Eagle Scout Brandon Mason, of Troop 167, transformed the Old Stage Road kayak landing this summer.
For more than six months he organized the project to make kayaks more accessible to the Badfish Creek.
The space now has a pavilion with a picnic table, an informational kiosk, new gravel and fresh wood chips. Mason also cleared two Cottonwood trees from the water, which had been there for years, he said.
Without the trees, kayakers can now paddle from the landing on Old Stage Road to the landing on Old Stone Road, without having to portage, by caring their canoe on land to the next landing, which they previously had to do.
Mason lives on Old Stone Road, and wanted to do something for the neighborhood where he grew up. He said his family has kayaked on Badfish Creek and he knows a lot of his neighbors enjoy outdoor activities as well.
“Every day on my way to school I drive past that area,” Mason said. “It has been there as long as I can remember and no one has ever developed it or done anything with it.”
As an Eagle Scout, Mason said he was expected to come up with the project, find funding and execute the plan.
He used his family connections and community resources to recruit volunteers and donations. Mason said he found someone to donate the gravel, woodchips, remove the trees and build the new equipment. He also started a Gofundme page which raised $400 in order to fill in the gaps.
“Take a 17 year old kid and throw him in that position, managing 10 people … he stepped up and took care of it,” Brandon’s father Tom Mason said. “I was really proud of him for that.”
Community members were so impressed with the transformation of the landing, they posted on the onFacebook wondering who had completed the job, Tom said.
“Big doings at Old Stone Road landing” one response read, “Extend our sincere thanks to Brandon,” read another. Friends of the Badfish Creek asked to for permission to publish photos on their website, because they wrote it could inspire others
Brandon said the project was a lot of work and he was relieved when it was over. He compared photos from before and after the project and felt good that he was able to have a positive impact, he said.
“It made me happy to see the difference that we made,” he said.