Trumbull Eagle Scout builds bridge at Beardsley Zoo habitat

Photo of Amanda Cuda

Eagle Scout Luke Strong has helped Connecticut’s Beardsely Zoo get all of its ducks in a row — or, at least he’s helping to keep the birds well-covered.

Strong decided to build a covered bridge over the duck pond at the zoo’s New England Farmyard habitat as his Eagle Scout service project.

“I thought it would be a good challenge,” said Strong, a Trumbull High School junior, in a written comment.

The service project is a way for Eagle Scouts to demonstrate leadership while benefiting the community.

The zoo’s New England Farmyard showcases domestic species that are in danger of disappearing. The farmyard includes newly built barns, pastures, and enclosures for goats, cows, miniature horses, Guinea hogs, chickens, geese, and ducks.

Strong raised about $2,000 for the project through a GoFundMe page, and the zoo also contributed funds. Strong worked on the project with an engineer, some of his fellow scouts and a group of union carpenters.

The zoo associate curator Rob Tomas assisted with planning and construction.

Strong conceived of the idea in early 2021 and started designing the bridge the following summer. It took almost a full year from conception of the idea in winter 2021 to designing the bridge in summer 2021. Building commenced in November.

Strong has achieved his Eagle Scout rank due to the project.

“We’re extremely pleased with the way the bridge turned out,” Thomas wrote. “It adds the right touch of historic New England charm to the farmyard. Every aspect of the project went very smoothly, and it’s a well-planned and well-built bridge.”