Eagle Scouts Refurbish & Rebuild Catwalk
Ward Acres Conservancy is again grateful to the Boy Scouts of America, Troop 11 New Rochelle, Greg Vajda, Scoutmaster, for major projects completed in the Park. Two of the troup’s members, Eagle Scout candidate Daren Manning and Eagle Scout candidate Joao Santo, earlier this year conducted their Eagle Projects on the Colonial Greenway Trail in Ward Acres Park, rebuilding or replacing about 170 linear feet of “catwalk” bridges that were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Ida in 2021. (Interesting fact: Troop 11NR Eagle Scout M. Csenge had earlier built the original damaged catwalks and bridges on the Colonial Greenway Trail in 2006 as his own Eagle Scout project!).
Eagle Scout candidate Daren Manning is a life scout. His project was to refurbish the existing bridges on the trail, focusing on the two longest catwalks that were in the greatest need of repair from the hurricane damage. Daren dismantled the 70’ bridge, replaced broken framing and secured the footing in place with 16, 80lbs bags of cement. He also installed 163 new 2x6 deck boards and replaced all the railings and guard rails. The final step was new grip tape on the bridge ramp and decking. For the smaller catwalk Daren also reattached the ramps, repaired boards, secured the handrails, and installed new grip tape on the decking for better footing. Lastly he applied 9 yards of mulch in different areas of the trail until the final bridge is constructed.
Eagle Scout candidate and life scout Joao Santo rebuilt the other long bridge from scratch, measuring 100’ foot long by 4 1/2’ wide. He installed all new trusses and framing, then covered the bridge with new 6” decking and new handrails and a middle guard rail.
Each of these scouts had to plan, specify and acquire all necessary materials, and arrange for volunteers to help execute the project. The main purpose is for them to show leadership and gain experience for what they will face as they head to college and the real world.
“I’m proud of these 2 young men. They have put in a great deal of hard work to get to this point. We want to thank the city of NR including Parks Commissioner Vin Parise, Park Supervisor Brian O’Rourke, and Rob Maravilla for working with our scouts to help them accomplish their projects.” —Greg Vajda, Scoutmaster for Troop 11 NR.