Friday, April 29, 2011

Draper Croy Creek Boardwalk to be finished this summer

Project provides access to bird watching in Hailey

Express Staff Writer

A boardwalk through beaver ponds and bird habitat at the mouth of Croy Canyon is scheduled for completion this summer. Photo by David N. Seelig

Call it the Beaver Bureau of Restoration. A series of growing beaver ponds at the mouth of Croy Canyon behind Lions Park in Hailey has created a sanctuary for birds, moose, muskrats and other creatures, following a devastating fire that razed the area about 15 years ago.

Many years ago the area was used as a city dump.

The Wood River Land Trust in Hailey holds a conservation easement on the area, which is part of the 84-acre Draper Preserve. The preserve extends for several hundred yards on both side of the Big Wood River.

This summer, the land trust will complete a 1,050-foot gravel pathway and boardwalk through the Croy wetland, thanks to a $57,800 grant from the Santa Barbara-based Lennox Foundation. The grant award was announced early in April.

Grant funds also will cover the cost of a log welcoming pavilion to be installed at the beginning of the trail and revegetation of the site where needed.


The nonprofit land trust removed 1,200 tons of refuse from the wetland area in 2008, installed nesting boxes for birds and began the boardwalk and trail, which starts on city property.

When the boardwalk is completed, there will be a loop trail through forest and marshland inhabited by many bird species, including, mallards, grebes, redwing blackbirds and Canada geese.

"The birds are really active in the morning, and wood ducks are using the nesting boxes," said Melanie Dahl, Land Trust executive assistant.

Wood River Land Trust is a local nonprofit organization that works with private landowners, foundations and other nonprofits to restore lands, waters and wildlife habitat in the Wood River Valley and surrounding areas.

Since it was founded in 1994, the organization has worked to preserve almost 12,000 acres of land and water via conservation easements.

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