LUMBERTON — Zach Kinlaw knows where he’s going, and wants to make sure others in the community do as well.
Kinlaw created and posted 33 signs to mark pedestrian walking trails in three areas around Lumberton for his Eagle Scout project this year.
“It’s important, not only to have growth in the downtown, but to maintain what we have,” said Connie Russ, the downtown development coordinator for Lumberton.
The 18-year-old senior at Lumberton High School spent 80 hours working on the project — designing the signs, getting quotes, and posting them.
“The trail was already existing, but the signs had been vandalized,” Russ said. “… Someone had taken a baseball bat and hit them — it just looked awful.”
The new signs mark the Riverside Loop, the Old Lumberton Loop and the Plaza Loop — each designated with a blue, yellow or green sign. They each feature the city of Lumberton’s logo, a runner, and information about the trail. Each course is a little over a mile long.
“I was big on exercise,” Kinlaw said. “Soccer was a big part of my life. Exercise can keep young people out of trouble, and it’s also about heart health.”
He said he hopes both locals and visitors can use the signs to have a marked place to exercise.
“I rode the loop the other day and there was a lady walking her dog,” Russ said, noting that the Riverside loop gets a lot of foot traffic.
Kinlaw has been a Boy Scout since he was 12 years old. Only about 5 percent of Boy Scouts continue on to get their Eagle Scout badge.
“I’m very proud of him for that,” said Steve Kinlaw, his father. “… It has taught him a lot of life skills that will come in handy in the future.”
Kinlaw raised all the money for the signs and posts, which cost about $315. He donated the rest of the money he raised to the troop.
Kinlaw plans to attend The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and then transfer to East Carolina to study environmental science. He is the son of Steve and Kimberly Kinlaw of Lumberton.
— Features Editor Amanda Munger can be reached by phone at (910) 272-6144 or by e-mail at email@example.com.