Eagle Scout completes project on Huckleberry Trail
Kyle Stone, a member of Boy Scout Troop 152 in Blacksburg, began planning his Eagle Scout project more than two years ago.
After 184 hours of planning, designing, requesting and building, the project culminated on Oct. 20, when a uniquely designed kiosk with informational panels was completed on the Huckleberry Trail in Christiansburg.
The kiosk is located at a three-way intersection formed from a new trail section close to the trail entrance at the New River Valley Mall parking lot.
The idea for Stone’s project formed as a result of him working closely with Kevin Conner, landscape architect at Gay and Neel Inc. in Christiansburg.
Stone and Conner met numerous times to determine the location, design ideas, materials and construction of the kiosk. Once the design was complete, the next step was seeking approval for the project. The troop committee had to approve the project, as well as the town and Friends of the Huckleberry. Both groups overwhelmingly supported the project and thought it would provide another needed amenity along the trail.
Stone decided on the design from a photo of a structure located at another trail.
“The design for the structure was very unique and essentially created a ‘sail’ effect with the roof structure requiring a mammoth foundation,” Conner said.
The foundation was drilled by Buddy Draughn and consisted of two, 6-foot-deep, 2-foot diameter holes where the 6-by‑8 posts for the structure were erected 5 feet in the earth and anchored by concrete.
“This was the most critical step in getting the rest of the project constructed correctly,” Conner said. “And once this was complete, it was smooth sailing from there.”
Stone requested donations from several local businesses to construct the kiosk. With Conner’s assistance every step of the way, he received numerous donations of materials, labor and equipment. Stone planned two project workdays, and several Scouts and family members joined him to help build the kiosk on two consecutive weekends.
The finished project includes a sign and roof structure with a small retaining wall and paver patio area, which will provide a temporary place for trail users to rest, grab a little shade and get trail information.
“I have gained a new appreciation for kiosk construction,” Stone said. “This was a team effort, and I am pleased to add this structure to the Huckleberry Trail.”
Special thanks to these local businesses for their generous donations: Kevin Conner and John Neel of Gay & Neel Inc. for their professional expertise and commitment to this project; Buddy Draughn of C.L. Draughn Ditching Contractors for excavating; Patrick Lloyd of Chandler Concrete for materials and labor; Todd Walters of Valley Landscaping for grading and plant materials; Scott Obenchain of Blue Ridge Church for donation and construction assistance; Tim Henderson of Henderson Roofing for materials; Chuck Heavener of Heavener Hardware for materials; New River Engraving for plaques; Shelor Motor Mile Graphics for sign donation; Lowes for gift card donation; and 84 Lumber for discount on materials and delivery.
– Submitted by Dede Stone
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