Clarke County boasts a significant number of fine young men who aspire to join the ranks of Eagle Scout. These candidates often develop projects in park settings that will benefit citizens, but on Saturday May 12, one prospective Eagle Scout broke ground on a highly anticipated project that will also benefit man’s best friend. Boy Scout Daniel Judge’s Eagle Scout project is the addition of a dog park on the grounds of Chet Hobert park in Clarke County. The facility will provide a fenced area where dog owners can let their animals off of their leash. Daniel said, “The dog park will give dogs from all over the area the opportunity to play and socialize. It will also give a sense of community to dog owners, and will hopefully help to encourage the adoption and support of animals at the Animal Shelter.”
The idea for the project came to Daniel while he was playing soccer. “Because of my travel soccer teams, I have visited dozens of parks all over the area that have dog parks . When I was looking for an Eagle Scout project my mom suggested it, and I immediately loved the idea.”
Apparently it is an addition that many residents have hoped to see in Clarke County. Daniel noted that, “The day after we discussed it with Parks and Rec, word got out and they received a fair number of calls from citizens who said,’We want the dog park.'”
The scope and magnitude of the project is inspiring. The fenced in park will be a 125′ x 125′ gravel filled area that will be subdivided into two smaller pens. This will provide a flexible space to accommodate a variety of dogs. “I worked with Ms. Cooke and the Chet Hobert Parks Board to come up with a simple design and location, which will incorporate two sections, one for big dogs and one for small dogs as well as shade, parking, and a water source.”
However great ideas require hard work and follow through in order to become a reality. Eagle Scout projects are designed to teach these qualities to young men in practical ways. To achieve the highest badge in the Boy Scouts of America, prospective Eagle Scouts must conceive of, plan and execute a project that benefits the community. Daniel’s project took this a step further in several ways. His project is a slightly complicated partnership where the Parks and Rec Department will provide partial funding. The projected cost of the project is estimated to be $18,000. Parks and Rec will cover $13,000 and Daniel will be required to raise the remaining $5,000. “We have had a lot of support, the tough part now is donations.” Daniel has already raised approximately $1000 but is actively seeking contributions to finalize the project,
His project also involved negotiations with two different power companies. The site of the dog park is situated next to the Jaycee Shelter and is in the easement for the power lines that pass through the park, so Daniel had to manage discussions with Allegheny Power and Rappahannock Electric Cooperative. “They have all been great to work with, it was just a lot tougher than I thought it would be.”
Saturday’s work entailed cutting sod away from an area that had been cleared by a bulldozer. Other scouts from Troop 500 that contributed their time and energy to the project include: Khalil Masar, Daniel Judge, Graham Smith, and Jonathan Meyer. Daniel’s father Tom Judge was also on hand overseeing the effort and providing additional labor.
Daniel anticipates the project will be completed in early June. “There is a chance it will be done by June 1st, but probably between June 1st and 15th.”
To contribute to Daniel’s project please contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Checks can be made out to the Clarke County Treasurer with a note in the memo field “for dog park.” You may also contact Director of Parks & Recreation Lisa A. Cooke at (540) 955-5140 or by email at email@example.com.