Berlin’s first Squirrel Bridge

This March, Berlin, Germany, got its first squirrel bridge. Volunteers from the association “Menschen fuer Tiere, e.V.” (People for Animals), one of Germany’s largest wildlife and nature conservations, constructed a squirrel crossing in Berlin’s district of Friedrichshagen. www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/eichhoernchenbruecke

Purpose of a squirrel bridge?

The Mueggelseedamm in Friedrichshagen is a busy, two-lane cobble stone road that skirts the Mueggelsee, a large lake in Berlin’s eastern suburbs. Until this year, squirrels, our small, bushy-tailed rodent friends, had to take their lives into their versatile little claws whenever they wished to cross from one side of the street to the other. The crowns of the trees that line both sides of the Mueggelseedamm are just too far apart to allow for safe branch-to-branch jumps. Attempting to cross the roadway between oncoming automobiles instead, many of the squirrels perished. While the natural lifespan of squirrels is approximately six years, most urban squirrels are said to fail to reach their first birthday due to unintended automobile contact. At a cost of 500 Euros, Menschen fuer Tiere, e.V. hopes to change those odds by providing a safer street crossing alternative. As part of a campaign, called “Aktion Tier,” volunteers installed Berlin’s first squirrel bridge, consisting of a 70-foot-long synthetic rope that stretches between trees on either side of the roadway.

List of Worldwide Squirrel bridges

The idea of an alternative animal crossing is not unique, however. There are over one dozen squirrel bridges worldwide. The first known bridge constructed is the Nutty Narrows Bridge in Washington. It was installed in 1963. Of the thirteen known squirrel bridges worldwide, only two are located in the United States. The remainder is found in Europe.

  • Nutty Narrows Bridge, Longview, Washington – constructed 1963,
  • near Formby, Great Britain – constructed 2004,
  • Aberdeen, Scotland – constructed 2008,
  • Mount Graham, Arizona, USA – constructed 2010,
  • Burgstrasse, Vlotho, Germany, constructed 2012,
  • Benoordenhoutseweg, The Hague, Belgium, constructed 2012,
  • Parc Franck-Delmas/Parc d’Orbigny, La Rochelle, France – constructed 2012,
  • Kilometer 73,90, Rijksweg 12, Netherlands – constructed 2012,
  • Ring 0, Brussels, Belgium – constructed 2013,
  • Europaboulebard, Amstelpark, Amsterdam, Netherlands – constructed 2011/12,
  • Heinsbergerweg, Roermond, Netherlands – constructed 2013, and
  • Andrelaan, Brecht, Belgium – constructed 2013

 

For a sneak peek at the first 20+ pages of my memoir, Walled-In: A West Berlin Girl’s Journey to Freedom, click “Download a free excerpt” on the home page of http://www.walled-in-berlin.com. Walled-In is a story of growing up in Berlin during the Cold War.

 

 

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