Scouts use beach time to make a difference

Scouts (front row, L-R) Zachary Rimko, Andrew Zetts and Jimmy McKenna took time in April to clean up Edgewater Park with parents (second row, L-R) Cheryl Zetts, Cindy Rimko, Jim Lieb, Joy Volpi, and Kevin Erskine. Photo courtesy of Joy Volpi

Avon

Approximately 40 members of Avon Cub Scout Pack 333 and Avon Boy Scout Troop 333 braved the elements in April to help clean up a local beach.The Scouts volunteered their time to spruce up a half-mile section of Perkins Beach in Cleveland, along with part of a walking trail in Edgewater Park.Kevin Erskine, den leader of Cub Scout Pack 333 and park officer for Cleveland Lakefront Park, suggested the site.”I work there … I know that part of the beach is neglected by our maintenance staff because it’s really hard to get to,” Erskine said in a recent interview. “It’s not a higher profile area. I just thought it was a good project for our pack to do.”The scout project was part of Preserve America’s Waterways.”They are an organization dedicated to cleaning up America’s waterways,” Erskine said, adding the goal of the organization is to bring together community members to volunteer 1 million service hours to preserve waterways.Originally, the clean-up was supposed to last four hours, but Erskine said Mother Nature didn’t comply with those plans.”It was 40 degrees, and we got a whiteout of sleet,” he said, adding the Scouts cleaned up for about two and a half hours.The Scouts were able to clean up the whole beach area, in spite of 45-mile an hour winds that day, Erskine said.The group cleared brush from a hillside area where people usually come to take pictures, Erskine said.”We cleared that brush so you could see the Cleveland skyline again,” he said.Billy Cannon, a first-grade Cub Scout, called the experience “dirty,” but he felt the beach looked a lot better after the clean-up.He said he would volunteer in a clean up activity againFourth-grader Alexander Wendling helped clean up along the forest trail, he said.”It was very, like, not normal,” he said of things they found and threw away. “I found all these beer bottles, and it said ‘No alcoholic drinks’ right at the beginning (of the trail). I found a garden hose and I found a tire.”Wendling said his time volunteered will count toward an outdoorsman badge.Erskine said many of the Scouts planned to put the community service toward the 100-year scouting badge. “This was one of the requirements for the community service,” he said. “There’s numerous awards or ranks that they could earn by participating (in the project).”Each scout who took part received a free, 10-inch Norway spruce seedling from Cleveland Lakefront State Park Naturalist Carol Ward, Erskine said.One of the required scout projects, as part of a conservation initiative, is to plant a tree.”The following weekend, we had a campout over at Avon United Methodist, down at Detroit and planted a lot of the trees there along the wood line behind the church,” Erskine said.Contact Rebecca Turman at rturman@2presspapers.com

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