More improvements at Bristow Bird Sanctuary—including improving trails, adding more boardwalk, building a new pavilion and adding a bird blind—will soon be underway.
During the Conservation Commission’s meeting on Sept. 9, Chairman Chris Schipper announced that the town is actively bidding for phase two of the project, which will be privately funded and includes the construction of footings and a pad for the new pavilion.
“I was very pleased to have seen the bid notice out today for Centennial Master Plan Phase 2,” Schipper said during the virtual meeting. “Let’s hope we get some interested responders who can undertake that phase.”
Director of Public Works Tiger Mann said the contractor who won the bid for phase one has been notified that bidding is now open for phase two.
Commission member Martin McLaughlin asked if “the existing planking [on the trails] will be taken up and replaced by planking that is above ground and more level?”
“Yes it will be replaced,” Mann said, clarifying that the construction of new raised walkway is actually part of Phase 1, “which has already been bid, awarded and materials acquired.”
“The contractor who is doing the work just needs to finish up a nearby sidewalk project before coming over to Bristow,” Mann said.
Schipper said perhaps that same contractor “could just stay on site and move on to Phase 2.”
McLaughlin asked about oak benches to be delivered for Bristow that are being donated by The Exchange Club, and which accompany the pavilion. Mann replied that they have been delivered.
Schipper said the Beautification League recently walked the Bristow property and expressed excitement for the project.
Mann said a “new fernery is going to be installed with the help of SLOBs on Oct. 30.”
“A little bit of prep needs to be done there,” he added.
The center crossing pavilion, which is funded with a donation from the Exchange Club and the Anderson Family Foundation, has been ordered, Mann said.
“The footings and the pad are being organized,” he said.
“There’s a tree and bench being put in for Jim St. Claire,” Mann continued. “And we received a $5,000 grant to repair [the section of] the old perambulation wall that would allow us to reset that and put some signage up.”
But “the really big news,” Mann said, “is that we received $45,000 for the bog walkway – or phase 3 – where we want to put a raised walkway in toward the wetlands, which are closer to Mead Park, with a bird blind.”
Mann added that the funds for this phase of the project will come from the Anderson Family Foundation and are already in place, “we just need to work a little bit on the timing and the design.”
Schipper said he wanted to get the architects working on the bog walkway design “soon so that can be implemented quickly in the current capital cycle.”
On a related note, Schipper said he has been asked by several people in town about a possible volunteer day at Bristow, and asked his fellow commissioners to help him organize something.