Cole Gorman, member of Boy Scout Troop 32 in Middle Point, stands with Van Wert Safety Service Director Jay Fleming and members of the City of Van Wert Street Department who helped Gorman install the yellow gates along the Van Wert Recreation Trail near US 224. (DHI Media/Erin Cox)
Cole Gorman, member of Boy Scout Troop 32 in Middle Point, stands with Van Wert Safety Service Director Jay Fleming and members of the City of Van Wert Street Department who helped Gorman install the yellow gates along the Van Wert Recreation Trail near US 224. (DHI Media/Erin Cox)
BY ERIN COX

DHI Media News Editor

ecox@timesbulletin.com

VAN WERT — The Van Wert Recreation Trail is a little safer now as Cole Gorman worked with various entities to put up barriers near the intersection of the trail and US 224 for his Eagle Scout project.

Gorman, with the help of Van Wert Safety Service Director Jay Fleming and the City of Van Wert’s Street Department, installed the barriers on Friday afternoon on both sides of the bike trail that crosses the highway.

Gorman, a Lincolnview eighth grader and member of Troop 32 in Middle Point, worked with Fleming to come up with the project. The intersection of the bike trail with the highway only had signs indicating the crossing prior to Friday, but many people had concerns of kids not taking notice of the stop signs when approaching the fast moving traffic of US 224.

 

 

Gorman’s project was to create yellow gates that cross the bike path, forcing those using the trail to slow down prior to the intersection with the highway.

“I’m glad it got set up,” Gorman said of getting the gates installed on Friday. “It took a while to get done.”

He said he had been working on the project since November and after coming up with the idea, started working on raising funds. His first attempt at fundraising was with a presentation at a Van Wert Rotary Club meeting which resulted in $549 being given from members personally donating on the spot.

When he went to begin purchasing materials, the businesses ended up donating all the items to him, so the money was not necessary to complete the project. Gorman decided to donate the $549 to the Van Wert County Park District which is responsible for the bike path and worked with him to help make the project possible.

“Cole did a great job,” Fleming said on Friday. “I gave him a sketch on a napkin basically and he took it from there. He lined everything up and I think that’s how an Eagle Scout project should be. He did great for an eighth grader.”

Not only did businesses donate materials, but Vantage Career Center’s industrial mechanics program welded the materials to help make the gates.

In addition to the businesses, organizations and individuals who helped him mentioned above, Statewide Ford, Alspach Gearhart, Foster Family Chiropractic, Taylor Auto Sales, Cool Machines, Linda Stutz, Cindy Hurless, Century Trading, Lee’s Ace Hardware, Krendl Machine and Unverferth Manufacturing all assisted Gorman in being able to complete his Eagle Scout project.

Gorman still has three merit badge that he needs to get before he will be given the rank of Eagle Scout, but his project will already be keeping users of the Van Wert Recreation Trail safe for years to come.