Eagle Contributes to Pathway Safety for South Coast Botanic Garden

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Eagle Scout Chris Golden is congratulated by Manhattan Beach City Councilmember Wayne Powell.

MANHATTAN BEACH — Manhattan Beach resident Chris Golden, an 18-year-old Mira Costa High School senior, celebrated his Boy Scout Eagle Court of Honor May 4 with fellow El Segundo Troop 773 scouts, family and friends. 

Manhattan Beach City Councilmember Wayne Powell, himself an Eagle Scout, presented Chris with a Certification of Commendation from the City Council. 

Chris stated, “I wanted to do an Eagle work project for the South Coast Botanic Garden to honor my 87-year-old grandfather, Chris Watanabe, who still works with the ‘Back 40’ group at the garden.”

Carol Howden, volunteers and membership director, had a project in mind.  She asked him to improve paths replacing the surface with decomposed granite, build a pair of trellises, and concrete stones along a path. 

After the project was approved, he conducted his own fundraising to pay for the project supplies. Crenshaw Lumbar and Sepulveda Building Materials donated building supplies, reducing the amount of fundraising necessary. 

On Aug. 28, 2011, 34 volunteers representing 11 Boy Scout troops, family, and students from Mira Costa High School resurfaced 1,500 square feet of pathway, built and installed a pair of trellises, and concreted 30 feet of rock borders. 

“Because my three projects were located in different areas of the garden, communication was essential to keep my projects running smoothly,” stated Chris. When cell phones were unable to receive signals, he used back-up walkie-talkies to keep supplies available and redistribute workers as necessary. 

“As we were working on concreting the rock border, it became apparent that the pathway needed grading. Even though it was not planned, I decided to include that step since I wanted the path to have a professional look,” he said. The strongest workers were assigned to this section. 

It was one of the hottest days of that summer and Chris used his experience attending the 100-Year National Boy Scout Jamboree in 2010 to avoid heat stroke, encouraging all to drink lots of cold water placed in each working area. 

“My volunteers were amazing. We finished in one day, making the garden pathways safer and more beautiful. Altogether, the project took 294 hours. I am especially happy that at the end of the day, everyone was healthy,” boasted Chris.

Boy Scouts of America celebrated 100 years of Eagle Scout Awards in 2012. On Aug. 23, 2012, Chris was one of the 57,976 scouts to receive the Eagle Scout Award that year, the highest number in 100 years of this prestigious award. 

Inspired by earning the Engineering Merit Badge and his participation in FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Beach Cities Robotics Team 294, Chris plans to follow his passion for mechanical engineering at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill. this fall.

Information about joining Boy Scout Troop 773 can be found at www.troop773.org.

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