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Feb 26, 2019 10:42 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Quogue Wildlife Refuge Reopens Fairy Dell Boardwalk

Feb 26, 2019 1:05 PM

The Quogue Wildlife Refuge’s weathered and dilapidated wooden boardwalk overlooking Quantuck Creek has been replaced with an elevated composite wood catwalk, complete with educational signs about the area’s history.

The Fairy Dell Boardwalk, which sustained structural damage when Superstorm Sandy made landfall in 2012, was rebuilt with the help of a $142,778 grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation. The refuge was responsible for the remaining costs, which the refuge’s program director, Marisa Nelson, estimated to be about $142,000.

Contractors with Westhampton-based Sea Level Construction, the lowest responsible bidder of four, began ripping up the rotten wooden boards in December 2017 and the boardwalk was officially reopened earlier this year.

The reconstruction of the 1,500-foot catwalk includes three observation platforms overlooking Quantuck Creek, as well as 19 signs with information and photos about the tidal wetlands that surround the 305-acre nature center.

Kimberly Stever, the refuge’s benefit coordinator and administrative assistant, said on Tuesday that the observation platforms are among her favorite spots to visit along the boardwalk.

“They enable you to see a variety of wildlife up close without startling them,” she said, adding that an osprey nest platform can also be seen from two of the three sites.

In a press release last week, Ms. Nelson said that the walkway was an excellent educational spot, noting that in prior years summer ecology camps, guided groups and birders have enjoyed exploring the area’s wildlife, flora and fauna.

“We are so grateful to the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation as this grant allowed us to rebuild this much missed boardwalk,” she said.

The Quogue and Westhampton Beach historical societies also assisted the refuge in the historic research of the area, gathering information on osprey nests, bogs, wetlands and a tidal estuary, as well as native plants, according to Ms. Nelson.

Kathryn Curran, the executive director for the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation— which primarily supports the study of New York State history, according to its website—said in a previous interview that the foundation’s board was happy to support the refuge’s efforts to restore the boardwalk.

“It’s a very different habitat so we can teach about tidal marshes and different habitats,” she had said. “The different spots along the walk will really tell something about the environment and the regional history of Quogue.”

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Nice job, very well done. Go see it and enjoy your walk.
By country joe (60), sag harbor on Feb 26, 19 12:33 PM
Been there done that, how do people pass with no hand rails?
By Tommy Turbo (59), Deep River, CT on Feb 27, 19 11:33 AM
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