Springer’s Point Preserve, a nature preserve on Ocracoke Island, reopened in December after being closed since Hurricane Dorian in September 2019, but work at the site is ongoing, the Coastal Land Trust announced Wednesday.
Temporary closures may still be necessary until repairs are complete, possibly in May.
The Coastal Land Trust said safety and the needs of the Ocracoke Island community were a priority and that it was contracting with island residents to assist in work at the site to help contribute to the local economy.
The site’s “soft” reopening in December followed steps to ensure visitor safety, according to the announcement.
“Visitors will see evidence and reminders of the hurricane around every bend of the trail — from missing benches and signs to new views created by downed trees,” the trust said in the announcement.
The trust said it had received inquiries about the iconic live oaks along the preserve’s Pamlico Sound shoreline. “Unfortunately, these trees sustained extensive damage and a few of these special trees were lost to Hurricane Dorian. You will also notice downed trees in the maritime forest.”
Downed trees that do not pose a threat to people on the trails will be left to allow nature to take its course. Visitors are asked stay on the trails and to not climb on any trees in the preserve.
The Coastal Land Trust thanked the Orton Foundation, an affiliate of Louis Bacon’s Moore Charitable Foundation, for its funding support.