“People want to help out in their community. Sometimes they just need a leader.”
Those were the words of 16-year-old Bryce Corning, an eight-year Tucson Boy Scout who has no problem demonstrating the very leadership skills of which he advocates.
Currently a Life Scout, Corning is on his way to earning the Eagle Scout badge with his most recent community project.
With the 60 volunteers he accumulated through his own advertising at school and church, Corning has reconstructed two well-used walking bridges at West Lambert Lane Park.
Corning said the bridges, which serve for convenience and safety in the event of a flash flood, were not built very well. The bridges did not have enough clearance for water to go underneath, Corning explained as he showed photographs of the bridges prior to the project.
In a venture that lasted three weekends, and took more than 300 hours of construction and planning, the project, under Corning’s planning and leadership, was completed in November.
Having torn out the old bridges, Corning and company installed two new, 27-foot long bridges made of railroad ties. The bridge posts are held in place by two feet of cement, and the bridges now offer almost two feet of clearance for flash-flood water.
As if that weren’t enough, Corning and his team also reconstructed the trail leading up to the bridge, trimmed the trees, and placed rocks along the berm of the bridge to prevent erosion.
“I want to be able to come back and see it when I’m older,” said Corning, who is currently writing up the report on the project to present to the Boy Scout office, in downtown Tucson, for his Eagle badge.
Corning commended the community and the leaders of Tucson Parks and Recreation for their support and time.
“I was impressed by how things came together and how when you show leadership people will really come in and volunteer,” he said.
Inspired by his parents and brother to enroll, Corning said the Boy Scouts “teaches organization, leadership, self-discipline and other characteristics that I really want to live by for the rest of my life.”