The Frederick News-Post

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — The Frederick Community Action Agency’s backyard is clean and crime-free because of one teenager’s project.

Using hedge shears, power tools and about 30 of his relatives and friends, Derek Nestor completed his Eagle Scout project this fall, landscaping and putting up a new fence behind the agency’s building at 100 S. Market St.

The agency asked Derek, 15, for his help, as it had been having crime and unwanted traffic in the area, between South and All Saints streets, said Richard Broadbent, a manager at the agency.

Derek, a sophomore at Frederick High School and member of Boy Scout Troop 470, said he took on the project because he knew it would have an immediate impact.

“I knew it would affect people the next day,” he said.

In the agency’s yard, weed and trees had grown over a partially collapsed fence.

Tall brush provided a cover for illegal activity, such as drug use, Broadbent said.

Someone broke into the agency’s shed next to the fence earlier in the year and stole a riding tractor, lawn mower and other equipment, Broadbent said.

Derek started organizing the project this past summer. He developed a proposal, created a $500 budget and started to ask around for supplies and volunteers.

He connected with local businesses such as Lowe’s and Blaine Landscaping. Those businesses and others donated and discounted equipment and materials, and Derek said he was able to complete the project with just $20.

He and his volunteers spent six hours Oct. 26 chopping down overgrown trees, brush and weeds, and rebuilding the fence.

They also collected 100 cans for the food bank, Derek said.

The project needed a lot of supervision, because of the equipment used, and what could have been found in the bushes, said Matt Nestor, Derek’s dad.

The volunteers found a drug needle and syringe on the ground, and Derek said he used his Boy Scout training to dispose of it properly.

Only adults were allowed to use the power tools. A nurse was on-site all day, Matt Nestor said.

Broadbent said he has worked at the agency for six years, and this is the first Eagle Scout project he knows of that helped the agency. Scouts do spend a lot of time volunteering at the agency, he said.

“It has really made a difference,” Broadbent said. “It has cut down on traffic quite a bit.”

Derek said he feels good knowing that his project helped.

“It’s one of the best organizations around, for everything they do for everyone,” he said.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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