Kent Boy Scout enlists community support to blaze new trail
KENT — Ashton Smith, a Kent Boy Scout, is something of an overachiever.
So with four years until the deadline for completion of his Eagle Scout project, Smith decided he’d get the work done now.
Smith’s plan is to blaze a new trail in Kent’s Currie Sanctuary. For the past few weeks, Smith has hiked the sanctuary to find the perfect spot, cold-called local businesses and officials to enlist support, and worked tirelessly to get everything ready for a half-day of trailblazing on Aug. 20.
With a week left, all the proper permits filled, and the community coming together to help, Smith said the project is looking good.
While Smith, 14, who is going into 9th grade, put in several hours of work already, it is what the community has done that’s most impressive, the teenager said.
Kent businesses the Panini Cafe and the Davis IGA both volunteered to donate snacks for the volunteers. The Kent Volunteer Fire Department will supply several firefighters and an ATV to the project; Michael Van Valkenburg, a selectman, has already donated wood and a half-day of work to build the trail’s newest black locust kiosk; and the Kent School has allowed for volunteers to park there, and they’ve even provided a mini-bus to get volunteers to the project site, Smith said.
“Kent helps anybody that needs it. Anybody that asks — you don’t even need to ask.” Van Valkenburg said. “It’s a small town thing.”
Although Smith has some volunteers already, he said, he could always use more for the 8 a.m. project on Aug. 20, and he’s asking anyone that could help to lend a hand.
It’s not easy to blaze a trail, he said. He’ll need tools: shovels, leaf blowers and rakes, he said. And he’ll need at least 20 folks to make the work manageable.
If you’re interested in helping Smith, he asks that you email him to RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org
email@example.com; 203-731-3411; @bglytton