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June 29. 2014 12:18AM

'Buy a Board' Fundraiser Launched for Great Bay Boardwalk Restoration

GREENLAND, N.H. -- After 22 years of service, a local treasure in Greenland, N.H., is at the end of its life. Fortunately, this story has a happy ending that you can help write. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department was successful in securing $133,125 in federal funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to begin to replace the boardwalk at the Great Bay Discovery Center, a facility of the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The effort to rebuild the boardwalk coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and its work connecting people to the fish and wildlife of Great Bay.

To complete the replacement of the boardwalk and meet the matching requirements of the federal award, a fundraising campaign is now underway. The Great Bay Stewards, a volunteer group that supports the mission of the Reserve, have launched a "buy a board" campaign. Their kickoff event was held on June 26 at the Piscataqua Café in New Castle. To buy a board and continue the legacy of wildlife education at the Discovery Center, visit the Great Bay Stewards website at http://www.greatbaystewards.org.  

Since 1992, the boardwalk has been the centerpiece of the Great Bay Discovery Center's school field trip program. The Discovery Center is located in a densely populated area of New Hampshire. Along with aquatic, conservation and hunter education programs, it hosts a significant portion of the education programs offered by N.H. Fish and Game each year. The exhibits, kiosks and boardwalk highlight the wildlife, fisheries and marine resources of New Hampshire and link those resources to our history and to people's everyday lives. More than 52,500 schoolchildren have learned about the natural and cultural history of Great Bay on the boardwalk, cultivating the next generation of outdoorsmen and women.

Scientists, early morning walkers and visitors also use the scenic boardwalk, as it is one of only a few public access points on Great Bay. The boardwalk provides birders access to a nationally recognized important bird area and has been named one of the best handicap-accessible bird-watching sites on the East Coast. The boardwalk provides access for coastal scientists studying the marsh, and it is used as a living laboratory to understand and teach about the function and value of salt marshes and mud flats.

The boardwalk replacement project includes the use of more environmentally sensitive materials, upgraded interpretive elements and the addition of two telescopes for bird and wildlife watching.

Get involved with saving a seacoast treasure. Buy a board today at http://www.greatbaystewards.org.


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