Eagle Scout Project in Coral Reef Park

Coral Reef Park, the crown jewel park in Palmetto Bay got a little more sparkle today courtesy of Boy Scout of America's Troop 457.

Led by Jay Castro (pictured below with his father), an aspiring Scout working toward his Eagle achievement, the Troop that meets at Kendall United Methodist Church started early today to beautify the park.

Jay says he's been coming to Coral Reef Park since he was a little kid and that as part of his requirements to apply to be an Eagle Scout he could think of no better project than to fix up the park that so many enjoy.

In all, he believes around 100 Scouts and their parents tackled the park today in a community service effort that will surely have a lasting effect.  30+ year Scoutmaster, Dave Ziska (and his wife Julie who acts as Eagle Scout Counselor), was expected later in the day, but from the speed at which the work was getting done there may not be much for him to do but enjoy the fresh air.

The largest part of the beautification project involved moving 50 yards of mulch into two highly used areas of the park.  With the help of some motorized carts and a slew of kid-powered wheel barrows, the mulch was moved into place.

Then the mulch was spread by an awaiting team of Scouts who did a great job of filling in areas such as this spot under the trees typically used for kid birthday parties.

Transplanting plants from shady areas to sunny spots where they'll thrive...

Adding new park benches...

And replacing rotted planks on the many guard fences throughout the park were all on the plan for today.

Having just completed my weekly run, I happened upon all this activity.  It was a real sight to behold.  And it brought such a smile to my face that I just had to grab my gear and come back to shed a little public light on this good deed.

Jay Castro told me that all the materials for this projects either generously donated by area businesses or paid for by Troop 457 donations from family and friends.  Resident Henry Clifford (and the Palmetto Bay Garden Club) donated a substantial amount of his plants, time, effort, and experience.  The Village of Palmetto Bay, led by Park Supervisor Wayne Silvestro, helped organize and coordinate as well.

As I understand it, Troop 457 should be sitting down for some well deserved lunch at the same time I am writing this article.  Of course, that is all donated food as well.  It feels great to see this kind of community in Palmetto Bay.  So, if you're in the neighborhood, stop by and see the results.

Donors for this event: Shell Lumber & Hardware, Offerdahl's Cafe and Grill, Krispy Kreme, Frank's Lawn Service, Capitol Steel Structures, The Butcher Shop Deli and Catering, Pizza Hut and Galloway Farm Nursery