Popular trail refurbished with natural elements
Eagle Scout candidate Ryan Bulley has a heart for the Rancho Peñasquitos community. In the center of town lies a heavily traveled footpath that rises 550 feet from Black Mountain Road to the upper playing fields at Black Mountain Middle School. This iconic trail has been used by high numbers of students, athletes, and local residents as a quiet backdoor between the two locations for over 30 years. Ryan noticed that the pathway was becoming hazardous and decided to make it right.
Over time, the concrete drainage culverts adjacent to the trail had become clogged with dirt, debris, and even small trees, diverting rainwater to the pathway. The rain cut deep ruts in the trail that made it difficult to walk on year round, and when wet, slippery mud led to many falls. Additionally, long periods of neglect allowed native plants to encroach on the trail, creating hazardous roots, extending branches, and other obstructions.
Working closely with Poway Unified officials, Ryan devised a plan to clear the blocked culverts, trim back plants blocking access, and lay down a durable surface that would not be slippery in rainy weather. It quickly became apparent that Ryan’s Eagle project was an ambitious undertaking that would take multiple weekends, a large volunteer force and significant construction materials. Using pickaxes, shovels, and lots of endurance, Ryan and Troop 667 volunteers removed over 5 tons of dirt from the culverts and used it to smooth the pathway. They trimmed overgrown vegetation and then laid down 10 tons of paving material and cement to stabilize the busy walkway. Hauling equipment and materials up and down the steep hill with wheelbarrows made this particularly challenging, especially for the younger scouts.
Ryan’s work was supported by generous donations from the PQ Town Council, The San Diego Soccer Board, friends and family. The paving material was donated by the Vulcan mine of Mira Mesa who coordinated free delivery to the school site through the Western Hauling company.
As the trail was nearing completion, Ryan noticed that the wooden stairs at the trail entrance on Black Mountain Road were in need of repair too. Rather than leave this for someone else, he refurbished and refinished the handrail to make the entire trail safe for the community. The director of PUSD facilities gave the trail restoration project his seal of approval. It is currently complete and ready for PQ residents to enjoy.
Ryan Bulley is a member of Boy Scout Troop 667. The Troop was founded in 1988 and meets at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in the community of Rancho Peñasquitos, San Diego, California. Troop 667 is celebrating its 25th anniversary as a troop in 2013.
Ryan Eagle leadership project volunteers.
Names (left to right): (front row) Michael Maher, Damon Blackman, Alvaro Espinoza, Ed Pert, Emmit Pert; (back row) Michael DeAtley, Ryan Bulley
Ryan Eagle leadership project volunteers clearing trail of branches and debris.
Names (left to right): Mark Bulley, Kedwin Chen, Andrew Mallrich, Mark Mallrich, Kyle Cusack.
Volunteer Emmit Pert pushes a wheelbarrow full of crushed granite for the trail resurfacing.
Ryan Bulley inspects the cleared drainage culvert and final trail surface to Black Mountain Middle School practice field at the conclusion of his Eagle leadership project.