Wetlands Flood Recovery Update
Hello Wetlands fans! It’s mid-October, and we wanted to provide an update on the Wetlands area! Our original timeline has been delayed due to conducting wetland delineations and working with the United States Army Corps of Engineers to secure permitting for construction. Due to this, we have received an extension on our wetlands recovery projects. We are currently in the bid process and anticipate beginning construction in early November.
Current trail closures include Marsh Trail, Hidden Lake Trail, Gifford Memorial Boardwalk and part of South Stream Trail. In November, we will also be closing Pond Trail and fully closing South Stream Trail. All of these trails will remain closed while construction is occurring.
This winter, Fontenelle Forest staff will finally be able to access the area of Hidden Lake Trail. During the dormant season, we will assess for trail reroutes and use equipment to clear debris. Our goal, with a little luck and some helpful weather, is to have all of the floodplain trails open in May.
In the meantime, the north floodplain trails are open, but the south floodplain remains mostly closed. There is no access to the floodplain from Camp Wakonda.
We know this is disappointing and frustrating – for you and for us! However, because of considerations of the ecological sensitivity of the area, planning often takes a bit longer. As well, we are working with multiple federal government entities to provide the best possible outcome. We house several protected species on our floodplain, which must be worked around in both our trail recovery and construction projects.
Finally, we ask for your help. In order to keep people and the land safe, we ask that everyone please respect all trail closures until we can safely reopen them. We will make a huge deal out of reopening our bridge, boardwalk and observation blind! Until then, please help us ensure a safe recovery and construction effort so we can get the floodplain open again.
If you are interested in learning more about our Wetlands Recovery Project, click learn more below.
If you would like to support Fontenelle Forest’s wetland recovery efforts, please consider making a donation. Your support will help Fontenelle Forest to restore our Wetlands (a unique local resource) to its full potential, so that it may be utilized for public access, education camps and classroom programs for years to come. Thank you for your support!