Turning Winds Academic Institute is in the process of replacing an old bridge that was constructed by utilizing a railroad car deck which was supported by two large larch trees that were three feet in diameter and spanned thirty –six feet across the South Fork of the Yaak River. With the heavy run off this year and extended rainy season into the Summer months, the South fork of the Yaak River swelled beyond its banks and eroded away about two feet, thus, causing the existing bridge to sink below the high water mark. Travel across the bridge became nearly impossible and with the structure compromised further, we could no longer access the back part of the 150 acre of property.

After taking nearly a year to get approval through the regulatory agencies, we will have completed the construction of a beautiful steel-substructure bridge that now spans forty-five feet across the South Fork of the Yaak River and now sits approximately six feet higher than the previous bridge.

Turning Winds Academic Institute cares a great deal about the environment especially when it comes to our water ways. Being one of the best teen boarding schools in the world, we teach each of our students through character education the importance of environmental awareness which addresses the impact that we have on the surrounding environment.

The new bridge will be completed by the end of November 2012 and will allow us to utilize the 120 acres of land which we have on the other side of the river. Our hope is that next year, we will be able to install several activity fields for outdoor recreation. In addition, this will allow us to enhance our campground and we will be able to integrate animal care into our scope of treatment in working with struggling teens.

By: John Baisden