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Of trials and trails

Son takes on Eagle Scout project after seeing dad recover

When Jim Ebersold noticed he was having trouble with his usual physical activities swimming, hiking and the like he went to the doctor. That appointment led not only to heart surgery last October, but to a community service project for his son.

In helping his father recover from the surgery, Cameron Ebersold discovered the site of his Eagle Scout project: the Elm Avenue Park's Fitness Trail.

"It was watching him recover on this trail when I realized working on the trail is the thing to do," he said. "It gets muddy and it makes it difficult to use. That's what I'm going to fix."

The trail is 1.3 miles long, much of it going through wooded areas. There are a number of stations where you can do 32 different exercises ranging from stretching to pull ups.

For Jim Ebersold, the stations provided the opportunity for some upper-body work, which he needed after the surgery. It's been a boon to his recovery.

"I knew it was here, and on and off I'd do it," he said. "Now, I have the motivation."

But both said the soggy terrain on the trail made it unpleasant to use, especially in the springtime. For those making casual use of the trail, the mud slicks can be a big turnoff.

"I've seen so many of them go up to the mud, turn around and come back," said Jim Ebersold.

So Cameron decided the trail would be an excellent place to conduct his Eagle Scout project. He thinks it will take about 80 tons of stone gravel to sufficiently cover the trail and prevent the muddy conditions.

Sixty tons of that has already been donated by Callanan Industries, but Cameron is looking for donations of money, volunteer labor and the use of a small vehicle like a Gator to haul the stone up the hill to where it's needed.

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