Synergy Leads to Successful Eagle Project


The Winton Woods harbor area recently received a significant upgrade: a new set of steps near the boathouse that make it easier for people to get to the lake. This upgrade wouldn’t have happened without the planning and leadership of 17-year-old scout Zachary Jones and the assistance and enthusiasm of many members of Great Parks.

Improved access to fishing just north of the Winton Woods boathouse had been needed for a long time. The steep grade of the bank was worn from frequent use and quite damaged by erosion. The construction of landscape steps would create easier and safer access, protect the bank from additional erosion and add to the overall aesthetics of the area.

Zachary’s first step to partnering with Great Parks began with the volunteer services department. Serving as the liaison between Great Parks and the Eagle Scouts, the volunteer services department helps coordinate all the paper work and project documentation and ensures that Great Parks receives a quality project while the scout receives the best possible learning experience.

After getting set up with volunteer services, Zachary’s proposal for steps was vetted through the planning department to assess feasibility from an engineering standpoint. The next step of the project involved design, and Zachary worked with a Great Parks’ engineer, surveyor, and volunteer (who also happens to be an engineer). Zachary assisted in producing a contour map of the area and developing a site plan. These engineering drawings were needed to help ensure successful construction in the field.

With plans in hand, a site meeting was called to discuss the project. Zachary received assistance and guidance from Great Parks’ landscape department. Everyone discussed plans and strategies including materials, tools, labor, timing, best practices and the need to locate an underground waterline. At the end of this meeting, the step locations were marked in paint and the site was ready for construction.

Actual construction took three days over the course of two weekends. Several dump trucks of soil were excavated and removed by hand. Tee timbers were cut to length using a chainsaw and anchored in the ground with rebar. Gravel was then used to finish the step landings. More than 15 fellow scouts assisted Zachary with construction. Great Parks also provided skilled technical labor and operators for the required specialized tools and equipment.

In the end, Zachary’s Eagle Scout project was approved as a success. Thanks to great leadership and lots of teamwork, park guests will enjoy these steps for years to come!

Rick Conrad, Park Manager, Winton Woods

Special thanks to the many Great Parks’ staff members and volunteers who assisted Zachary with his project:

  • Kris Roselle, Volunteer Services Coordinator
  • Tim Zelek, Planning Manager
  • Joe Walter, Engineer
  • Jim Toerner, Surveyor
  • Dale Hoffmann, Volunteer
  • Jerry Frankenhoff, Landscape Manager
  • Kurt Goldick, Assistant Landscape Manager
  • Shaun McClary, Maintenance Landscape Specialist
  • Tim Ruhe, Operations
  • Tom Tice, Operations
  • Tricia Green, Operations
  • Bill Weinel, Operations
  • Josh Short, Operations
  • Len Vollman, Operations
  • Dan Bareswilt, Operations
  • Chris Zenni, Operations
  • Ramon Capetillo, Operations