Our Future



Where is Engage Estero headed?

As indicated in the impressive list of Engage Estero achievements, both past, and present, our organization has been involved in helping to enhance the greater Estero area for over 20 years:

  • Supported and promoted the effort resulting in the successful vote for the establishment of the Village of Estero
  • Ensuring the protection of our water quality and quantity and area wildlife in conjunction with other agencies such as the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and others.
  • Preventing the expansion of mining along Eastern Corkscrew Road
  • Formalized the strict design/architectural standards, including landscaping designs, in the original Estero Community Plan
  • The removal of CR 951 and Coconut Road interchange from the 2035 Transportation Plan
  • Assisted the Grandezza Community and Lee County to minimize adverse noise and visual impacts of university community development
  • Encouraged and supported the development of Lee Health Coconut Point
  • Helped extend the hours at the Bonita Community Health Center to serve residents better.
  • Helped Lee County Schools secure volunteers and implemented Junior Achievement programs in five Estero area schools, which has helped enhance teaching and school standards, leading to increased home values.
  • At the Village’s request, we help inform residents about storm preparedness and emergency contact information in the event of a hurricane
  • Helped to improve paddleboard, kayak, and boat access to Estero Bay at the Bayview Development.

Incorporation of the Village of Estero

We coordinated all efforts resulting in the successful vote for the establishment of the Village of Estero. Work included initiating the feasibility study and charter and conducting public workshops to inform the community about the benefits of incorporation. We still advoate for improved services within the Village structure.

Development of the Coconut Mall

We set strict design/architectural standards, including landscaping designs, in the original Estero Community Plan, which resulted in the one-of-a-kind Coconut Point Mall.

Protected the DR/GR

We collaborated with Lee County, environmental groups and developers to negotiate environmentally reasonable means of developing Corkscrew Shores in the DR/GR.

Transportation victories

Our actions led to accelerated funding of the widening of Corkscrew Road east of I-75. Prevented funding of CR 951 between Bonita Beach Road and Alico Road between the Stonybrook and Wildcat Run communities through the Grandezza community.

Averted 951 Interchange

The removal of CR 951 and Coconut Road interchange from the 2035 Transportation Plan due to its placement in environmentally sensitive lands.

Estero Community Plan

We contributed to the update of the Estero Community Plan to protect the quality of life of the community.

We collect survey opinions

Our assistance resulted in the collection of 1,000 responses to the Estero needs assessment, and we shared the survey results with the Estero Village Council.

We contributed to stopping the I-75 flyover overpass

Joining with other civic groups, we thwarted the construction of an I-75 flyover east of Coconut Road, avoiding disruption, additional noise, and potential loss of property values for several Estero Communities.

Controlled Noise

We collaborated with the Grandezza Community and Lee County to minimize adverse noise and visual impacts of university community development south of FGCU.

Prepared a Transition Book

Prepared a Transition Book to assist the new Village Council members as they took on the responsibilities transferred to them on March 17, 2015.

Defeated mining on Corkscrew Road

We helped convince the Lee County Board to deny permits for three major mines on Corkscrew Road. Mines impair adjacent wetlands, which protect us from flooding and further contaminating Estero Bay. Teaming up with our rural neighbors, we stopped our roads from being traveled by thousands of dump trucks.

Protect the Environment

We keep residents apprised of projects impacting our water quality and quantity, as well as area wildlife. Our targets included Estero on the River, Hertz Arena’ Weeks Fish Camp, and residential development and mining proposals in the Density Reduction/ Groundwater Resource area along east Corkscrew Road, inside and outside the Village boundaries.

Monitor Planning and Zoning Matters

Communications to over 10,000 households significantly increased citizen participation in the Village’s Planning and Zoning Board and Design Review Boards activity.

Share Information on Healthcare Developments

We supported the development of Lee Health Coconut Point. We provided regular updates on the progress of the 172,000- square-foot Healthcare Village that opened on December 3, 2018.

Secure Volunteers

Helped Lee County Schools to secure volunteers, implemented Junior Achievement programs in five Estero area schools, and to mentor students and veterans at Florida Gulf Coast University’ Institute for Entrepreneurship.

Team up with Other Community Groups

Using our communication capabilities, we collaborate with community organizations, like the Koreshan State Historic Site, the Estero Historic Preservation Citizens’ Committee, and the Estero Art League, to strengthen their effectiveness.

Issue Warnings About Tropical Storms

At the Village’s request, we help inform residents about storm preparedness and emergency contact information in the event of a hurricane.

Sponsor Meetings as a Clearinghouse for Ideas

Engage Estero’s community and business representatives and the public participate in monthly meetings, unencumbered by Sunshine Law restrictions that can hobble Florida government bodies.

Extended Hours at Bonita Community Health Center

Engage Estero worked to extend the hours at the Bonita Community Health Center to better serve residents until the 24/7 emergency department was available in Estero.

We harness the Experience of Residents

Engage Estero members have decades of experience in governmental and civic matters that communities and citizens can access to guide Estero’s future.

Engage Estero is planning to do a great deal in the immediate and long term. Please read on to learn more.

The Engage Estero Executive Management Team (EMT) formed a Strategic Thinking and Planning Committee in the late summer of 2020. Following interviews with over 20 members, the committee spent a significant amount of time considering and developing actions and strategies for the organization’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan.

Subsequently, the EMT reviewed the recommended strategic plan contents and planning process discussed with Engage Estero’s board of directors. The outcome was Board approval of Key Strategic Issues we should address in the next 5 years:

  • Improve Water Quality
  • Improve Community Health
  • Increase Safety
  • Promote Culture and Recreation
  • Improve Greater Estero Area Schools
  • Support Economic Growth

Although many specific actions require our involvement in our internal plans, we will list just a few of our thoughts for each of the above vital issues to illustrate what we are contemplating.

water quality

1. Improve Water Quality

  • Form or join a coalition of water-quality experts, groups, and organizations to agree on common goals and strategies to improve water quality in the greater Estero area
  • Collaborate with Village of Estero and Lee County officials and other water quality advocate groups to offer short-term suggestions, e.g., monitoring existing septic tanks in residential homes and longer-term support for their conversion to the municipal sewer
  • Support a plan to clean-up Estero River pollution and sources of pollution

2. Improve Community Health

  • Continue to support specific health initiatives within Engage Estero’s Health Council addressing issues such as including mental health, cognition, cardiovascular concerns, reducing falls and fractures, etc.
  • Promote family and youth wellness and determine the level of access community members have to basic health needs, such as food, shelter, health education, clean water, and clean and safe environments
  • Determine health services not being provided to the community that are needed and what health services are provided to the community that are underutilized
water quality
water quality

3. Increase Safety

  • Collaborate with local police and fire service to support various safety initiatives to enhance the safety of residents
  • Advocate for Village initiatives to enhance road safety regarding crosswalks for pedestrians; separate bike paths; improved road layouts in locations with a high incidence of accidents
  • Advocate for improved safety by requiring adequate lighting, street visibility, and defensible spaces within new development projects, e.g., Corkscrew/I-75 improvements, Corkscrew Rd. widening and landscape beautification on existing roads such as Via Coconut

4. Promote Culture and Recreation

  • Establish a committee involving the Village of Estero, Estero Chamber, and local businesses to plan to utilize Estero facilities for various indoor/outdoor cultural events, including orchestral concerts, tribute bands, comedy acts, Shakespeare in the park, themed food events, etc.
  • Advocate establishing a performing arts center within the greater Estero area
  • Take the initiative to develop a real sports complex plan and funding with pickleball courts, soccer fields, plus other sports, together with a waterpark to drive economic development, in conjunction with the Village and Estero Chamber
Estero Community Park Amphitheatre
Junior Achievement in Schools

5. Improve Greater Estero Area Schools

  • Explore the Coalition for Community Schools approach
  • Continue to expand the Junior Achievement Program
  • Align school policies, programs, and practice with the Community School program’s mission/purpose and connect to other related initiatives

6. Support Economic Growth

  • Assist in the development of an online “Destination” Website to foster economic growth for the greater Estero area
  • Leverage the unique capabilities and resources of local and Southwest Florida’s leading economic and workforce development organizations to advance the greater Estero community
  • Form or join a coalition of interested community leaders and others, including the Village of Estero and the Estero Chamber of Commerce, focusing on the quality of life factors such as accessible education, health & wellness services, safety, consumer protection, and preservation of natural resources
Estero Community Park Amphitheatre

Make a Difference

If you agree with the value of the initiatives and achievements of the ECCL, please:

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We Need Your Support

Finally, our advocacy efforts can be costly. For us to continue to be successful, we need a partnership with you.

Engage Estero is a non-profit organization and does require financial support for many of the initiatives that we undertake. We continually need funds and other resources for communications, promotions, legal services, expert consultants and engineers, educational scholarships, etc.

The Engage Estero Fund is a 501(c)3 tax-deductible organization. Please consider financially supporting us so that we can do even more to help our community.

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