Sippican Lands Trust hopes to raise Osprey Marsh boardwalk funding before permit expires

Jul 9, 2018

The Sippican Lands Trust is $260,000 away from having enough money to construct 1,800-foot boardwalk spanning Osprey Marsh.

Funding, which has mostly come from private donors so far, will support a trail starting off Point Road to a viewing platform overlooking Planting Island Cove. The project will be built to allow those with mobility restrictions access to the lands trust property.

Planned three years ago, the boardwalk was originally slated for completion this year.  However, aspects of the project kept pushing a construction date back. Sippican Lands Trust President Jim Bride is hopeful that construction will begin before the project’s permit expires in November of 2019.

“We’d like to get something started as soon as possible,” Bride said. “I can’t commit to an actual date, but the permit has a time limit.”

Bride said it’s too early to tell if or when the lands trust would ask for funds at Town Meeting. The only public funding contributed to the boardwalk so far has come from Community Preservation Act funding, which voters approved at Town Meeting in 2015.

At that Town Meeting voters approved spending $37,785 for project design. The project design cost is separate from the $450,000 cost of construction.

As a handicap accessible boardwalk, the project would be the first of its kind in the tri-town. The closest handicap accessible nature trail is in Sandwich.

“We want to get the money raised for something to be built so people would have something to enjoy and experience,” Bride said. “And again, the community support is really critical to this project.”

The Howland family gifted 19.8 acres of Osprey Marsh to the Sippican Lands Trust in 2014. Along with the current project, the property already has Tucker’s Trail, a parking lot area, and a viewing area.