Working over several weekends in the spring and fall, volunteers over the course of two years worked to build the elevated boardwalk in stages. It had won approvals from the Danvers and Wenham conservation commissions, both towns’ boards of selectmen, the Essex County Greenbelt Association, and the state Department of Conservation and Recreation.
Crews started at the north entrance of the SwampWalk and built the walkway out into the wetlands, eventually building an observation platform named for Richard Wolniewicz. He’s the property manager of Massachusetts Audubon’s Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield. Saluto said Wolniewicz taught volunteers how to build the platform by driving 8-foot wooden piles into the swamp to form the understructure for the platform. A similar walkway dots the wildlife sanctuary.
Volunteers then began the platform at the south entrance, pushing the walkway west, then north, taking care to curve around natural features such as stumps and beaver lodges. Eventually, they joined the northern and southern sections of the SwampWalk.
Saluto said volunteers went above and beyond to get the SwampWalk built.
“The people who have been involved with this have been incredible,” Saluto said. “I scheduled two weekends (for the work), and they worked four.”
Saluto said there are plans to hold a dedication ceremony in the spring.
Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.