Originally published in The Weekly Packet, September 13, 2018
Boy Scout and friends break trail in Blue Hill
Blue Hill eighth grader William Kaiser stands at the Y where his new trail breaks off from an existing trail from Parker Point Road to South Street. Kaiser is building a new Blue Hill Heritage Trust trail, with help from fellow scouts and BHHT Associate Director George Fields.
by Anne Berleant
When local scout William Kaiser began thinking of his final project to qualify him as an Eagle Scout, the highest Boy Scout rank there is, he first came up blank.
“I had no idea,” he said. Then, a family friend suggested he call Blue Hill Heritage Trust, so he set up a meeting.
That first step in itself was a challenge for the Blue Hill eighth grader.
“I was really nervous at first, but after I completed it I was happy that I completed something myself,” he said.
Kaiser first reached Development and Outreach Director Chrissy Allen, who set him up with Associate Director George Fields.
“He had this project in mind,” Kaiser said, that fit perfectly with a $10,000 AARP grant the Trust had recently received towards building an age-friendly walking path with resting benches.
Fields worked with Kaiser to design and create what will be a 300-foot trail linking the BHHT Parker Point Road trail that leads up to South Street from Dodge Fountain, with the age-friendly trail that will begin behind the George Stevens Academy residence hall on Tenney Hill. Kaiser will also build three benches for the new walking path.
But he’s not doing all of this on his own. As an Eagle Scout final project, he has to lead the project, not do all the work, so other scouts have already pitched in to help with clearing brush, digging out roots, and compacting the trail after the chainsaw work, which the boys left to BHHT. They also removed duff—loose topsoil—and bench cut, which he explained as taking dirt from higher elevations to fill in any divots. Kaiser has led two sessions, so far, with hopes for the trail to be completed by October.
“I’m really excited about what we’re doing,” he said.
In designing the trail with Fields, Kaiser received a lesson in erosion and the way a landscape lies.
For the benches, he will raise his carpentry skill. “It’s a little bit more than I’ve done before,” he admits, but as a scout, he will get help from leaders, especially with the power tools. Lumber has been donated and Kaiser will bring it to scout meetings for a team effort in crafting traditional benches with arm rests and backs, to go with the age-friendly walking path.
“We are really excited to be working with Will,” Allen said, “and thrilled he brought some friends along as well.”