What a wonderful time of year! People seem to be sparkling as much as the festive lights all over the Island. There have been so many parties and events over the past few weeks which continue to keep us all together.
As I was thinking about writing this column and accentuating the holiday season, I again feel that the island is so blessed to have the City Council who voted to buy the Glon Property, now the Veteran’s Park, and the focal point of many of the Island festivities. I truly believe it is because you have one central point to gather, one central point to enjoy the many activities offered, and one central point to meet and greet regularly.
Just think of all the various activities that are presented at the park appealing to many different audiences. Of course, there is the Farmer’s Market, where you can just sit and watch and meet and greet everyone on the island, it seems. There are veteran’s activities, various holiday activities, Christmas singing and performing, etc. I love watching the kids playing ball on the open fields while others perform. It keeps the high energy kids busy and happy.
Of course, there are the many fundraisers such as the Marco Island Seafood Festival, and how about parades like the St. Paddy’s Day parade, where everyone meets at a central location and goes from there. Now, there are many other places on the island that we also can meet and greet, which makes you realize that everything that is planned can be attended by everyone on the island if they choose to do so.
Why am I saying all of this? Because I know of no other area in all of Collier County that has such community spirit! As a person who does not live on the island but spends most of her time there, I can see “both sides of the bridge,” and the island most certainly has what every community WISHES they had but few can ever attain.
Other communities around Collier which are gated prevent anyone from coming in and closes the door to community-wide spirit. It’s truly a gift that is wrapped beautifully and enjoyed by most — almost like a Christmas Gift that lasts all year.
* Again this year, I will be holding a Marco Island Town Hall Gathering in the Rose Hall Auditorium at the Marco Island Museum. It will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 5:30 PM. No reservations are needed. We will be addressing Marco Island issues that relate to the county, as well as county issues that affect the entire area of Collier County.
* Hooray, hooray! I have been keeping track of the request for a grant from the state to continue the landscaping along S.R. 951 between Fiddler’s Creek and Mainsail Drive, and we finally received an Florida Department of Transportation notification letter that the Florida Highway Beautification Council grant has been awarded to us! The county had to submit the request and guarantee to the state that it would provide the maintenance, which amounts to $25,800 annually. Hopefully each year, now that the economy is recovering, the county can apply for grants until the landscaping runs from the bridge all the way to U.S. 41E. It is something we have all wanted for a very long time.
* Recently, the County Commission approved the donation of 10,000 to 15,000 Cubic Yards of sand from the Marco Island Marriott to be used in the Marco Island central beach re-grade project. The beach regrading project will not begin until after November 2015. This works out to be a win-win for both the Marriott and the Marco beach!
Happy New Year one and all!