DENVILLE, NJ – A Denville teen was honored on Wednesday by county officials who praised his Eagle Scout Project: The construction and installation of two bridges that span Beaver Brook in Rockaway Township.
The Scout, John Owens, was presented with a certificate of achievement from the Morris County freeholders. The board called his bridge project “ambitious” and “remarkable” and said it will benefit people who enjoy hiking in the county’s open spaces.
Owens, of Scout Troop 118 in Denville, is a freshman at the Rochester Institute of Technology and studying mechanical engineering. The former Morris Knolls High School student received his Eagle Scout designation on Jan. 8, said Morris County spokesman Larry Ragonese in a statement.
He said Owens, with help from a team of volunteers, built and installed two 24-foot bridges over Beaver Brook. The bridges connected the state’s Wildcat Ridge Wildlife Management Area and the county Park Commission’s Jonathan’s Woods natural area, Ragonese said.
Owen received support and supplies from local businesses. “The bridges were constructed over several months, then disassembled, transported to the natural area and then reassembled,” said Ragonese. He said the project spanned more than a year and took some 275 hours to complete.
“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.’’
Owens graduated last year from Morris Knolls High School. He is described as being an “avid outdoors sportsman,” passionate about “fast sports such as downhill mountain biking and snowboarding.”
Owens started in Scouting as a Tiger Cub in Denville, rising in the ranks to become a Senior Patrol Leader and Eagle Scout.