Eagle Scouts create new trail

November 6, 2009

By Tim Pfarr

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Boy Scouts Nathan Malmberg and Aaron Escamilla, both 17, led work parties in October to create a 300-foot extension to the Hazelwood Trail. The boys completed the project to become Eagle Scouts.

Volunteers create the first 300 feet of the new extension of the Hazelwood Trail. The extension will be 1,200 feet long and will proceed to Hazelwood Elementary School. By Tim Pfarr

Volunteers create the first 300 feet of the new extension of the Hazelwood Trail. The extension will be 1,200 feet long and will proceed to Hazelwood Elementary School. By Tim Pfarr

The Hazelwood Trail previously stopped about 800 feet east of Hazelwood Elementary School. Children often used the trail to get to school, but they were forced to cut through the forest to complete their trip.

As children cut through the forest, they created a crude footpath, which Parks Program Manager Michael Holly said became an unofficial extension to the trail.

However, a chain-linked fence blocks the footpath, and those who use the path are forced to crawl beneath the fence to continue to the school.

The new trail — which Holly said will officially become part of the Hazelwood Trail — will replace the footpath. When the new trail is finished, it will be 1,200 feet long and will end at the same location as the footpath.

On Oct. 10, Malmberg led a crew of 30 volunteers to create the first 150 feet of the trail, which begins on the south side of the Southeast 73rd Place cul-de-sac.

Malmberg said the first day was a success, and the trail looked nice.

“I didn’t know it was going to look that good,” he said.

On Oct. 17, Escamilla led a crew of 24 volunteers to create the next 150 feet of the trail. Escamilla said his day was a success as well.

“It looks a lot better,” he said, comparing the new trail to the old one. “We made it wider.”

Holly was on hand Oct. 10 to ensure the project began smoothly.

“This project is a slam-dunk for an Eagle Scout project,” Holly said. “This is a trail the community has wanted for five-plus years.”

Holly returned after Malmberg and Escamilla completed their projects.

“It looks great,” he said, adding that he was impressed with the cleanliness of the work. “I have a third Eagle Scout who is looking at possibly doing the next section of the trail around Thanksgiving time. We’re cruising.”

Holly said the Newcastle Trails group would complete what the Eagle Scout projects do not finish, and most of Newcastle Trails’ work will take place next spring and summer.

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