There’s a whole lot of banging and smashing going on at the end of the Balancing Rock trail.
A work crew from the district of Digby spent the day out there Tuesday, July 26. They ripped up a 100’ section of the upper stairway and replaced it will all new pressured-treated lumber.
“For years when we come out here in the spring, we’ve been putting good wood on bad,” says Gordon Wilson, the deputy CAO of the municipality of the district of Digby. “This should make a a big difference.”
The municipality paid the seven workers to spend the day working on the trail instead of their normal jobs. Simon Doiron, the environmental services manager for the district, Alfred Doucet and Barry Faulkner of public works, Paulette Walker from Digby dispatch, Robert Hersey, the district’s heritage coordinator and Rick Jacques, Digby’s trail coordinator were on site from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.
[PHOTO GALLERY OF ALL THE ACTION BELOW]
Wilson hopes to organize three or more work parties to get the whole upper stairway replaced by this fall.
The municipality spent $3, 000 on material for the project – and $20,000 earlier this spring to finally acquire the property the main trail runs on. They had previously been signing yearly leases.
The Bay of Fundy Discovery Centre Association (BFDCA) also installed eight new interpretation panels describing some of the more interesting plants along the trail.
“We wanted to indicate to visitors that there is more than just a rock down there,” says Roger Outhouse, chair of the BFDCA.
To fund the project they asked for $250 donations from the three island villages (Tiverton, Freeport and Westport), the Tiverton Board of Trade, the Freeport Community Development Association, the Digby Area Tourism Association and the municipality.
Outhouse says they have catalogued 114 different species along the trail but chose eight with an interesting story.
“When you stop and start looking around, there is a lot of really interesting plant life there,” says Outhouse. “I took some pictures there for example of the big leafy skunk cabbage in blom and surrounded with snow. So these signs are a way to slow people down and help them notice these things.”
Outhouse says the association is working on two more panels for the parking lot area; one to describe the geology and the other to describe wetlands (like the one the trail crosses) in general.
And Outhouse has some other little ideas for down the road as well.
“There’s a few things we could do to make it look a little better, to get more people in there,” says Outhouse. “It’s the ideal spot to have some staff – one person there to interpret the natural history, the wildlife and provide tourist information. It would add a little security.”
“And some bike racks would be nice.”