Bridge to the community

Nick Wielgos stands on one of the bridges repaired as part of his Eagle Scout project.

One of the great strengths of Fermilab is its availability to the general public – our neighbors – for a variety of activities. We are justifiably proud of Fermilab as an open facility, where community members as well as employees can come to admire the architecture, be entertained, enjoy a gourmet dinner or just experience the outdoors.

The “Big Woods” just north of Wilson Hall, is an area that is often used for hiking and bird watching, as well as cross-country skiing in the winter. The main trail through the woods crosses a small stream at two spots, but over the years, the bridges have deteriorated somewhat, threatening to create an unsafe condition.

A local boy scout troop came to the rescue, as part of an Eagle Scout project to repair Fermilab’s bridges. Nick Wielgos from Troop 7 in Elburn, son of Randy Wielgos (FESS) proposed to repair these bridges as part of his work towards obtaining the Eagle rank in the Boy Scouts. Working with the Roads and Grounds and Engineering Departments, Wieglos designed a project to repair the bridges, organized a small army of volunteers and completed the job this month.

The improved bridges will enable hundreds of people to walk or cross country ski through the woods and enjoy the environment more safely. This feature reinforces the many positive benefits that accompany simply getting out and appreciating nature. The fact that we exist in the midst of a heavily developed area only further reinforces our role as good neighbor to our community.

—Rod Walton, FESS