It was the break of dawn, and while many were spending their Saturday sleeping in — members from Boy Scout Troop 12 were hard at work at Lutz Nature Park.
Equipped with rakes and shovels, the youths were building a new sidewalk, under the direction of Luke Romesburg, a 15-year-old leading the effort in his pursuit for the rank of Eagle Scout.
The Lutz Nature Park recently had constructed a sidewalk connecting its pavilions, but there was no pathway leading to the parking lot. So, the teenager decided to address the need.
He reasoned: “Originally, they (patrons) could not get the wheelchairs out here to the existing sidewalk. If someone that was handicap came out here and wanted to go through the park, they would have to go through the grass – and that’s just not safe.”
Before the project began, the Boy Scout received the go-ahead from Terry Donovan of the Lutz Nature Park, as well as Travis Hancock of the Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation Department.
After learning about the scout’s community efforts, Jeff Potvin of Coastal an Oldcastle Company, donated stacks of the concrete blocks for the project.
The county dug out the existing grass, going 4 inches deep, where the concrete blocks would be placed.
While this was Romesburg’s project, fellow troop members rallied around him to help out, donning their signature red shirts.
The boys came early on Aug. 3, unloading the blocks, one by one, and strategizing how to make them fit, stay level and have an aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Troop members were sure to fill in the open crevices of the blocks with dirt and to pack down sod in the shoulders where the blocks meet the grass. They did that to help ensure the new sidewalk will remain sturdy.
Nicholas Evans, senior patrol leader for Troop 12, was one of the many, hard at work .
Romesburg and his dad recently helped him to complete his Eagle Scout project, and the patrol leader was eager to return the favor.
Evans noted: “I think that it’s good that it’s helping everybody. It’s just a really positive impact. Troop 12 has been here for over 85 years, and we’ve always given back to the community.”
The scouts have been a fixture in Lutz, contributing to its Fourth of July Parade festivities, assisting other organizations and helping at various community events.
They also pick up trash along U.S. 41 every month.
Paul Evans, Troop 12 scoutmaster, said in addition to benefiting the community, these projects also benefit the boys.
“There’s a lot of personal growth that the boys develop as they do outdoor activities,” he said.
“The boys are actually doing the work. It’s a legacy that we’re giving, and that will continue on for years and years,” the scoutmaster said.
Published August 21, 2019
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