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(Submitted photo courtesy Martino family)
A North Versailles Twp. student’s landscape gardening project has brought him one step closer to earning the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout.
Last week at the township commissioners' regular monthly meeting, board President Frank Bivens presented Noah Martino, 17, with a certificate of recognition and accompanying plaque for successfully completing the North Versailles Park Beautification Project in June.
“I have one merit badge that I am finishing over the next two months, and then I will officially get the Eagle rank,” Martino said.
Martino, an Eagle Scout candidate with Boy Scout Troop 90, chartered to Forest Hills Presbyterian Church, chose to renovate a dilapidated garden bed and perform related repairs and improvements in Robert Vuyanich Memorial Park along Tintsman Avenue in West Wilmerding for his Eagle Scout project.
Speaking to the commissioners, Martino explained to become an Eagle Scout, a scout must earn 21 merit badges and execute a service project demonstrating leadership skills and service to their community. Martino said the carefully planned project took over 24 hours of combined labor from himself and other volunteers.
The project included power washing the brick and stone wall behind the bed, removal and replacement of damaged bricks, filling cracks, building and installing a large wooden planter box containing perennials and vines, installing an oval bed containing perennials, ferns and bushes, and edging and mulching each of the three trees in the bed.
Commission President Frank Bivens presents Noah Martino, 17, with the township's thanks for the scout's efforts to beautify Robert "Brownie" Vuyanich Memorial Park. (Submitted photo courtesy Martino family)
Martino was helped by volunteers from his scout troop and the community, including his mother Wendy Martino and North Versailles Twp. police Chief James Matrazzo.
He said it was challenging to coordinate scheduling for his volunteer crew, locate water sources and purchase supplies.
“The $200 I received from the township helped purchase about half of the necessary materials --- the mulch and topsoil was provided by the township as well --- but the cost of construction materials and food to feed volunteers came out of my own bank account,” he said.
Martino will graduate from Trinity Christian School in 2019. He plans to attend the University of Pittsburgh to study computer science.
Richard Finch Jr. is a freelance writer who is covering McKeesport Area schools and North Versailles Twp. for Tube City Almanac. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published September 23, 2018.