DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

October 10, 2013

Eagle Scout gives back to his preschool

LHS junior creates green space at preschool

By Julie Huss
jhuss@derrynews.com

---- — LONDONDERRY — A local Boy Scout is making gardens grow at his former preschool.

Eagle Scout candidate Michael Donovan, 16, was honored at Moose Hill School in a ceremony Oct. 2. The Scout helped develop and design the school’s Children’s Garden area as part of his Eagle award requirements. He is a member of Boy Scout Troop 521 and is a junior at Londonderry High School.

Donovan was once a student at Moose Hill, part of the Londonderry Early Education Program, or LEEP. His younger brother, Aidan, 4, now attends the program.

As he researched a potential Eagle Scout project idea, Donovan thought of his first school.

“When I started, I got the idea,” he said. “This was the first place I came to.”

Donovan approached the Moose Hill staff about possibly taking on the garden project to help earn his Eagle Scout honor, the highest award given to a Boy Scout.

He also talked to school district grounds and building staff to get input on the garden plan. He included a 3-D model of the garden and even attended parent night events to offer information about what he was planning at Moose Hill.

Donovan then planned and carried out a fundraising effort to secure donations and materials to complete the garden.

The garden includes a commemorative brick walkway, with bricks being sold as part of his fundraising efforts.

The space also includes several raised garden beds, right at a young child’s level, so students can come outside and learn about growing things and gardening.

Preschool coordinator Lynn Slapsys said Donovan’s project will be a great addition to the school

“Each class will take a different planter box,” she said. “Now it’s part of the curriculum.”

Donovan said being a Scout gives him great opportunities to learn, to share his talents and to teach others.

That includes younger Scouts coming up through the ranks, and his little brother, who joined a big list of classmates to enter the garden and enjoy opening day.

“Everything I learn affects me in life,” he said.

LEEP teacher Donna Prokos said Aidan Donovan has watched his older brother’s progress from the beginning, from when it was first planned about 11 months ago.

“He would tell us all about it,” she said.

Prokos said the garden will be readily accessible to all students of all levels and those with various disabilities who attend the school.

School superintendent Nathan Greenberg said the garden was a well-done project.

“It is fantastic,” he said. “It was a labor of love and will provide wonderful times for all our LEEP students.”