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Support petition to reopen Lee County Extension building

June 27, 2018
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

To the editor:

I am a former (20-year) Sanibel resident and a current Master Gardener with Lee County Cooperative Extension.

I am writing to appeal to the people of Sanibel and Captiva to help Extension to get back to its building, in order to provide all the services it has in the past, many that are focused on environmental protection.

The building at Terry Park was donated to Extension in 1922 by the Cattlemans Association and occupied until 2014 when Lee County closed it, reportedly for budget reasons. The building is now used for storage of sports equipment and is still lit, air conditioned, maintained and insured by the county taxpayers.

The Extension Office, meanwhile, has no dedicated space for training, meetings or classrooms.

With a modern commercial kitchen standing empty, Extension has no place to train SNAP recipients or culinary arts students.

According to DEP data, the work conducted by the Extension Service allows the Lee County government to avoid spending up to $11 million per year for water cleanup and invasive species management. For every dollar invested in the Extension Service, the agency returns $38 to the local economy.

The volunteer Master Gardeners are now promoting a petition to get our building back. You can access and sign it online at

You may contact me directly at for a paper copy of the petition, as well.

Bonnie Jean Clancy

Lee County Master Gardener

Fort Myers



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