Orono Bog Boardwalk reopens

Orono Bog Boardwalk director Jim Bird, right, and volunteer Tom Hanson of Orrington deliver lumber and tools on Tuesday to various sites along the Orono Bog Boardwalk that were damaged by vandals early Monday morning. (Bangor Daily News/John Clarke Russ)
Orono Bog Boardwalk director Jim Bird, right, and volunteer Tom Hanson of Orrington deliver lumber and tools on Tuesday to various sites along the Orono Bog Boardwalk that were damaged by vandals early Monday morning. (Bangor Daily News/John Clarke Russ)
Posted Sept. 08, 2010, at 12:27 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The Orono Bog Boardwalk, which was damaged by vandals Sunday night and forced to close, has reopened thanks to the efforts of volunteers who replaced boards and fixed educational signs, director Jim Bird said.

“We opened this morning at our normal time,” he said Wednesday. “Not everything is back together. The benches have not been replaced, but the interpretive signs are up and the floorboards and railings have been fixed.”

The work took hundreds of man-hours over the past few days, and donations rolled in from residents and local businesses, including Bangor Savings Bank, which offered to pay for the damage.

“It’s been wonderful,” Bird said.

The milelong bog walk is a raised wooden boardwalk that allows visitors to walk or use wheelchairs to make their way through the northern peat bog. It is located in the Bangor City Forest and on adjacent University of Maine property and last year had more than 30,000 visitors.

The Orono bog was designated a registered national landmark in 1974, and the Orono Bog Boardwalk opened in 2003.

Donations to support the bog walk will be accepted at its booth between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday at the Orono Village Festival on Mill Street. T-shirts and hats sporting the bog walk logo also will be sold.

In addition, the University of Maine Foundation is accepting donations for a $200,000 endowment fund to ensure the bog walk’s survival for future generations. So far, $150,000 has been raised.

Donations can be sent to: Orono Bog Boardwalk, P.O. Box 12, Orono 04473. Make checks payable to the University of Maine Foundation. Designate either “Boardwalk Endowment” or “Boardwalk Operating” on the memo line.

Information on how to contribute also is available at www.oronobogwalk.org/challenge.htm.

BDN writer Judy Harrison contributed to this report.

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