1. Archive

Nicer roads are his good deed

(ran EO edition)

Boy Scout Craig Degenhardt wanted to help plant trees along major roads being repaved and expanded in Oldsmar, but instead he may wind up helping keep a section of new road free of litter.

Craig, 13, a member of Troop 64 in Oldsmar, wrote Mayor Jerry Beverland suggesting the city plant trees along the new roads to replace ones that were cut down. He said the new trees "can supply fresh air and shade for the citizens of Oldsmar," make homes for birds and animals and beautify the city.

Craig's letter was part of an effort to earn a merit badge on citizenship and community.

The Scout said that, if necessary, he and other Troop 64 members "will be willing to help with replacing trees that were destroyed."

No need for that, the mayor replied, because replacement of trees and shrubs along Tampa Road and State Road 580 is included in the construction contracts. Each median also will have sprinklers to water the new plants.

Beverland instead suggested that Craig and Troop 64 adopt a section of new road and periodically pick up trash and debris along the route.

"I would make sure a sign recognizing your volunteerism is placed along the roadway for all travelers to see," the mayor wrote.

"It's going to happen. It's just a matter of taking a vote on it," says the Scout's father, Craig Degenhardt Sr., assistant Scoutmaster of the troop. The Degenhardts recently moved from Oldsmar to Crystal Beach.

The elder Degenhardt says he will work with City Manager Bruce Haddock to determine which section of the roadway to adopt. Haddock's son, Tyler Haddock, is a member of Troop 64, and the elder Haddock is a member of the Troop Committee.

Fred Barton is the Scoutmaster for Troop 64.