Viles Arboretum is excited to announce the completion of its Wetland Boardwalk Project! Located on the Outer Loop trail, the boardwalk takes visitors on an immersive journey through a stunning wetland area that is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. It also provides opportunities to observe a diverse variety of wildlife, including mink, herons, frogs, and turtles.
Our Land Management Committee made the decision to replace the boardwalk structure earlier this year due to its deteriorating condition. The new structure, made of synthetic materials and stainless steel, was professionally installed by Dock Guys, LLC. The synthetic decking is porous and will allow water and debris to pass through, improving the longevity of the structure and lessening its impact on the surrounding environment. The previous structure had been made of untreated wood materials, and while it was a cost-effective option that was aesthetically-pleasing, the resulting structure was not able to withstand the high-moisture conditions of the wetland environment.
We will hold an official ribbon cutting for the new wetland boardwalk on September 23, 2023 following our Annual Meeting and Pancake Breakfast. All are welcome to attend the morning's event. The ribbon cutting will be the start of our staff-led walk and talk tour, which will provide insights into the various projects and accomplishments from the past year. We will gather on the lawn outside of the Education Center at 10:30am for the start of the tour.
With its peaceful ambiance and scenic views, the Wetland Boardwalk at Viles Arboretum will continue to be a destination for nature lovers, bird watchers, and wildlife enthusiasts for many years to come.
The boardwalk project was made possible through grant funding and the generous support of our members and community. In 2022, the Arboretum was selected by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands to receive a $134,800 grant to improve signage and bridging on our trails through its Recreational Trail Program. A significant portion of this funding went to enable the boardwalk project, with additional support from the Elsie and William Viles Foundation, The Maine Timberlands Charitable Trust, and Kennebec Savings Bank. Individual donors also played a role in funding the project, and we’re proud to thank: Albert Faust, Bernard Slofer, Beth-Anne Carter, Carolyn Gontoski, Celeste Michel, Charlene R. Bridge, Christopher York Associates, Constance Hubley, Dana Michaud, David Smith, Dean Corner, Debbie Clarke, Dennis Lunney, Diane Doyen, Donna Millay, Dorcas Miller, Douglas Stevenson, Duane Phillips, E.D. Bessey & Son, Ellen McGuire, Glenn Hodgkins, Heidi Shepard, Jacqueline Lacasse, Jeffrey Frankel, Jennifer Basford, John Herrick, Judith Hansen-Childers, Judith McKernan, Karen Gutchess, Karl Finison, Kevin Cummings, Kristin G.G. Sweeney, Luc Pepin, Mark McCollough, Matthew Conti, Maureen Hynes, McKee Law, LLC, P.A., Muriel Blanchette, Niravelt O'Connor, One Heart Massage Therapy, Pamela Chessman, Reed Markley, Richard Macnair, Robbins Lumber East Baldwin, Robert Peale, Sandra Swallow, Sarah and Derrick Grant, Sarah Chavis, Shelley Dorr, Thomas Record, Thomas Reeves, Tom Mickewich, TREEKEEPERS LLC - Johnson's Arboriculture, Versicolor, LLC, Warren Bartlett.