People helping people on many levels—an Eagle Scout community service landscaping project
Will Goldin is a very nice, intelligent, and rather reserved young man who asked me for some advice on his Eagle Scout project a few months ago. I have always liked the fact that the Boy Scout program requires a community service project from those who wish to attain this distinguished achievement. After some exploration, Will talked with Bill Davies who is probably the greatest advocate for the homeless in the Rome, Ga. area. Bill has been working on a warehouse to be used for the distribution of food to the homeless and needy. Will asked if he could do the landscaping in front of the building and Bill Davies was delighted. The project commenced. Here is the ‘before’ picture:
I had given Will an architect scale, some graph paper, and a few directions. He did some research and came up with a scaled landscape drawing and proposal which he presented to Bill Davies at the site. An agreement was made. Will decided to use Knockout roses for color, crape myrtle for a tall accent as well as for shade over a sitting bench, and to fill in with ‘firepower’ dwarf nandinas. A border of liriope (we call it ‘monkey grass’) would act as a picture frame for the landscaped area. The plant selections were made on the basis of hardiness, low maintenance, and the desire for an abundance of color. Will chose ‘Muscogee’ crape myrtles because he really liked the lavender color.
We sprayed and killed all of the grassy weeds two weeks before the planned installation date.
Will solicited donations for the cost of the project, made arrangements for the purchase and delivery of all materials, and enlisted other boy scouts for help with the installation. That’s not bad for a 15 year old. On Saturday morning, September 18, the boys showed up at 8 a.m. to work on the project. They were greeted by a huge pile of compost that had been delivered the day before.
People helping people—Will had made arrangements with a family friend to ‘thin out’ a massive planting of liriope. The scouts dug a trench around the perimeter of the area to be used for planting the liriope border. Other scouts teamed up to clean the area along the curb and to spread out the compost for the garden bed. It started taking shape
I think Bill Davies was as excited as anyone on the project. At least he was excited enough to pick up a shovel.
After spreading the compost, cleaning the curb, and planting the liriope, it was time to slow down and set the containerized plants exactly where Will wanted them. This involved discussion as well as careful measurement and deliberate placement.
The plants were carefully installed. The scouts were sure to break up the root balls and to install the plants at the proper depth. A ‘collar’ for water retention was built around each of the plants and they were individually watered.
Everyone enjoyed a gourmet lunch of Domino’s Pizza and Zaxby’s chicken fingers which were washed down with copious amounts of Coca cola. I was able to get this picture of some of the scouts just before they began putting down the mulch to finish the planting. Pictured, right to left, are Will Goldin, John Goldin, Steven Dean, Sam Megginson, and an excited and fun loving Bill Davies. Not pictured were Nicholas Burgess and the indomitable Travis Miller. Travis helped to clean up the curb and moved out14 wheelbarrow loads of weeds, dirt, and trash. What a guy!
A very nice sitting bench was installed so that it will eventually be shaded by the crape myrtle. The legs were drilled and anchors added to be set in cement. Here’s a picture of Steven finishing up that project.
A soaker hose was installed for watering, cypress mulch was spread for looks, erosion control, and water retention. Pieces of flagstone were set carefully to the front of the garden bench.
People helping people. Bill Davies took me on a tour of the inside of the warehouse. He said that all renovations, including doors, walls, and electricity had been performed by volunteers. Everything was neat and clean and polished. I was really impressed. The most impressive part of the tour, however, was the large collection of food items.
Bill told me that all of this was surplus food and was bought for 16 cents per pound from a warehouse in Atlanta. The food is delivered to this warehouse and is then distributed. I asked,
“Bill, who gets the food?”
He replied, “Anyone who needs it”
“Where do you get the money to buy it?”
He replied, “We are fortunate to have donations from several areas of the community.”
I walked around and saw a tremendous pile of canned goods
And, then, in another room were bags and bags of groceries ready to go to needy recipients. You know? It just really made me feel good.
People helping people—I had spent a nice morning with an Eagle Scout candidate who was being helped by other scouts and all of that was going to help an organization that is dedicated to helping other people with the necessities of life. I really felt honored and humble to have been a part of this chain. Look at these bags of goodies:
The property and warehouse belong to Davis Shelters and is leased by Rome Action Ministry. The ministry has planned “Jesus in the Park” which will be held at Ridge Ferry Park in Rome, Georgia on Sunday, September 26, 2010. There will be food goods available for all who need them.
Here is Will Goldin’s finished project.
To use a phrase from my friend Bubba:
“I bet they was all grinnin’ and wore out.”
I would like to thank Will Goldin, his mother, Nancy, and father, George for allowing me to share a wonderful experience.
People helping people. People caring. I was proud to be a part of this project and I am proud of Will Goldin for putting it together. I was proud of Will’s friends and family who helped. I was honored to get to know Bill Davies a bit and I am proud of a community of people who will support projects such as William S. Davies Shelters and Rome Action Ministries. My thanks to everyone.
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