MONTVILLE, NJ – The Montville Township Dog Park has a new pergola, thanks to Eagle Scout candidate Michael Manetta, who led members of Montville Boy Scout Troop 74 in the construction project on April 2.

A pergola is a wooden gazebo-like structure, with seating. The structure is approximately 10 x 10 feet square with a pitched roof.

Manetta, who is currently a Life Scout and a tenth grader at Montville Township High School, worked with John Perry, Montville Township’s Director of Water and Sewer Department and Montville Township Administrator Victor Canning, to complete the project.

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Manetta started planning the project in December, he said. In January he appeared before the Montville Township Committee and obtained approval. The Dog Park Committee provided the approximately $1,225 needed for the project.

“It took many months of careful planning and hard work,” Manetta said.

Next steps include a report detailing his leadership in the completion of the project, according to Troop 74 Scout Master Patrick Phalen.

“Michael has completed all of his 21 required merit badges, including the 13 that are specifically required to earn the Eagle Scout rank,” Phalen said.

Once the application is approved by the Dog Park Committee and the Boy Scouts Council, Manetta will have to appear before a formal board of review, Phalen said. Once the review is complete, he will have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.

Letitia Huffstutler, Recording Secretary for the Dog Park Committee, said, “I love the new pergola! I think it brings beautiful curb appeal to the park. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, it will bring much needed shade to the humans as well as our canine companions. I am hoping another Eagle Scout can build a matching one soon!”

Deputy Mayor Frank Cooney, who is also liaison to the Dog Park Committee, said, “The Township Committee, as well as the Dog Park members, are extremely appreciative of the new pergola which is going to provide shade for the dogs during the hot summer months and is also aesthetically pleasing.”

Manetta was also a Veterans of Foreign War Post 5481 essay contest finalist; read about it here.