Earlier this month, hundreds of people turned out for the Grand Opening of the Universal Boardwalk, near Dome Creek, BC. The newly-constructed boardwalk allows people of all ages and abilities to experience hiking through a unique inland temperate rainforest.
The Ancient Forest is one of only a few surviving stands of old-growth cedar forest in the Upper Fraser River and Robson Valley, and is home to a rich abundance of native flora and fauna. There are more tree species within the inland rain forests than anywhere else in BC, and these include some impressive specimens: a number of the Ancient Forest's giant cedars are over 1000 years old and nearly 16 feet in diameter. More than 200 different kinds of lichen have been found here, some of which researchers believe may be newly-discovered species. And the forest and surrounding area provides habitat for a suite of iconic BC carnivores, including grizzly bears, lynx, wolves, wolverines, and cougars.
Before the boardwalk was constructed, the rough terrain of the Ancient Forest Trail made it extremely difficult for people with physical limitations to experience this spectacular ecosystem first-hand. Now, the boardwalk provides full access for visitors requiring wheelchairs or other mobility devices.
The completed boardwalk is the result of over three years of hard work by nearly 200 volunteers, who came together to turn the idea of a fully accessible trail through the forest into a realty. The project was funded through contributions from multiple partner organizations, including $10,000 in PCAF grants from HCTF.
Through the many people and partners working towards its completion, the Universal Boardwalk project has helped to increase awareness of this special ecosystem, and has culminated in the creation of a recreational and educational resource that will inspire conservationists from all walks of life. Congratulations to project leader Nowell Senior and the many dedicated volunteers on a job well done!
You can watch a video of the official boardwalk opening here>>