Opening Marion’s trails to all
MARION — The Sippican Lands Trust held a groundbreaking ceremony at Osprey Marsh on Point road in Marion to celebrate the construction of an 1,800 foot accessible boardwalk on Saturday, June 29.
Shovels officially dug into the ground after a few short remarks from Sippican Lands Trust Executive Director Jim Bride, who thanked donors, the Board of Directors at Sippican Lands Trust, and officials from Marion for their contributions to the project.
The boardwalk will be built by Marion contractor W.S. Bradford and allow people with mobility issues, such as those in wheelchairs, to explore nature. Bradford said that the boardwalk will be built using planks of pressure treated lumber spaced ⅜ of an inch apart to allow sunlight to reach the plants below the boardwalk.
It will be four feet wide with additional “bump outs” that will add another four feet in width at certain points. Bradford said the bump outs are about six feet long and will allow one wheelchair bound person to let another pass by in the opposite direction. A viewing platform will cap off the boardwalk overlooking Planting Island Cove to the southeast.
The boardwalk will be constructed on wetlands and maritime forest, which provides potential difficulties in the construction process. Bradford and Bride estimate that the project will be completed in six months.
Sippican Lands Trust board member Susannah Davis has worked as a landscape designer for 20 years and said that the size and scope of the project, and its universal accessibility are what make the boardwalk development unique. In addition to those in wheelchairs, she said the boardwalk will be ideal for older adults, as well as parents with young children in strollers.
She added that it is important for the town because it will get people engaged in outdoor activities. “We really need to get folks away from their screens and out into the wild,” she said.
Davis also advocated for Bradford to be hired as the contractor for the boardwalk, and said that it is important to use local builders who are connected to the community.
The Osprey Marsh property will be closed during construction, but other properties owned by the Sippican Lands Trust will remain open. For more information, or to make a donation, go to sippicanlandstrust.org.