Our world is rapidly evolving, and there is a delicate balance between infrastructural development and nature preservation. Man Made structures are often seen as a hindrance to nature, but pathways such as bridges and boardwalks can actually be a harmonizing factor between human development and nature. Nature Bridges, as a construction company with a core value of preserving nature, is intimately acquainted with this interconnected relationship.
Accessibility and Conservation
Erosion and habitat degradation pose monumental challenges to our natural landscapes. There is a pressing need to address these issues while keeping sustainability in mind. Erosion is associated with development and frequent use by pedestrians, bikers, and other travelers. That erosion can harm the habitat, which threatens plant species and disrupts wildlife.
Bridge and boardwalk construction can actually help slow erosion. Strategically placed pathways direct traffic away from fragile habitats, ensuring that nature is disturbed less. With these walkways in place, the natural ecosystem can flourish while we continue to enjoy the area.
How Bridges and Boardwalks Protect Habitats
Bridge and boardwalk construction offer many benefits to the environment. As mentioned earlier, directing pedestrians onto a path reduces erosion. Elevated pathways keep soil from being compacted by frequent travel. Bridges allow rivers and streams to flow naturally. This natural water flow protects the waterway, allowing plant and animal life to grow.
There are many examples of this strategy. For example, the boardwalk at Neabsco Creek Boardwalk in Virginia is elevated. Visitors can walk through and observe everything nature has to offer, but we protect the wetland habitat by preventing those visitors from disturbing the ground. This protection took many years and a collaborative design approach. Experts needed to address complex issues in wetlands, such as flooding, storm surge, environmental permits, as well as the experience of visitors to the boardwalk. During construction, care was taken by using top down construction and other methods to protect the marsh. Because of the extensive planning and conscious construction, Neabsco Creek Boardwalk can be enjoyed for many years to come – by both people and animals.
In forested areas such as Bonnet Springs, bridges and elevated boardwalks also minimize human impact on the forest floor. These methods help preserve the rich biodiversity of the area and allow for sustainable interactions between humans and nature. Bonnet Springs was formerly an industrial area, but it has been reclaimed as a way for community members and visitors to enjoy nature and recreational activities such as a children’s museum, nature center, and boathouse. Again using top down construction and other conservation techniques for construction, Nature Bridges is thrilled that we could assist in creating an area where nature and people can coexist.
Our relationship with nature is vital to the health of the planet. Nature Bridges has committed to leveraging bridge and boardwalk construction to protect habitats – whether those areas are environmentally sensitive or not. When we strategically place pathways, we not only connect people to other places, but we foster a symbiotic connection between our man made world and the nature world we strive to protect. When you’re ready for your next project, you can trust Nature Bridges to consider both your needs and the needs of the area’s plants and wildlife.