Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 20, 2018

Levsen begins Eagle Scout project

Mar 13, 2018
Levsen is a Life Scout right now. He said that part of the requirements for some of the scout ranks he has been through include holding a leadership role for at least six months.

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


AINSWORTH — From the time when he was very young, Dennis Levsen remembers wanting to become an Eagle Scout. He recalls listening to bedtime stories told by his grandfather, a longtime scoutmaster, about the scouts and about the adventures they went on together. He remembers thinking he wanted to be part of that.

When the opportunity came, Levsen didn’t hesitate to join the Scouts. Having served with Boy Scout Troop 235 from Riverside, Iowa for close to seven years, Levsen found himself in the position to become an Eagle Scout. Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America. Requirements to become an Eagle Scout take years to fulfill and include earning at least 21 merit badges and completing an extensive service project that the candidate plans, organizes, leads and manages. “In society it shows you are a hard worker and have the leadership skills,” Levsen said. “The main focus of scouting is to teach leadership, although it gives many different things. The Eagle Scout project, which is where you show the leadership skills you have learned throughout the years, is where you prove the leadership qualities needed for the Eagle badge.”

Levsen is a Life Scout right now. He said that part of the requirements for some of the Scout ranks he has been through include holding a leadership role for at least six months. He said one of the main goals of scouting is to become an Eagle Scout. He said that he hopes to complete the requirements to become an Eagle Scout before his 18th birthday on June 7.

Having initially hoped to do his service project at the Riverside City Museum, he said that work would not have been enough. he also asked the City of Riverside if there was a project he could do. He received no response from the city. Levsen moved on to ask Washington County conservation director Steve Anderson, who happily encouraged Levsen to help redo a shelter in Marr Park.

The project will include putting a new roof on the shelter, and replacing the old, rotting supports will complete the project. Levsen said the project will be done April 7 and 8.

If the project is completed, Levsen said all he has to do is complete five more merit bardges, do an Eagle board of review and get letters of recommendation.

With his 18th birthday coming up, Levsen said that he plans to continue his work as a Scout.

“I will probably stick around as a junior scoutmaster and help the troop out when needed,” he said. “After college, I will probably try to be a scoutmaster.”

Comments (1)
Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Mar 22, 2018 18:42

Iowa grocers offer Build with Bags grants

Mar 22, 2018
LEDGER FILE PHOTOIn 2012, the Fairfield Farmers’ Market management staff purchased a bench with Build with Bags grant funds From left are: David Neff, Cary Spray, Rick Adams, Kim Keller, Barb Grijahva and Claude Nicholson. The bench, made from recycled plastic bags, was placed in Howard Park.

The Iowa Grocery Industry Association is offering Build with Bags grants of up to $2,000 for purchases of picnic tables, park benches, planters and playground equipment made of recycled plastic bags.

The deadline to apply is March 30.

“We want to encourage community groups to apply for these grants even if they’ve applied in the past,” said Iowa Grocery Industry Association President Michelle Hurd. “Grocers care about the environment, and they express this care and concern through the Build with Bags grant program.”

After eight years, the Build with Bags grant program has donated $286,125 to more than 170 schools and parks across the state and kept hundreds of thousands of plastic bags out of landfills.

The idea is to use the money from the Build with Bags grants to increase plastic bag recycling efforts throughout Iowa and it’s working, according to Hurd. Approximately 10,600 plastic bags are used in the making of one park bench and more than 20,000 are used to make a picnic table.

“The program takes an innovative approach to encourage individuals to recycle their plastic bags so those bags can be turned into products that beautify our communities,” explained Hurd. “It gives Iowans a firsthand look at what happens to their plastic bags when they are recycled and demonstrates our industry’s commitment to the environment. Our members feel strongly that everybody wins when we recycle.”

Grocers play an instrumental role in securing the Build with Bags grants for their communities. Grant applicants must obtain an endorsement letter from a local grocer who is supportive of the community’s project and recycling plans.

“While the endorsement letter is not the only factor in the selection process, it is one of the most vital to the Build with Bags program,” Hurd explained. “In the program committee’s eyes, it reflects how the applying community is working with its local grocers to establish long-term projects and goals that help increase the awareness of plastic bag recycling.”

Encouraging purchases of furniture and equipment made from recycled plastic for parks and schools through its grant program is one of four goals established for the Build with Bags program. The other three include increasing the amount of plastic bags recycled, reducing consumption of plastic bags and increasing use of reusable bags.

Participating retailers include Fareway and Hy-Vee locations as well as many independent grocers throughout the state.

The program will give thousands of dollars to Iowa schools and parks again in 2018 to purchase park benches, picnic tables, planters and trash receptacles made from recycled plastic bags. The IGIA works with Plastic Recycling of Iowa Falls to supply the recycled products.

Build with Bags is a cooperative effort of the Iowa Grocery Industry Association, Keep Iowa Beautiful, Metro Waste Authority in Des Moines and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Applications are currently being accepted for the 2018 calendar year. Details on how to apply, as well as selection criteria, are outlined at www.iowagrocers.com/build-with-bags-grant-application.cfm. Grants recipients will be announced in conjunction with Earth Day April 22. Notification will be made directly to each grant recipient and sponsoring Iowa Grocery Industry Association member.

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