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Irene details

Although it was less severe than predicted, the storm dumped 7.38” of rain* on McKaig Nature Education Center.  Unfortunately our treasured park suffered and needs your help.  

First, the three bridges in McKaig have been degraded.  The ground underneath has been eroded and will need some support.  The trails have succumbed to  serious erosion problems as well.  Additionally, the Old Roberts Schoolhouse’s basement flooded. 

The stream under the  Janoski** bridge by Monkey Rock (white 26***) has eroded the bank under the northeast support, exasperating the tilt of deck.  Our structural engineer (McKaig member volunteer) has examined it and will be evaluating the options for fixing the bridges, and the repairs are sure to cost money.

Also, the bank on the north side of the Grossman** bridge (white 23) has been washed away causing an eastward lean; this too will require attention.

The Boltouch bridge on the Cadet Trail (white 21) is starting to sag.  Some of the water walls that directed the stream flow have washed away.  Furthermore, some of the fill behind the water walls has been washed away and will need to be refilled with substantial rocks.

Both trails entering off of Brower Road have eroded especially the lower or southeast. (white 37).  Not only has the ground been washed away, but many large stones were deposited.  This may require contractors to bring in material and use power equipment to return the trail to its original splendor.  

The Old Roberts Schoolhouse suffered as well.  Even though we cleared the gutters on Friday, the water cascaded over the gutters and on to the cellar doors.  These doors are old and rusty and the installation grout has partially crumbled away.  The basement received much water.  The existing sump pump may have kept up until the power went out.  The existing dehumidifier needs to be replaced as well.  The metal floor supports are rusting and there is some evidence of mold.

The estimated cost to purchase and have installed new cellar doors, sump pump with battery, and a commercial dehumidifier for the schoolhouse is $2,800. Furthermore, the donations needed to start to recover from the effects of Irene in McKaig Nature Center proper is at least $6,300.

We would need 65 families to offer $100 each along with several, more generous neighbors.  However, any amount will keep us moving in the right direction.  All donors will be recognized on  Donors, including business owners, who donate $100 or more will be recognized in our newsletter.

Special thanks goes to those volunteers who have assisted with the trail clean up.  While visiting the park, please lend a hand with branches and debris.

Visit or mail your restoration donation by September 10th there is urgency in getting these projects started.

* Weather Station KPAWAYNES St. Davids Country Club
** Charter member of the UM Park & Historic Foundation (McKaig Nature Center parent organization) 
*** Trail location markers have been placed along all trails, visit

P.S. Please help as soon as possible, mold and mildew are continuing to grow in the Roberts Schoolhouse basement