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Eagle Scout Turns Unused Land Into Trail
The Yearlong Project Is Nearly Complete


In 2016, the Highbrook Avenue Bridge was listed as a historic place by the National Park Service, meaning it met at least one of the four requirements: event, person, design/construction or information potential. In this case, the bridge is historic for its design and construction.

A year ago, Eagle Scout Mike Ruggiero of Pelham, New York, began a public service project to transform 700 feet of historic land into a walking path for his community to enjoy. Once finished, the path will begin at the end of Pell Place, traverse Highbrook Avenue Bridge and end at Young Avenue.

To transform this area into a walking path, Ruggiero, with help from local landscaping companies and friends, cleared much of the path, leveled it, lined the trail with mulch and wood chips, and built a small retaining wall as well as two benches. He also hopes to include signs along the trail that will inform walkers of the historical significance of the bridge.

The bridge, which was recently added to the state's register of historic places, was once used for trains, but has since been decommissioned. Susan Mutti, the deputy mayor of Pelham, stated that the bridge could also serve as an excellent location for a garden in the future because it receives so much sunlight.

The trail still needs some safety fences installed and is slated to be open to the public before spring of 2018. Projects like this one highlight the potential for community members to come together and improve their cities, with landscaping, in an altruistic manner.

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August 19, 2019, 10:32 am PDT

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