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Home Depot employees help with Lincoln, Liberty improvements

| Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, 7:56 a.m.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
Home Depot co-workers help Ed Roche drill one of the holes for bolts that will hold a new kiosk together at the Catfish Pond entrance to Dead Man's Hollow. Their work on Thursday capped a two-day effort to repair the damage vandals did at Catfish Pond earlier this month.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
North Versailles Township Home Depot employees Steve Kuttler and Cleta Williams carry a new sign to the kiosk their crew built on Wednesday and Thursday at the Catfish Pond entrance to Dead Man's Hollow. The kiosk and a new bench replace a kiosk demolished by vandals earlier this month.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
As J.D. Earhart prepares to paint swing posts at Lou Wunderley Memorial Park in Liberty, Home Depot co-worker Cleta Williams sprays weed killer. Earhart and Williams were among six employees of the North Versailles Township Home Depot who volunteered for work on Thursday in Liberty and Lincoln.

Employees from the Home Depot in North Versailles Township volunteered over the past two days to make improvements at three recreational areas.

They replaced a kiosk destroyed by vandals at the Catfish Pond entrance to Dead Man's Hollow in Lincoln, then added new mulch and repainted swing sets at two playgrounds in Liberty.

“Steve (Kuttler) belongs to the (Liberty) fire department and lives in this area,” store manager Fred DeRubeis of Forward Township said. “He brought (the idea) to me. He put together the team and we ran with it.”

Kuttler saw Facebook pictures posted by Allegheny Land Trust stewardship coordinator Mike Good and Dead Man's Hollow website administrator Stephen Bosnyak on Oct. 8.

“It is a shame what they did,” Kuttler said of the vandals who took down the work T.J. Sabatello of Boy Scout Troop 99 had done as an Eagle project two years ago.

The Home Depot volunteers began their work on Wednesday with the kiosk just off Scene Ridge Road on Allegheny Land Trust property that is just over the Lincoln borough line.

“We prebuilt the posts at Home Depot and installed them (on Wednesday) because they had to dry before we could put the roof on it,” Kuttler said.

Liberty public works employee Bruce Takaht helped haul gravel to the kiosk and mulch to the playgrounds. He also manned the backhoe that elevated a roof onto the kiosk.

“We're going to put the roof up and then we're going to put in the frame and put the sign on the frame,” said Kurt Swanson of North Huntingdon Township.

Swanson, J.D. Earhart of North Huntingdon, Cleta Williams of McKeesport and Ed Roche of Elizabeth Township worked with Kuttler and DeRubeis on the latest project for NVT Home Depot volunteers.

They sank the posts for the kiosk into 2 feet of concrete — and did the same with a new bench, an added extra for the site.

“We built the bench at Home Depot,” said Kuttler, a 15-year veteran of Home Depot stores in North Fayette Township and Bridgeville as well as North Versailles. “Then we installed it into the ground with concrete so it isn't coming up.”

“He's doing a good job,” DeRubeis said. “We do a lot of this stuff locally and nationally.”

The Catfish Pond kiosk is one of three built as Eagle Scout projects in the vicinity of Dead Man's Hollow. Others are located along Calhoun Road and near the Boston entrance to the Great Allegheny Passage.

All were dedicated to the memory of local conservation expert David Pencoske, a Dead Man's Hollow steward who died in 2010.

Shortly after the work was done at the Catfish Pond kiosk, Allegheny Land Trust posted a thank you notice with a picture of the new kiosk on its Facebook page.

“We're very grateful for Home Depot North Versailles,” the ALT posting read. “They did some amazing work at Catfish Pond.”

Employees then focused on two Liberty playgrounds, one adjacent to the borough's fire hall, the other along Elizabeth Street and New Memory Lane.

“We're cleaning graffiti off the slides,” Kuttler said. “We brought three skids or 180 bags of mulch.”

The T-shirts worn by the NVT volunteers touted another program Home Depot Foundation is conducting through Veterans Day.

The foundation's third annual Celebration of Service campaign is part of a five-year, $80 million commitment by the home improvement company to improve the safety of homes where 22 million veterans live.

Through Nov. 11 more than 350 service projects are planned across the country. More details about the campaign are available online at www.homedepotfoundation.org.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1967, or pcloonan@tribweb.com.

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