Portsmouth teen builds a bridge over muddied water

John Weiderman’s Eagle Scout project improves trail at Melville Park

By Jim McGaw
Posted 6/7/21

PORTSMOUTH — Thanks to John Weiderman, you’ll no longer lose your shoes on a certain trail at Melville Park.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Not a subscriber?


Start a Subscription

Sign up to start a subscription today! Click here to see your options.

Purchase a day pass

Purchase 24 hours of website access for $2. Click here to continue

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.


Portsmouth teen builds a bridge over muddied water

John Weiderman’s Eagle Scout project improves trail at Melville Park

Posted

PORTSMOUTH — Thanks to John Weiderman, you’ll no longer lose your shoes on a certain trail at Melville Park.

That’s what happened to a couple of fellow Boy Scouts who were helping John build a small wooden bridge over a particularly muddy start of the Green Trail off Bradford Avenue.

“Two kids lost their shoes, and they had muddy socks afterwards,” said John, who organized the job for his Eagle Scout project. He’s a senior at Portsmouth High School and a member of Troop 82.

John got the idea for the pedestrian bridge after seeing something on social media about volunteers being needed to make improvements at the town-owned 153‐acre tract that’s devoted to passive recreation. 

“I went to the Melville Park (Committee) after seeing a post on Facebook, saying they needed some help,” said John. “I sent an e-mail to (committee member) Dr. Ed Rizy, and he got back to me with a whole bunch of options. I chose this because I felt it was a better representation of the leadership that I could do, and the planning and all the skills that I’ve learned.”

Justin Mostert, a former Scoutmaster and John’s Eagle mentor on the project, was impressed by the teenager’s determination.

“He had several projects to choose from, and he picked this one, which was really difficult,” Mr. Mostert said. “Behind the scenes I don’t know whether I’m clapping because I’m proud of him, or I’m going, ‘Boy, this is going to be a lot of work.’ But it really is one of the top five or six (Eagle Scout projects) going back to 2007, when I started with the troop. It’s very beneficial to Melville.”

The bridge can be found at the start of the Green Trail directly across from Thurston Grey Pond, formerly known as Upper Pond. John and a few other Scouts worked in the area for two days.

“The first day we trimmed back most of the vegetation, and we also dug the trench to help water flow through,” he said.

John said he was grateful for the assistance he received from Mr. Mostert, his fellow Scouts, and Home Depot in Middletown, which donated all the materials.

2021 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Scott Pickering

Scott Pickering has been on the East Bay Newspapers team for more than two decades, since starting as a reporter for the Sakonnet Times. He's been editor of most of the papers, was Managing Editor of all the papers for many years, and became General Manager in 2012. Today he can be found posting to EastBayRI.com, steering news coverage, writing editorials, talking to readers, working with the sales team, collaborating on design, or helping do whatever it takes to get the papers out the door. Reach him at spickering@eastbaynewspapers.com.