Quaker Valley junior builds 2 ATV bridges for the Eagle Scout project
Spencer Wiehe, a junior at Quaker Valley High School has a passion for mountain biking.
The combination of speed, terrain and the beauty of nature can attract many teenagers to this hobby.
It was in part this love of cycling that led Wiehe to choose his Eagle Scout project. With the help of Trail Pittsburgh, Wiehe built two mountain bike bridges in North Park.
The process took about six months from start to finish. The goal of Eagle Scout projects is not only to do something good for the community, but also to ensure that a Scout demonstrates the necessary leadership qualities as an adult.
Wiehe had several tasks that he himself had to accomplish before enlisting volunteers and building the bridges.
The steps included choosing a project; create a budget and establish funds for the project; draft a proposal for approval by regional leaders; recruit volunteers; complete the project; and discuss the project with a review committee.
With the help of some 20 Scouts and volunteers, the two bridges were completed over two weekends in October.
“Seeing the outpouring of answers really makes you see that people are there for you,” Wiehe said.
Jamie Pfaeffle, a volunteer at Trail Pittsburgh, helped Wiehe coordinate the project and echoed his sentiments.
“Trail Pittsburgh has had many scouts to help with projects over time, and I’ve never had a bad experience with any. They are always well organized and have a full additional support team thanks to volunteers and Scout families.
While municipalities and the Commonwealth can manage various aspects of park maintenance, there is always more to do.
“The areas that Spencer improved are used very well, in part because of the proximity to the Nature Center. Mountain bikers, trail runners, dog walkers and those who participate in guided nature hikes all use this area and will benefit from Spencer’s work, ”said Pfaeffle. It will also help naturalists in the region to access wetlands. Without volunteers to help, there would be none of these great public trails.
Spencer lives in Sewickley with his father, Oliver, and sister, Grace. His family has a long history of Scout accomplishments. Her father is the Scout Leader of Troop 243, her brother, Travis, 22, has reached the rank of Eagle Scout, and her sister, Elizabeth, 20, is a Gold Award recipient in Girl Scouts.