The old boardwalk was closed in 2005, and without it, the largest protected marsh on the north shore of Lake Ontario was inaccessible to visitors. Thanks to the Friends of Presqu’ile Park www.friendsofpresquile.on.ca, a mammoth fund raising and reconstruction effort was undertaken. The project cost in excess of $300,000 primarily spent on materials. The vast majority of the construction was completed by a group of skilled volunteers. Construction began in March 2008 and was just completed this May. The volunteers toiled away through some harsh circumstances, even through the winter months, and it is to their credit that the boardwalk is now complete.
The grand opening was an opportunity to thank the fundraisers and volunteers and to celebrate the achievement of a new and improved boardwalk. Complete with two Teaching Zones and one Viewing Tower (construction on a second tower will begin in August to limit disruption of wildlife) the boardwalk is 854 metres and connects to wooded trails creating a loop that is 1127 metres long.
The boardwalk has been built with accessibility in mind and creates an opportunity for anyone and everyone to journey into the marsh; giving us all the privilege of seeing an ecosystem we could not otherwise experience. People of all ages can delve into the marsh and enjoy the flora and fauna without interfering with it.
My family and I walked the boardwalk and thought it was beautiful. The view from the tower is lovely and the plant life in the marsh is varied and stunning. Had we been visiting on an average day we would probably have seen more wildlife but I have a feeling the noise of so many people walking and talking scared most of the animals away. Apparently eight of the 12 species of frogs and toads living in Ontario can be found in the Presqu’ile Marsh, along with an impressive collection of birds, turtles, fish and insects. It’s the sort of place that almost guarantees special moments.
The three of us thought it was fantastic. Our little boy is very proud of the certificate he received for walking on the boardwalk on opening day. I’m certainly glad we made a point of attending this event during our stay in the park.