Celebrating the Opening of Beaver Brook Marsh Boardwalk, Barkhamsted

July 5, 2018

2018-07-01 Vine Cutting for Boardwalk at Peoples State Forest1

State Senator Kevin Witkos (R-8) joined the Friends of American Legion and Peoples State Forests (FALPS) for a “vine cutting” celebrating the opening of the Beaver Brook Marsh boardwalk on Sunday, July 1, 2018.

The new 240 foot long boardwalk will allow access to a 55-acre marsh area in Peoples State Forest. The boardwalk was constructed by volunteers to allow visitors the opportunity to experience and understand the natural habitat and diversity of the marsh. Over a dozen volunteers worked on the boardwalk from autumn 2017 until its completion in early June 2018.2018-07-01 Vine Cutting for Boardwalk at Peoples State Forest4

“This is a historic achievement for not only Barkhamsted, but also for our state,” said Sen. Witkos. “This new boardwalk will provide people with direct access to enjoy some of the most impressive natural beauty unique to Connecticut. Our natural resources are one of our greatest treasures. They must be appreciated, celebrated and protected. This boardwalk gives us a new opportunity to explore and enjoy the Beaver Brook Marsh for today, tomorrow and generations to come.”

“We are very excited to offer access to Beaver Brook Marsh on this boardwalk,” said FALPS’ President Ralph Scarpino. “It not only allows visitors access to explore the wetland environment in Beaver Brook Marsh but also to view migratory birds and waterfowl and other plants, insects and wildlife that inhabit this valuable area.”2018-07-01 Vine Cutting for Boardwalk at Peoples State Forest3

Eric Hammerling, Connecticut Forest & Parks Association Executive Director, also spoke at the ribbon cutting about the importance of a proposed constitutional amendment to preserve protected land like Beaver Brook Marsh. This year, Sen. Witkos proposed and ushered a bill through the legislature to establish a constitutional amendment to protect open space and increase transparency and oversight regarding the sale of preserved land. The bill passed the General Assembly by the needed margins and will appear as a ballot question for voters to decide this November.

“This kind of a place is why it’s so important,” said Hammerling, referring to the ballot question. “It’s a really important thing to ensure transparency.” Hammerling thanked Sen. Witkos for his efforts to propose and pass the legislation to initiate the ballot question on the issue.

Attendees at the vine cutting included Senator Witkos, DEEP Deputy Commissioner Susan Whalen, Barkhamsted First Selectman Donald Stein, Connecticut Forest & Parks Association Executive Director Eric Hammerling, FALPS President Ralph Scarpino and Jean Wooley, President of The Litchfield Hills Audubon Society.

More photos available online: http://ctsenrepublic.wpengine.com/2018/07/vine-cutting-at-beaver-brook-marsh-barkhamsted/

2018-07-01 Vine Cutting for Boardwalk at Peoples State Forest2