By Jim Melican, GSAC Board Member
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Since our last report in November, further progress has been made in the restoration of the Park Shore beach walk to its former state. Three (Commons R, T/U, and V) of the five beach commons associations, which together comprise the walk, have now reinstalled the “Private Beach Walk — No Trespassing” signs that were destroyed by Hurricane Ian. As has been the case for many years, the signs indicate that bicycles, dogs, and skating are not allowed on the walk. Commons S, which runs between Gulfside and La Mer, has the signs on order, and they will very shortly be in place as well. The board of Commons W, between the Vistas and Le Parc, meets this week to determine what they intend to do.

At the south end of the walk, several very nice benches have been erected to replace those that were destroyed in Ian’s storm surge. North of the Park Shore Association Beach Park there are yet no places to sit immediately adjacent to the walk. In that area, the dune plantings have taken root and appear to be effectively impeding the sand from being blown onto the walkway and past it onto the landscaping.

The principal item yet to be restored is the lighting along the side of the walkway. Due to the need to be turtle-compliant, which necessitated getting permits from the City, there was considerable delay as the City’s staff was overwhelmed with more urgent permitting requests. The specific design of the fixture to replace the former bollard lights had first to be approved, and, once that was accomplished, the manufacturer has been experiencing production shortages due to high demand. So, while electrical preparation work is currently underway to facilitate installation, it will likely be several months before the lights themselves are delivered.

At the last GSAC board meeting on February 13, officials from Collier County’s Coastal Zone Management Department presented the County’s plan for revegetating the beach area west of the five beach commons’ properties. The plantings will all be native species, comprised of several grasses and vines. The project is scheduled for completion in June with a 180-day establishment period.