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‘Paint the Park’ a huge success

July 20, 2016
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Last Tuesday morning about 25 volunteers turned out at Greater Pine Island Lions Park in St. James City to "Paint the Park."

"Several months ago local Girl Scout Brittany New-man took it upon herself as part of a Girl Scout merit badge requirement to help us refurbish the park," Lions president Mark Von Burg said. "First she replaced a lot of the wood that had deteriorated and today it's the painting."

Last March, Newman asked the Lions and the Florida Association of Girl Scouts for permission to recondition the Lions Park as part of her senior project (to earn her senior badge in scouting).

Article Photos

Lions president Mary von Burg, front center, with the group of volunteers.


"I had visited the park a few weeks before and was disappointed that the picnic tables, benches and swings were in such disrepair," Newman said. "I decided to make it a part of my Girl Scout Gold Award project."

The Gold Award is the equivalent of the Boy Scout Eagle Award. It represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting and challenges scouts to "change the world - or at least your corner of it."

Earning the Gold Award involves several steps. The scout must identify an issue, investigate it, build a team, create a plan and present it for approval. Once the plan is approved the scout can begin the project.

"Last March, with my parents help, we replaced the wood on three picnic tables, two benches and the landings on the older swing set," Newman said. "We also replaced swing chains and see-saw seats."

Last Tuesday painting was the order of the day.

"We have green and blue paint," Von Burg said. "Everyone is chipping in to get as much done as possible before the heat sets in. We'd also like to get some of the underbrush removed before it gets too hot. It's supposed to be up around 95 degrees today.

"This park was built in 2001 with community donations of money, sweat, materials and lots of hard work," Von Burg said. "We also had a matching grant from SW Florida Community Foundation for $20,000. But very little has been done since the park was built so we're very grateful to everyone for being here today."

Lions Park is a community park owned and maintained by the Greater Pine Island Lions Club.

"Once we get the reconditioning completed, we plan on writing a grant to try to get a 'Permanent Sun Shade' in the middle of the park," Von Burg said. "We are also planning two large picnic tables for under the 'Sun Shade'."

Future plans for the park include a "Little Lending Library" where children and adults can "bring a book" and "get a book." Books are being donated by the community, the library, and other sources. "By next summer we hope to add 'classes' in the Park for children and their parents or grandparents," Von Burg said. "We will need volunteers from the community to help with these classes."

The Lions will also schedule another "Trim the Trees and Underbrush" in a few weeks. Watch the Eagle for the upcoming announcement.

Contact the Greater Pine Island Lions Club at P.O. Box 734, St. James City, FL 33956

All tax deductible donations are graciously accepted.



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