The first week of December 2017, I first had the idea and ambition to set out and create a project that would impact the community I was raised in. I wanted to give back to the community and the people in it. I had always enjoyed walking and photographing nature at Hugh Ramsey, and immediately felt that would be the best place for my project.
The idea was set, now the details had to be made? What would I do? How will I do it? How will I get the money? I won't lie, I was super stressed out already, and I hadn't even begun! The project was crazy big! But I embraced every ounce of stress, and
I had decided that for my project I wanted to add a walking bridge near the restroom area, due mostly to the fact that many people already walked through that area, creating a makeshift trail through the already present rocks. Then after running into Mrs. Friedrich and Mrs. Butcher, it came to my attention that a Bird Blind was must when considering my Eagle Scout project!
So now the project was set I knew what I would do! I would build a Bird Blind and Walking Bridge, along with cleaning out the Walking Bridge area at Hugh Ramsey Park!
As it would turn out, I need to get a lots of approvals before I could even think about going any further my project.
I reached out first with my Troop Leader Eric Kennedy, and once I got his approval I contacted Mr. Jeff Lyssy at Harlingen Parks and Recreation. Once we went over my project and went on sight to see exactly what I would do, he asked me to present to the entire Parks and Recreation staff at their meeting, I needed an approval from them and thankfully I again gained there approval.
After the Parks and Recreation meeting, I was then added to the agenda of the City commissioners meeting, which in all honesty was 100% nerve racking! I was so nervous!
Approving The Plan
After I received final approval for my project, I spent roughly a month in a half soliciting donations for my project. I contacted around 40 local businesses and corporations. I had to fight through the urge to give up whenever a company or individual told me they could not sponsor my project. I was blessed to have met so many people that were willing to give a 16 year old a few minutes of their time, and were willing to fund the project, 23 businesses and individuals donated to my project helping me raise a total of $3,008.20!
The Actual Project!
Though the 12th-15th of July, my volunteers and I worked relentlessly. With some volunteers even putting in 12 hour days alongside my brother, father and I.
We spent the first day digging 3 foot holes alone! For each pillar of the foundation of the Bird Blind and Walking Bridge. It really got tough when we struck clay on the Walking Bridge. This was probably the worst day out of the bunch, it really put the project into perspective! We had a great showing of around 30 people.
The Actual Project!
We spent the second day building the frame work for both the Bird Blind and Walking Bridge, all while cleaning out the Walking Bridge area! There was lots of teamwork that was involved during this day as many of the volunteers had never experienced building or used power tools.
We spent the final day finishing both the Bird Blind and Walking Bridge, which consisted of laying down all the final pieces of wood, and gravel. After 3 scorching hot day of July heat, we had managed to finish both projects.
All in all, I learned a lot from this project, I went from being that shy kid that couldn't speak publicly to save his life, to presenting here in front of you! I'm glad I was able to experience this project and all the trials and tribulations that occurred within it. This project helped me step out of my comfort zone and made me a more mature individual. I am proud of the project that I was able to build and derive great joy in knowing that everyday Harlingen citizens will get to enjoy the bridge and bird blind for many years to come. Thank you for the opportunity you have given me.