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Scout Matt D'Amico builds garden at Milton fire station

Matt D’Amico, for his Eagle Scout project, will beautify the lawn in front of Fire Station No. 42. Pictured with D’Amico are Milton Fire Chief Robert Edgar and firefighters, from left, Clay Barnette, Cameron Dean, Mark Slyman and Mark Haskins. BETSY RHAME-MINOR. (click for larger version)

Eagle Scout Matt D’Amico and Milton Fire Chief Robert Edgar stand in the spot at Fire Station No. 42 where D’Amico plans to build a community garden. BETSY RHAME-MINOR. (click for larger version)
April 18, 2013
MILTON, Ga. —Milton High School junior Matt D'Amico will soon be planting a garden the whole community can enjoy at Milton's Fire Station No. 42, located 15240 Thompson Road.

It's part of D'Amico's Eagle Scout project for Milton's Troop 3000. An Eagle Scout is the highest ranking level in Boy Scouts.

Several months ago, Milton Sustainability Coordinator Cindy Eade approached Troop 3000 to encourage the Boy Scouts to create demonstration gardens as part of the city's National Wildlife Federation Community Wildlife Habitat Certification project.

These gardens are created, "so residents can become inspired to make gardens in their own yard," said D'Amico.

Fire Station No. 42 has a lawn out front that firefighters maintain during their downtime.

The station uses a rain barrel to collect water for its plants. Last summer, it was used to water the garden the firefighters planted along the side of the building.

D'Amico had to have his plan approved by his troop, the Milton District of the Boy Scouts of America and Milton Fire Chief Robert Edgar before he could begin fundraising or recruiting volunteers.

D'Amico's plans involve a birdbath, a path of slate chips accessible for those using walkers or wheelchairs as well as an arbor and plants native to Georgia that will attract birds and butterflies.

"It's something for the community to see and enjoy," said Edgar. "We welcome the community to our fire station."

D'Amico hopes to complete the project in six months, but he must first raise $750 he's budgeted.

He has sent letters to family and friends to ask for contributions and will fundraise through events like a cookout or car wash.

If there is a shortage at the end, he'll use his own money to make up the difference. Some of the supplies he will need may be donated.

D'Amico's father Chris D'Amico said building the demonstration garden teaches his son about business.

On a weekend in May, D'Amico and 15 recruited volunteers will spend two days planting the garden.

D'Amico said the purpose of an Eagle Scout project is to "create something that will be left behind. It's part of us being part of the community. There's going to be room for other Scouts to improve on it."

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