James Thurman bridge

Boy Scout James Thurman with one of the two footbridges he built at Morgan Lake.

LA GRANDE — Walking and biking near the shore of the north end of Morgan Lake will be much easier when conditions are marshy thanks to the efforts of James Thurman, a La Grande Boy Scout.

Thurman built two 30-foot footbridges at the northeast end of the lake for his Eagle project. The bridges replaced two similar footbridges that were in poor condition. They were starting to “fall apart and rot,” Thurman wrote in a statement about his Eagle project.

Thurman stated it is important to have the two new footbridges at the site because in the spring conditions get marshy there, making it difficult for bikers and pedestrians to traverse through the area. He got the idea for the project after talking with Stu Spence, the director of the city of La Grande’s parks department.

The Boy Scout said he began the project by designing the footbridges with his father, Greg Thurman. Next, he removed the existing footbridges and installed concrete supports for the new ones.

“This was definitely the most difficult part of the project, as the ground was extremely tough and rocky,” the scout said.

Thurman hauled lumber to the site and cut it into desired lengths and constructed the footbridges with the help of 30 fellow Scouts, friends and community members.

Beeck Farms, the Beeck family and the La Grande Parks and Recreation Department donated funds to help with the build. Thurman also said his father and Spence played key roles in completing the footbridges.

Thurman said he owes a lot to Boy Scouts.

“Although I have nearly completed my time with the Scouting program, I will never stop being a Scout,” he wrote. “Throughout my seven years of involvement, I have received important life skills, (met) great friends and influential mentors and (made) countless memories that I will carry with me the rest of my life.”

LA GRANDE — Walking and biking near the shore of the north end of Morgan Lake will be much easier when conditions are marshy thanks to the efforts of James Thurman, a La Grande Boy Scout.

Thurman built two 30-foot footbridges at the north end of the lake for his Eagle project. The bridges replaced two similar footbridges that were in poor condition. They were starting to “fall apart and rot,” Thurman wrote in a statement about his Eagle project.

Thurman stated it is important to have the two new footbridges at the site because in the spring conditions get marshy there, making it difficult for bikers and pedestrians to traverse through the area. He got the idea for the project after talking with Stu Spence, the director of the city of La Grande’s parks department.

The Boy Scout said he began the project by designing the footbridges with his father, Greg Thurman. Next, he removed the existing footbridges and installed concrete supports for the new ones.

“This was definitely the most difficult part of the project, as the ground was extremely tough and rocky,” Thurman said.

Thurman hauled lumber to the site and cut it into desired lengths and constructed the footbridges with the help of 30 fellow Scouts, friends and community members.

Beeck Farms, the Beeck family and the La Grande Parks and Recreation Department donated funds to help with the build. Thurman also said his father and Spence played key roles in completing the footbridges.

Thurman said he owes a lot to Boy Scouts.

“Although I have nearly completed my time with the Scouting program, I will never stop being a Scout,” he wrote. “Throughout my seven years of involvement, I have received important life skills, (met) great friends and influential mentors and (made) countless memories that I will carry with me the rest of my life.”

General assignment reporter

Beats include the communities of North Powder, Imbler, Island City and Union, education, Union County veterans programs and local history. Dick joined The Observer in 1983, first working as a sports and outdoors reporter.

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