By J.L. Shirley
Ben Smith, a senior at Roxbury High School, has undertaken the responsibility to complete the highest rank in Boy Scout, the Eagle Award.
A member of the scouts since he was six years old, Smith then joined Boy Scout Troop 159 in 2010, after completing Cub Scouts.
Now approaching his final years in Scouts, Smith moved toward the direction of achieving the rank of Eagle Scout.
“My inspiration is my dad’s Eagle Scout project,” explains Smith.
Smith’s father was responsible for the construction of the raised bed where Eyland Ave. crosses Rt. 10. This bed is still in place and is maintained by the Women’s Club. “Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve wanted to do something like that,” says Smith.
Future plans for the old Ledgewood circle will be just that.
“I am building a raised flower bed that will be holding a V-shaped sign. I am also cleaning up the area around it,” states Smith. This raised bed is located along Rt. 10 East by the King house.
At the time of this article, Smith had just broken ground at his project sight, but many hours had already gone into the planning stages of the project.
“I have estimated that I personally have put in about 80 hours so far and then my troop and I put in 17.5 man hours all together the day of my project,” states Smith.
Before the project could begin, Smith had to get an idea of the materials needed for the project as well as find where he could acquire the building supplies from.
“Scott Fullerton of Fullerton Landscapes has contributed greatly to the project and continues to guide me,” says Smith.
Under Fullerton’s advice, Smith opted to dig the trench for the raised bed with a machine rather than by hand and also move the bed closer to the road to make it more visible.
Deciding to build the raised planter with stone, Smith approached local landscaping business, EP Henry for advice.
“Rory McCloskey and Micki Margot of EP Henry have donated all of the block and cap stone that I needed through their HeroScape program,” explains Smith.
According to the EP Henry website, the HerosScaping program is a program dedicated to restoring “memorials, monuments and residential projects for our returning soldiers.” This program began in 2001 to help build a memorial honoring those who lost their lives on Sept. 11. So far EP Henry has helped to build and restore approximately 25 of these projects.
“The first day of building went very well,” says Smith. The first step was to lay the base for the bed and make sure that all materials placed were level. This will allow for the best overall appearance of the finished project while also insuring it will last over the years.
After laying the first row of blocks the Scouts assisting with the project filled the trench with gravel and then proceeded to lay the next row of block. Each block was glued into place and filled with gravel. While a team of scouts worked on the raised bed another team of boys were working on cutting and removing brush from around the site.
“I did not expect to be able to build the entire wall, fill it in with dirt and clean up the area around the project all in one day,” states Smith.
Although there is more work ahead, Smith is optimistic that the project will be completed as quickly as possible and is grateful to all those who have helped him along the way.
“I am very thankful to everyone that donated their time to help me build my dream project,” Smith states.