Pipe donation helps save trail

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 22, 2007

JACKSON – The Northampton Nature Trail is now a step closer to being completed after a recent donation of pipe.

“We sincerely appreciate the donation of pipe,” said Northampton County Cooperative Extension Service Director Rose Massey. “It was needed.”

In the past, during heavy rain some parts of the nature trail were washed out. Massey said with the donated pipe it will help with those problems, in particular where the trail slopes.

“The donation of the pipe will allow us to manage surface water so the trail will remain useable,” said Massey.

The pipe was donated by Iluka Resources Inc. an international mining company. One of the company’s mines is located in Stony Creek,Va.

The drainage pipes were extra that the company did not need and were delivered by Woody Daniels and Pete Turner of Iluka.

Resources General Manager Allan Sale said the company was approached by Massey and Kay Wynn, who is on the Northampton County Nature Trail committee.

Sale said the company tries to give back to the communities around them.

“We’re very pleased to support them,” said Sale.

According to Massey, the Northampton Nature Trail is approximately 75 percent completed and has been a three year effort by the Northampton County Cooperative Extension Service in partnership with the North Carolina Forestry Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Massey hopes the nature trail will help fight many of Northampton’s health issues related to obesity by encouraging outdoor activity as the trail will be in concurrence with the future Northampton County Cultural and Wellness Center, which will feature recreational activities as well.

The project has been funded through grants and donations with the most recent grant from N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. Grant funding for the trail has reached $55,000.

In December the Northampton County Board of Commissioners approved a bid for a foot bridge to slightly raise the trail over a wetland area. Part of the grant from N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation went toward construction of the foot bridge.

When completed, the trail will provide one mile of hiking and walking surface. The trail meanders through hardwood forest, reseeded loblolly pines, and wetland forest. One hundred and ninety feet of the trail is over a boardwalk on a beaver pond.

Changes in the topography on the trail make the area contain various species of plants and animals.

Features of the trail also include a platform for water sampling, shelters and surface material with fossils. Tours of the trail are also available through extension agents who have already hosted school children and groups.

The trail’s entrance is located on the side of the J.W. Faison Administrative Building near Jackson on Highway 305 North. It is currently open to the public during daylight hours.

Massey encourages those who do use the nature trail to walk with a friend.

A dedication ceremony will be held after the entire trail has been constructed.