Watch as Jerry Smith, the president of the Northwest Cape Coral Neighborhood Association, INC., gives an introduction to the organization and explains our mission within the community.
General Meeting Summary May 2023
General Membership Meeting RECAP- May 2023
Once again, in my office at 7:02 AM sipping coffee and reminiscing about our meeting the other night. My first Open Public Meeting as president and we attracted more attendees than expected. New rows of seating seem to appear in the blink of an eye, just before commencement. Thank you all for pitching in! I noticed the press, some new faces, neighbors, and family members. These gatherings are so important for our members and residents to obtain “unfiltered and pure information” on important issues impacting our way of life in NW Cape.
Click the link below to see the video of our meeting
Interim Cape Coral City Manager, Michael Ilczyszyn, provided answers. He handled all our questions in a lighthearted, cordial way. This resonated with the crowd. It did not take long for everyone to settle in.
Michael was invited to present a new interactive map outlining economic development projects in the city which was recently released out of his office. This is a tremendous asset for our Development Review Committee. Progress of development projects can be followed daily. Upon completion of the presentation, Michael graciously agreed to stay with us for the entire meeting. This was much appreciated. He jumped back into many discussions and was invited to close out our meeting. He smiled.
Link to Interactive map Click Here
Our members were delighted by the announcement of the formation of the NW Cape Waterways Action Committee, led by our immediate past president of NWNA- John Bashaw. This committee was formed to respond to the overwhelming request of our members to create a direct access pathway (EXIT) from the North Spreader Canal directly to Charlotte Harbor. John's presentation discussed three options under consideration. It was agreed that all three options are needed however, option 1 presents the least path of resistance and will be the focus for the near term. The path for Option 1 may be viewed using the link below:
Link to Option 1 Path
John’s presentation included an immediate request for funding from members and the business community to remove large rocks blocking boat egress in the KEY DITCH. A contractor has been secured to provide this service. The Key Ditch was utilized prior to Hurricane Ian by (shallow draft) boaters to directly access Charlotte Harbor. The entrance to Key Ditch is located just south of Jacaranda Parkway in the North Spreader and the exit to Charlotte Harbor is at Two Pines Channel. A Request for a Proposal from a qualified contractor will be pursued to prune and trim mangroves hanging in the Key Ditch waterway. This work and other maintenance will be pursued under a maintenance permit held by the city. Installing Paddling Trail markers to identify The Calusa Blueway Trail can also assist boater navigation departing the Key Ditch and entering open areas and islands approaching the Two Pines channel to Charlotte Harbor. This project can benefit kayakers and boaters of Cape Coral and all of Lee County.
If you would like to contribute toward the NORTH SPREADER WATERWAY EXIT, please contact John Bashaw or myself, directly. Contact Jerry or Contact, John
Again, special thanks to the Interim, Cape Coral City Manager, Michael Ilczyszyn for attending and remaining on site after the meeting to handle many one-on-one discussions. Much appreciated! Having Michael Ilczyszyn at the meeting gave him the opportunity to understand our needs and to educate us on the jurisdiction of our waterways, and the limitations and opportunities involving this project.
Jerry Smith, President-NWNA
May 1 – Deadline for Canal Porta Potty Removal
Alert: Call for Porta-Potty Removal
PORTA POTTY COLLECTION IN CANAL SYSTEM EXPIRES MAY 1, 2023 ****PLEASE REPORT THE LOCATION FOR REMOVAL****
May 1, 2023
The City Contractor assigned to remove PORTA POTTY debris from the city canal system is requesting the location of remaining PORTA POTTY units in the waterways, west of Burnt Store Road.
Please report the full address of the Porta Potty in the waterway and a brief description of the location.
-in mangroves directly across my dock
-beneath my dock
-partially visible in the undeveloped lot next door
We appreciate your assistance and for coming together to join in the efforts to keep our canals clean and vibrant! The contract with the city will expire on May 1st, 2023, so please report the location to us today. Click the link below to send us an email:
NWCape Holds “Clean the Cape” Event
The NWNA would like to thank all of our volunteers who came out for our “Clean the Cape” neighborhood cleanup this past Saturday. April 1. This event was part of the nationwide Great American Cleanup held every year at the beginning of April’s “Earth Month”.
The Keep Lee County Beautiful organization provides supplies and insurance while NWNA organizes the actual cleanup as we have done for the past 23+ years. Because of your outstanding community spirit, I am proud to say that our cleanup was the largest in Lee County. We had 73 volunteers plus our organizers and covered areas from Pine Island Road north to Crystal Lake Park and east from the spreader canal to Santa Barbara Blvd.
Waste Pro estimates nearly 4 tons of trash were removed from our area and I must say it is easy to see the improvement. No doubt there is much more to be done.
Hopefully, we can get as much participation in the city-wide cleanup to be held on April 22 (check out the link below on how to participate)
Again thank you all for your participation!
Snakes of Cape Coral
The Florida Kingsnake is a beautiful, docile reptile. Typically, adults are 3-4 ft. Unfortunately, these attributes make it highly prized by collectors, and it has become quite rare. I picked up the one shown here in the NW Cape, and it made no fuss when I drove it to my house for a photograph.
Snakes get a lot of bad press, going all the way back to the Bible. Also, some are venomous, and many bite when handled, but not all. But you must give them their due. Without legs, they can climb, swim, and are adept hunters. There are dozens of species in our area. I will not attempt to mention them all, concentrating on some of the most common or interesting species.
The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake is relatively rare, and to be avoided. It is thick-bodied and large, typically 3-7 ft, with a record length of 8 ft. This one was about 3.5 feet (I did not attempt to measure it!), from the south side of Crystal Lake. If you see one, just leave it alone and let it go its way. Most snakebites result from people getting involved with the snake in some manner.
The Southern Black Racer is probably the most familiar snake in the area, often found in yards. Its shiny black color and thin body make for easy identification, as does its speed (for a snake), for which it is named. Up to 5 ft, but usually 3-4.
The Yellow Rat Snake is another docile snake that is easily handled, as is the case with most rat snakes. If you are inclined to keep a local snake as a pet, this species is a good choice. Usually 3-5 feet long; record 7.25 feet. Often found around structures. They commonly feed on lizards, frogs, rodents, and birds and their eggs.
The Florida Brown Snake in this (fuzzy) picture is an adult found swimming in my pool. The maximum size if about 19 inches, thus being one of our smaller snakes. They are common and found in several forms (subspecies) throughout the middle and eastern United States.
The Eastern Garter Snake is widespread in the eastern portions of the US and southern Canada. For those from the north, this is likely to be the snake you saw most often. Like many water snakes, they do not tolerate handling and will struggle, bite, defecate, release a smelly musk, and do whatever else they can to convince you to release them. They are moderately sized, up to 4 feet, but usually 2-3. The one in the photo is also from my pool, which seems to be something of a snake trap.
The Flowerpot Snake, also called the Brahminy Blind Snake, is one of many non-native species of animals in Cape Coral (more on that later in another post), in this case originally from southern Asia. It gained its worldwide distribution through its presence in the soil of potted plants, hence its name. It spread rapidly partly due to reproduction by parthenogenesis (it is an all-female species), reproduction that does not require fertilization to produce offspring. Its body form and small size (usually less than 6 inches) cause it to often be mistaken for an earthworm. Close inspection will reveal its scales. I find them frequently drowned in my pool, falling in from adjacent planters.
The Eastern Kingsnake in another species that is easy to handle. Its name derives from the fact that it will eat other snakes, including rattlesnakes. For our area, this large snake reaching up to nearly 7 feet, although typically 4-5. The pattern is the source of a local name in some areas—the Chain Snake.
If you have an inherent fear of snakes, that fear would be best replaced by respect. They will run away from you if possible, or stand their ground, but they will not pursue you or lurk under your bed waiting for you to put your feet down in the middle of the night (not often, anyway). And they are important cogs in our wild and suburban ecosystems in the NW Cape.
Gordon R. Ultsch, Ph.D.
NWNA General Meeting Summary – March 14, 2023
Presidents General Membership Meeting RECAP
March 14th, 2023 – Northwest Regional Library, Cape Coral
I am at my desk enjoying a cup of coffee this morning, following a very successful meeting last evening. The meeting was a success mainly due to the fact; I made it out alive. All kidding aside, your passion and voices were heard and were truly welcome.
If you attended this “Members Only” meeting, it is my hope that you left with a renewed spirit. This morning, I was elated to find a few emails from members who want to volunteer on committees.
Ahead of this meeting, NWNA prepared and tabulated the results of our 2023 Focus Project Survey which highlighted; Utility Expansion, 7 Islands, NW Spreader Exit, and Beautification. NW Spreader Canal Exit was the #1 Top Priority and received the largest margin of votes. Winning easily by a three-to-one margin.
My highlights from the evening:
- As the night progressed, we came together as neighbors.
- The show of hands in the room overwhelmingly supported and validated the results of our survey, moving the NW Spreader Canal Exit into the #1 position and primary NWNA Focus Project for 2023. Overwhelming vocal support.
- Watching the emotions and reactions of our members ranging from disbelief and euphoria during an extensive Development Committee presentation revealing renderings of the many large projects coming to the Pine Island Road Corridor.
- Members responding to our need for additional help and willingness to come together more often.
I must admit, going into my first meeting as president……I had no idea what I was getting into. Just before my introduction, I left the podium to welcome my wife seating in the crowd. One gentleman mentioned to my wife “you may have to go up and save him”.
The evening was a success. Our simple goal was to extract the collective voice of our members. The only way we could achieve this was to create an atmosphere in which people felt comfortable speaking freely.
I believe we accomplished this. I look forward to our next meeting which most of us felt should be more frequent. More social events will be planned and seem to be well received.
Thank you for coming out in support!
Jerry Smith, President NWNA
Thank You for Watching!
Matlacha looks to the future with new vision!
A New Beginning for Matlacha
In the wake of IAN’s catastrophic impact on Matlacha restaurants, businesses, and homes located along Pine Island Road NW, a vision for a new beginning has emerged.
Michael Hannon, President of the Matlacha Civic Association shared a collection of renderings with neighbors and the local community to provide hope for the future. The new elevated structures, docks, seawalls, and reclaimed dry land depict the return of the thriving waterfront destination that has been temporarily lost.
Tremendous progress has been made to clean up storm debris and temporarily restore utilities in the area. The rebuild of Matlacha began and the promise for a better tomorrow is visible on the horizon.