The Watershed Institute officially opened its new Hickory Loop Boardwalk with a ribbon cutting ceremony at its Annual Meeting on April 24. The fully accessible raised walkway spans 0.7 miles through scenic forests, meadows, and a stream. Named for the Shag bark hickory tree, with its silver-white bark hanging in long, loose strips, this raised path winds through hickory, maple, and oak trees.
Dedicated volunteers care for specific sections of land along the boardwalk through our Adopt-a-Plot program. Their efforts have led to the planting of hundreds of new native trees, a response to the devastating effects of the Emerald Ash Borer, a metallic green beetle from Northeast Asia, which destroyed many of the area’s ash trees.
Small plastic tubes protect the young trees, while some areas have deer enclosures enabling staff to study the impacts of the white-tailed deer. A small stream forms along the boardwalk during wet weather and flows into Stony Brook River. The entire area has been seeded with native ground cover species to prevent soil erosion. Hickory Loop is an example of accessibility, conservation, and research, benefiting visitors and the environment.
Leave your mark on the boardwalk — purchase a plaque! Click here for more information.