Young mountain bike riders will reap the merits of an Eagle Scout project at Rogers New Tech High School.
Mason Walker, a junior at the school, chiseled out a new mountain bike trail at the high school to complete his Eagle Scout project. A community service project is one requirement of the Boy Scouts to earn the high honor.
The 17-year-old member of Bentonville Troop 36 had plenty of help from fellow scouts, family and friends to build the trail. Area businesses donated about $2,000 for materials, including lumber for two curving boardwalks.
The mountain bike trail is 170 feet long in a patch of woods near the high school. Forest, a pond and wetland are features student cyclists see while pedaling along. It’s next to the Northwest Arkansas Razorback Greenway and anyone is welcome to veer off the concrete path and take a spin around the dirt trail.
A team of 25 built the trail over three Saturdays, Walker said. Construction of the two boardwalks was the hardest part. Helpers built sections of the boardwalk and carried them into the woods. Walker installed short wooden posts that keep the boardwalk about a foot off the moist ground.
An old trail formerly traversed the woodland, but it was overgrown from neglect with a rickety boardwalk. Classmates and teachers are happy to see the new trail.
“I’m glad he did it,” said Mason Lockman, a junior at New Tech and a friend of Walker’s. “You couldn’t even ride the old trail. Now we’ve got a good trail with a trustworthy bridge.”
The boardwalk is planked with “lumber” made of recycled plastic that should last for years. AERT of Springdale donated the planking.
Deb Walter, a physical education teacher at New Tech, said hundreds of students will ride on the trail during the school year. A biking unit is part of physical education class at New Tech. Students from Kirksey Middle School, just south of the high school, will also use the trail, she said.
Walker is pleased with the way the project turned out. Now that it’s finished, he will receive the rank of Eagle Scout during a ceremony in June.
Flip Putthoff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter@NWAFlip
Sports on 03/13/2018