Photos by Deb Ford, Mark Glasser, & Gene Kenny
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Over the course of several work days in November, NWS volunteers removed all four ground-level segments of boardwalk from the Fern Trail.
We need to explain.
The Fern Trail was designed to be accessible to park visitors with disabilities: it is a flat, 4 to 5-foot wide trail which includes wheelchair-navigable sections of crushed limestone and boardwalk. Seven interpretive display stations which feature audio and tactile experiences were installed in 2011. These interpretive panels use Discovery Pen technology and were the long-time vision of then-Park Naturalist Julie Hein.
Because of repeated seasonal flooding along several sections of the trail, Newport Wilderness Society is replacing the ground-level, sectional boardwalk with an 1,800-foot elevated ADA-compliant boardwalk. This new boardwalk will include ramps, bump-outs for seating, and railings where required.
Phase I was the volunteer-accomplished ‘deconstruction’ of the original boardwalk segments. All board-wood was removed, stripped of nails, screws and other hardware, and will not be going to a landfill. There has been interest from several parties to utilize the wood.
We are so grateful to all of the volunteers who helped with this phase of the project: Jim Black, Chad Farrell, Carol Forner, Deb Ford, Ken Foszcz, Mark Glasser, Terry Heidenreiter, Dave Keen, Gene Kenny, Bob Kluge, Jann Kostecke, Keith Kostecke, Rosemary Kluge, Jim Ryan, Gerry Swanson, Micky Swanson, Greg Wilde. Photos below attest to the hard work that was involved.