earth Day in Bonita Bay

Earth Day takes place on April 22 every year. People around the globe celebrate the holiday by participating in activities and events to help protect, preserve, and improve the planet we all share. Earth Day was born in 1970, at the start of the modern environmental movement.

On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took part in public demonstrations all over the country, rallying for increased environmental protection and sustainability efforts. By the end of that same year, in addition to the first celebration of Earth Day, the United States formed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and initiatives such as the Clean Air Act, and Endangered Species Act

Those who know Bonita Bay believe that every day is Earth Day within our perimeter! In celebration of Earth Day, here are some things YOU can do to pay homage to Mother Earth.

Actions YOU can take on Earth Day:

  • Participate in local beach clean up activities
  • Bird watching along the Estero Bay Park boardwalk or Oak Knoll Point
  • Nature walks – enjoy our Butterfly Garden!
  • Reduce plastic use
  • Recycle properly – NO “wish-cycling”
  • Reuse items whenever possible
  • Walk or ride a bicycle instead of using the car
  • Carpool to events or work
  • Conserve water – water yards with irrigation water (when possible) either early in the morning or late in the evening when it is cooler
  • Save electricity – use long-lasting light bulbs, turn lights off when not in a room, use timers on lights
  • Shop wisely – support Eco-Friendly companies
  • Use reusable bags while shopping
  • Plant a tree
  • Avoid the use of pesticides

How will YOU help the earth on Earth Day?

From Chrysalis To Metamorphis

The Gulf fritillary or passion butterfly is a bright orange butterfly in the subfamily Heliconiinae of the family Nymphalidae. That subfamily was formerly set apart as a separate family, the Heliconiidae. The Heliconiinae are “longwing butterflies”, which have long, narrow wings compared to other butterflies. The Gulf fritillary can be found in all 67 counties of Florida. All butterflies in this family have tiny front legs that lack claws (in most other butterfly families, the front legs have claws).

The new butterfly lets its wings dry for about ten to fifteen minutes, then takes off in flight. It has a life span of 14 to 27 days. During this short time, adults must locate a mate and the females must lay eggs.

Wilson Cypher, Assistant Director of Community Maintenance noticed the insect on the vine as the underside of its wings was still coated with a white film. According to Bill Lynn – Director of Community Maintenance, who captured images of this amazing event from our very own Butterfly Garden, “As we observed the Gulf fritillary, we noticed it had fully emerged from its chrysalis and was allowing its wings to dry.” Lynn continued, “I love seeing nature in action. What a great privilege to have our own Butterfly Garden onsite.”

Did you know that the Bonita Bay Butterfly Garden is a certified Monarch Waystation?

Monarch Waystations are places that provide resources necessary for monarchs to produce successive generations and sustain their migration. Without milkweeds throughout their spring and summer breeding areas in North America, monarchs would not be able to produce the successive generations that culminate in the migration each fall. Similarly, without nectar from flowers, these fall migratory monarch butterflies would be unable to make their long journey to overwintering grounds in Mexico. The need for host plants for larvae and energy sources for adults applies to all monarch and butterfly populations around the world.

Written by Katie Walters

Bonita Bay Honors Bonita Springs Firefighters

On June 24, 2021, the 12-story, Champlain Towers south residential building was unexpectedly reduced to a pile of concrete when a pancake-like collapse occurred, trapping many residents and guests. The 1:25 am tragedy ultimately resulted in the need for fire and rescue personnel who are specifically trained in search and rescue techniques beyond the norm in which firefighters receive for structural operations.

To assist in the rescue efforts, six Bonita Springs Firefighters were deployed to the Surfside Condo Collapse including Fire Chief Greg DeWitt, Battalion Chief Andrew Schmidt, Firefighter Colin Bostin, Firefighter Calvin Payne, Firefighter Joe Sanderson, and Firefighter Mark Simon.

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Dog Adoption Day Returns

Are you searching for a new best friend? Do you long for a companion to share fun times? Are you in need of a buddy who is loyal and an excellent listener? Then search no more!

For a second time this year, the Community Activities team at Bonita Bay is collaborating with Cat Tails and More to offer residents an opportunity to meet their new BFF (Best Furry Friend!). MARK YOU CALENDARS!

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(Not) Just Another Regular Wednesday

(Not) Just Another Regular Wednesday

This Wednesday began like any other random Wednesday during the month of March; garden-variety, standard-issue, very uncommonly common.

Wednesday – otherwise known as the mid-week “high-five” in celebration of successfully navigating the beginning of the week.

Wednesday is often favored as the official “mid-point” of the week prior to the slow roll towards the weekend.

The thing about the Wednesday in question, is all regular days have the ability to be something more.

Some are even labeled special.

On a “special” Wednesday, every single thing just happens to go “right.” Instead of following the natural order of the Universe, a special Wednesday flips the switch from standard to exceptional.

And all in a matter of seconds. Or rather, less than seven minutes.

Regardless of the fact the fabled nursery rhyme Monday’s Child, proclaims that “Wednesday’s child is full of woe,” some Wednesdays are created to offer hope. A phenomenon. Dare to say, some Wednesdays happen to create a miracle?

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Literary Contest Winner

Bonita Bay residents were asked to submit a poem or short story explaining why they chose this community over all the others in Southwest Florida.

We thank all the residents who willingly submitted their writings to us, and before the winner is announced, the following snippets are noteworthy “honorable mentions” of the many reasons residents love and chose Bonita Bay as their home.

Take your car and pull through the gate; Wave hello, paradise awaits. Beautiful grounds, many lakes too; How about a swim in the pool? Nighttime comes, hot tubs are there; Take a dip with friends, if you dare. Walk for miles, bike or blade; Grab some coffee at the Promenade. Sunsets are stunning, enjoy the sea and the sand; All the while, with a libation in hand.

– Olivia Cambs
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Bonita Bay + Lee Health = Blood Drive Success

Bonita Bay + Lee Health = Blood Drive Success

Since the coronavirus first arrived on the shores of America, people from across the country – as well as around the world – have been struggling with a path of uncertainty and the merry-go-round creation of newly changing procedures.

Lee County was no different.

Local blood banks were in desperate need of replenishing their blood supplies. Lee Health sent a community-wide “all-call” for blood – and the generous residents of Bonita Bay answered.

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Tennis/Pickleball Court Renovation Moves Forward

Tennis/Pickleball Court Renovation Moves Forward

Tennis_Pickleball Email Cover (1)

With approval from the Bonita Bay Community Association Board of Directors, the tennis/pickleball facility at Riverwalk Park is in the process of a complete replacement. Since the facility’s inception nearly 30 years ago, the courts have been resurfaced several times; the fencing has been repaired but never replaced.

▪ Demolition of existing court and fence (complete) 
▪ Expand court size to accommodate four pickleball courts and one tennis court
▪ New asphalt court will be finished with Laykold Masters Gel Surface
▪ Installation of new 12′ fence to support e-noise abatement blanket
▪ Court lights will be converted to dark sky compliance standards
▪ Landscape for buffering

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The Unique Art of Rock Stacking

The Unique Art of Rock Stacking

History of Rock Stacking

The fine art of “stacking rocks” has been around for centuries. In fact, this practice has been in existence for so long that archeologists have no method of determining when it first began.

A small stack of meticulously stacked rocks is called a cairn, derived from a Gaelic term meaning “heap of stones.” One useful purpose of a cairn is to guide hikers by marking the trail or a turn in the trail or a mountain top. In North America, evidence shows that early Native American tribes used stacked rocks to mark burial sites or to create a memorial. Continue reading “The Unique Art of Rock Stacking”