BIPS update: Progress on the Range Light acquisition

■ BY SHARON MCKENZIE     white-sky

BARRIER ISLAND PARKS SOCIETY

The Barrier Island Parks Society (BIPS) reported that thus far the fundraising for the Gasparilla Island Light restoration project has brought in $1,068,000 in gifts and pledges. Larry Hannah, BIPS director and chair of the fundraising effort, said that “over 350 individual gifts have propelled us to 60 percent of our goal of $1,783,000 to complete all the work on the structure, the clean-up and maintenance of the property, and fund an endowment for the perpetual care of both our island’s historic lighthouses”. BIPS reported that, “while we’re not there yet, our success to date will enable us to obtain necessary permits and to schedule metal repair and painting of the range light for this summer and fall.” Fundraising will continue in parallel with initial restoration activities, but some planned work, including land clean-up, pathways, removal of invasive species, and other actions will be deferred until funding is assured. Jim Grant, who is overseeing the restoration effort, echoed Larry Hannah in “urging all island residents who have not yet donated to help us reach our goal with a thoughtful contribution.”

To support this project, please send checks to: Light Keeper’s Fund, P.O. Box 654, Boca Grande, Florida 33921. Gifts of stock are also welcome. For more information, contact smckenziebips@gmail.com.