Eagle Scout Project Beautifies Grounds

Bradley with his grandparents, Earl and Linda Oliver, and his siblings, Jacob, Jarrod, and Katie, after clearing all of the landscaping at the clinic. The Olivers came on vacation to the mountains and brought their landscaping tools for Bradley to use on his Eagle Project.

Bradley Minton had a very busy summer.

He went to high school band camp. He went to church camp. He climbed mountains in New Mexico. Between and at the end of all those activities, he qualified to become an Eagle Scout by planning, supervising and coordinating the beautification of Mountain Hope’s landscaping.

It was all in the nick of time. He completed the project just before he turned 18 last month, the cutoff date for completing Eagle Scout requirements.

The Mountain Hope grounds have a new, cleaner, tidier appearance. Bradley, with help from younger brothers Jacob and Jarrod and with other members of his Scout troop, cut down some trees at the front of the clinic, trimmed other trees and shrubs, laid a weed barrier and mulch, then bordered the gardens at front and back with stones. They laid stones around a perennially damp area near an air conditioning unit behind the building.

They took down an old wooden gazebo at the back that serves as a break area for Clinic staff in good weather, and replaced it with a stronger steel one, complete with curtains and netting that form an attractive screened picnic area.

“A lot of things were donated,” said Bradley’s father, David Minton. The Minton family, which owns a business, donated the gazebo; Jerry Sandifer donated mulch and advised Bradley on how best to do the landscaping; Lowe’s donated the weed barrier and gave discounts on other items, and a Blount County firm gave a discount on the two truckloads of stones and waived the delivery fee.

Jacob Minton, Jarrod Minton, and Gabe King helping with the mulch

“We enjoyed the project,” David Minton said. However, they ran into delivery delays and bad weather – the kind of things that complicate any project, but which provide good experience for a young entrepreneur like Bradley. In all, David estimates 200 or so hours went into the project.

Bradley has been told officially that he’s completed all requirements to become an Eagle Scout, though he hasn’t gone through the ceremony yet. When he has, he’ll be in good company: his father is an Eagle Scout and so are a nephew and cousin.

David has worked in health care and he and his wife own a home health care agency. “I’ve had friends and employees who have used the Clinic,” so Mountain Hope was a natural beneficiary of the project, he said.