Beautification part of Seeberg's Eagle Scout project
November 23, 2010 | 08:53 AM
Bloomfield — McKay Park was intended to provide a place for people to enjoy and learn about nature.
Unfortunately, weeds and plant life concealed most of the boardwalk built by the community several years ago. The only group which hadn't neglected the park were vandals seeking to improve their skills in defacing public property — and it's just kitty corner from Star Center Elementary School.
But 14-year-old Jackson Seeberg needed a project to become an Eagle Scout, so he decided to set out and make a difference.
"The vegetation at the park was almost covering up the entire boardwalk," Seeberg said. "There was a ton of graffiti that needed to be dealt with."
The Pell Lake boy, a freshman at Badger High School, said he wanted to do something local. Two of his classmates — Logan Tenney and Jordon Drohner, both 14 and also fellow Badger freshmen — completed their Eagle Scout projects at Big Foot Beach State Park.
Seeberg worked on their projects, they worked on his. On Saturday, Nov. 6, Seeberg and 32 volunteers cleaned and cleared the park boardwalk area from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
"It looks like a whole different park now," said Kathy Seeberg, Jackson's mom. "To us, it seemed like there had been years and years of growth. (Now) it's at a manageable state."
Jackson said they removed excess vegetation and graffiti, trimmed trees and replaced five old birdhouses.
But before it came time to put hands to power tools, he had to seek help.
Jackson asked the Bloomfield Town Board for permission to perform the project at its regular meeting in October. Not only did the board give its approval, but Town Chairman Ken Monroe was one of the volunteers on hand Nov. 6.
Jackson also discussed the project at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Lake Geneva.
"There was a lot of asking going on," Kathy said.
Jackson said he built new birdhouses with Genoa City Cub Scout Troop 236, of which he's a den chief.
When it came time to work, he said they removed vegetation near the boardwalk entrance and replaced it with gravel. Some of the walk boards were replaced.
"The park was a bigger project than we expected," Kathy said. "The graffiti, in my opinion, was the most time-consuming part."
"We used belt sanders and wire wheels on our drills," Jackson said.
But it wasn't all physical labor. He said he was required to document the entire project for when he appears before the district Eagle Scout board to obtain the highest scout rank in the U.S.
"There's a lot of paperwork I had to write down," Jackson said. "I had to write a description of what I was doing."
Kathy said Jackson was told about the benefits of becoming an Eagle Scout. Jackson said there are more job opportunities for an Eagle Scout, not to mention more respect from people in the community.
He said he also found his enjoyed his role as project supervisor, directing people in their tasks to complete what he envisioned.
But Jackson said it was a worthwhile project because he wants to reach the top of something he started back when he was in first-grade, when he joined the Cub Scouts.
"I have been in Scouts my entire life," Jackson said. "I just wanted to see if I could make it all the way."
However, he also was surprised by how long it took to finish the beautification of McKay Park.
Jackson said if he were to do it all over again, he would have better prepared for removing graffiti and obtained more helpers, "or I should say bushwhackers."
But he said he believes he and his family and friends made a difference that day out there.
"Now, people from Star Center could go there and wouldn't have to worry about stubbing their toes on a loose nail or reading the horrible graffiti on the shelter walls," Jackson said.