Scout goes for Eagle with Waterford park plan

pguerra@modbee.comAugust 1, 2013 

PG Bark Replace

Brett Dixon, 14, of Modesto is having a community project in Waterford Aug. 3 to earn his Eagle Scout rank. He aims to replace all the bark at this playground with safer recycled tires. He is pictured (07-25-13) at Beard Park in Waterford, Ca.

PATTY GUERRA — The Modesto Bee Buy Photo

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— If you're not busy Saturday, Brett Dixon would like you to help him earn his Eagle Scout rank.

Brett, 14, a longtime Boy Scout from Modesto, will replace old wood chips with recycled rubber at Waterford's Beard Park.

The idea came from Tim Ogden, Waterford's city manager and a friend of Brett's family. When they went to take a look, Brett and his mom, Tami, were surprised to see how big the playground area is — surprised, but undaunted.

So Brett got to work.

"I've been planning this for a couple of months," he said. He is hoping for a large turnout Saturday — "as many people as possible."

The city is providing the materials, thanks to a grant by CalRecycle. The rubberized "bark" is safer, easier to maintain and lasts longer, Ogden said. The city's grant was for $82,500, but materials cost $53,820, so Waterford will return the difference.

Brett says work will begin Saturday at 8 a.m. He asks everyone who wants to participate to wear closed-toe shoes and clothes that can get dirty, and bring gloves, shovels, wheelbarrows, push brooms and garden rakes. And anyone who could bring a pickup truck is especially appreciated.

It's a big endeavor, but it's also a big help to the city.

"The work, if not for the Scouts and their volunteers, would be a time-consuming effort for our forces," Ogden wrote in an email. He estimated the value of the work at $15,000, though the real savings comes in work that won't have to be pushed off while city workers tackle the bark replacement.

"We're excited about the grant and the project," Ogden said, "and appreciate the support of Brett, the Boy Scouts and community volunteers who come out to assist."

The project is set to begin at 8 a.m. Saturday at Beard Park, 540 C St. For more information, contact Brett at (209) 522-1846 or ettbjdixon@earthlink.net.

Breaking News Editor Patty Guerra can be reached at pguerra@modbee.com or (209) 578-2343. Follow her on Twitter @pattyguerra.

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