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Swansea recognizes Eagle Scouts for community service project at animal shelter

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Photo courtesy of the Town of Swansea

SWANSEA — Board of Selectmen Chair Derek Heim and Town Administrator Mallory Aronstein announced that two local Eagle Scouts were recognized for their contributions to the town’s animal shelter.

Eagle Scouts Xander Barney and Sam Martin were recognized at a Board of Selectmen meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 24, and were awarded certificates for their hard work.

Barney and Martin completed a variety of projects at the Swansea Animal Shelter, including planting a wall of arborvitaes trees, installing flower beds and building a rock meditation garden, as well as a bluestone walkway leading to the garden. The scouts also built a brick walkway that allows animal shelter staff and volunteers to walk to trailers on the property without stepping in the mud.

“The boys worked incredibly hard on their projects and everything came out beautiful. We are so grateful and honored to have such giving young men working and living in our community,” said Animal Control Officer Lisa White. “Not only did they make the shelter more aesthetically pleasing, but they also made it much more functional.”

Additionally, the scouts are currently building a storage bench that residents can use to drop off donated items including food, animal toys and more.

In total, Barney and Martin have completed more than a hundred volunteer hours at the animal shelter.

“I can share with you that I am an Eagle Scout myself and understand the commitment and time it takes to become an Eagle Scout and the very small percentage of young men and women who become Eagle Scouts,” said Chairman Heim. “The reality is, it is a time commitment when there are other things in life that pull us away from scouting as we turn 15, 16, 17 such as working and driving cars, so congratulations to both of you.”

The town thanks J&J Materials for donating bluestones, Home Depot in Somerset for bench materials, Somerset Nursery for arborvitaes, Stiles and Hart Brick Company for bricks, the Highway Department for screened loam, as well as D&D Mulch and Landscaping, Redwood Nursery and Lowes for flower beds. The town would also like to thank Domino’s Pizza in Somerset and Jersey Mike’s in Fall River for providing food to the scouts.

“The real benefit in all of this is not only the beautification of the facility but the community spiritedness in terms of how these young men went out into the community and secured donations,” said Vice-Chairman Steven Kitchin. “This community owes you a debt of gratitude for the work that you put in there. Congratulations on a job well done.”

“A big thank you to Xander and Sam for the work they’ve done for the Town of Swansea and our animal shelter,” said Board of Selectmen member Chris Carreiro. “I would like to say that being an Eagle Scout means that you’re a leader in the community and I hope to see that you continue this great work that you’ve started at the animal shelter, and you stay in this community doing the work you’ve been doing because we need you to be here.”

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