ROXBURY, N.J. - With the help of some local businesses, Roxbury Boy Scout Ben Smith is only days away from helping make the former Ledgewood Circle a more welcoming place.
As an Eagle Scout project, the 17-year-old Succasunna resident is building an elevated garden that will surround a new "Welcome to Roxbury" sign. His creation will be near the intersection of Route 46 and Route 10 on a small piece of township-owned land at the southwest corner of the intersection.
Smith, a member of Boy Scout Troop 159, said he hopes to begin work this week but conceded that rain could force a delay. Smith received some funding for the project from the Roxbury Rotary Club, the Ever Young Seniors of Roxbury and the Roxbury Police Department, but much of the material he needs is being donated.
EP Henry Hardscaping Center (a TAPinto Roxbury sponsor) is giving Smith about 200 cast stone blocks which will be used to construct the retaining wall for the garden. He said he applied for assistance through the company's "Heroscaping" program.
"When Ben approached us about material with his job in the heart of Roxbury, we jumped all over it," said Rory McCloskey, general manager of EP Henry's facility on Howard Boulevard. "We wanted to help him realize his dream and achieve this great success in transforming a highly visible part of his hometown. We look forward to seeing his completed project."
McCloskey said the Heroscaping program has been active for several years and has helped with projects across the mid-Atlantic including the Mine Hill VFW memorial. "We are currently working on a Veterans Cemetery in Sparta as well," he said, noting the company provides the materials at no cost to projects it decides to help.
Smith said he is also getting help from local landscaping company owner Scott Fullerton. Scott Fullerton is helping me dig the trench, he is donating the base material I need and then he is helping me build the wall," Smith said.
The sign is being made by Custom Sign Source of Succasunna.
The Scout noted his father, Kyle, built a similar garden at the corner of Eyland Avenue and Route 10 when he was a Boy Scout. The site is now managed by the Roxbury Women's Club.
McCloskey said EP Henry is "proud to work with developers, masons and landscapers who take the time out of their busy schedule to give back to those who have given everything to this country" and he noted the Heroscaping program often "ties in" with Scouts such as Smith who need help with outdoor projects. "We have donated to several Boy Scout jobs within Roxbury and view it as an opportunity to give back to the community," McCloskey said.
"I don’t know where mulch and plants are coming from yet," Smith said. "I'm hoping I will be able to mulch and then put in a plant that will come up in the spring."