BY MARIE PULEO, POMPANO BEACH NEWS REPORTER
After a year-long joint effort between the City of Pompano Beach, three local nonprofits and two corporations, a makeover of the Hillsboro Lighthouse Museum, which receives thousands of visitors from around the world each year, has just been completed. The museum is located in Pompano Beach’s Hillsboro Inlet Park, across the inlet from the lighthouse.
The Hillsboro Lighthouse Museum contains more than 100 years worth of artifacts about the historic lighthouse and the surrounding area and is one of the lesser known fun things to do in Pompano Beach.
The beautification project was spearheaded by the nonprofit Pompano Proud as a way to enhance the park and museum, and hopefully protect them from any possible future commercial development on the site, said Sandy Von Staden, who chaired the project. The park is an intrinsic resource along the Broward County A1A Scenic Highway.
The project included an entire remodeling of the museum’s interior, a colorful mural painted on the building’s exterior, new landscaping and a newly planted butterfly garden.
Early last Sunday morning, volunteers from Pompano Proud, the Hillsboro Lighthouse Preservation Society and the Wyndham Santa Barbara hotel dug holes in the ground around the museum and filled them with 75 plants, such as milkweed and dune sunflowers, that will attract specific types of butterflies. Commissioner Andrea McGee of District 1, where the museum is located, joined in the effort.
“It’s an amazing improvement to our existing museum,” said Ken Herman, president of the Hillsboro Lighthouse Preservation Society. “It really adds a flair that wasn’t previously there, and gives more exposure and a better presence to the museum.”
Herman said the Hillsboro Lighthouse museum serves as “the northern visitors center for Pompano Beach,” providing information not only about the lighthouse and Pompano Beach, but about attractions in surrounding municipalities.
The museum is a city facility that is leased by the Hillsboro Lighthouse Preservation Society. The museum’s cement floor, exposed beams, makeshift display tables and old air conditioner were in need of an upgrade. The City provided new flooring, painted the walls, installed new ceiling fans and an impact glass door, updated the lighting and electrical components, and put in a new air conditioner.
Lowe’s home improvement store in Pompano Beach provided deep-discounted cabinetry.
The City also donated three crepe myrtle trees in front of the building. The Public Works Department guided the selection of the plants and helped install the mural.
The mural was painted by Donna Sallee, a professional commercial artist and Pompano Proud member. The artwork, which was completed about two months ago, was commissioned and paid for by Pompano Proud at a discounted rate. A new bench made of recycled materials was placed next to the mural.
Pompano Proud donated close to $6,000 toward the project, with $850 of it paying for the plants. The organization’s money comes from its sole fundraising activity, which is its participation in the city’s annual Seafood Festival. The Hillsboro Shores Improvement Association contributed $5,000 to the project.
Pompano Proud, whose mission is to “enhance and preserve the natural amenities and local heritage of Pompano Beach,” has also planted butterfly gardens at the Sample McDougald House, the Canine Corner Dog Park and the Patricia Davis Community Garden near Blanche Ely High School. It has also carried out beatification projects at McNab Park.
Every year, on the second Sunday in February, Pompano Proud holds a “Plants and People Day” on the grounds of Centennial Park at the Sample McDougald House.
“This is basically what we’re all about – butterfly gardening, greening, planting trees and recycling,” said Scott Johnson, president of Pompano Proud, and maintenance manager at the Wyndham Santa Barbara.
“If you come back in two weeks, I guarantee the butterflies will be here,” said Johnson, as he helped plant the new butterfly garden at Hillsboro Inlet Park.
Less than an hour after the plants were in the ground, a Monarch butterfly touched down on a milkweed plant.
The Hillsboro Lighthouse museum’s normal hours of operation are: Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday – 11am until 3pm. It is also open on Sat. or Sun. tour days from 10am to 3pm.
The HLPS museum is located at: Hillsboro Inlet Park, A1A at 2700 N. Ocean Boulevard – Pompano Beach.
For more fun things to do in Pompano Beach and all of the season’s biggest events read Pompano! magazine and search our website.
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