On Thursday evening, May 16, Alex Wright and other members of Boy Scout Troop 91 leveled the soil around a prayer and reflection area in front of Chestnut Level Presbyterian Church's Family Life Center.
Once the ground is seeded and two benches are assembled, the project will be finished and Wright will have completed the last requirement he needs to become the troop's latest Eagle Scout.
He has been working toward scouting's highest rank since he joined the Cub Scouts seven years ago, Wright said last week.
"This has always been my goal since I started," he said.
The project began to take shape last fall.
"The area [inside the parking area in front of the center] was sort of bland. The church has been talking about doing something there for a while," Wright said.
He began discussing ideas for the area with landscaper Judy Bushong.
"We came up with putting a circle in the center with a walk leading to it from the sidewalk," the scout said. "Then the church had the idea of selling commemorative bricks to line the walk and help pay for the project."
The idea was more successful than Wright hoped.
"We sold the bricks for $100 each. I needed to raise $5,000 for the project and it brought in $8,000," he said. The additional $3,000 will be given to the church to use to help its building fund.
The planning and fundraising ran through this past winter. When the weather broke, work began on the project itself.
"We had to mound the area up. We did that rather than dig down because we didn't want to disturb the roots of the maple tree," he explained. "We put in a stone base [for the walk and circle], then fine stone on top of that, and finally sand so we could level it out."
Adult volunteers helped place and shape the topsoil and lay the stone walk and circle. The scouts put the finishing shape to the soil last week and prepared it for seeding. The benches, one on each side of the circle, will also be assembled.
Wright has already earned the merit badges he needs to become an Eagle Scout. The project is being completed days before Wright's 18th birthday, the age limit for becoming an Eagle Scout.
The Solanco High School senior is already taking early electrical technology courses at Thaddeus Stevens School of Technology. After graduating from Solanco, he will attend Thaddeus Stevens full time.