Good work, well done

Published 6:38 pm Saturday, August 22, 2015


There’s something wild and mystical about the Great Dismal Swamp. But you have to leave the road in order to get a true feel for it.

Thanks to a group of volunteers from the Young Brotherhood of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 80, leaving the road and getting into the woods of Suffolk’s swamp jewel will be easier to accomplish, even for those with disabilities that would previously have kept them bound to their vehicles.

The group volunteered through the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance Work Boots on the Ground program to construct a portion of a boardwalk through a cypress marsh on the refuge. The entire boardwalk, which is being built a section at a time solely by refuge staff and volunteers, would cost approximately $200,000 if a contractor were hired, according to refuge manager Chris Lowie.

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In fact, Lowie said, without volunteers the project probably never would have gotten off the ground.

This particular group of volunteers got to see that their project had already attracted interest, when they returned to their weekend’s work after a night of rest to find a bear had taken a chunk of wood from a 4×4 timber.

Connecting with a bear along the path might not be everyone’s cup of tea, as it were, but the encounter points out the opportunities the swamp offers for seeing a diversity of wildlife in its native habitat, right here in Suffolk. And the new boardwalk will make this great resource available to far more people than it had been before.

To the volunteers who are helping with this project, we say: Good work, well done.