Workers removed numerous trees on the south side of an all-purpose trial last October while adding a new underground pipeline on the north end of Westwind Drive west of Seaward Way. The work was part of a sewer and stormwater separation project.
Enter Adam Dixon, 17, and a longtime Boy Scout hoping to earn Eagle Scout honors. For his project, Adam hopes to plant 13 trees along the 464-foot, or roughly 0.1-mile trail. Prior to the city work, Adam said, 10 feet of grass and trees bordered the path on both sides.
Neither Adam nor his mother, Beth Dixon, is sure how many trees the city removed during the two-year project. Dixon said the tree canopy used to completely cover the trail. That is no longer the case.
On a GoFundMe page Dixon organized, Adam states his project is among the most expensive Eagle Scout undertakings planned in the past five years by his troop, Troop 334 of Avon Lake.
“I was not planning on the current world situation when I came up with the project, but I still want to see this tree-lined path restored in my city,” Adam said. “Many of my previous fundraising plans are no longer possible due to COVID, so any donation is welcome.”
Funding appears to no longer be an issue. Trees alone will cost $2,800 at approximately $200 each.
But last week Dixon reported the GoFundMe page was a success and the goal of $2,500 had been achieved. The now closed page states the project is fully funded. Dixon said her son will plant the new trees Oct. 25.
Adam hopes to plant nine sunset maples and five crabapple trees. Dixon said those trees will be more colorful than the oaks and maples that previously lined the trail.
“This will give the trail more color and restore the shade the trees used to provide,” she said. “Previously, the trees along the trail provided a shaded pathway and were beautiful in the fall. I have spoken to numerous neighbors along the path over the past year and they are excited about this taking place.”
Adam later added that in his travels around the neighborhood he did not receive a single negative response regarding his project.
He said he met with city Public Works Director Joe Reitz to determine how many trees to plant, what types to plant and the best time to plant them. Adam described the trees to be planted as semi-mature trees that should reach his shoulders when put in the ground. He added the trees will take about five years to reach enough height to provide shade for the trail.
Adam will use money raised to cover the cost of the trees, tree stabilization stakes, hole preparation and fencing to protect the young trees from the local deer population.
Adam became involved with scouting as a first-grader roughly 10 years ago. Beth Dixon said a memory that recently popped up on her Facebook page was a picture of Adam dressed in a Cub Scout uniform, preparing to sell popcorn door to door.
“The first time he went to camp, he loved it and just never turned back,” Dixon said, adding that as a youngster her son set up tents in the back yard so he could sleep outside.
Adam and four friends who have been in scouting for the same period of time are working toward their Eagle Scout designation. He also has two uncles who are Eagle Scouts.
One friend plans to place a bench in a campground his troop often visits while another hopes to replace all the gravel on a trail around or near Avon Lake High School. Only 8% of scouts earn the rank of Eagle.
“I just want to say what a great organization (the scouts) has been for Adam and these boys,” Dixon said. “Scouting teaches them to be comfortable with the sometimes uncomfortable outdoor conditions and get good at problem solving and working together as a group — things screen time doesn't teach.”
A junior at ALHS, Adam runs cross country and works two afters-school jobs, one at Five Guys in Avon and another at Sky Zone, a trampoline center in Westlake.
He hopes to attend Kent State University to study aviation and eventually join the Air Force. He first became interested in aviation after visiting the annual Cleveland National Air Show.
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