Blaine's New Nature Preserve

Posted on Thursday, August 21st, 2014 at 12:36pm.

I have a friend that grew up on the Big Island of Hawaii and she remembers when they discovered a new island forming off the larger island’s southern tip – one mile below the ocean’s surface. In about 30 to 40 thousand years it will crest the surface and a new island will be born.

When I heard that Blaine’s city council voted to take another step closer to The Blaine Wetland Sanctuary I thought about my friend from Hawaii. No, our new open space isn't the result of sitting on a hot spot, but she has to wait a couple thousand years to walk on a new island while Blaine residents only need wait until 2020 for our new nature preserve. Compared in that manner, it makes the wait a bit more tolerable.

The nature preserve is the 500-acre Blaine Wetland Sanctuary and it already has trails in the forested areas and more are planned, closer to the wetlands.

The sanctuary is located adjacent to The Lakes and portions of it are currently open to public access. The easiest way to get in is an access point east of Lakeside Commons Park or through North Oaks West Park.

Eventually, the sanctuary will house educational displays, equipment rental and they will host children’s tours.

Phase one, slated to begin next year, includes wetland restoration on the northern portion of the sanctuary. They’ll also create a parking lot just off Lexington Avenue, a new trail, a boardwalk over part of the wetlands and a spot to watch wildlife.

The additional five phases will happen between next year and 2020. When all is said and done, the cost of the project is expected to top out at around $3 million.

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