WOW! Did everyone feel the dramatic tremblers when we changed our calendars over to the new year — and decade — of 2020? The Village of Estero is simply exploding with change, growth, quality, prosperity and opportunity!!           

Our cover story, titled “Climate of Collaboration,” details the positive economic outlook and unprecedented optimism that permeates Estero. Partnerships across all platforms and growth in every sectorGary Israel from “new hotels, apartment complexes, senior living facilities, grocery stores, medical offices and more” dot the Village’s landscape. Collaboration between government, ECCL, Chamber of Commerce, FGCU, Lee County School District, Lee Health, local churches and dozens of nonprofits are creating countless opportunities for everyone. We invite you to discover many opportunities you may share in and enjoy.           

Change is one of the dominating factors. From the effects of several capital improvements occurring in the transportation sector, to education and health care, the Village is managing to steer us through the maze of prosperity, to our Village’s zenith.           

One of the most significant examples of change is coming through the expansion and restructuring of the Estero Council of Community Leaders, transforming the support structure for our community. “Looking Toward the Future” will share the details and how this organization will give momentum to the collaboration.           

One of the significant changes in the health care sector is the progress being made in the acceptance and treatment of mental health. We have previously featured Kids’ Minds Matter (February 2018), providing mental health services to our children. Now, we introduce FGCU’s new Community Counseling Center, making mental health care more affordable and accessible than ever. These initiatives will create a healthier, safer environment for everyone.           

At the new year, being “healthier” is top of mind to almost everyone! In Southwest Florida, there has been a growing interest in adopting a healthier, more meaningful lifestyle, which is what the Blue Zones Project is all about. Karan Ilowite, lifestyle director at Tidewater by Del Webb, explains what a Blue Zones lifestyle encompasses, as Tidewater is the first Estero community to officially receive the Blue Zones designation.           

Another component of Estero’s ability to change, grow and prosper is due to the large number of quality business and community leaders who graciously give of their time and talents to harmoniously guide the many groups and organizations. One such individual is Estero resident Nolen Rollins. Our 7 Questions feature elaborates on Nolen’s contributions to our area.           

Coming off the most successful and well-attended annual Christmas tree lighting event (Light Up Estero), our Village Connection this month encourages everyone — and we mean EVERYONE!! — to “Save the Date To Celebrate” Estero’s 5th Anniversary on March 21, 2020, at Estero Community Park from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30pm. Bring a chair and a friend. Everyone living, working or playing in Estero has a reason to celebrate!           

On the dining scene this month, we feature Aji Limon’s A Taste of Peru in Bonita Springs: authentic Peruvian cuisine and culture just a short distance away. The flavors of this South American cuisine are unlike any others you may have tried. We promise you will enjoy.           

Find other fun events to fill your calendar in our “Happening” and “Best Bets” sections. And lastly, enjoy browsing the “Scenes on Site” galleries of Night at the Nest at FGCU, Light Up Estero, and the grand retirement party for “Mr. Estero” Don Eslick.           

All of us at Estero Life Magazine wishes each of you a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

And as always, remember to…

                   Enjoy the Good Life: Estero Life!

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