Hard to believe a year has passed so quickly but we have made some in roads with the project including:
- initial cleanup of all the buildings
- installing the flag pole and first official flag raising
- successfully registering with the province and federally as a charity
- achieving a Memorandum of Understanding with the Village of Grand Manan to assume the responsibilities of the buildings
- reroofing the former Ross Island Boat House and the small pumphouse (located at the top of the hill)
- building a fabulous deck/observation area surrounding the former Ross Island Boat House
- cleaning up some of the vegetation around the parking area and cliff
- temporarily fixing the screening on the stairs leading to the bridge
- fixing the railing on the bridge
We could not have done any of this if it were not the dedication of numerous volunteers, and the generous support of donors, both financially and inkind. Look forward this summer to a table at the Farmer's Market, evening sails and musical/dinner/tea adventures. We hope to Hug Swallowtail on July 12 but this is dependent on whether the lead paint cleanup is finished. This project was begun late last fall by the federal government concerned about the high levels of lead in the soil around the foundations of the old keepers house torn down in 1958 and the lighthouse, after nearly 150 years of painting and scraping.
Our next major work event will be in September with members of a Rotary Club from Florida arriving specifically to work on the buildings at Swallowtail. We will, of course, be doing some work throughout the summer whenever anyone has some time. We desperately need to fix the southern end of the boat house beside the keepers house before the entire end disappears this winter.
If you are interested in helping or have some suggestions, please let us know.