The Orono Bog Boardwalk reconstruction campaign has received a $30,000 grant from the Maine Timberlands Charitable Trust established by the late Barbara Wheatland, Boardwalk Director Jim Bird announced today.
This grant, the result of a competitive proposal, constitutes sponsorship of an interpretive station and five boardwalk sections. It supports a major part of Phase 3A of the boardwalk reconstruction project, which will replace 48 deteriorating sections of the boardwalk with composite sections, aluminum sidings, and stainless steel footings.
“The support of the Maine Timberlands Charitable Trust is much appreciated and helps move us toward completion of the next phase of Boardwalk reconstruction,” Bird said in a prepared statement. ”
The Maine Timberlands Charitable Trust also awarded the boardwalk $20,000 in 2014.
During the past five years, volunteers have raised the necessary funds to replace the first 252 sections of the boardwalk, which has become a popular recreation and wildlife watching area for Bangor-area residents. The reconstruction of the boardwalk is now at the half-way point, and volunteers will continue to raise funds and go the work required to complete the reconstruction by the end of 2017, according to Bird.
The Orono Bog Boardwalk was originally constructed out of wood by Veazie resident Ron Davis and more than 100 volunteers in 2003. In eight months, they pieced together the 4,200-foot walkway, which is longer than any other bog boardwalk in Maine and meets federal and state standards as wheelchair accessible.
Thousands of people visit it each summer to learn about wildlife and enjoy the unique experience of walking on top of the 616-acre Orono Bog, which is filled with interesting plants such as carnivorous pitcher plants, cotton grass and bog rosemary. The bog is also a great place for bird watching.
Jointly managed by the Orono Land Trust, the City of Bangor and the University of Maine, the boardwalk is operated and maintained by a group of dedicated volunteers.
The new composite reconstruction will be more weather resistant than the original wooden boardwalk, and it will also be easier to maintain and level.