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Home » Archives » April 2012 » FHHS Students Find Community Spirit

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04/29/2012: "FHHS Students Find Community Spirit"


ig_FHHS_J-Bevens_R-Roberts-01 (78k image)
(contributed photo)


Every student at Friday Harbor High School (FHHS) is required to create and complete a project that will benefit our San Juan Island community.

Juniors at Friday Harbor High School, Julia Bevens and Robyn Roberts have recently completed a Community Service Project in conjunction with the National Park Service.


As equestrians the girls enjoyed riding the National Park Service multi-use trails for several years and felt that helping to trim and clear the trails as they become overgrown with new life each spring would be a worthy project.

This year however, spring did not arrive in a timely manner and the girls were left wondering how to complete the trimming project with nothing yet to trim.

Theresa Simendinger, Robyn and Julia’s mentor expanded the girls’ project to duplicate a puncheon developed by San Juan Island resident Mark Hetrick, that was installed in a different location last fall. A puncheon is commonly known as a bridge, but a long, low, and removable bridge.

ig_FHHS_J-Bevens_R-Roberts-02 (113k image)
(contributed photo)



Theresa Simendinger, Robyn and Julia’s mentor expanded the girls’ project to duplicate a puncheon developed by Mark Hetrick, and installed in a different location last fall. A puncheon, in less technical terms is a long, low, removable bridge.

Mark, a member of the mountain biking community and Rik Karon, a member of the equestrian community, had seen the need for this puncheon in this location for several years and signed on to the project as construction mentors. Julia and Robyn also embraced the project with greater enthusiasm than for the original trimming project.

Theresa, as mentor introduced the girls to Sue Husari, Acting Park Superintendent, Jerald Weaver, Chief of Integrated Resources, Ken Arzarian, Head of Park Maintenance and David Harsh of the National Park Service. David served as the liaison for the group.

The work crew was comprised of the Park Service crew of Harsh, Weaver and Arzarian, Rik Karon, Mark Hetrick, Samuel McMain, Blair Powers, Theresa Simendinger, Robyn Roberts, Julia Bevens and assorted parents.

The puncheon was installed on site and functioning well in a matter of hours due to the intense pre-planning and preparation of all those involved.

The placement of this new puncheon on one of the few multi-use trails would alleviate damage to a seasonal water crossing. The new puncheon would replace an old worn out makeshift structure that was beginning to fail and would improve the crossing safety while protecting the natural resources in a sensitive area.

The old crossing had created a mud-hole that was altering the natural watercourse. These factors were instrumental in securing the approval and funding necessary for the project.

The San Juan Trails Committee and Island Rec both gave generously to the project. Other outstanding donors were a local bike shop, several horse ranches and individual equestrians and hikers; and Rik Karon and Mark Hetrick were instrumental in securing the materials graciously discounted by Browne’s Lumber.


(Above story is based on a press release from FHHS students Julia Bevens and Robyn Roberts)

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