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Danvers Swamp Walk About Halfway To Completion

On Sunday community members gathered to spend some time outdoors and see progress made on Swamp Walk project.

On Sunday more than 15 people participated in a tour through the developing Swamp Walk, located by the Choate Farm Conservation Area, to find out more about the progression of the ongoing volunteer project. 

Under the direction of George Saluto, construction began on the project two years ago and is expected to last for another two years.

Saluto said that to fund the project, the Department of Recreation had given them a $27,000 grant, and another $1,000 has been donated by community members. 

The progress is slow, but it needs to be when it's a project controlled by volunteers. Saluto said that they work three-day weekends, one in the spring and another in the fall. 

Aside from spending some time in the outdoors, the purpose of the tour on Sunday was to see the progress made and what the next steps should be.

Participants were split evenly about where construction should continue next. 

Ernie Jackson, who participated in the walk with his 5-year-old daughter Sarah, is fond of the project and hopes when completed community members will take advantage of it. 

"I don't know whether it's going to be used or not," Jackson said, "If not, it could become an eyesore."

Currently, the wooden planks lead to a teaching platform where Saluto hopes teachers can bring students to teach them about the outdoors and the surrounding swamps. 

There is no railing or seating. Saluto also wanted community members to discuss whether they are in favor of installing those along with some kind of shade. 

Most agreed that shade was not necessary because it would obstruct the views. 

For Linda Matthews, a memeber of the Bi-Peds group, the walk reminds her of communing with nature when she was younger. She said that today children aren't aware of what is behind their backyards. 

"I just love being out here. I love the birds, especially," she said. "It's a great opportunity to see frogs, turtles... for people to get together and do positive things for nature."

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