ROXBURY, NJ – A Roxbury Boy Scout is hoping to make it easier for people to go kayaking on a local pond.

The Scout, 16-year-old Corey Smith, is raising money to build a floating kayak launch off the shoreline of Black River Pond in Succasunna. It will be an Eagle Scout project for Smith, a member of Roxbury Boy Scout Troop 159, who will be a junior at Roxbury High School in the fall.

So far, Smith has raised about $1,100 of the approximately $2,000 he needs to buy supplies for the kayak launch. He said he hopes to have the launch installed by the end of this summer.

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“I wanted to bring more awareness and notice to the sport of kayaking and get people to be able to get out there easier,” Smith said. “It’s hard to get in a kayak, so I wanted it to be easier to get in and to actually enjoy the outdoors and everything.”

The 18-foot-long floating platform will be installed in the pond access area near the Black River Park parking lot on Main Street across from the Suburban Furniture store.  

“I already talked to the township and had the town engineer look over my sketches,” Smith said. “He is OK with it.”

The Scout said the kayak launch will become township property under the control of the Roxbury Recreation Department.

He said he initially considered installing the launch at Horseshoe Lake, but that would have conflicted with a kayak and paddleboard rental venture on the lake that was operated by Ramsey Outdoor (and is not taking place this year).

“It just made better sense to do it at Black River Park,” Smith said.

The launch will be made of pressure-treated lumber and plastic floats. “It’s just like a basic floating dock, but it has special things where you can hold yourself while getting into the kayak,” Smith said. “It’s lower to the water, so it’s easier to get in the kayak.”

Smith said he is getting guidance from his grandfather, who formerly owned a business that installed floating docks.

The launch will be tethered to land and will be removable in the winter. “You don’t have to take it out, but you can,” Smith said.

Those who want to donate to the project can call Smith at 973-936-3929 or send him an email. The Roxbury Rotary Club donated $250 and, in a letter thanking the club, Smith wrote, "As a thank you to all my sponsors, I will be engraving their name or company name into the face deck boards for all to see for many years to come."

If it comes to fruition, the kayak launch will become part of the Smith family’s legacy of Scout-oriented projects in the town. Smith’s brother Ben’s Eagle Scout project was a Welcome to Roxbury sign near the former Ledgewood Circle. His father, Kyle, built a similar display at the intersection of Route 10 and Eyland Avenue when he was a Boy Scout.

That's not all: For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, Smith's sister, Anna, created the sign at the entrance to the West Morris Greenway trail behind the Horseshoe Lake soccer field.

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