Taylor completed his Eagle Scout project on Friday. (There was no school that day.)
Taylor picked a walking path and park in our small town for his project. We have two walking paths in town. One is in the wetlands that runs along a creek and the other is near the town's community center, which also has ball diamonds, a playground, batting cages, tennis courts, horseshoe pits (and more) all within walking distance of a small senior development.
Part of the project was to prune small overhanging branches from the walking path.
A large limb had recently fallen and blocked the path. We asked a friend bring his chain saw and open the pathway.
We also picked up trash along the path, around the community center, and on the playground. My sister-in-law works for a company that does a lot of community volunteer service and she let us borrow fifteen of their trash-picker-uppers. The kids actually fought over who was going to pick up the trash. Score! (I think I need to buy six for home ...)
and mulched some more. I think there were about four full hours of continuous mulching with varying amounts of volunteers. The last hour or two we had nearly all of the forty-six volunteers working on the playground.
The actual mulching was not officially a part of the Eagle Scout project. Our town desperately needed new mulch for the playground and with a very small and unforgiving budget, we were able to replace the very old existing mulch, but we didn't have money to pay for spreading it out. When we went up to survey and take "before" pictures of the area the week before, we saw the ginormous mound of mulch and decided that since we'd have plenty of volunteers, we would help with the mulching.
As you can see to the right of the pavilion (on the other side of the fence), the pile of mulch is still huge. We probably used half of it. Or maybe more than half. It's like the never-ending pile of mulch.
The mulch is supposed to be deep enough to be even with the wooden frame of the playground. See. Never-ending mulching job.
Since it wasn't actually part of the project, we are not responsible for finishing it, although both my mother and I have volunteered to help this week.And the benches. This is the essence of the project. This is what the original Eagle Scout Project was. Benches for the walking path. Joe's grandparents lived in the senior community for about a year and said they liked the walking path, but at their age, it was hard to walk because they needed to take a break and there was no place to sit. We talked to a few other residents who agreed. Then we talked to a neighbor of ours who is trying to get in shape after several heart attacks and he thought benches were a great idea.
And here is my soon-to-be Eagle Scout, Taylor.
On Friday we logged almost 160 hours of service from the forty-six volunteers. This does not include the time it took to build the three benches. Boys at Taylor's scout troop built 1 1/2 benches and Joe, our boys, and some neighbor boys finished.
Taylor wrote a letter and solicited donations from local businesses and family. We lucked out when a coworker of Joe's offered to donate all of the composite decking because it was left over from when he built his deck. We had to buy the wood for supports, legs, screws, and cement. A business in town offered the use of an auger for free because we bought screws and cement from them. The Marines made and donated three plaques to be placed on the benches with Taylor's name and date of the project.
After Joe submits all of his final receipts and has the troop balance the account, if there is money left over, Taylor might buy a tree to plant or mulch beneath the benches to prevent growth of grass.
For lunch we served the volunteers hot dogs, chips, pretzels, cookies, and lemonade.
It was a great day and it's even a better day today, knowing that this part of the project is behind us. Now on to his Eagle Board of Review and a mound of paperwork.
I keep hoping and praying that the benches are not vandalized. Our town has a bad problem with unsupervised teenagers vandalizing everything in sight. I'm hoping none of them are athletic and have any desire to walk down the walking path.