Photo: Eagle Scout Jacob Rutledge created a path and landscaping at the corner of the Veterans Community Project. Photo by Kathy Feist
Eagle Scout project benefits Veterans Community Project
By Kathy Feist
When 14-year-old Jacob Rutledge headed to the Veterans Community Project headquarters to discuss the possibility of doing an Eagle Scout project, a patch of ground near the curb caught his eye.
“I immediately noticed it was just mud and dirt and grass,” he recalls. “There was no sidewalk, the curb was low and crappy and had fallen apart.”
Although there are sidewalks across the streets that lead to the corner at 89th and Troost, there was none on the property. Pedestrians either had to walk through the patch of ground that serves as a city utilities island, or walk on the street.
Utilizing the space was one of several projects recommended by VCP Director of Operations Chris Admire.
Rutledge, whose dad Scott owns the landscaping business The Sharper Edge in Martin City, knew he had the capabilities to create a useful and appealing curbside.
After months of preparation, including drawing plans and enlisting volunteer help and donations, the beautification project finally began in late September.
The patch of mud and grass was torn out and regraded.
A winding sidewalk was created from concrete donated by Talon Concrete and poured courtesy Alonzo del Real with Concrete Impressions.
Concrete edging was donated and installed courtesy The Sharper Edge.
Later, on October 5, 10 fellow boyscouts from Troop 10 in Leawood joined Rutledge on a cold and wet Saturday morning. They planted over 100 liriope plants, 60 bluestem grasses and poured hundreds of pounds of mulch, all donated by Rosehill Gardens and supervised by its Maintenance Manager George Farrill.
A stranger, who noticed their work, brought two small trees which he planted.
A small statue of a fireman was donated by the Sharper Edge. It replaces a previous monument that memorialized a local fallen firefighter.
Rutledge was excited and relieved once his Eagle project was completed. “It’s a lot more useful and professional looking,” he said. “Now anyone who comes through here won’t have to walk through the mud and rocks. And veterans in wheelchairs won’t have to go out into the street to get to there.”
“This was, no brainer, an amazing project,” says Admire. “This project fills a need to serve those who serve us.”
The Veterans Community Project is the national headquarters for future Veterans Villages in other communities.