Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Great Swamp Builds an Accessible Trail
Northeast Region, June 16, 2014
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First step in construction.
First step in construction. - Photo Credit: USFWS Dave Sagan
Second step in construction.
Second step in construction. - Photo Credit: USFWS Dave Sagan
Trail almost complete!
Trail almost complete! - Photo Credit: Rich Dufort

Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge’s Bockoven Trail is a 0.5 mile loop trail heading from the Visitor Center to circle a vernal pool. The trail was created five years ago shortly after the Visitor Center opened. This spring, the Friends of Great Swamp, volunteers, and corporate groups worked with refuge staff to convert a one thousand foot section of trail into an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) surface and construct a platform overlooking a vernal pool. Much of the funding for the project was provided by the Friends of Great Swamp NWR.
The project was completed in three steps. In the first step, volunteers working with refuge staff, laid plastic weed block sheeting on the ground and covered it with three inch thick by 42 inch wide honey-combed plastic. Step two saw an eager BASF corporate work group spread stone dust into and on top of the honey-comb material. In the final step, a team of talented volunteers constructed a wooden platform and benches overlooking the vernal pool. Work was completed mainly with hand tools in an environmentally friendly way.
The new trail provides an additional access option for everyone and is a demonstration of the refuge’s ongoing commitment to provide opportunities to visitors of all ages and abilities to enjoy wildlife-dependent recreation. In fact, the new trail has also been a big hit with stroller-pushing parents whose young children are thrilled at the chance to see the wonders of Great Swamp up close and personal.

Contact Info: David Sagan, 413-584-8002, david_sagan@fws.gov
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