Eagle scout arboretum work

Published 6:04 pm Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Two local Boy Scout Troop Five members took the reigns on two revamping projects at the Crosby Arboretum in an effort to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.

One project involved repainting the wooden fence located at the visitor’s entrance to the arboretum and the other had scouts sanding and repainting the metal posts before they replaced the rope on the railing at the Pinecote Pavilion.

The first job completed by scouts was repainting the wooden fence. Leland English, who headed up that project, said his project took about 150 hours to complete and used about 28 gallons of paint.

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The second project, which took place Friday and Saturday, involved repainting the metal railing poles and replacing the rope at the Pinecote Pavilion. Together they form a natural looking railing to keep children and adults away from the water’s edge. This second project was headed up by Ross Hooge.

“That’s the plan, as long as the weather allows,” Hooge said.

Each eagle scout uses his eagle project as a way to lead a team to get a project completed.

To do the job, the five scouts sanded each pole and repainted it. Hooge said he did the same job about four years ago. Even then he had a bunch of the same volunteers lending a hand. The first time, he and his team worked one day a weekend for three weekends to complete.

Hooge said the good job he did on it the first time prompted Terry Johnson, superintendent of Buildings and Grounds at the arboretum, to ask him to do it again.

Hooge said he also chose this job again because he likes the pavilion and wanted to make it nice for the weddings and other social gatherings that take place there.

Paint and the other supplies, such as the $300 rope, were provided by the arboretum, Hooge said.

English said his fence painting project was supposed to take only two days, but even with 15 people helping him it ended up taking about four. Scouts are asked to find a project that will take a minimum of 100 hours to complete. English said his took about 150. Paint and other supplies for that project cost about the arboretum about $800, but the arboretum’s fence got a new paint job without paying for labor. The fence was painted front and back and rotting boards were replaced in the process, English said.

Initially English said he thought about using a sprayer to paint the fence, but when he found out it would take about five coats to go that route he chose a route he thought would be shorter.

“But we ended up doing one coat which I think ended up taking longer,” English said.

Hooge helped with English’s eagle project, just as English was at the arboretum Friday helping Hooge with his.

“That’s the deal, you come to our eagle project and you help with theirs,” English said.

Time in the Boy Scouts teaches young people how to become better followers and leaders. The projects are a scout’s time to learn to lead a team in a project while also having fun, English said. He said he expects all he has learned in Boy Scouts to help him as he goes on to college and beyond.

Johnson said he has other projects for other scouts interested advancing to the highest level of the Boy Scouts. There’s alligator weed and some invasive water cabbage that needs to be removed from the pond the pavilion sits upon, various trails need rebuilding, the bog deck could use some rebuilding and there are numerous staining projects that could be tackled, Johnson said.

These were the last projects Hooge and English will need to complete to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.

Numerous Troop Five volunteers and others showed up to help in the eagle project Friday. Those volunteers were Paul Doyle, Wyatt English, Aaron Hirstius, Sarah Hirstius, Noah English, Kristen Hooge and Jake Leonard.