Christopher Stumpf originally wanted to restore the flag pole in front of St. Paul's. Village officials, however, didn't green light the project since the fate of the property still remains unknown.
The local Boy Scout, a member of Troop 56 here in Garden City, later connected with recreation department head Kevin Ocker, who suggested a village-owned piece of land in the western section that could use some sprucing up.
Over the course of roughly 10 months, November through Aug. 1, Stumpf and a dedicated crew of approximately 40 volunteers transformed the empty green space on New Hyde Park Road into a passive place for residents, merchants and shoppers alike to reflect and relax.
"Overall the community will benefit, it serves as a nice area to relax and take in the area's beauty," Stumpf told Patch.
A 25-foot flag pole surrounded by new landscaping acts as the centerpiece of the space, which also includes three backless wood benches installed in between two designated bushes that form a natural horseshoe. Solar lights illuminate the flag and plants.
Stumpf dedicated the space to U.S. veterans. "They fought for this country's freedom, and what it stands for, while putting their lives on the line," he said.
Troop 56 Scoutmaster Marc Miner said Stumpf, through hard work and planning, made the lot a destination for shoppers and pedestrians.
"Chris showed real leadership in gathering the funds to complete the project and directing the other scouts in carrying out the work," Miner said. "The finished project, and the professionalism displayed by Chris, is a testament to Christopher and the value of Scouting. The Village of Garden City, and especially Kevin Ocker, should also be commended for providing the time and assistance to make the project a reality."
Stumpf, entering his junior year at Garden City High School, is thankful for the support. "I also got a lot of support from Garden City residents for the project," he said.
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano has declared Sept. 8, 2012 Eagle Scout Day in Nassau County.
"Eagle Scout Day is a time in which we pause to recognize Arthur R. Eldred and all the Eagle Scouts in Nassau and across the nation, along with leaders, families and community members who support Boy Scouts in their efforts to achieve Scouting’s highest rank,” Mangano said in a press release.
On Sept. 8, the Theodore Roosevelt Council of Boy Scouts of America (TRC-BSA) and the National Eagle Scout Association – Arthur R. Eldred Chapter, will sponsor the Eagle Scout Centennial Parade in Rockville Centre. The parade participants, consisting of units of Long Island Boy Scout Troops, Eagle Scouts, BSA leaders and dignitaries, will step off at 10 a.m. from Parking Field #2 on Randall Avenue in Rockville Centre and proceed north. The parade will end at the Alfred R. Eldred Park, North Centre Avenue and Parkwood, at approximately 10:30 a.m.; the commemoration ceremony will follow at which members of Eldred’s family are expected to attend.
Stumpf's Eagle Scout ceremony will likely take place in January.
For more information about the Eagle Scout Centennial Parade and anniversary activities visit www.trcbsa.org or call (516) 797-7600. For Eagle Scout Award information visit: National Eagle Scout Association at www.nesa.org.