TOWNSEND -- A large stone, engraved with 1776 and 1976, marks the nation's bicentennial on one face. The other side bears a plaque that reads, "This land given by George L. Whitcomb, Frances J. Adams, Iva Worcester."
Fresh mulch surrounds the stone across from Worcester Road on the green in front of Spaulding Memorial School. Thanks to a proposed Eagle Scout project, the surrounding area is going to see more improvements this summer.
Dennis Murphy is planning to install a crushed rock walkway from the sidewalk on Turnpike Road up to and around the stone in its mulched landscape.
The Cemetery and Parks Department has already begun work to beautify the surroundings with small trees removed and the stumps to be ground out, said Superintendent Roger Rapoza.
Part of an Eagle Scout project is planning. Murphy has figured out the depth, width and length of the path. Ten yards of earth will be removed. He has also found out that it is safe to excavate there.
"Any time you put a shovel in the ground, you've got to call Dig Safe," he said. The removed soil will be used as fill at other town-owned properties.
Once the park department has excavated a 4- to 6-inch deep path, the project is in Murphy's hands. He and his band of Boy Scouts will need to line the path so weeds will not grow through and install edging so the rock stays where it belongs. Then the crushed rock can be spread.
One barrier stands in the way of doing the work.
The Scout is under the gun. All the work for an Eagle Scout project must be completed before the Scout turns 18. "I turn 18 in July," he said. He plans to reach out to local businesses and residents to raise the funds.
It has been a busy year for the aspiring Eagle Scout. He graduated from North Middlesex Regional High School this month and works full-time.
Scouting has been a big part of Murphy's life for years. He was inspired by Tony Silva, his den leader. Silva died in motor-vehicle accident in 2008. Now, Murphy works for Todd Arsenault, one of the Townsend scoutmasters.
When the walkway is completed, it could affect a long-standing Townsend tradition. The route of the Memorial Day Parade might be changed to incorporate the stone, Murphy said.
Contributions for the project can be made at the St. John the Evangelist Rectory at 1 School St., or by contacting Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-732-8186.