History of the Orono Bog Walk

The Orono Bog Boardwalk Project was initiated in the year 2000 by Professor Ronald B. Davis of Orono and the University of Maine. Construction began in 2002 after two years of planning, fund raising, permit application, and organization of an administrative structure for the project. Construction was completed in spring 2003, and the boardwalk opened in June of that year. The boardwalk was built by the Maine Conservation Corps, Charleston Correction Facility crews, and numerous individual volunteers. Lists of construction volunteers are posted on the bulletin board at the boardwalk.

Construction was funded by grants from the Maine Recreational Trails Program and the National Park Service. Numerous other public and private funding sources supported the construction. Major supporters include the University of Maine, Shirley & Ronald Davis, Fields Pond Foundation, Arthur-James Benson, James M. Cohen, Stephen & Tabitha King Foundation, Jerry & Joyce Longcore, and Christa Schwintzer & John Tjepkema. Additionally, materials, supplies, services, and illustrations for interpretive signs were donated by the City of Bangor, University of Maine, Bangor True Value Hardware, Correct Building Products, H.C. Haynes, Inc., International Paper Co., Parker Lumber, Stanley Bostitch Co., American Concrete, Bennett Tire, Carlen Transport, CES Inc., General Rental, Lane Systems and Supply, H.E. Sargent Co., Down East Books, National Geographic Society, Houghton Mifflin Co., and Princeton University Press. Complete lists of funding sources for construction are posted on the bulletin board at the boardwalk.

The planning and construction phases of the Orono Bog Boardwalk were administered jointly by the City of Bangor, University of Maine, Orono Land Trust, and Ronald B. Davis, based on a written agreement between the four parties. During these phases, a Steering Committee including representatives of the four parties and selected conservation interests in the Bangor region guided the project. Operation and maintenance of the completed boardwalk are administered by a four-person Management Committee consisting of a Boardwalk Director and one representative each from the City, the University, and the Land Trust. An Advisory Committee, representing other constituencies with major interests in the boardwalk has been established by the Management Committee. Day to day operation and maintenance of the boardwalk are performed by the Boardwalk Director (a volunteer position) assisted by docents and other volunteers recruited by the Director. In summer, a stipend is paid to a student educational intern to help operate the boardwalk.

Funds are now being sought for an endowment whose earnings are to be used for boardwalk operation and maintenance. Your tax deductible donation is needed to make this endowment large enough to support boardwalk needs. Please consider sponsoring one or more of the 509 8-foot long boardwalk sections for a donation of $200 per section. Over a hundred sections have been sponsored to date by individuals, families or small groups of supporters. To sponsor one or more sections, mail your check to Jerry Longcore, Fund Raising Chairman, at 151 Bennoch Road, Orono, Maine 04473. Make the check payable to the University of Maine Foundation, with notation “for Boardwalk Endowment.” Individuals and businesses wishing to provide more substantial support for the Boardwalk Endowment Fund should contact the University of Maine Foundation, 2 Alumni Place, Orono, ME 04469-5792 (207.581.5100).

Effective March, 2008, UMaine science librarian Jim Bird, Department Head, Science & Engineering Center, Fogler Library, was appointed Director of the boardwalk. He can be contacted at 207.581.1697 or Jim.Bird@umit.maine.edu.