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Project Profile

Flat Branch Nature Preserve


Mecklenburg County was looking for a boardwalk solution for Flat Branch Nature Preserve, one of the largest upland depression swamp forests remaining in the county. As these delicate wetlands are critical for the local ecosystem- namely, amphibian breeding, the boardwalk needed to sit above the ground and not penetrate it while also preserving tree root systems.

Installing the boardwalk in such a sensitive environment was also a point of concern for Mecklenburg County’s project managers.


After analyzing the long-term cost savings of a concrete product, Mecklenburg County decided on a PermaTrak boardwalk system.

After setting the PermaTrak pier footings in place by hand, the installing contractor minimized tree and wetland surface disturbance through a top down construction method. PermaTrak’s modular boardwalk system allows for the system to flex with the seasonal ground movement.

Two boardwalk segments now create a walkway through the heavily wooded areas. The project also includes a unique outlook/observation deck that will be used as an outdoor classroom for local elementary school students.

Location: Charlotte, NC
Owner: Nature Preserves and Natural Resources, Mecklenburg County
Designer: Henson Foley
Contractor: TG&R Landscape Group

Technical Description

Boardwalk Length(s): 323 ft. & 24 ft.
Tread Width(s): 6 ft. 0 in.
Color: Natural Concrete
Texture: Sandblast
Installation Date: November 2015