What: Bridges are needed for accessing and maintaining 60,000 feet of fencing at Elephant Refuge North America (ERNA).
Why: Ideal conditions for vegetation growth means fences are quickly overgrown and need continual maintenance. Swollen creeks and streams from 50 inches of annual rainfall hamper daily passage of security vehicles required to monitor elephants and inspect and maintain fences.
How: ERNA staff will build 14 wooden access bridges totaling 800 running feet.
You can help! Our goal is to raise $27,000. Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated.
- $5 buys two of the 700 lag bolts needed to secure timbers and planks
- $15 buys one of the 70 pounds of wood screws we’ll use to build the bridges
- $20 buys ten of the 2,400 feet of 8 inch round treated poles for bridge foundations
- $50 buys 100 of the 15,500 feet of 5 x 4 treated timbers for bridge surfaces
- $100 buys 50 of the 2,000 feet of 2 x 10 treated planks for bridge guides/rails (so we don’t literally drive off the edge)
- $150 buys all of the perforated metal hanger straps needed to secure timbers
The 50 inches of annual rainfall received at ERNA, while perfect for elephants, creates a challenge for accessing and maintaining fence lines. Multiple layers of vegetation, including vines, bushes, trees and grasses flourish in wet areas and quickly appear to consume the fences. As a result, the fences need continual maintenance in the most inaccessible areas made impassable by heavy rains.
By next spring staff aims to have completed the construction of 14 wooden access bridges totaling 800 running feet, for year-round access to the 60,000 feet of fencing that encloses ERNA and contains elephants.
The bridges will provide access to remote areas of the property where streams swollen by rain hamper daily passage of security vehicles required to monitor elephants and inspect and maintain fences. The fences which must be monitored on a daily basis when elephants are in residence provides privacy, security, and containment of ERNA elephants. The fences and proper maintenance are required by the United States Department of Agriculture.
The bridges are to be constructed of a concrete block base and 8″ treated timber framework. The driving surface is constructed of 5″ treated landscape timbers butted up against the other and secured to the framework timbers creating a stable, safe and level driving surface. Additionally, 2 parallel 2”x10” treated wooden planks, running the length of the bridge, further stabilizes the bridge while creating a visual guide for drivers to remain in the center of the bridge while crossing. The bridge is constructed several inches above the potential water line creating safe passage for the machine and driver.