Ancestors give Scout reasons for Eagle project

Ancestors give Scout reasons for Eagle project
Front: Kaden Newman, Andrew Snyder, Richard Black, Liam Leonard; back: Emiliano Makros, Karsen Newman, Josh Hardin and Nick Snyder

Granada resident Karsen Newman had more than one special reason for choosing to rejuvenate a local park as his Eagle Scout project.

“I have grown up going to Granada Park my entire life, spending lots of time playing and enjoying it,” said Newman, a senior at Bishop Kenny High School and member of Boy Scout Troop 906, out of St. John’s Cathedral in downtown Jacksonville. “I only live a couple streets away. My grandmother also lives a few houses away, so we would go and see her after or walk her down to the park with us.” 

Drawing on help from other Scouts in his Troop, Newman funded the nearly $900 project through donations on a GoFundMe page. He said he put about 16 hours into the project, which included planting new shrubs and putting mulch on a section of the park.

The second reason he chose that project can be traced backed to his great-grandfather on his mother’s side of the family.

Granada Park before the makeover by Boy Scout Troop 906
Granada Park before the makeover by Boy Scout Troop 906

“My great-grandfather St. Elmo W. Acosta, who was a city commissioner, state legislator and city parks commissioner, led me to knowing how important preserving parks and lands are,” Newman shared. “Knowing that he worked hard to preserve lands for others to enjoy helped guide me to rejuvenate Granada Park.” 

The .4-acre park was dedicated to the City of Jacksonville in 1925 when the Granada subdivision was platted. The park was beautified with landscaping projects in 2002-2003, and in 2010 a new playground with ADA access was installed. It suffered significant damage from Hurricane Irma in September 2017.

“The project took place over a 3-day period, and we are really proud of Karsen Newman, the Scout who organized this entire project,” said Cheryl Baker, Troop 906 Scoutmaster. “Further, he goes by there to water the plants three to five times a week as needed to ensure their success.”

Newman’s Eagle Scout award remony is planned for early March at St. John’s Cathedral.

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