This web page is a FAR FUTURE concept. It is not a near term suggestion, just an exploration into the possiblity of improving future access to the back property across the ravine. If we eventually built a small retreat shelter on the other side of the ravine (See some shelter concepts (about half way down that page)), then ultimately we might want to consider an elevated walkway.
A visit to the Planning and Zoning office confirmed that it would be unlikely that we would be allowed to build a road through the ravine due to all the disturbance to the critical area. But if the property on opposite sides of the ravine belonged to AFM, then they recognize the requirement for connectivity with a bridge or walkway. He saw no problem with getting a variance for such an elevated structure that would minimize disssruption of the ravine critical area.
A Possible Walkway: The image to the right shows the existing trails on the property in gray. In addition the location of a possible elevated walkway is shown in brown with a relatively no-step approach shown in yellow. A more direct path would need about one flight of stairs shown in green.
In the virtual scene above, the possible shelter idea on the point across the ravine and an elevated walkway have been superimposed. The next drawing gives and idea of the elevated walkway construction.
Construction Ideas: In this sketch you can see the walkway extends about 80 feed across the ravine but well down from the top of the banks. This places the walkway no more than about 12 feet at its highest support (though 16' above the very narrow creek). The walkway also clears the existing AFM trail by about 7 feet so as not to disturb our existing trail system. A set of stairs goes up our bank to the AFM playground area. This is probably a full flight (about 12') of elevation. Two contractors have viewed this plan and given very approximate cost estimates on the order of $75k for the walkway. Again, a very long way out in our future, but nice to know.
Plan View: In the plan view above, you can see where the stairway access from the right and the possible level handicapped access from the west of the Meeting house would join on our side of the ravine. On the south side of the ravine (shown to the left here), the end of the walkway connects to a similar gentle slope path that circles around and up the gully to the point where the outdoor structure has the promintory view. A more direct single flight of stairs would could go from the bridge straight up to the shelter.
Access: The image to the right shows about where the stairs down to the bridge would be located as viewed from the AFM playground and patio area. Though another site visit suggests that the best place to connect this path to the existing AFM property would be to simply extend the existing paved sidewalk (shown above) the additional 50 feet to the split-rail fence and then slope it downwards to the left to the start of the elevated walkway. But the approximate location of the walkway as seen here through the trees would remain here. The other more level approach would be from the west of the Meeting House as shown below.
The images above give a different view from far to the west of the Meeting House showing where the gentle slope path for handicapped access could come out. Again this is far in the future, but it would make a nice connection to the future enlarged meeting house at ground level.
This web page is entirely conceptual and would be in the far future. But it attempts to show how access across the ravine could be improved if we decide to go ahead with the purchase of the lot across the ravine. If you have not seen the other two related web pages, here are the links:
The AFM/Unitarian Trails
Walking tour of the Lawrence property for sale