Bear Creek Lake Park did exactly what the Army Corps of Engineers designed it to do. It flooded so that the surrounding neighborhoods would not. In September of 2013 the lake swelled from its normal 110 surface acres to around 1,200. Hundreds of residential homes stayed safe. Most of the park including trails, parking lots, picnic shelters, and more suffered major damage.
Many local citizens and groups have helped with the recovery. Including Boy Scout Troop 808 of Lakewood, Colorado.
Ryan Fitzjarrell, an open space volunteer and parent of two Boy Scouts, knew that the park would need a lot of help and that Troop 808 was always on the lookout for community service projects. So he organized the details with Regional Park Supervisor Drew Sprafke and the Troop Committee.
“Park staff truly appreciates the support that we have received from park users and the public since the September flood,” Sprafke commented. “Troop 808 is a fantastic example of this support. Their efforts are helping us to fully restore damaged facilities and make the park as great as it was before the flood.”
On a brisk Saturday in March the Troop sent several of their scouts, a few adult leaders, and a couple of parents, to refurbish four mini picnic shelters, some sign posts, and a restroom facility near the boat ramp. The local Domino’s contributed to their efforts as well, donating several pizzas for a well-deserved lunch break.
With much laughter, and even more grit and determination, the scouts got to work to bring this area back into usable condition.
“It was great to be able to help out. The boys did a wonderful job and really came together to get what they could done,” Assistance Scoutmaster Jeff Nelson stated.
Troop Committee Member Susan Crouch agreed, saying “Despite the chilly weather I think the project went really well. [Refurbishing] 4 shelters and staining the restroom wall in less than 3 hours was pretty darn good. All the boys and adults pitched in. We even had a set of boys go on a trash patrol around the area.”
As the weather continued to deteriorate, the work had to be suspended for the day. All agreed that they would like to organize another project date to further help Bear Creek Lake Park in whatever way they could. They also hoped that the next time they came out would be warmer – and that there would be more pizza.