ORONO, Maine — The Orono Bog Boardwalk will close Wednesday, Oct. 30, this year, one month earlier than usual.
A seven-person crew from the Maine Conservation Corps, along with boardwalk volunteers, will start Phase One of the reconstruction of the boardwalk. The corps’ first task will be to replace nearly 100 deck boards on sections 106-509, then the team will remove the first 105 sections and start replacing them with composite decking on aluminum framing and stainless steel legs.
Over the past several years the boardwalk has been deteriorating because of wood decaying fungi, carpenter ants and heavy use.
Phase One of the Capital Campaign is complete, as $225,000 has been raised to reconstruct the first 105 sections.
Phase Two of the Capital Campaign is now starting and organizers need to raise another $255,000 to replace sections 106-250 in 2014.
During Phase Three in 21015 through 2016, funds will be raised to reconstruct the remaining 259 sections with the long-lasting materials.
The boardwalk is jointly managed by the University of Maine, the Orono Land Trust and the City of Bangor. The boardwalk’s main purpose is to educate visitors on the ecology and importance of peat bogs, a special type of wetland.
Since opening in June 2003, the Orono Bog Boardwalk has been a popular destination for thousands of individuals, nearly 300,000 visits have been made to the boardwalk in the past 11 years. Visitors have come from all 50 states and many foreign countries. An information kiosk at the start of the boardwalk and seven interpretative stations along the walkway inform visitors about the natural history of the bog. Over the years hundreds of school children and other groups have enjoyed free, guided tours of the boardwalk. Free natural history programs have attracted many visitors, as well.
It is expected that after the newly reconstructed boardwalk is in place, time and effort will be freed up from maintaining the boardwalk and will be devoted instead to expansion of educational offerings.
To help boardwalk volunteers reach their goal of reconstructing the boardwalk and completing Phase Two of the project, contact Boardwalk Director Jim Bird at Jim.Bird@umit.maine.edu or 207-581-1697.
To make a direct financial contribution to Phase Two, visit the University of Maine Foundation website at http://www.umainefoundation.org/onlinegiving/index.html and direct your donation to the Orono Bog Boardwalk capital campaign.