Shelton scout’s creation makes for safer hiking

Photo of Brian Gioiele

SHELTON — A Shelton teen’s Eagle Scout project is making crossing the Round Hill Brook — which runs through the Paugussett trail on the Monroe-Shelton line — a lot less dangerous.

Korey Barber, a Boy Scout with the Housatonic Troop 27 Life Scout and a rising senior at Shelton High School, organized the construction of a bridge on the trail crossing the brook. Work on the bridge, which is in Webb Mountain Park in Monroe but crosses into Shelton, was completed this past weekend.

“The inspiration to undertake this project came from what I like to do,” Barber said. “I have always liked to build things with my father and do things with my hands. I also like to go on hikes with my troop and realized the difficulty of crossing the brook.

“I think that after I finish building the bridge this weekend,” Barber added, “I am going to feel proud that I was able to help out the community and the people who use the trails by making the crossing easier and safer.”

Barber said he chose the bridge for his Eagle Scout project because, as a frequent hiker in that area, he found it extremely difficult to cross the brook, as the rocks can become slippery when wet.

“There was only one other idea for a project I had considered and that was building another bridge farther up the trail,” Barber added. “I chose this bridge over the other one because it was needed more at this location.”

Barber credited Lucas Carreria, the community coordinator for the Derby Lowes who has donated the wood and supplies that he had requested and Lowes volunteers, who are also helping build the bridge, for their help on the project.

A lifelong Shelton resident, Barber also worked with both the Shelton and Monroe parks and recreation departments, Inland Wetland, Trail and Conservation committees to help create the asset to those hiking the trails.

Barber said Rob Wokanovicz, Robert Mcguire II and Frank Turcheck were adult leaders in his troop who provided guidance through the process. Mcguire, a father in the troop, also donated tools for the project.

While the Derby Lowes donated the wood and supplies needed to build the bridge, Barber said he held a can and bottle drive to raise funds for additional expenses.

“I became interested in this project when camping with my Boy Scout Troop and hiking in the area,” Barber said. “The water would often be rushing over the stream and it would be difficult to cross.

“Hikers would have to jump from rock to rock or walk through the water to cross it,” Barber added. “These rocks are slippery and moss covered. The bridge will make the trail accessible and safer for more to use the trail.”

Achieving Eagle Scout status is a proud moment for Barber, who said he has spent years in scouting.

“The biggest reason why I stuck with scouting was my friends,” Barber said. “They made the entire experience better, and I have tons of great memories with them.

“Another reason why I stayed in scouting was that I enjoyed all of the activities that we did as a troop,” Barber added. “Completing this task has made me glad that I put as much time into scouting as I did.”

Barber has not yet chosen a college, but he says he is planning on studying engineering.