About This Location
The Beardsley Zoo Covered Bridge in Bridgeport, Connecticut, is a picturesque addition to the zoo's enchanting landscape. This charming covered bridge, which spans the duck pond in the New England Farmyard, owes its existence to the dedicated efforts of Trumbull Eagle Scout Luke Strong, a junior at Trumbull High School with a passion for architecture and a deep affection for the zoo.
Luke's connection to the Beardsley Zoo dates back to his childhood, where he spent countless joyful hours exploring its wonders. As he sought a meaningful way to give back to the place he held dear, he envisioned a covered bridge gracefully spanning the waterway inhabited by a diverse population of ducks and geese. Inspired by his future career aspirations as an architect, he conceived of this project as his Eagle Scout Service Project.
The Eagle Scout Service Project is an opportunity for Scouts to showcase their leadership skills while making a substantial contribution to their community. Luke's project embodied both his vision and commitment to the community. To fund the endeavor, he raised approximately $2,000 through a GoFundMe campaign, with additional support from the zoo itself, as it qualified as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
The bridge's construction was a collaborative effort that spanned approximately two years, representing a significant community endeavor. Construction commenced in November and was completed in February 2022, marking a momentous achievement for Luke and the entire community. The Beardsley Zoo Covered Bridge is now a beloved landmark within the zoo grounds.
Luke's ambitious project involved working with an engineer named Kevin Chamberlain to design the bridge and create a materials list. Alongside three union carpenters and some scouts from his troop, they labored diligently to bring his vision to life. The zoo's Associate Curator, Rob Tomas, played a pivotal role in planning and overseeing the construction process.
Luke expressed his immense satisfaction and pride in the completed bridge, stating, "I'm very happy with it, and I'm very proud. I'd been picturing it in my head for so long!" Rob Tomas, the Zoo's Associate Curator, shared Luke's sentiment, praising the bridge for adding a touch of historic New England charm to the Farmyard.
In addition to earning his Eagle Scout rank, Luke Strong is actively engaged in the Technical Engineering path offered at the Bridgeport Regional Aquaculture Science and Technology Education Center. He is currently working on his next project—constructing a paddleboard as part of his Marine Construction coursework.
The New England Farmyard at Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo serves as a sanctuary for heritage breed animals, domestic species that play a crucial role in preserving biodiversity and offer resilience to changing climates. This area features newly built barns, pastures, and enclosures housing a variety of animals, including goats, cows, miniature horses, Guinea hogs, chickens, geese, and ducks.
Visitors to Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo can explore the charming Beardsley Zoo Covered Bridge and witness the fascinating array of animals in the New England Farmyard. Please note that admission to the zoo is required to visit the covered bridge, ensuring that this delightful addition remains accessible to all who cherish the zoo's wonders.