A popular Carmel Valley trail got a face lift recently after local Boy Scout Max Killman completed an Eagle Scout project there.
Thanks to Max, the heavily used Carmel Valley Restoration Enhancement Project, or CVREP, trail now has three new benches, five trash cans and three dog-waste receptacles.
"I'm glad to have made it this far," said Max, 16, a member of Boy Scout Troop 777 out of Encinitas. "It taught me a lot about leadership and executing on a plan. It was a lot of work, but it all worked out in the end."
Scouts have until they turn 18 to complete their Eagle Scout project, but Max wanted finish the work before his junior year at Canyon Crest, where he will take on four advanced placement classes, play saxophone in the jazz band and play varsity lacrosse.
The Carmel Valley Restoration Enhancement Project is a trail built as mitigation for Highway 56. It runs 1.6 miles near the freeway between Carmel Country Road and El Camino Real.
Max and his family use the trail often to walk their dogs. He noticed trash along the trail and nowhere to dispose of it properly. On one walk, he and his dad counted 65 bags of pet waste lying along the trail.
"That just seemed ridiculous," Max said.
Max said he's been planning the project for more than a year. He started the work on July 18 and finished on Aug. 9. He used less than $750 of the $1,000 San Diego Parks and Recreation contributed for the project.
He installed the benches near the beginning, middle and end of the trail. One bench, located near the Clews Horse Ranch, has a great view of the bluffs above and is shaded by a nearby tree. The bench is near the spot where longtime Carmel Valley resident Eric Leonard died on July 11. Max said family and friends of Leonard's have spoken about putting a plaque on the new bench to remember him.
Max thanked his fellow scouts for his support, most notably Matt Sugar, and his dad Craig Killman.
"My dad has supported me from day one," Max said. "I definitely wouldn't have got it done without his help."
Max still has a few merit badges and an official review to go before earning his Eagle honors. Five fellow troop members will become Eagles this year at a Court of Honor held on the USS Midway Museum.
Max plans to one day become a cadet at the Air Force Academy and to study aeronautical engineering and learn to fly. He said his ultimate goals are serving his country and "making a difference in the future of flight."