With a colorful reimagining of its free, iconic Shelter Island map and a recent update of its website, the Shelter Island Chamber of Commerce celebrated its entry into the digital age at its annual membership meeting May 19.
“As you can see we’ve been busy,” the chamber’s president, Art Williams, told the 80 or so members gathered at the Pridwin Hotel. The members also heard updates on a public rest room at Volunteer Park, the annual crafts fair, the rubber duck race and ideas for a new event in December.
Designed by Louise O’Regan Clark of Shelter Island Graphics, the new map uses color-coded icons to show locations of 75 businesses owned by chamber members; 38 others are listed by name.
“We wanted to get something a little more up to date,” said Ms. Clark, who also designed the new website.
Businesses are categorized and coded by color; red for “eat”, purple for “sleep”, orange for “fit” and so on. The Islander is depicted as a red building. The Dering Harbor Inn is shown half purple and half orange because its also the location of Shelter Island Yoga & Fitness.
Like its predecessors, the map is not to scale and to make things fit, some artistic license has been taken. Capital One, Cornucopia and the Funeral Home take up all of West Neck Road from Menantic to Midway. For the crowded Heights and Center, separate breakouts appear.
A QR code, when scanned by a smartphone, leads to the chamber website and more information. Still in the works is an on-line interactive map.
“When you hover over a member’s place of business or name and click on it, you will go to their website or if they don’t have a website other information will be provided,” Mr. Williams said.
Other icons are anchors (town landings), sunbursts (town beaches), teed-up ball (golf courses) and racquet (tennis courts).
Many, but not all, places of worship, non-profit places of interest and municipal buildings are included.
Gone are the alphabetized list of street names; grid markers to aid in locating addresses; descriptions of businesses and their contact information and other long-standing features of the map, including a plea to visitors to safeguard the Island’s piping plovers, least terns and ospreys.
Some items may have been inadvertently left out, Mr. Williams said, and he urged map users to provide the chamber with feedback.
“We really wanted the map to be in line with other maps that are showing up in other resort areas around the country, with information presented in a more user-friendly, graphical way,” he said.
Useful locations missing are: the Ambulance Garage, Firemen’s Field, Fiske Field, Highway Barn, Justice Court, Legion Hall, Quaker Meeting, Recycling Center, the Town Dock, Union Chapel and playgrounds. As in the past, a few residential roads are absent, but this year South Ferry Road and Stearns Point Road also are not labelled.
Perhaps the new public rest room at Volunteer Park will be ready for inclusion in next year’s map. Public Works Commissioner Jay Card Jr. told chamber members all the required paperwork has been submitted to Suffolk County, which is expected to sanction the location and provide a $67,000 grant.
The chamber is putting up $35,000 and the town $20,000 for the stainless steel unit that was selected in part for its capacity to withstand anticipated flooding during storm surges, Mr. Card said.
Chamber members also heard from Janalyn Travis-Messer that in response to artisan complaints about sales of mass manufactured items, vendors at the chamber’s craft fair on August 27 will have to submit photos of themselves making the items they wish to sell.
In an effort to distribute responsibility for championing the chamber’s duck race fundraiser on August 28, each member was given four entries to sell.
Linda Eklund shared early ideas for an event to boost December business. Based on “Christmas in the Heights,” a new festival might feature late hours for businesses, a block party on Bridge Street and a display of 13 holiday trees decorated by students in each of the grades in the Shelter Island School.