Boardwalk and Trail Loop Project

Update September 2016

Work is still on-going with the restoration of the Bog Boardwalk and Observation deck.  Students from the Ecosystem Technician were busy recently with resurfacing the observation deck.  More news to come!

The Project

Since Bark Lake Leadership Centre is dedicated to ensuring that guests receive the best outdoor education experience in town, it is no surprise that improving amenities is a top priority!

The most recent improvement project involved collaboration between Bark Lake and four Ecosystem Management Technology students from Fleming College. Together, the students and Bark Lake staff have established a new project plan for the Lakota Trail and Bog Boardwalk. As the boardwalk is currently unusable due to the effects of wear and tear, this project is essential for ensuring guests can access all the educational features that the Bark Lake bog has to offer.

The Fleming students completed extensive research on best practices for building in a bog ecosystem in order to create a new boardwalk design, implementation strategy and generate an estimated cost of the project. The new building design can be seen on the right. The students also researched trail building procedures and costing in order to map two new trail routes leading from the bog back to Bark Lakes’ main office in order to ensure no opportunity for environmental education is missed along the Lakota Trail!

Through their research the students found numerous best practices for creating both a bog boardwalk and new trail at Bark Lake Leadership Centre. From this they created recommendations for Bark Lake. The first of these is to build the new bog boardwalk out of composite wood with a recycled tire flotation system. This was suggested due to its long lifespan and the minimization of negative environmental effects to the bog ecosystem. Secondly, the trail loop design was carried out in areas where the least vegetation removal will be required in order to save costs and ensure the most natural trail experience for Bark Lake guests. New signage was also recommended for the Lakota Trail using wood and paint for trail marking and informational signs.

It is the hope of Bark Lake Leadership Centre to use the information and recommendations of the students for the building of a new bog boardwalk and Lakota Trail loop soon!

The Team

Boardwalk and Trail Loop Project at Bark Lake Leadership Centre
(From left): Kristie Allen, Sarah Serhan, Kaitlyn McGlade, Mike Valariote

As four University graduates we feel a strong passion for promoting environmental education!

For more information on Fleming College and the Ecosystem Management Program please visit: http://flemingcollege.ca/programs/ecosystem-management-technology

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