A famous Brevard County preserve will reopen soon.
The Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands have been closed to the public since June of last year, but they are ready to reopen, better than before.
This county nature park is known locally as the “Viera Wetlands.”
The public works plant has been shuttered for seven months to remove sludge and overgrown cattails from four ponds behind it. The project costs $2.7 million.
The purpose is to lower nitrogen and phosphorus levels in the ponds that flow into the Four Mile Canal and subsequently into the St. John’s River.
The wetlands will once again be accessible solely to individuals who walk or bike around the 200-acre park.
Officials refer to this as a “haircut” designed to improve visibility and water quality.
Brad Thomas is an ardent biker who enjoys putting foot to pedal as much as possible. The Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands was one of his favorite places to ride his bike before it closed.
“I came out here with my son. “We enjoy looking at the gators and birds,” he explained.
Thomas is thrilled to bring his son back to the calm location.
“We need it. They just keep building, so we have to hold onto regions like these,” he remarked.
The reopening was originally scheduled for late February, but excessive rains during the previous two months caused the delay. The location is still designated an active building zone, thus no vehicles are permitted.
People who arrive by automobile are urged to park in the designated location so that they do not impede contractor equipment.
The reopening date is slated for March 4, although work to replace plants will continue until June.
It is being paid for by federal funds.