Three Willow School projects helping Berner earn Eagle Scout

Willow School in Homewood is the beneficiary of Kevin Berner’s efforts to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.
  Kevin Berner, in red cap, directs
  the planting of seven trees on
  the grounds of Willow School
  in Homewood. The project is
  one of three he is directing to
  earn the Eagle Scout rank.

  (Provided photo)
Berner has already carried out two of the three projects he is undertaking this summer.  He started with a team that planted trees along the parkway in front of the school’s playground area, and he also undertook getting the school’s garden cleaned up for summer. His last project is developing safety signs.
“I really wanted to do something with Willow,” he said. Willow was the first District 153 school he attended. He met with Willow Principal Melissa Lawson who was happy to have a helper. She put him in touch with Regina Zohfeld, a master gardener and Willow School volunteer, who helped with the projects.
Eagle Scout projects must benefit non-profit organizations, and Berner said he “really liked this project because it benefited the community and I knew our troop would enjoy it.”
Bob Solorio, Berner’s Eagle project coach, said the scout chose the projects and got them approved by a scouting review board. He is documenting every step. The details will go into a report for an Eagle Scout Board of Review that will give the final say on Berner’s earning scouting’s highest rank.
Berner is an incoming senior at Homewood-Flossmoor High School. He has been in scouting for nine years and a member of Troop 342 for five years. The troop meets at the Izaak Walton Preserve.
For the first project, Berner had 17 volunteers come out on a Saturday to plant seven trees in the parkway. There were a few glitches the team overcame. First, the trees were larger than what the nursery had told Berner. The team had to dig larger holes and spent time digging out construction debris, Soloris said.
Berner got 12 volunteers together to help with the overgrown garden in Willow’s courtyard. The teens and adults dug and pulled plants master gardener Zohfeld identified as needing to go.
After the work was complete, Berner had snacks ready for the volunteers.
His final project will be creating signs to help alleviate traffic problems around the school.
Berner, son of Lisa and Kevin Berner of Homewood, has definitely shown the leadership skills expected of Eagle Scouts, Solorio said. He’s been a leader within the troop for six months planning meetings and campouts. These Eagle Scout projects are a culmination of leadership development, Solorio said.
“Actually, we asked Kevin to keep track of his work so we can use it has a guide for future projects,” Solorio said. “He has just done everything over the top, in terms of organization.”

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