Common Eagle Scout projects include planting gardens, building pavilions or maybe painting a map of the United States at a park.

Arimus Sanders, a 15-year-old aspiring Eagle Scout who will be a sophomore at Covington High School, is shooting higher. He’s trying to build a whole park.

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When Sanders was a fifth-grader he made a couple of friends at church who had disabilities. One was in a wheelchair and the other had Down syndrome. His park will be designed to serve kids like them.

“Because they couldn’t do the things that other kids do, I thought if I built this park I could help them and other kids with their needs,” Sanders said.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Joe Mack, Covington Parks and Recreation director. “That’s one amenity that we do not have here.”

The plan is to put the park in Covington. A location has not been determined yet.

Building a park from scratch is very expensive. Sanders started a Go Fund Me page earlier this month. The goal is to raise $480,000. You can donate here. There’s a chance land could be donated, which would defray much of the cost.

In the meantime, Sanders is planning multiple fundraisers. He plans on selling T-shirts, holding a Nerf gun war, selling personalized stones and equipment sponsorships for the park and asking for assistance from local businesses.

Swings at the park would be wheelchair accessible, as would much of the other equipment. There would be brail descriptions, a sensory garden, interactive art and balance beams with handrails. There would also be a quiet area for Autistic children, who are not comfortable in noisy environments.

Sanders’ goal is to have the park completed by September of 2022.

“I am excited to complete this project,” Sanders said, “knowing this will add a place for everyone in my community, young or old, to feel they are a part of. They’ll know this was made with them in mind.”

 

Jeff Ireland
Author: Jeff Ireland