Timothy Austin Brown, a junior at Palmetto Senior High, recruited over 125 volunteers to help him clean up Matheson Hammock Park for his Eagle Scout Project. The group started at 8 a.m. on a hot June day and worked through lunch, totaling over 500 hours of manpower spent on the park clean-up effort.
“I enjoy the outdoors and the environment and I go to Matheson Hammock Park,” said Brown, who has been in Scouting since he was in the second grade. “I had noticed that most people go to the boat ramps or to the beach and the park grounds seemed neglected.”
Brown’s recruits, including his fellow members from Troop 457, family members and friends removed over two truckloads of invasive plants and planted more than 100 red and black mangroves in the lake beds and green buttonwoods on the shoreline. They also repaired, painted and modified three picnic benches to meet ADA standards for wheelchair visitors.
The group cleaned foot-path signage and cleared foliage around benches. Finally, a sea grape tree was planted and a plaque was displayed on behalf of Brown and his troop in hopes of inspiring other young members of the community to participate in volunteer activities.
“It was an amazing accomplishment and I’m so thankful to everyone who was a part of it,” said Brown.
Brown was especially grateful for the help of his parents, Jayne and Tim Brown, Scoutmaster Dave Ziska, committee chair Julie Ziska and Boy Scouts adult advisors Peter Berg and Rick Diaz.
“Mr. Berg and Mr. Diaz are present at every Eagle Scout project and they help guide you to get your project off the ground,” said Brown.
Brown’s summer continues to be busy. He recently completed a medical forum at Georgetown University where high school juniors and seniors worldwide were invited to learn about the medical profession and gain insight into a broad spectrum of medical specialties. The group of 400 students visited nearby teaching hospitals, viewed live surgeries, interviewed doctors and visited anatomy labs.
“The week was exceptional and it was such a great experience,” Brown said. “The days were very structured, but I also made 100 new friends while I was there.”
Brown’s goals after high school are to study medicine and become a neurosurgeon. He has his path already mapped out.
“I plan to attend the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis for four years,” he said. “After serving my time in the Navy for four more years, my goal is to attend Georgetown University or Johns Hopkins University.”