It took awhile to see the results, but the fruit of Jake Keary’s labor is starting to show.
And later this spring, the evidence should be in full bloom.
To earn his Eagle Scout community service merit badge, Jake took on a landscaping project for the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center.
Jake’s mom, Deb, is a Bert Nash clinician. Deb is an on-site therapist at Liberty Memorial Central Middle School as part of the Bert Nash WRAP (Working to Recognize Alternative Possibilities) program.
“My mom came to me with the idea,” said Jake, who will be a junior at Free State High School. “As part of my Eagle project, you have to help the community in some way, and it has to be for a nonprofit organization.”
Jake’s project involved replacing a weather-beaten bench — dedicated in 2001 in memory of the late Bert Nash CEO Sandra Shaw — that was located under a tree on the south side of the Community Health Facility at 200 Maine St.
“The old bench was made out of wood and was showing signs of wear and tear,” Jake said. “The bench needed to be replaced.”
After researching numerous options, Jake settled on a cast-iron bench to replace the old wooden one.
But he wasn’t finished.
Besides cleaning up the area around the new bench, Jake decided to spruce it up by planting flowers.
“I got some bags of bulbs and planted those around the bench,” Jake said.
He started the project last May and, with a helping hand from his dad, Chris, completed the work in the fall.
“Jake’s dad and I are very proud of him. He is a wonderful young man who is thoughtful, kind and helpful,” Jake’s mom, Deb, said. “It makes me feel good knowing when I come to work, I see something he helped create and others can enjoy.”
The flowers Jake planted last year are blooming now. The tulips were the first to emerge from the ground.
Jake, who started Cub Scouts when he was in the first grade, was recognized during a Court of Honor ceremony May 18 at the First Baptist Church.
“It was always a goal I had,” Jake said of becoming an Eagle Scout.
Scouting runs in the family.
“My cousin was an Eagle Scout, his dad was an Eagle Scout and my grandfather was an Eagle Scout,” Jake said.
Now he can add his name to the list.