Chelsea Scout Bringing Improvements to City Park
Rising Chelsea High School Senior Ken Lynn has more on his mind than the start of classes or his Spring 2024 graduation. Ken is working to attain the rank of Eagle Scout, which is the highest achievement within the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and historically, is attained by only about 4% of scouts nationwide. He is a longtime member of Chelsea’s BSA Troop 476, well known for producing Eagle Scouts.
Having already completed a significant amount of work through years of participation and study with his troop, he must now develop, plan and lead a community service project that not only provides a lasting benefit to a chosen organization within his community, but that also helps him develop and use the important leadership skills that are expected of an Eagle Scout. For his service project, Ken has proposed improvements to Chelsea’s dog park located at 680 McKinley Street.
His proposal includes removing the park’s current agility features, deteriorating and inconveniently located within the park’s layout, and adding a number of new agility features that will be located in a designated corner. Those features will include, “8 poles for dogs to weave through, a tunnel, 3 hurdles with adjustable heights for dogs to jump over, a hoop for dogs to jump through, a ramp, and a teeter totter,” according to the project plan.”
Not only will the new features add significant value and quality to the dogs’ exercise and play, locating them in a corner will clear out larger spaces in other areas of the park that he hopes will reduce canine collisions and injuries. Ken also plans to add five new benches to provide more seating for dog owners, who currently share only one bench and a picnic table. The benches will be located around the perimeter of the park so they don’t clutter the open space cleared by moving the play equipment.
Ken presented his proposal to Chelsea City Council for approval during their regular meeting on July 24th, having previously been given informal approval from Chelsea Parks and Recreation. After discussion and questions from the council, Interim City Manager Elke Doom determined the project doesn’t actually require a formal vote of City Council members so along with support from Parks and Recreation and the council members in attendance, Ms. Doom gave the go ahead to the Eagle Scout candidate.
Council Member Peter Feeney told Ken, “I’ve been to the dog park. The features that you’re adding, I’m sure, will be most welcome by dog owners so I think this is a fantastic idea!”
With approvals in hand, Ken’s next step is to solicit enough volunteers to complete the project safely and raise the funds necessary to purchase the materials and supplies carefully laid out in his plan. Along with recruiting volunteers from his BSA troop, he also plans to ask fellow members of two other groups he belongs to, the Robotics Club and the Chelsea Marching Band.
With an estimated cost for the project at just under $3,000, Ken hopes to begin the project in mid-August and complete it before the end of September. When asked how he plans to raise funds he said he will, “Do a can drive and ask for donations. I was thinking about putting a tip jar at Wags to Whiskers [Pet Supplies of Chelsea], because it’s for a dog park.” Because the dog park has a Facebook page, he also plans to seek donations online.