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Monkton boardwalk closed for updates

MONKTON — The Nature Conservancy has closed the boardwalk at its Raven Ridge Natural Area in Monkton for the summer while it builds a new universally-accessible boardwalk in its place that can accommodate visitors with a spectrum of needs. The project will be completed in August by contracted trail builder, Timber & Stone. A ribbon cutting to celebrate the trail’s re-opening will be scheduled for September.
The wider boardwalk will span 950 feet with an additional 600 feet of accessible trail that will end at an observation platform overlooking a beaver pond. Viewing platforms and benches will also dot the boardwalk, where visitors can sit and enjoy the beautiful wetland that provides habitat for birds, wildlife, and rare flowers. Just last year, winged loosestrife, a flower thought to be extinct in Vermont, was rediscovered at this site.
Timber & Stone was chosen as the trail builder due to their reputation as ecologically sensitive and sustainable trail developers, who will honor the natural integrity of the environment while expanding access to all. Vermont Youth Conservation Corps will be constructing the benches and helping us develop a connector trail between our new access and current network of paths at Raven Ridge.
“The Nature Conservancy is committed to connecting people with nature and we understand that accessibility can be a real challenge for some. This is our second universally accessible project. We installed a 460-foot boardwalk at our Eshqua Bog Natural Area in Hartland a few years ago so that visitors of all physical abilities could enjoy the rare orchids that bloom there,” said Lynn McNamara, Director of Stewardship for The Nature Conservancy.
Universally accessible boardwalk projects require significant investment. The Raven Ridge project is estimated to cost $320,000. The Nature Conservancy is still actively fundraising for what is sure to become a valuable community asset for local residents and all who visit this spectacular 365-acre natural area that is home to nesting ravens and bobcats.
Contact The Nature Conservancy’s Development Director Catherine Newman at 229 4425, x120 if you are interested in learning more about how you can support the project.
More information about the September ribbon cutting will be forthcoming later in the summer.

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