NORWALK, Conn. - The Norwalk Seaport Association welcomed over 100 volunteers from GE Capital Real Estate to Sheffield Island Lighthouse Park to help preserve the unique maritime treasure.
The crews went to work from June 4 to June 6 on a variety of projects.
School groups, scouts, families and other visitors will now enjoy a newly rebuilt access pier, gardens and other pastimes on the island, one of Fairfield County’s most unique historical sites.
More than 600 volunteer hours of service were donated by GE Capital’s Real Estate unit, which has its global headquarters in Norwalk. Over three days, volunteers installed a waterline feed, repainted both interior and exterior lighthouse features, washed and stained 20 picnic tables, planted over two dozen sea grass bushes, and replaced the island’s 120-foot pier.
Sheffield Island Manager, Mark Schlegel said the help from GE volunteers assists the NSA in maintaining the site as an educational resource within the community.
James Luton, manager of citizenship for GE Capital Real Estate, said the project allowed GE employees to give back to the community in which they work and live. Most of the GE participants live throughout Fairfield County, and the group also included several GE employees visiting from different cities on the East Coast.
Sheffield Island Park annually hosts more than 3,000 visitors from Connecticut and beyond, including many school and scouting group tours. The island includes the Stewart B. McKinney Wildlife Refuge, with its self-guided walking tour with interpretive signs. Groups can also arrange for a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tour guide. The NSA offers frequent excursions to the island via a ferry it maintains docked behind the Maritime Center; tickets are available at reasonable rates.
The island may also be used for special catered events such as corporate outings, weddings, and other celebrations. More information is available online at: www.seaport.org
The GE employee volunteer project at Sheffield Island is the largest it conducts locally. Last year, the group created a community garden the size of a soccer field in South Norwalk.
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