All of those involved in the project and local officials joined Saturday to cut the ribbon on the new park.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Ramblewild's quest to do more with a forest than just harvest timber has begun.
The aerial adventure park on Brodie Mountain Road held a grand opening Saturday. Featuring 150 obstacles on eight courses, the park held a soft opening last month after construction throughout the winter.
"Ramblewild is about adrenaline. It is about fun ... but it fits in with Feronia Forest's plan. We believe in sustainability," said CEO Tim Gallagher. "The forest has more to give us than just timber."
Headed by Paolo Cugnasca, Ramblewild is the newest project for Feronia Forests, a company that focuses on sustainable forestry. The goal is to pull revenue from forest lands in a variety of ways.
At Ramblewild, not only have all of the obstacles been built in a way that doesn't harm the trees but the organization has also begun maple syrup production. Feronia is also now launching a new drink, "Vertical Water," which is a maple-based water drink. Ramblewild is also at the base of the access road to the Brodie Mountain Wind Farm, and Feronia owns some of the land that the turbines sit on.
Meanwhile, they hope to provide educational value as well. Ramblewild and the Feronia Forests Fund is working with schools to develop programs in partnership.
Mount Greylock Regional High School Principal Mary MacDonald said her physical education and science teachers see tremendous opportunity there. Whether it is biology, physics, engineering or physical education, MacDonald says she sees a long-term partnership.
"It's been a great symbiotic relationship," she said.
The park was first proposed for the site a little more than two years ago. Cugnasca partnered with the Ghent, N.Y., company Tree-Mendous to develop the concept.
However, the town had just revamped the zoning bylaws, which coincidently banned the park's development in that area. Feronia then paid for a special town meeting to change the laws to allow it, which voters approved in February of 2013 and Tree-Mendous began the permitting and design process.
The local company Country Log Homes built the ticketing office, a storage shed, sugar shack and harness area. Moresi and Associates providing the infrastructure. White Engineering designed many areas of the park. Delmolino and Sons and Bill and Allen Girard also served in various roles during the construction. All of those companies were recognized at Saturday's ceremony.
Also in attendance were state Reps. William "Smitty" Pignatelli and Gailanne Cariddi; former Chamber of Commerce President Michael Supranowicz, Hillcrest Education Centers CEO Jerry Burke and Fire Chief Charlie Durfee.
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