Monday, April 21, 2014

Boardwalk Restoration: a timely project

The Friends of Magee Marsh have taken on the worthy project of restoring the famous boardwalk. We, as a community of birders, should applaud and support this work.
April 2014: At Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, one of the most fabled birding spots in North America, the boardwalk is 25 years old this year. Over the last quarter-century, staggering numbers of new birders have had their first and best looks at an astonishing diversity of warblers and other migrants from this magical elevated trail through the woods. But the boardwalk is showing its age, and showing the need for repairs and restoration.  

A local group, the Friends of Magee Marsh (FOMM), has undertaken this huge project of restoration. They have made the necessary arrangements with Ohio's Division of Wildlife, the agency that owns the land and the boardwalk, and they have found a contractor to perform the work. Indeed, the first part of the work was already completed early this spring, and brand-new boards are now in place in some key areas. The rest of the work is scheduled to resume in June, after the peak of the spring migration. 

The best estimate of the FOMM is that total restoration of the boardwalk will take about $300,000. They have already contributed the first $25,000, and they are now raising funds to cover the rest of the work. 

For those of us (those thousands of us!) who enjoy birding the Magee boardwalk, this is something that we obviously should support. If every birder visiting the area were to contribute $20, or less than the price of dinner and a movie, the FOMM would raise all the necessary funds before the last Blackburnian Warbler leaves to go north. 

You can contribute on site if you're visiting, but you don't have to wait for that: you can go to the Friends of Magee Marsh website at this link and make a direct donation. 

Disclaimer: I have no official connection with FOMM, aside from the fact that Kimberly and I are life members. But I want to thank them and congratulate them for taking on this worthwhile project. And if you contribute to the fund-raiser, I'd like to thank you for supporting the future of birding!

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