Cheboygan High School graduate donates bee sculpture to nature trail
CHEBOYGAN — Ron Cronk, a recent graduate of Cheboygan Area High School, spent most of his senior year designing, fabricating and perfecting a metal bee sculpture that is now on display.
A ribbon cutting officially dedicating the sculpture on the Children’s Trail in the Big City Park took place on June 11. Cronk’s sculpture now accompanies a number of bee- and butterfly-friendly plants in a created habitat, as well as a butterfly bench made by Brian and Sherie Gekiere. .
“Last summer we were working on the trail and Myles Fimbinger, who runs the high school metalwork shop program, he and his family were walking the trail and liked what they saw,” Dale Rieger said. , co-founder of the Children’s Trail. “He said maybe we could do something through our metal shop.”
Fimbinger began working with Connie Rieger, Cronk, and Ryan McClintic, a vocational and technical education program advisor at Cheboygan Area High School, and Cheboygan Area Schools Superintendent Paul Clark, to come up with the project.
They started looking for ideas and decided to make a bee, a flower or something to incorporate into the habitat area.
“We put Ron on that roll early in the fall and he’s done a terrific job pushing this project through,” McClintic said. “Because it didn’t just take three days of a class period…it took an entire school year to complete.”
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After:“Bees, butterflies and fish, oh my!” Children’s Trail event scheduled for June 11
Cronk worked the entire school year to design and create the metal sculpture. The artwork was entered into the Michigan Industrial Education and Technology Society (MITES) competition and won fourth place.
“Well, I can’t believe I got this opportunity,” Cronk said. “It was really nice to be able to make a statue for my hometown.”
Cronk said the entire statue was drawn in a three-dimensional modeling class he was taking. Then, during the second semester of the school year, he was in the metal shop cutting out the pieces of the bee on the plasma cutter and welding them together. Now it is exposed on the trail.
“It’s been great fun seeing it again and again,” Cronk said.
McClintic said he was proud of Cronk’s accomplishments.
“Every few years we get a student or a group of students that we can put in a position that can – we always link all of our classes together – but we can move from class to class,” McClintic said. . “So from the design to the finishing of a product.”
This isn’t the first time a member of the Cronk family has brought a piece of metal art to the town of Cheboygan. Cronk’s father, Roger Cronk, who sits on the school board, also worked on a metal sculpture that was displayed on the lawn of the Cheboygan Opera House for many years.
“I’m really excited that something that’s been done in the schools, with our students, that we can give back to the community, work with the community and have those things,” Clark said. “So apparently it’s kind of a family tradition to build something and give back to the community. I’m just glad the schools can be a part of that.”
Contact journalist Kortny Hahn at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @khahnCDT.