Eagle Scout service project improves tiny home village landscape

Elijah Garrett’s enthusiasm was contagious: months of preparation, a team of excited volunteers, donated materials – CHECK, CHECK and CHECK! Elijah’s Eagle Scout Service Project, the capstone of his lifelong participation in the Boy Scouts, was underway Dec. 5, and By The Blade was on site to lend a hand.

The Veterans Community Project (VCP), founded in November 2015 in the heart of Kansas City, provides wrap-around support services and transitional housing in an effort to end veteran homelessness. It has become a community-based national model, with planned expansion into eight U.S. cities, and it continues to grow.

Elijah said choosing to help the VCP was especially meaningful because his dad, Kevin, is an Iraqi Freedom veteran and his older brother recently joined the armed forces. By The Blade Chief Ambassador of Outdoor Living Patrick Vogt’s father and father-in-law are disabled U.S. Army Vietnam War Veterans. The project was a labor of love for all. “Elijah’s project is thoughtful, well planned, and helps the VCP’s tiny house community in big way,” said Vogt. “Most importantly, the project improves safety because it’s designed to limit access to a utility area. His project also helps to solve an erosion problem and improve the overall beauty of the landscape.”

Vogt and outdoor living ambassadors Israel Izaguirre and Jamie Keen were on site with a heavy-duty truck, skid steer loader, stone cutter, wheel barrows and hand tools to help Elijah and his volunteers relocate a tree, dig a foundation and lay the stones for an enclosed retaining wall area that will eventually be filled with native plantings.

VCP Operations Coordinator and veteran Matthew Burasco said beautifying Phase I of the tiny home village has been needed for some time and the VCP appreciated Elijah, Boy Scout Troop 376 Liberty, Mo. volunteers and By The Blade for installing the retaining wall and landscape. “We couldn’t have done it without you guys. Thanks so much for all your help.”