By Wendy Sweeter,
James Bondesen completed the installation of this bench, garbage can and tree at West Evergreen Park for his Eagle Scout project. Photo: Wendy Sweeter
A new bench and tree have been planted at West Evergreen Park thanks to one Scout.
James Bondesen completed the project for his Eagle Scout application. After seven years in Scouts, Bondesen wanted to honor one of his past Scout leaders and his family with his Eagle Scout project.
“As you go up through the ranks, you look forward to being an Eagle Scout and doing a project for your community. I decided to do a bench in memory of Ryan Renz’s daughter because Ryan has helped me for many years in Boy Scouts. He’s kept me motivated and I decided this would be a good project for him in memory of his daughter,” he said.
Renz’s daughter, Ellen, passed away from cancer at 26 years old in February.
Bondesen’s dad, Jeff, thought the bench would be a good fit for James’ project.
“We just thought it was fitting to honor her and Ryan and his family,” Jeff said.
In order to install the bench, James went in front of the city council to get approval. They approved installing a bench and garbage can, along with a tree that the Bondesens planted in memory of James’ baby brother, Jeffery, who died when he was 17 months old.
To complete the project, James worked with other members of his troop. First they dug a hole 8 feet by 4 feet by 6 inches deep. He noted it was pretty hard digging since it was solid clay. They filled the bottom with two inches of gravel and hand tamped it. Then they put the forms around it and filled the hole with concrete donated by Ace Ready Mix.
James and his Scout crew came about four or five times to the park to work on the project.
Now that the project is complete, James is currently waiting on notice for a board of review where he will go in and talk about Scouting and his project. He does not achieve the rank of Eagle Scout until he passes the board of review.
“Less than 5 percent of Scouts achieve it,” Jeff said. “I’m very proud of him and everyone else who achieves this level because it isn’t easy. There are a lot of requirements. We try not to spoon feed the kids too much. They have to earn all their badges.”
As he waits for his board of review, James has one invitation to the community.
“Anyone’s welcome to come and sit down,” he said.