Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

YOUTH’S BRIDGE PROJECT CONNECTED STATE AND COUNTY GREEN SPACES

Freeholders Honor Outstanding Denville Eagle Scout

(L/R) Freholders Doug Cabana, Tom Mastrangelo, Kathy DeFillippo and John Cesaro with Eagle Scout John Owens

 The Morris County Board of Freeholders has honored an Eagle Scout from Denville for an ambitious environmental project that included building and installing two bridges to connect natural areas of the county, allowing hikers and bikers to now easily access these adjacent open spaces.

The freeholders presented a certificate of achievement to John F. Owens of Scout Troop 118 in Denville for his accomplishment.

Owens, now a freshman at the Rochester Institute of Technology and studying mechanical engineering, was joined by his parents and sister at the freeholders’ ceremony, held at on Dec. 28 in Morristown, to celebrate the positive achievements of this young county resident.

The freeholders praised Owens, a former Morris Knolls High School student, for completing his ambitious service project which earned him the Eagle Scout designation at a Court of Honor ceremony held last Sunday (Jan. 8), while he is home on winter break from college.Freeholders Honor Outstanding Denville Eagle ScoutFreeholders Honor Outstanding Denville Eagle Scout

“This young man has completed a remarkable project that required extensive planning, design and hard work, and one that is now benefitting many people who access the county’s great open spaces,’’ said Freeholder Kathy DeFillippo. “We thank him for his efforts on behalf of all county residents, and wish him well on his future endeavors. He, obviously, is a future leader of our county, state and nation.’’

John Owens and volunteers installing bridge over Beaver Brook

For his Eagle Scout project, John over two years, along with a volunteer team, constructed and installed two 24-foot bridges over the Beaver Brook in Rockaway Township, which connected the state’s Wildcat Ridge Wildlife Management Area and the county Park Commission’s Jonathan’s Woods natural area.Freeholders Honor Outstanding Denville Eagle ScoutFreeholders Honor Outstanding Denville Eagle Scout

John solicited support and supplies from local businesses to help get the bridges built.

The bridges were constructed over several months, then disassembled, transported to the natural area, and then reassembled. Overall, the project spanned more than a year and took some 275 hours to complete

John, a 2016 graduate of Morris Knolls High School, is an avid outdoors sportsman, with a passion is outdoor sports, especially fast sports such as downhill mountain biking and snowboarding. He joined scouting as a Tiger Cub in Denville and participated over the years in numerous outdoor adventures and leadership experiences, leading to his tenure as Senior Patrol Leader and Eagle Scout.