The Southwest Cape Coral Neighborhood Association is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, with past accomplishments and new projects to benefit that neighborhood area.
"It started in 1987, with the first president Gary Caprisito," said current president Joe Cervoni. "Dues were $20, and they are still $20 today."
He said that it was formed that year, and in 1988 incorporated with the state as a not-for-profit.
Joe Cervoni, president of the Southwest Cape Coral Neighborhood Association, with board members Pat Young and Steve Chupack, at the bench the organization installed to make the bike and walking path more enjoyable.
He noted that in the beginning, there were three major goals.
"The first was the Chiquita Lock," he said. "Back then it was owned by a private company, but they limited and planned on charging for use. So about 10 families got together and formed the association, and lobbied the city for the lock.
"The second was neighborhood beautification. Back then, $10 of the dues was dedicated to buying trees, plants and mulch."
"The overall third goal was neighborhood improvement," said board member Steve Chupack. "That is in our mission statement."
The group is now requesting the city of Cape Coral to create bike lanes on short stretches of Beach Parkway and the intersection of Agualinda.
"That was approved unanimously by City Council and we hope to have them finished by Memorial Day," he said.
"That will make it a 17-mile bike lane loop," said board member Pat Young.
Young and Chupack are co-chairs of a subcommittee for schools, parks and median beatification.
"Part of the beautification was the installation of a bench," said Young. "People walk, bike and pick up trash in this area. One elderly woman walked her dog here, and there was no place to rest. She said to me, 'You really need to put in a trash can.' I said, 'You could use a bench.' Then she said, 'I'd love that.'"
Chupack said that people always want to know, "What have you done lately?"
"We recently got approval to keep the lock open during incoming tides. Jim Swaigert is the chairman of our waterways subcommittee and has been working with the city, Lee County and the Army Corp of Engineers," said Cervoni.
The Parks and Recreation Department was very cooperative, they said, especially the city's Steve Pullman.
To learn more about the Southwest Cape Coral Neighborhood Association, go to swccna.com.