Eagle Scout works for Raritan River access, health and safety
And through his volunteer work with the nonprofit Raritan Headwaters, Dionel has helped make the river a cleaner place.
“Throughout my time in Boy Scouts, I have become very passionate about the safety and conservation of our rivers and felt that it was natural to make it the focus of my Eagle Scout project,” said Dionel, a Ringoes resident who is a rising junior at Hunterdon Central Regional High School.
For his Eagle project, Dionel worked with the Hunterdon County Division of Parks & Recreation and Bedminster-based Raritan Headwater on a multi-faceted project to improve access to the river and make it cleaner.
The projected included: Preparing complete inventory of all access points of the South and North Branches of the Raritan River in Hunterdon, Morris and Somerset counties.
This includes GPS coordinates, descriptions and photos of access points, and other important information that will be helpful for future use.
He found that he enjoyed it, and he and his troop have since paddled all over New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
A year ago, Dionel signed up to paddle his home river as part of the Raritan River “Sojourn” sponsored by Raritan Headwaters.
He described the upper Raritan as very scenic — except for litter at various access points.
It’s amazing what people will leave.” For his Eagle Scout project, Dionel and his mother, Wanda, visited and evaluated approximately 150 spots along the river to identify the best places to put in and take out kayaks and canoes.
It’s a challenge I want to take further over time.” About Raritan Headwaters The largest watershed organization in New Jersey, Raritan Headwaters has been working since 1959 to protect, preserve and improve water quality and other natural resources of the Raritan River headwaters region through efforts in science, education, advocacy, land preservation and stewardship.