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Happy trails

Craig Middle School students work together to make a new path

David Pressgrove
Trent Parrott wheels an empty wheelbarrow over a bridge past two classmates Wednesday morning at the Public Safety Center. Parrott and about 90 other Craig Middle School seventh-graders help lengthen the trail at the pond as part of a community service project.
David Pressgrove

— When Darby Andrews visits Craig with her family 20 years from now, she knows one place she’ll go.

“I can come back here with my children and tell them I helped make the trail here,” she said looking out over the new trail at the Little Rascals Pond at the Public Safety Center.

On Wednesday Andrews and more than 90 other seventh- graders from Craig Middle School added 70 to 80 yards to the walking trail around the popular fishing hole.

Last year, the seventh-grade teachers from the “blue team” at CMS decided that their students needed to get out more.

Teacher Sharon Thompson said her team thought the pond would be a great place to take students for a community service project.

“This is a place where a lot of them have spent time,” she said. “It’s a safe and good place to encourage kids to be. It’s a good way to teach them the importance of giving back to their community.”

Last year, students planted trees. This year, they converted a pile of rock and dirt into the walking trail.

A few complaints were voiced about buckets of dirt being too heavy or hands getting dirty, but for the most part smiles were visible and laughter was audible.

“It was good to get some fresh air and take a break from schoolwork,” Tony Alonso said. “But at the same time, we also got something done.”

Four teachers, Don Guffy, Nikki Beckum, Brynna Vogt and Thompson, supervised the students as they worked together in different groups. Some were a part of the “bucket brigade,” which was an assembly line passing buckets from the pile to the trail and back. Others took wheelbarrows full of dirt to and from the path.

Another group helped fill the buckets and wheelbarrows. A fourth group helped lay down the trail.

Once the trail was laid down, the students all “bunny hopped” to flatten the trail out.

“It was actually a lot more fun than I thought it would be,” Kelsie Pomeroy said. “We were tossing buckets to each other and having a good time.”

Trent Parrott, who said the project was a good way for the “little people” to give back to the community, also liked the teamwork aspect of the project.

“We had to work together or it wouldn’t have gone well,” he said. “I thought we learned how to get along.”

The blue team spent about 90 minutes working at the pond, and afterward, they had a barbecue to celebrate.

“I think this is something that kids are going to remember doing for a while,” Thompson said. “I had one eighth grader ask me today if he could go with us because he had so much fun last year.”


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