Eagle Scout Project completes final bridge on trail near Harford Community College

Eagle Scout candidate Travis Stewart and members of Troop 564 built the final bridge connecting Prospect Mill Park with the Cook-Wall Trail on Saturday, May 31.

"I would like to personally thank the scouts and volunteers that have made this possible," Travis said.

The bridge is the fourth and final one along the trail that opened last year.

The biking and walking trail, connecting Prospect Mill Park with the west end of the HCC campus at the observatory, is named for Eric Cook and Ronnie Walls, who led the community effort to clear a 1.1.-mile path through the woods from Prospect Mill to the college's Observatory off of Thomas Run Road.

Walls lives in the neighborhood around Prospect Mill Road and is a former Harford Community College student. He said he worked seven years to establish a permanent trail along a route blazed by students looking for a safe biking route and by nature lovers in the area.

The trail opened in the spring of 2013, and last November the HCC Board of Trustees voted to name the trail in honor of Cook and Walls.

Local Boy Scouts assisted Cook and Walls with the construction of the first three wooden bridges over creeks that run through the woods, while an earlier Eagle Scout candidate, Ian Ziemski, led an effort to install signs and clean out piles of trash and debris from the woods during his Eagle service project late last October.

HCC provided access to the land, lumber for the bridges and signage on both ends of the trail.

All that was left was to build the fourth bridge, which became Travis' Eagle Project, once HCC had secured clearance to built the structure in a county-owned easement.

This past Saturday, the scouts of Troop 564 celebrated National Trails Day at the Harford Community College observatory, where visitors could take hikes, and learn about volunteer training and future workshops.

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