Jonathon Weaver, of St. Clair Shores, built two wheelchair-accessible picnic tables as part of his Eagle Scout project.

Jonathon Weaver, of St. Clair Shores, built two wheelchair-accessible picnic tables as part of his Eagle Scout project.

Photo provided by Jonathon Weaver


Scout constructs wheelchair-accessible picnic tables

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published May 31, 2019

 Weaver, in red, and fellow Boy Scouts Peter Wotta, Simon House, Octavio Galindo and Ryan Peters, along with members of the Shorewood Kiwanis and troop leaders, stand by one of the finished picnic tables.

Weaver, in red, and fellow Boy Scouts Peter Wotta, Simon House, Octavio Galindo and Ryan Peters, along with members of the Shorewood Kiwanis and troop leaders, stand by one of the finished picnic tables.

Photo provided by Jonathon Weaver

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — It’s something many people take for granted — going into a park for a picnic and having a seat at whatever picnic table is available.

But for those in a wheelchair, it may not be that easy. They can’t sit on the side like most other people, and if they try to pull up to an end, there are often table legs in the way.

That’s a problem Jonathon Weaver wanted to solve at Veterans Memorial Park, 32400 Jefferson Ave., with his Eagle Scout project.

Weaver, who is finishing up his junior year at Lake Shore High School, is considered legally blind.

Technically, he said, he can see out of one eye without glasses, but because he is “part of the disabled community and I wanted to help other people in the community,” he chose to build wheelchair-accessible picnic tables for a park in St. Clair Shores as part of his journey to becoming an Eagle Scout.

“I went to the St. Clair Shores Playground Program when I was younger, so I thought it’d be a good way to give back to both communities at once,” he said.

The picnic tables that he and his friends constructed for the park have legs that are curved inward at each end to accommodate a wheelchair. He raised money for the project with a bottle drive at his school and with a large donation from the Shorewood Kiwanis.

Building the picnic tables didn’t take that much time and effort, Weaver said. Instead, “the paperwork was the hard part.”

“I learned a lot from it.”

Weaver said the project taught him responsibility, organization and leadership skills.

St. Clair Shores Parks and Recreation Director Henry Bowman said that the park is a great site for Weaver’s project.

“Veterans (Memorial) Park is easily our most visited park in the city of St. Clair Shores, and having this type of table over there where we can actually roll up multiple wheelchairs to it gives us so much more accessibility than anywhere else,” Bowman said.

The picnic tables are heavy duty and “gorgeous,” Bowman said, and really create an atmosphere of an inclusive community to be able to enjoy the park.

“Our community is about every person, whether they’re walking in, rolling in, being carried in. It doesn’t matter — we’re welcoming them all,” he said.

Bowman said he is also thrilled to support a Boy Scout in his endeavor to attain the rank of Eagle Scout.

“I’m really glad this actually got done,” Weaver said. “I’m glad that this project finally has something tangible that other people can use and enjoy and it can help them.

“This whole thing has been a great learning experience, and I’m glad I did it.”

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