As he was running on the track at Oceanside School No. 6 to earn his Fitness Merit Badge for his Boy Scouts troop, Anthony Palumbo couldn’t help but notice the arboretum near where he was sprinting was neglected.
Anthony, who also goes by T.J., decided that when it came time for his Eagle Scout project, he would take care of the unkempt arboretum, which is an area of plants and trees, and nurse it back to health. He and a group of friends have been caring for the area since September and were able to revitalize it.
“It looked so messy,” T.J. recalled about what the area looked like when he first ran by it. “I figured if it was fixed up, it would be a great space to use for many things.”
T.J., 14, is a ninth-grader at Oceanside High School. He set up fundraising events to help fund materials needed to complete the repairs. He called the finished product “amazing,” and noted that, to him, an Eagle Scout embodies hard work, dedication and a commitment to giving back to one’s community.
The work to improve the area included building birdhouses, repairing and painting a botanical shed, replacing the sign for the arboretum and sprucing up the area by installing benches and adding a deck area.
Now that the project is complete and he has finished paperwork, T.J. is waiting for his interview with the Council of Completion, after which, he said, he would begin planning for his Court of Honor ceremony, pending approval.
“When I finished the project, I felt proud of myself,” T.J. said.