A local Boy Scout took on a project at a Forsyth County senior services center that has encouraged more visitors to head outside.
The Hearthstone Lodge patio area looks “absolutely beautiful” thanks to Ben Turner’s renovations, said Kathy Lamb, activities team leader at the north Forsyth center.
“Before he even got completed, people were already utilizing the tables and chairs out there,” Lamb said. “We really greatly appreciate the improvements to that area and that you chose Hearthstone Lodge to do your project.”
Turner, 18, completed a makeover of the outdoor area as his project toward obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout, which will go before a review board this month.
During a ceremony Thursday, he spoke with the Biscuit Boys, a group that meets weekly at the center, about his renovations to the patio.
Turner, a home-schooled high school senior, said he originally planned to build something at the Shady Grove Campground, which his Troop 245 in Cumming has visited many times.
As he left his preview visit of the campground last year, his mom pointed out the neighboring community center and suggested he check out Hearthstone.
Turner saw the patio area was in need of some work, and the project was approved in February.
He raised about $2,000 in donations and received discounts from outdoor improvement stores hoping to help out a future Eagle Scout.
All that legwork led up to about a week of labor with other Scouts and volunteers in late July and early August.
The experience left Turner with a greater understanding of this type of work. “I learned how big of a project it was,” he said.
Turner added new patio tables, chairs and umbrellas, and a cover for the grill on the deck.
He also planted daylilies, two redbud trees and landscaped the area surrounding the stairs he installed to replace the previous steep natural embankment.