Along a sunny stretch of the Santa Fe Trail, walkers and bikers can refuel at a new rest area spearheaded by a local Boy Scout.
As part of his Eagle Scout project, 14-year-old Abe Randle proposed installing a water fountain, bench and trash can on an underserved section of the trail between Beacon Street and Henderson Avenue. Randle, an avid biker, sketched several diagrams and presented them to the Parks and Recreation Board, which agreed to move forward with his design.
“It’s exactly what I imagined it being,” Randle said. “I’m very happy with that because I put a lot of work into it, and I’m glad they respected my idea.”
The teen then went to work fundraising for the $8,000 project. The City of Dallas covered the cost of the cement and labor, but Randle had to find private donors to pay for the rest.
With help from his dad, Barry Randle, treasurer of Friends of the Santa Fe Trail, the Boy Scout partnered with the nonprofit, which matched his fundraising dollars.
“We’re always looking to work with civic organizations and community groups to bring additional amenities to the trail,” said Brad Grist, president of Friends of the Santa Fe Trail. “When Abe came to us, it was a no-brainer. We like to see young people engaged in bettering their community.”
The rest area was completed about three or four months after Randle first presented his idea, and it opened to the public Saturday with a ribbon cutting. Randle’s troop, as well as several board members from Friends of the Santa Fe Trail and the Parks and Recreation department, were in attendance.
During the ceremony, several bikers stopped to use the water fountain, which will eventually be replaced with the trail’s first water bottle filler.
“It was cool to see people using it already,” Barry Randle said. “That’s what it’s there for.”
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