With ropes pulled taut, Boy Scout Troop 436 and several other volunteer raised the towering gate posts toward the sky.
Lakewood has celebrated Park Appreciation Day for 14 years. The improvements and beautification projects completed by volunteers every year are too numerous to list, but among this year’s festivities is the dedication of the Lakewood Community Garden’s new gate.
The construction of the gate was Levi Ott’s community project for his rise to Eagle Scout. He only has two more badges to go now.
Ott, a 15-year-old freshman at Lakes High School and member of Boy Scout Troop 436, reached out to the Lakewood Parks and Recreation Advisory Board in September about building the gate. Ott was perusing the City of Lakewood’s website for recommended projects to complete his Eagle Scout requirement when he saw a suggestion to build a gate for the Lakewood Community Garden.
To the First Baptist Church from which the land is leased, to every gardener who donates from their crop, he wanted to give back a little.
“The people who run the garden give so much to the community,” Ott said.
Ott spent days planning and practicing his presentation to pitch the project to the Lakewood City Council, but he was far from the only one to put time in. Ott brought in the rest of Troop 436 to help build the gate, and they were joined by a Boy Scout from another group and two other scout leaders. Ott’s father and grandfather also joined the effort.
Weston Ott, Levi’s father and associate civil engineer II for the City of Lakewood, said the team assembled the gate on site using lumber provided by Mike Manke, owner of Pinnacle Lumber & Plywood. City of Lakewood Recreation Coordinator Dennis Higashiyama was a big help as point of contact between the City and the volunteers, Weston said. For one, Higashiyama connected the project with Manke and his company.
From planning to completion, the project took about 15 volunteers more than two months to finish.
You don’t have to go quite as far as our aspiring Eagle Scout, but don’t forget to celebrate Parks Appreciation Day in your own way! We count on volunteers and their support each year to prepare Lakewood’s parks for the spring/summer season.
The 2015 sites set for City of Lakewood Park Appreciation Day projects on Saturday, April 25, are:
Fort Steilacoom Park: We’ll be pulling scotch broom! Other projects include restoring historic cemetery grave markers, planting flowers and repairing roofs and other areas on our playground.
- American Lake Park: The West Pierce Fire and Rescue Dive Team will clean up underwater in the boat launch and swimming areas. We’ll also rake and clean up the beach and plant flowers.
- Wards Lake Park: Trail maintenance and invasive ivy removal.
- Lakewood Community Garden: We’ll dedicate the new sign and entry area and then prepare the beds for the growing season.
- Springbrook Park: Community garden development and plantings.
- Puget Sound Wildlife Area (game farm park in Oakbrook): Remove old fencing and general clean up.
Join us from 9:00 a.m. to noon, Saturday, April 25, 2015. To register your family, service organization or your school or church group, please call Cameron at 253‐983‐7827. We’ll find a spot for you and we appreciate your help.