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$500,000 gift will name Bailey Homestead Trail

By Staff | Dec 15, 2010

Richard Shipley, second from left, pledges a $500,000 gift to SCCF’s Bill Fenniman, left, Erick Lindblad and Paul Roth, right.

Richard C. Shipley, President of the Shipley Foundation, gave SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) an early Christmas present for its $5.3 million fundraising campaign to purchase the 28.3-acre Bailey Family Homestead on Periwinkle Way.

At the Dec. 6 meeting of the Campaign Committee, on which Shipley serves, he announced his intention to make an outright gift of $500,000, the largest single gift received since the campaign was announced on October 28.

“The preservation of the historic Bailey Homestead is, for me, the most important event in SCCF’s 43-year history of land acquisition,” said Shipley. “I hope that making this gift public will encourage other islanders to support this effort. The June deadline comes quickly. The sheer size of the goal demands that as many people as possible donate as generously as they can.”

The Shipley Foundation’s gift brings the total outright and pledged campaign contributions to $1.5 million. In recognition of the pledged gift, SCCF intends to create a nature trail through the property and name it the Shipley Trail.

“We are so grateful to Richard and the Shipley Foundation for this extraordinary gift,” said SCCF Executive Director Erick Lindblad. “The trail through the upland is one of the elements that most excites folks when we talk about preserving the Bailey Homestead.”

SCCF is pursuing the best way to cut a nature trail closer to the buildings on the Periwinkle side of the property. It would be possible for people to start at Roadside City Park to the west of the Bailey property and travel due east through conserved lands. It could connect to the City’s Pond Apple Trail, allowing off-road travel all the way to the Chamber of Commerce parking lot and the causeway islands.

The $5.3 million fundraising campaign has four main components:

• Acquisition of the 28.3-acre Bailey Homestead for $4 million

• Restoration of the Bailey Family Home as a place to tell the Bailey family history and as a Center for Conservation History. The initial restoration costs, included in this campaign, total $225,000, not including the sweat equity of SCCF’s volunteer carpenters, the Hammerheads.

• Wildlife Habitat Restoration. Consistent with earlier land acquisitions, SCCF needs to raise an additional 10 percent, or $400,000, to support the initial restoration and ongoing management of the land in perpetuity.

• SCCF’s conservation work for the islands. The last component supports the quality work being done in all program areas and addresses SCCF’s operating expenses, specifically those not covered by grant monies and other income generated by SCCF staff. To balance the annual operating budget, $675,000 must be raised as part of this campaign.

SCCF (the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) is dedicated to the conservation of coastal habitats and aquatic resources on Sanibel and Captiva and in the surrounding watershed through environmental education, land acquisition, landscaping for wildlife, marine research, natural resource policy, sea turtle conservation and wildlife habitat management.

Tax-deductible contributions to the campaign can be made online at www.sccf.org or by calling Erick Lindblad at 427-2329 or Cheryl Giattini at 395-2768.