Sterling HeightsJune 29, 2012
Scouts give projects a boost
By Cortney Casey
C & G Staff Writer
The city and a local church can check a few items off long-standing “to do” lists, thanks to the handiwork of two Eagle Scout hopefuls.
The Clinton River Park Trail, a mountain bike route that winds throughout Sterling Heights, now boasts an informational kiosk at the trailhead on Edison Court, off of Clinton River Road, west of Schoenherr.
As his Eagle Scout project, Taylor Shirley, an eighth-grader at Shelby Junior High, constructed the shingle-roofed display and installed it this spring with the assistance of about a dozen volunteers from his troop, No. 1973, and his church, Church of the Latter Day Saints in Sterling Heights.
Posted on the wooden structure is a map of the trail system, sponsor acknowledgment signs and guidelines for users, such as riding only on open trails, leaving no trace, leashing their dogs, and for cyclists, yielding to pedestrians and giving an audible signal when passing.
Shirley funded half of the $130 cost with donations from friends and family members. Contributions from Back to the Beach Runners covered the rest, and Lowe’s in Clinton Township supplied materials at a deep discount.
“They were really generous,” said Shirley, who lives in Shelby Township.
Shirley said he has some experience building things with his father, but had never attempted a project requiring a roof before. “That was difficult,” he said.
Despite the challenges, Sterling Heights Police Sgt. Aaron Burgess, a passionate cyclist who’s helmed efforts to overhaul the trail over the last few years, said Shirley’s finished product turned out exactly as he’d hoped.
“I have had numerous park users compliment the information and the map kiosk,” he said. “It helps them navigate their way, particularly first-time users to the trail system.”
With the installation nearby of benches, donated by Rotary Club of Sterling Heights, and landscaping, purchased with support from American Cycle & Fitness, “it’s going to be an attractive area for people to rest during their physical pursuits,” said Burgess.
Across town, St. Blase Catholic Church was able to unload a project that’s been on a wish list for years: replacing the deteriorating wooden plank border surrounding flower beds on the facility’s west side, a highly visible area near the main driveway.
Enter parishioner Danny Monschau, a De La Salle freshman searching for an appropriate Eagle Scout project.
“He was looking to do something outdoors, and there’s always a wish list of things that could be done, and this was something that he kind of got excited about and felt like he wanted to take on,” said Tim Doppel, the parish business manager.
Monschau whipped up a plan, held a bowling fundraiser at Pampa Lanes and recruited volunteers, working in shifts over two days, to install a decorative brick retaining wall in place of the weathered wood.
“The Garden Club leader has actually been wanting that project done for years and years, and we actually got it done in the weekend,” said Monschau, a member of Troop 80 who lives in Sterling Heights. “We were pretty thrilled at that.”
Doppel called the end result “absolutely gorgeous.”
“The weekend after he completed it, Father Randy (Phillips), our pastor, actually had (Monschau) stand up during Mass … and the entire congregation gave him a nice big round of applause for all the work that he did,” he said. “It’s very professional. You would never know it was done by a bunch of Boy Scouts.”
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