Part of the Fay Avenue Extension (popularly called the “bike path”) passes over the eastern property of La Jolla United Methodist Church, behind its nursery school, library, youth lounge and onto its parking lot. It attracts countless bikers, walkers and joggers daily.
From time to time, the combined contributions of the entities of a community benefit countless others who may not be aware of those efforts. On Oct. 6, several of these forces came together to dedicate and celebrate contributions to the La Jolla Community — a drinking fountain for both humans and pets, welcome bench and information kiosk. They are the result of the generosity of the church, the Eagle Scout projects of three members of Troop 506 and the talent of a prominent local artist.
Three Scouts from Troop 506 (celebrating its 50 anniversary in February 2014 and founded by church member Roger Wiggans) were instrumental in the eventual completion of enhancements to the bike path.
Two years ago, Phillip Andrews built and installed two concrete benches along with an informational kiosk on the bike path for his Eagle Scout project. In May 2012, William Fluharty’s project entailed the preparatory work for the fountain. His contributions included the running of the underground pipes, the construction of the drainage for the fountain and the installation of the concrete slab. Last month, the church purchased the fountain and Michael Koveleski completed the necessary plumbing, installation and canopy. (A note of interest: with the documentation of his project, Koveleski will become the 81st Eagle Scout of Troop 506 in its 50 years.) Thanks are also due to Scout parent and committee chairman John Stojic, who provided significant guidance and support.
Artist Jane Wheeler (whose mosaic art is prevalent along La Jolla Boulevard in Bird Rock and at several local schools) was commissioned to add her original mosaic design to one of the benches Andrews built. The primary message of the bench is “Welcome,” and its design includes inspirational quotes from Albert Einstein, John Wesley, John Ruskin and Ralph Waldo Emerson.
The dedication of the project included the first annual blessing of the animals by pastors Walt Dilg and Diane Davis. About 25 owners and as many animals attended the dedication, unveiling and blessing.
All who pass by the informational sign, pause to sit on the beautiful welcome bench and stop to refresh themselves — pets and humans alike — are beneficiaries of the caring Scouts and the church that welcomes their passage along the bike path. Now the LJ United Methodist Church can add a fourth item to its motto — Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors — Open Bike Path!