On June 14, boardwalk construction ended at Bird Rookery Swamp and the trail re-opened on Friday, June 15.
The replacement of the boardwalk is a multi-year project, funded and completed by the South Florida Water Management District. This year’s work replaced the middle part of the boardwalk. In 2017, one third of the boardwalk, starting from the tram and working towards the parking lot, was replaced.
The new boardwalk sections are built with Azek composite decking, which is expected to withstand the humid, wet conditions present at Bird Rookery Swamp. The final section is expected to be replaced in 2019.
We all miss the feel of the grassy tram beneath our feet and the quiet solitude of standing along the edge of the first pond, watching the wading birds feast and preen at Bird Rookery Swamp.
Unfortunately the trail remains closed at the end of the boardwalk as repairs continue on washouts in the back sections. Once those are completed, repairs must be done on the front sections to fill in deep ruts left by the machinery.
In the meantime, fellow lovers of Bird Rookery Swamp, there still is a lot to see. Yesterday a bald eagle was spotted in the parking lot and was later chased away in dramatic fashion by the nesting pair of red-shouldered hawlks. I did not get a photo of the action, but please enjoy this gallery from last week’s (short) free weekly guided walk.