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Eagle Scout Sets Plans For Nature Trail

A Parsippany Hills High School student will build a nature trail later this month by Court Road where residents can enjoy many outdoor activities.

Ryan Byrne, an Eagle Scout member of troop 39 in Morris Plains, has plans to build a hiking and nature trail path later this month for a Scout project.

Byrne, 16, is going to build the path on April 21 and 22 with the help of some of his other troop members.

The path will run parallel to Court Road, and will connect to two other existing trails between Route 202 and American Road. Once Ryan's section of the trail is completed, the entire walkway will be about one mile.

The two trails that Ryan's section will connect to are a circular path that reaches Route 202 by the 9/11 Memorial and , and one that extends all the way down to American Road along a section of five commercial buildings. 

The trail will be used for hiking, biking, and other fun outdoor activities. 

"I think it will be a nice thing for people to enjoy," Byrne said. "They can get outside, exercise, or just enjoy the trail."

Byrne said he has worked on several other trails for different Eagle Scout projects. He chose this project from a list that his Scoutmaster gave him. 

Byrne has been working with Morris Plains Councilman George Coogan on this project. Two weeks ago, they marked the path and put stakes on where it's going to go. When they build it in two weeks, they're going spread quarry stones evenly throughout the walkway.

Coogan said he has plans for later this year to put informative signboards on the trail. He wants to have some boards with pictures of the leaves and the names of the trees for people to learn from. Coogan also plans on creating boards with history of the area.

One significant piece of history that Coogan pointed out is that the area by the commercial buildings used to be  a quarry in the early 1900s. There is currently a pond in the middle of the buildings, which is the remnants from the quarry. The quarry ran from Hanover Road to American Road up until the part of the path Byrne is going to create. The trail will be in the northern end of what used to be the quarry.

The quarry was there until the 1970s, until it was sold to Baker Properties, who then built the five commercial buildings.

"A lot of people don't know that there was a quarry back there, now all they see are big office buildings and a nice pond," Coogan said.

Residents can use the new trail to workout, relax, take a break during work, or to just learn about the town. It's located away from major highways and roads, so people can enjoy the nature in a calm atmosphere.

"It's a great thing to do on a beautiful day," Byrne said.

Kevin April 16, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Is this his project to become an Eagle scout, or an additional project he is leading after already doing a service project for his Eagle award? Either way, sounds like a great kid doing wonderful things! Keep it up...

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