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Prospective Eagle Scouts line up for Lower Burrell community projects

| Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 12:51 a.m.

Lower Burrell officials are excited the city has so many prospective Eagle Scouts.

Not only does the number of Boy Scouts seeking the organization's highest honor bode well for the future of leadership in the city, but more immediately, it may mean volunteer work completed in the city's parks, council members indicated.

Council on Monday agreed to allow Boy Scout Shawn Knudsen of Lower Burrell Troop 121 to work at Fisher Hall in Burrell Lake Park this spring.

Knudsen told council he planned to pressure wash and apply cement restorer to the hall's front steps, improve the handicapped-access ramp, realign and secure railroad ties that surround a garden and apply a restoring solution to the rear wooden deck.

Knudsen said his project would build on a previous Scout's work at the hall. He estimated the materials will cost a maximum of $850, which the city will cover.

“That's a lot of work, Shawn,” Councilman David Regoli said. “We're very proud of you. We appreciate your hard work.”

“I think it's a wonderful idea that he's chosen to put his time and effort into beautifying the parks,” said Councilman Rich Callender, who oversees the city parks.

Callender said he's impressed by the number of Eagle Scouts Lower Burrell can claim, considering the total number of Boy Scouts who earn that rank is rare. According to the Boy Scouts of America, about 7 percent of members earned their Eagle award as of 2012.

Callender said Knudsen makes at least the fourth local Eagle Scout candidate he's interacted with in the past few years, and Callender said there are three more potential Eagle candidates next year.

“I'm looking forward to it,” he said.

Other park news

• Callender said visitors to the city's parks this year may notice a few less trees.

He said a recent inventory revealed about 70 trees had been killed by the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect

Callender said he's working with a contractor to remove the trees, which he feels are a safety hazard, at Burrell Lake, K9 Officer Derek Kotecki Memorial (formerly Wolf Pack) and Veterans Central parks.

• Callender said sports teams that play and practice at Kotecki Memorial Park may be delayed in using the softball and soccer fields this spring.

The severe winter delayed work on a sewer project that will cross park property. Callender said it is unlikely the park work will be finished by the target date of April 1.

Community and school district teams that use the fields may need to make alternate plans for part of their season, Callender said.

Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680 or lhayes@tribweb.com.

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