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LEHI — Ethan Blood has earned many merit badges as a Boy Scout. He says his favorite is cooking.
"It was fun. You got to eat food after," he said.
Eagle Scout candidates are required to organize a project that will show leadership and benefit the community. Blood, who lives along Traverse Mountain in Lehi, came up with a very ambitious project to help ensure the safety of kids in the neighborhood.
"I was thinking of a flagpole," he said. But his Scout leaders inspired him to think about something even bigger, especially after a new charter school was built nearby, at 1650 W. Traverse Terrace Drive.
"You should do a trail. Kids at this school are going down a cliff, this will help out the community and get kids safely to school," Blood said.
With no merit badge for "trail building" to follow, it took a lot of effort to put together a plan for the property, owned by the local homeowner’s association.
"I had to come to the site, get pictures of it, see how long the trail would be," he said.
With a distance of 450 feet, having to level a steep slope and build the trail 8 feet wide, Blood had his work cut out for him. "So it is just sloped. Instead of stairs, we wanted it sloped down," he added.
Blood had to organize 600 man hours of volunteer labor and secure donations from local companies and businesses who provided heavy equipment, 120 tons of road base and even the doughnuts to help fuel the manpower. "All donated, from emails and calls," he said.
The trail also leads to property where there are future plans for a community park. But for Blood, this project taught him much more than just digging in the dirt.
"Keep on doing it. Don't give up, even if it is super hard. Just keep on going. If someone says they can't help you, try finding someone else and try working around that idea," he said.
Even though the school year is about to end, Ethan says he will keep a close eye on the trail over the summer so it is well-maintained when school starts again in the fall.