“The Wall,” New Era, Mar. 1988, 42
“What we wanted,” said President Michael Moulton of the Heber City Utah East Stake, “was some kind of meaningful project which would unite the youth of the stake for a few days of dedicated, all-consuming service.” Then he made it even tougher. “It should not only benefit the community, but teach our youth some basic skill.”
So should we have them construct log cabins, do plumbing, or lay brick? Or should we call in the Peace Corps?
The answer came when one of the leaders contacted Uinta National Forest officials, who suggested we organize a Touch America Project, which allows volunteers to learn about America’s natural resources by working under the direction of rangers on public lands. Ranger Roy H. Daniels said that to help with flood control, a rock wall needed to be built at Whiskey Springs picnic area in Daniels Canyon, before spring runoff began.
Youth leaders were called from each of the six wards in the stake. Footings were poured with donated concrete. Sand was hauled to the site, rocks were gathered, and soon portable mixers were stirring cement. With the help of a professional stone mason and a seminary teacher with previous cement experience, the youth began building the wall.
Work progressed over a number of successive Saturdays. The Forest Service was so pleased they asked us to extend the wall an extra hundred feet. Thanks to dry weather, the runoff was lower and later than usual, and we continued working through the end of May. On May 30 the final stones were laid, a cement cap was smoothed in place, and the project was completed.
I asked Kenneth Critchfield, of the Daniel Ward, how he felt about working on the project.
“I graduated from high school last night,” Ken said, looking a little bleary-eyed. “But I wouldn’t have slept in and missed this. I got here at 7:00 A.M. I just love the way this wall looks.”
If constructed professionally, the wall would have cost more than $15,000. Instead, it cost only time and labor. And it is now a monument to the youth of our stake. Imagine how they will feel when they bring their children here and tell them, “I helped build the wall.”