The Borough of Avalon held an official dedication ceremony for a new Dune and Beach Trail that was developed by the Avalon Environmental Commission. The ceremony was held at the north end of the trail at 44th Street and Dune Drive on Thursday, May 21st and included comments by Mayor Martin Pagliughi and volunteers with the Avalon Environmental Commission.
“I sincerely appreciate the efforts of the Avalon Environmental Commission for developing the vision and implementation of this very important educational component to the Borough’s eco-system”, Mayor Pagliughi said. “For generations to come, this educational and interpretative trail will educate the public on a truly unique eco-system that exists in the Avalon dune system and will help nurture an increased appreciation for this environmental asset that exists in our community. I also wish to thank the Cape May County Open Space Program for providing the funding for this Trail that will provide a unique educational and environmental experience for everyone in our County”.
The Avalon Dune and Beach Trail was created and developed by the volunteers on the Avalon Environmental Commission. The Borough of Avalon made a successful application to the Cape May County Open Space Program to secure funding for this program, along with funding for the construction of a new community park nearby at 39th Street and Dune Drive. The new park is scheduled to be completed within three weeks.
The Avalon Dune and Beach Trail consists of ten signs that educate visitors on the complex and fragile eco-system that exists in Avalon’s dunes. The signs were placed along existing beach paths at 44th Street and 48th Street and include photographs and descriptions of the natural environment in Avalon’s dunes. Prior to European settlement, many barrier islands along the East Coast consisted of maritime forests in their dune systems. Avalon continues to be the home of one of the few maritime forests in New Jersey’s dune system. Avalon’s protection of the high dunes allows the existence of plants, wildlife, birds to flourish in the Borough. The signs were carefully developed to provide information about the eco-system that exists.
The new Trail also includes a special “Kids Corner” that encourages children to follow the trail and identify natural features of the dunes that they are able to identify. The “Kids Corner” will be a special feature of a new website under development which will be integrated into the Borough’s website and future public information efforts.
“Avalon has always been proactive with environmental stewardship endeavors”, said Dr. Brian Reynolds, Chairman of the Avalon Environmental Commission. “Our volunteers have worked very hard on this project and we encourage everyone to walk the Trail and learn more about a one of a kind ecosystem literally in our own backyard”.