The Bentley Nature Preserve, off of Route 430 in Ellery, is now more accessible, thanks to a group of Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy volunteers and a grant from Cummins. The group of volunteers worked over several weeks to install a 40-foot metal bridge over the Chautauqua Lake tributary that flows through the site. The bridge allows for a loop path through the preserve, making it an ideal destination for walking or jogging.
The CWC ordered the bridge last fall, using part of the $27,000 Gateways to Nature grant awarded to the CWC by Cummins to make the conservancy’s 30 preserves more accessible to the public for recreation and education. Shortly after the bridge was ordered, the existing wooden bridge across the creek collapsed, disconnecting the loop trail. The new bridge was installed as soon as volunteers could clear a path and install posts this spring.