Wilton gazebo project set to move ahead

  • The spot on the Wilton Riverwalk that is designated for a gazebo that will serve as a wildlife observation deck. COURTESY PHOTO

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/1/2023 1:34:47 PM

Materials for a gazebo along the Wilton Riverwalk are expected to be delivered within the week, though groundbreaking on the project may be delayed due to the town’s Department of Public Works paving schedule.

Wilton Economic Development Chair Jennifer Beck spoke with the Select Board during its regular meeting Aug. 28 to discuss the timeline for the construction. The gazebo is being built with a $17,000 Community Challenge Grant from AARP New Hampshire.

Among other uses, it will serve as a hub for a senior citizen science program, where residents can learn about how to catalog nature observations of plant, insect and animal species. While open to all, the gazebo will have ramp access and be accessible to those with mobility aids.

The observation platform is anticipated to be put to use during an upcoming update to the town’s natural resources inventory, which will include observations from the town’s residents using an app called iNaturalist, where people can take photos of animals, plants and insects and upload them to a database for cataloging and identification. The gazebo will also store paper observation log materials for those that don’t wish to use the online application.

The gazebo was scheduled to be constructed at the end of summer, which Beck indicated was still the case. However, groundbreaking may be delayed as town crews, who are anticipated to lay the groundwork for the gazebo, are in the midst of the summer paving schedule.

Beck said the foundation for the gazebo may be more complicated than initially anticipated, as the town’s building code requires it to be anchored.

Beck noted that during heavy winds, particularly when the cement base is icy, the gazebo has the potential to shift or lift off the ground, and may not come back down level, if it’s not properly anchored. The Economic Development team is discussing with the Department of Public Works the best method for anchoring the gazebo.

The materials for the gazebo are scheduled to arrive on Sept. 6. Beck questioned whether she should request the delivery be delayed, but Department of Public Works Director Mike Tatro requested the materials be delivered on time and prepared for when the department was ready to do the site work for the gazebo.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172, Ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on X @AshleySaariMLT.

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