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Boy Scout beautifies Highland Lake’s new fire house

By By Erika Bowring, student reporter, Eldred Central School
July 27, 2011

Troop 102 Boy Scout Peter Vorstadt, a sophomore at Eldred High School, recently completed his Eagle Scout project at the new Highland Lake Fire House at 144 Highland Lake Road. The effort put into the beautification and landscaping of the area surrounding the new firehouse was lauded as an outstanding accomplishment and has caught the community’s attention.

“A lot of donations and involvement from my friends and family made the project possible,” said Peter. The project area that started off as nothing more than a heap of soil and rock has been transformed into a more pleasant setting. It now holds a flagpole, an informational sign built by Paul Palecek, benches, a flower bed and several crab apple trees. Peter publically thanked Mike Donnelly, Tom Donnelly and Miles Kuperus for their generous donations and support.

The project, which was approved by the Town of Highland in March, took several months to complete. “It took awhile, but the project was actually really fun, and it was nice of the community to reach out to the new fire house,” said Peter. He hopes that the firemen and community members will enjoy the work he put into his project for years to come.

Originally, Peter chose the beautification of the new firehouse to be his Eagle Scout project because he wanted to enhance the community’s appearance and help make it stand out. He said, “I felt like the community needed a sort of face.” He explained that due to the close proximity of the towns, it is hard to tell them apart. “Someone could drive through Yulan, Eldred and Highland without even knowing they had just traveled through separate towns.” The new landscape and informational sign at the firehouse is now sure to be an eye catcher for anyone passing though the area.

As for the future, Peter plans to personally oversee the flower bed and care for the surrounding area. He also plans to go before the Eagle Scout Board of Review to reach his goal of becoming an Eagle Scout.

The official opening of the Highland Lake Fire House will be held on August 6 from 12 noon to 4 p.m. There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony by the firemen and a flag raising by the Boy Scouts of Troop 102. Community members are encouraged to come and see the new firehouse along with Peter ’s completed project.