OGDENSBURG As the Fort la Presentation Association moves forward with the planned installation of the Abbes Trail over the next two years, members are keeping the city of Ogdensburg up to date with their progress and hoping for cooperation going forward.
The interpretive history trail will give visitors a glance into Ogdensburgs past with signs highlighting important aspects of the citys heritage, and the association will need to get approval by the citys planning board.
The association is working closely with the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation on the project after the office awarded the association a $352,650 grant in 2013 for the construction of the trail.
The total cost of the project is estimated at $470,200, with the rest of the funding coming from other grants and the associations coffers.
Fort Association President Barbara J. OKeefe said the organization hopes to have the project completed in the fall of 2015.
During the next few months, Mrs. OKeefe said, her organization will focus on getting the necessary paperwork ready for the project and pushing the plan through the city Planning Department.
Fort Association Vice President Mark T. Valley, speaking at Mondays Ogdensburg City Council meeting, said he hopes the city will help the association get the approval they need for the project.
I thought that maybe the fort and the city could be friends with benefits. We dont have to be in love, but when we get together things could happen, Mr. Valley said.
The completed project will feature a one-mile loop on Lighthouse Point that will connect with the Maple City Trail featuring historical signage on the citys history as well as picnic facilities, benches, bike racks and a parking lot.
The trail will be free and open to the public, and is the first part of a larger plan to build a replica of the 1749 fort built on the point by French Sulpician priest Abbe Francois Picquet.
In addition to that, the association also plans on building an interpretive center and Native American village on the point to act as a historical tourist attraction.
Mayor William D. Nelson said the trail project is a good first step.