Boca Grande Lighthouse Museum
Built in 1890 by the U.S. Lighthouse Service to mark the southern tip of Gasparilla Island, today the Boca Grande Lighthouse is the centerpiece of the Gasparilla Island State Recreation Area. It is not only a working U.S. Coast Guard Light, it is a museum of local history. Open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the museum is closed major holidays and the month of August. Exhibits focus on the history of the lighthouse and the island. There is also a gift shop. The museum charges no admission fee, but a $1 donation is requested to offset operating expenses. Call (941) 964-0060.
Medical care in Boca Grande is available at the Boca Grande Health Clinic at the corner of Park Ave. and Third Street in downtown Boca Grande. The clinic, which was build entirely through public contributions in 1990, is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The clinic offers limited laboratory and x-ray facilities. In the event of an after-hours emergency not requiring ambulance or hospital service, call the clinic at (941) 964-2276. Calls are forwarded to the doctor on call. In the event of a medical emergency requiring an ambulance and transport to a hospital, call 911.
The island’s Emergency Medical Services station is located in the Fire Department building. Its ambulance and paramedics can respond to any island emergency in four minutes or less, and can transport patients to Englewood Community Hospital, Venice Hospital, Fawcett Memorial Medical Center or St. Joseph’s Bon Secours Hospital in Port Charlotte.
At the corner of Tenth Street and Gasparilla Road is a lovely pink stucco building. This is the Johann Fust Community Library, built in 1949, a gift to the people of Boca Grande by winter residents Mr. and Mrs. Roger Amory. The Amory’s once operated a floating library, which carried newspapers, magazines and books to neighboring islands.
Walk through the cool arcade of native keystone and cypress into an open-air loggia and relax for a while beside the charming fountain and lovely gardens. The library grounds provide a lovely setting for art exhibitions, concerts and lectures by authors and other guest speakers. The library includes a children’s room and reference section, including 10,000 volumes. Call (941) 964-2488 for more information and hours of operation.
Boca Grande Art Alliance
This non-profit organization is comprised of artists, sculptors and craftsmen who work in many different mediums. The group’s annual calendar includes demonstrations, classes, lectures and exhibits at the alliance’s new home at the Boca Grande Community House, as well as art shows. Call (941) 964-1700 for more information.
Boca Grande Chamber of Commerce
The business community of Boca Grande area consists of a diverse group of small businesses, all of which are interested in the prosperity of their individual businesses as well as the integrity of the business community. The Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce offers opportunities to network with other business people in the community and share ideas. The Organization offers members such benefits as marketing, promotion, participation and cooperation with local, state and national Chamber organizations, Chamber representation at Florida trade and fishing shows and more. The Chamber creates and actively participates in many social and charitable events benefitting the island and the rest of our service area. Chamber membership is the standard that vendors and customers use when seeking referrals and options and they are more likely to choose a Chamber member business for quality of service and overall customer satisfaction.
The address is PO Box 704, Boca Grande, FL. 33921; the phone number is (941) 964-0568.
Boca Grande Fishing Guides Association
The 70-plus charter captains who make up the non-profit BGFGA are dedicated to encouraging and improving the conditions and facilities available to anglers and guides in regard to sport fishing in the waters surrounding Gasparilla Island.
Boca Grande Historical Society
The Boca Grande Historical Society is committed to enhancing understanding of the history of Gasparilla Island and its surrounding area. The goal of the BGHS is to provide personally rewarding opportunities to learn about the remarkable people and events that shaped our past.
Dedicated to the collection and preservation of memorabilia and through various educational activities, the Society seeks to put the present into better perspective by improving our sense of identity and continuity with history’s unfolding panorama. Call (941) 964-1600 for more information.
Barrier Island Parks Society (BIPS)
BIPS is a non-profit citizens support organization founded in 1989 to provide educational, interpretive and technical support for the park staff of the area’s four barrier island state parks. Call (941) 964-0060 for information or to volunteer.
Royal Palm Players, Inc.
The Royal Palm Players is in its second successful decade of producing theatre and bringing the performing arts to Boca Grande. The producing director is Elizabeth Spicer. The theatre engages professional artists and provides education as well as opportunities in all aspects of theatre production for community members and their children. The theatre is in full swing between October and May. Holiday concerts, special events, and engaging productions can be found in their ambitious seasons of plays and musicals. Stop by their office in Cabbage Court at 333 Park Avenue, or call (941) 964-2670 for more information.
Friends of the Boca Grande Community Center
A non-profit corporation formed in 1986 for the sole purpose of raising funds to support the programs and activities of the Boca Grande Community Center, the Friends organization has grown from a passive benefactor to an active participant in the management of the Center. An extensive renovation project was completed in 1995, which increased the usability and functional utility of this Lee County facility. The Friends continue to constantly improve the amenities of this, the center of all activities on Boca Grande. Please call (941) 964-2564.
Gasparilla Island Conservation and Improvement Association, Inc. (GICIA)
Established in 1971, the GICIA speaks out on behalf of Gasparilla Island residents who rely upon the Association to preserve and protect their right to the quiet enjoyment of their community. A crowning achievement of the GICIA was the securement of the Gasparilla Island Conservation District Act that was enacted by the Florida State Legislature in 1980.
Under the direction of Misty Nabers Nichols, executive director, and an 11 member board of directors, the GICIA is dedicated to promoting the general welfare of the Boca Grande community by preserving island atmosphere, enhancing quality of life, conserving natural resources, protecting the integrity of the Gasparilla Island Conservation District Act, and supporting other public and private initiatives that will shape the future of our community.
The Community Center
The building that is today the Boca Grande Community Center (at the corner of Park Avenue and First Street) was Boca Grande’s school. It was designed in 1929 and built by the citizens of the town. In 1936 an addition was added. For 35 years the classrooms were filled with students aged 5 to 18. With declining enrollment the school was closed in 1963. Island children are now bussed to schools on the nearby mainland in Charlotte County.
In 1975, through the cooperative efforts of Lee County, the Boca Grande Woman’s Club, and the Gasparilla Island Conservation and Improvement Association, the school was converted into The Community Center.
The Community Center has recreational and meeting facilities, including an auditorium which serves as the “town hall” and is used for live theater and group meetings, a large multi-purpose room, a fully equipped fitness center, two lighted tennis courts, a basketball court, a volleyball court, a well equipped children’s playground, and a reference room with both printed and computerized reference material for all ages. Anyone is welcome to use any of these facilities. For more information about the Boca Grande Community .