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Summertime Escape at Bay Oaks Recreation Center

August 15, 2018
By ANITA FORCE MARSHALL (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Looking to get away from the beach and the hustle and bustle of island life? There is a wonderful Fort Myers Beach jewel that is a favorite place to escape. The Bay Oaks Recreation Center is at 2731 Oak St. and it has all the bells and whistles for island recreation, both serious or fun.

The Town of Fort Myers Beach Parks and Recreation Department has fulfilled its vision at Bay Oaks by successfully connecting people with community through parks, aquatics and recreational programming, while inspiring an appreciation for the beauty of natural open spaces, and creating life-long memories.

"We offer a tremendous array of programming throughout the year with summer camp and youth basketball league unique during this time of year," said Sean De Palma, MS, CPRP, Town of Fort Myers Beach Parks and Recreation Department director. "Moreover, during summer time we extend our pool access hours."

Bay Oaks' hours are Monday through Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and the Beach Pool hours through the end of August are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Sunday.

Currently, the parks and recreation department provides more than 30 programs or activities for a spectrum of age ranges including many signature programs.

"Due to the lack of a direct access point from Estero Boulevard, people are genuinely surprised at all the amenities we retain, the fields, fitness rooms, tennis courts, pool and our renovated gymnasium," De Palma said. "My staff and I are working diligently to get the word out to everyone about our town's wonderful gem!"

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At Bay Oaks you can enjoy an aquatics center, a recreational center which includes four tennis courts, two baseball/softball fields, disc golf course, a playground, and also a natural area. Their big beautiful pool is the ultimate escape from the heat with 7,000 square feet of refreshing water, a heated lap pool with a wheelchair accessible swim lift and a large water slide. The shallow family pool has an interactive play structure, a floating obstacle course and plenty of shade under one of the 20-foot wide Funbrellas.

The Youth and Teen programs and Bay Oaks Social Seniors offer premiere activities and are very popular on the island. Their Athletic and Fitness programs are plentiful with a gym that features a Smith machine, numerous individual strength machines, a variety of free weight dumbbells, weight bars, and a 50-inch television. The separate cardio room features three treadmills, two ellipticals, and one stationary bike. In addition to the fitness rooms, members can participate in drop-in basketball, drop-in volleyball, drop-in pickleball, senior softball, yoga, and bocce ball.

The Town of Fort Myers Beach began operating the recreational facility in 2009.

The membership fee is $45 for an annual membership. Seasonal membership is $30 for six months.

Ask about a resident membership at no cost.

Membership to Bay Oaks allows members to use the center's facilities at no additional cost.

Members may participate in all of the programs and receive discounts on all fee-based activities.

Not just a place you show up at, Bay Oaks is filled with community.

"My attraction to the process of evolving makes Lee County special to me," De Palma said. "Lee County and the Town of Fort Myers Beach are actively evolving into premier destination locations. Our customers are special because they are very supportive of our mission and they desire out-of-the-ordinary recreational opportunities with that hometown intimacy."

Everyone knows that they will be greeted with smiles and expertise no matter where you go in Bay Oaks. There is always a staff member ready to help out.

"I actually truly enjoy the opportunity to serve this dynamic island community which consists of annual and seasonal residents, as well as, visitors from all across America," De Palma said. "Regardless of the challenges of my position, I am delighted each day to serve and teach my staff who consist of innovative, passionate and hardworking young professionals that have a together-we-can-do-anything attitude."

Bay Oaks is the go-to place on the island and the heart of the island.

"Our campus with the Community Center and the Aquatic facility is a pleasing hidden treasure," De Palma said. "Summertime at Bay Oaks is where our children build lifetime memories, families grow closer and active older adults increase their quality of fun!"

For more information, call 239-765-4222 or visit Bay Oaks's Facebook page or click on fortmyersbeachfl.gov/609/Parks-Recreation.

 
 

 

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