Boy Scout Troop 22 was hard at work last week making improvements to the triangular plot of land at the intersection of John F. Kennedy Drive and Liberty Street, a popular destination on the Morris Canal Greenway.
The project was started by Brendan Somers, an Eagle Scout Candidate from Boy Scout Troop 22, Church of St. Thomas the Apostle, which has a healthy mix of scouts from Bloomfield and Nutley. Flower beds have been created and improvements such as a paver walkway and informational kiosk are currently in the works. Decorative flowers will be planted in the Spring around the existing monument that was installed by local boy scouts over 50 years ago. A plaque will be added to the back of the existing monument to commemorate the current improvements.
“It is inspiring to see young people take an active role in improving their community. We are very fortunate to have a tremendous asset like the Morris Canal Greenway in Bloomfield and it’s great that the Boy Scouts have taken an active role in its creation, implementation and improvements,” said Michael Sceurman, director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs. “In addition to the Boy Scouts, many people have brought the Morris Canal Greenway from concept to reality in Bloomfield. Our DPW and Parks crew, Councilman Rich Rockwell and Freeholder Carlos Pomares have been instrumental in its success. Our mobile app has taken the user’s experience to the next level and I encourage everyone to download this free app and see all that the Greenway has to offer!”
“When I came here to Bloomfield, there were a lot more things to do, a lot more people ready to help get started on a restoration project,” said Eagle Scout Brendan Somers, of Troop 22 and a Junior at Nutley High School. “We are finishing up the flower bed this week and we hope to set the paver walkway and lay mulch and plant in the spring.”
“We are looking forward to refurbishing the existing monument site and adding a new informational kiosk commemorating the history of this canal, which was built almost two hundred years ago and served as a key part of the region’s economy,” said Essex County Freeholder & former Bloomfield Councilman Carlos Pomares, who is also the Chairman of the Bloomfield Morris Canal Greenway Committee. “I commend these Scouts for taking an interest in this project which enhances not just Bloomfield, but every town through which the canal runs with its history and its natural beauty.”
The Morris Canal was built from 1825 to 1831 to transport Pennsylvania coal to markets in New Jersey and New York. Known as the “Mountain Climbing Canal,” it overcame an elevation change of 1,674 feet over the entire northern part of New Jersey through the use of inclined planes. This feature alone makes the Morris Canal a national engineering marvel. It stretches 102 miles across six counties: Warren, Sussex, Morris, Passaic, Essex and Hudson.