Grant Money to Help Fund Trail Improvements at Monomoy Refuge

CHATHAM – Trail improvements will be coming at the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge.

The non-profit group Friends of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Another $5,000 in matching funds and labor was donated for the project from U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the Friends of the refuge.

Refuge Manager Matthew Hillman said the trail from the refuge parking lot to the northeast viewing platform is much in need of improvements.

“That platform is rotting out and failing and that will get a major overhaul with this money,” Hillman said.

“In addition, the trail that leads to that platform is very badly rutted. There’s a lot of roots that stick out and protrude on that trail.”

The pavement on the old fire road, which is over 70 years old, is a hazard for individuals with access difficulties.

“It’s going to be smoothed out. It’s going to be regraded,” Hillman said. “And it’s going to be much safer, not just for pedestrians, but for those who might be using strollers or even wheel chairs.”

Another section that shoots off from the existing boardwalk that travels to a viewing platform will also be upgraded.

“That platform will get regraded with a native crushed stone dust that makes footing much easier and much safer for all visitors,” Hillman said.

The timetable has the trail footing being finished before the visitor season next summer.

Informational displays will also be upgraded.

“Those will take a little bit longer to iron out and those details will be completed by next summer as well, maybe even during the summer,” Hillman said. “We’ll get those in there with new interpretive panels and some new inspiration for our visitors as well.”

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