Superintendent William Wellman formally dedicated the new Rio Grande Village Nature Trail boardwalk with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, November 30th. The original boardwalk, one of the park’s more popular birding and hiking trails, had been destroyed during the flood of September 2008 (see these links for the original flood reports – the first on September 17, 2008, the second on September 18, 2008).
Park maintenance crews recently completed the construction of the new replacement boardwalk, thereby reopening the trail to the public. The first section of this boardwalk was completed with American Recovery and Reinvestment and Act funds and the remainder was completed with Federal Lands Recreational Enhancement Act funding.
After the flood many roads, facilities, trails, and other park resources needed immediate restoration, cleaning, and repair. The boardwalk was a larger long-term project that has now been completed and improved from the former boardwalk. It includes three floating docks, anchors which will allow it to rise with future flood waters, and benches for wildlife and bird viewing. The new boardwalk also restores access to the nature trail beyond the pond. The boardwalk is made from sustainable materials that should provide for a long life cycle.
During the dedication ceremony members of the park’s maintenance and resource management crews were recognized for their efforts and thanked for their contribution in helping complete the project.
“We are very pleased to be able to provide the new boardwalk and benches for visitors to enjoy and to provide the best access to the nature trail and riparian habitats of the beaver pond,” said Wellman. "We invite you to stop by to help us celebrate the opening of the new boardwalk.”