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Chester County Press

Eagle Scout builds pedestrian bridge in Franklin Township

08/12/2019 01:33PM ● By J. Chambless

Eagle Scout Ethan Shovlin at the ceremony marking the opening of the pedestrian bridge, with his father, Neal Shovlin.

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

An ambitious Eagle Scout project has resulted in a pedestrian bridge connecting local trails in the Wyndemere neighborhood in Franklin Township. A ceremony marked the opening on Aug. 6.

Wyndemere is on Church Hill Road in the township, just north of Auburn Road. A trail through the back of the neighborhood was provided by the builder and was completed in November 2016. However, no bridge was included in the contract.

Franklin Township officials saw a need for a connecting bridge, and offered to supply all the materials to any volunteers who could construct the project. In the spring of 2019, Ethan Shovlin approached the township with a proposal to build the bridge as his Eagle Scout project. He had the support of the Wyndemere homeowners association and a group of volunteers from the township.

At the ceremony, Mike Petka, the homeowners association president, thanked Shovlin for his work. John Auerbach, chairman of the Franklin Township Board of Supervisors, said at the event, “Ethan did a great job in managing all elements of the project -- research, project scope development, planning, effectively engaging people and material resources, project execution, cleanup, and completion. Managing all these elements, essentially converting an idea into a completed facility, is no easy task. It is an enormous transformation conducted by a young man with talent and determination.

“My 25 years of work experience as a project engineer for large industrial projects gives me a professional overview,” Auerbach continued. “I can tell you that Ethan managed this project very well and I would be pleased to have him on any project that I manage. Typically, Franklin Township provides up to $500 for materials for Eagle Scout projects. In addition, scouts can get their own donations. In this case, Franklin Township provided all the materials, approximately $2,100 & $575. The materials were purchased at Oxford Feed & Lumber and Lowe’s. Because material was used in an Eagle Scout project, Oxford provided a significant discount.

“This is certainly one of the more complex Eagle Scout projects that has been presented to the township and required significant support from volunteers,” Auerbach concluded. “This is a great community service project.”

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email

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