GICIA celebrates 50-year anniversary with restoration of walking path curbing

June 9, 2021
By Marcy Shortuse

SUBMITTED BY THE GICIA – The Gasparilla Island Conservation and Improvement Association is pleased to announce that the work to restore the GICIA Walking Path began on Tuesday, June 1. The 3.5-mile sand path, which was exclusively designed for walkers and runners, is being refurbished. The broken areas of curbing are being replaced and a new entrance to the benches at the bayside lookout north of the water plant is being constructed.  

This year the GICIA is celebrating its 50th Anniversary of working to protect island life. Under non-pandemic conditions, such a wonderful event would have included a “Grande” community celebration. To properly recognize this milestone anniversary, the GICIA board of directors decided to complete multiple enhancements on GICIA properties within our community.

It has been more than 30 years since the GICIA Bike Path was constructed and opened to the public. In that time, with the community’s generous support, the GICIA has continued to beautify the 35 acres of property that creates the gateway to Boca Grande. As a treasured and highly-used amenity for island residents, the GICIA decided that a perfect show of appreciation during the yearlong 50th Celebration would be to continue enhancing the Bike Path property. Refurbishing the curbing of the walking path has been overdue, and we are pleased the project is underway. 

A much-needed addition to the new curbing is the installation of a concrete path that leads to the lookout area on the bay side of the path. This new entry will create a smooth transition from the Bike Path to the bench area without carts needing to run over concrete curbing. To ensure these improvements are maintained, the GICIA encourages anyone operating a cart on the path to refrain from operating on the shell walking path or running over the curbing. 

The GICIA continues to promote safety by asking users to be courteous when on the path. Please slow down in crowded areas or when passing a slower user, warn when passing to the left, and move to the right when someone needs to pass.  

Take a moment to imagine Boca Grande today if there was no GICIA.  If you are interested in becoming a member of the GICIA, please contact the office at 964-2667.