The Orono Bog Boardwalk will open for its 12th season at 7 a.m. Thursday, July 24, according to a press release from Orono Bog Boardwalk Director Jim Bird.
A special ceremony to celebrate the completion of the first phase of the boardwalk’s reconstruction and official reopening will be held at noon that day.
More than 50 volunteers have worked over 1,000 hours since March to replace the first 105 sections of the boardwalk, which deteriorated through rot and insect damage during the facility’s 11 years of heavy use. The newly installed sections are constructed with composite decking, cladded aluminum siding and stainless steel footings. They are expected to last for many years.
The boardwalk is located in the Rolland F. Perry City Forest, also known as the Bangor City Forest, where it wends its way through forested wetland and out onto a broad, open peat bog. Visitors can enjoy the boardwalk and surrounding trails for free, though donations are welcome.
Since it opened in June 2003, the boardwalk has been visited by nearly 300,000 people, according to the press release.
The wheelchair-accessible boardwalk — open daily from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., with hours adjusting for day-length changes in autumn — features seven interpretive stations along its route, as well as numerous benches where visitors may rest and watch for wildlife.
A volunteer staff maintains the boardwalk and provides information and education for visitors, including school and community groups. The facility is jointly managed by the Orono Land Trust, the City of Bangor and the University of Maine. Its operation and maintenance are funded entirely through donations, sales of Boardwalk merchandise and grants.
Phase II of the reconstruction campaign is now underway, raising funds for sections 106 to 250, plus two interpretative stations and three wheelchair turn-outs. About 65 percent of the amount needed to complete construction has been raised.
For information about the boardwalk or to volunteer or donate to its reconstruction, visit www.oronobogwalk.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 866-2578.