BREC Renovating New Addition to Frenchtown Rd Conservation Area

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Submitted by BREC
IMG_2814b    The Lange Property was purchased in February 2016 and consists of roughly 3 acres adjacent to the park property that BREC currently owns.  The property included several structures including the house, a pool, and several out buildings.  Although BREC does not yet have a master plan for this property and the Frenchtown Road Conservation Area as whole, they have begun renovations in order to be able to use the property for summer camp and fall programming. 
    The renovations on the house are not yet completed and will be conducted in phases based on programming needs.  Initial work done included removing and filling in the pool, repairing the roof, removing carpeting, and opening up certain walls with doorways to allow ease of access and programming.  Still to come includes the installation of a bus turn-around and a trailhead parking lot with public restrooms and water.  BREC hopes to have the bulk of these renovations done by the end of the summer in order to allow the public to use it as an alternate trailhead by early fall.  At this time they ask that the public continue to use the trailhead near the railroad tracks until the opening of the southern trailhead is announced.
    More long-term plans and renovations once the Master Plan is created include a large pavilion for group educational outings and tying in the current trail system more fully to allow for greater access into southern parts of the park.  It is BREC’s hope  to use the house as an education building providing a home-base during day-long field trip outings, field research, and programs.  BREC’s Frenchtown Road Conservation Area is a unique wilderness park with many opportunities for research and programming, and this building will allow them to cater to larger crowds or those that require amenities such as restrooms, running water, and shelter while at the park.  This summer the building will be used by BREC’s Nature Explorers Summer Camp during field trips into the park, and this fall it will used during the Summer’s End Night Hike and Campfire programs put on by BREC Conservation.  In the future it will be the location of one of numerous Conservation programs including an upcoming Bioblitz, potentially Outdoor Adventure programs, and service-learning programs for schools and organizations.

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