The Town of North Hempstead, with the Great Neck Park District and the Great Neck Historical Society, will hold its Annual 5k Run/Walk to Save Stepping Stones Lighthouse on October 6 at Steppingstone Park in Kings Point.
Registration is $25 after October 4 at 5 p.m. and $30 on the day of the run. Check-in and registration begins at 7 a.m. on race day and the race begins promptly at 9 a.m.
All proceeds from the race will go to the restoration of the Stepping Stones Lighthouse. An awards ceremony will follow the run. Participants or those interested in doing so can find additional details and register online at www.EventPowerLI.com.
Stepping Stones Lighthouse was built in Second Empire-style brick in 1877 and was later modernized in 1944. It remains a vital aid to navigation today. The brick house and tower are constructed on a granite pier that rests on the outer edge of a rocky reef at the western end of Long Island Sound, at the mouth of the East River. Stepping Stones Lighthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005 for its association with the rise of the Port of New York in the late nineteenth century to become one of the world’s most important centers for maritime commerce.
In 2014, the Town of North Hempstead, led by Supervisor Judi Bosworth, announced the formation of a partnership with the Great Neck Park District and the Great Neck Historical Society to restore and preserve the historic Stepping Stones Lighthouse, situated just 1,600 yards from Kings Point. The Town works alongside the Great Neck Park District and the Great Neck Historical Society to raise the money needed to restore the historical structure.
The historic lighthouse was awarded to the Town of North Hempstead in 2008 as part of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act. The National Park Service serves as the Town’s federal overseer for the lighthouse project, with the General Services Administration. As part of the agreement to have stewardship of the lighthouse, the Town files yearly reports to the NPS, keeping them apprised of any capital improvements, to preserve and restore the structure within its historical accuracy and to educate visitors about the lighthouse and its historical significance.
Town officials have estimated that the total restoration project will cost approximately $4 million.
In 2016 the Town received a $165,000 National Park Service grant to rehabilitate the Lighthouse. The grant funding has allowed the Town to begin to address some of the major structural projects that need to be done as soon as possible. One of the most pressing projects is gaining safe access to the lighthouse, which can only be accessed during high tide and low winds. The funding will be used to build a floating dock, ramp, boneyard and construction staging area so that other restoration projects can begin. This work is supposed to commence this fall.
Submitted by the Town of North Hempstead.