Imlay student-athlete builds benches for Trail

IMLAY CITY — While training for the high school cross country season, athlete Colin Heeke found something amiss as he ran along the Polly Ann Trail.

A seasoned runner who’s jogged along many paths and trails, Colin noticed that the Polly Ann Trail lacked benches for people to rest or simply sit and enjoy the view.

He decided to do something about that, and in so doing earned his Eagle Scout designation along the way.

Colin decided to build some benches for the Polly Ann. He set about raising funds for the project, and elicited the help of his colleagues and fellow students.

In a single afternoon, Colin—along with other Scouts and members of Imlay City’s Spartronics Robotics Team—assembled two sturdy benches for the trail. Each contains a plaque noting that the benches were Colin’s Eagle Scout project.

In a single afternoon, Colin—along with other Scouts and members of Imlay City’s Spartronics Robotics Team—assembled two sturdy benches for the trail. Each contains a plaque noting that the benches were Colin’s Eagle Scout project.

Members of the Imlay City DPW installed the benches—and some functional and decorative safety fencing to complete the look.

Last Wednesday, May 22, city officials and members of the Friends of the Polly Ann Trail group joined Colin and his family for a ribbon cutting to celebrate his project.

City Manager Tom Youatt praised Colin for choosing to enhance the Polly Ann Trail with his Eagle Scout project.

“This is a huge asset to the trail, and we are very grateful for your contribution,” Youatt said.

“These benches add character to the trail, and for a young person to choose and complete this project says a lot about Colin and his family,” he continued.

Youatt also acknowledged the DPW for installing the benches and creating the fencing that completes the look.

“Thanks for a job well done,” he said.

Speaking as a member of the Friends of the Polly Ann Trail group, City Commissioner Frank Demske echoed Youatt’s enthusiasm about the project.

“When we posted photos of the project our Facebook page just lit up,” Demske said. “We’re all very happy about the project and the addition to the trail.”

Colin celebrated his accomplishment with his dad, Imlay City High School teacher and Spartronics Coach Don Heeke, his sister Hannah Heeke and his grandmother Jeri Mozden.

He said he’s grateful to all who contributed to the project and helped make it a success.

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Catherine Minolli

Catherine Minolli is Managing Editor of the Tri-City Times. She began as a freelance writer with the Times in 1994. She enjoys the country life, including raising ducks and chickens.