Quogue Wildlife Refuge has received a $142,778 grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation that will allow the Refuge to restore, rebuild and reopen the Fairy Dell Boardwalk, which has been closed to the public for over five years.
“Over the decades, summer ecology camp kids, guided groups and independent visitors and birders have enjoyed exploring on the Fairy Dell Boardwalk,” explained Marisa Nelson, Assistant Director of the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. “It is a wonderful teaching spot, a beautiful area to observe wildlife, and it encompasses a very different habitat from the main sanctuary property.”
The boardwalk’s gradual dilapidation and decaying wood left the Refuge with no choice but to prohibit visitors from exploring the trail. It was originally constructed over the winter of 1983-84 thanks in part to the inaugural ‘Return A Gift to Wildlife’ grant. Named for the headwaters of Quantuck Creek, the 1,500 foot long boardwalk travels through the historic Fairy Dell Tract, featuring incredible views of the stunning tidal wetlands of the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. The area offers a different habitat from the Refuge’s main sanctuary property.
In addition to aiding the boardwalk’s rebuilding, the grant will also allow the Refuge to present educational signage that will showcase the area’s local history, as well as flora and fauna along the walk.
“Everyone will be thrilled to have it back open for use! We are so grateful to the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, as this grant will not only allow us to rebuild this much missed boardwalk, but will also include educational signage about the local history of the area along the walk,” Nelson added.
The Refuge anticipates the project will be completed by the end of the year.
Founded in 1934, the Quogue Wildlife Refuge is a 300 acre non-profit nature preserve that offers over seven miles of nature trails that encompass an assortment of habitats, including Pine Barrens, bogs, wetlands, a field, a tidal estuary, and the ecologically rare Dwarf Pines. Additionally, there is an Outdoor Wildlife Complex where native wildlife that have been injured and could not make it in the wild reside. Visitors will find a bald eagle, owls, falcons, hawks, foxes and other animals native to the area.
Quogue Wildlife Refuge is located at 3 Old Country Road in Quogue. For more information, call 631-653-4771 or visit quoguewildliferefuge.org.