Eagle Scout project results in new pergola at Vets Skate Park

Eagle candidate hopes to see the pergola dedicated to a veteran

This summer, Andrew Pearson supervised 142 hours and three days of labor as his team of 22 volunteers erected a pergola near the skate bowl located in San Benito County’s Veterans’ Memorial Park. A pergola is larger and provides more shade than an arbor or a trellis. To earn the rank of Eagle Scout, Pearson told BenitoLink his project became part of the plan to improve the skate park with ramps, jumps, and rails.

Before the pergola, the only shade in the skating area was a large tree, 10 to 15 yards away from the bowl, forcing skaters to go around a tall fence to reach it. Now the pergola casts shade on a large area near the skate bowl.

Pearson said, “After the second day's work, when all of the important construction was finished, I saw people resting underneath the structure, being shaded by my project.”

Eagle Scout candidates are encouraged to tackle projects to improve the quality of life in their communities. Pearson’s work follows similar projects completed by fellow Troop #436 Scouts Liam Row at the Hollister Airport Park and Chris Chambless at Fourth and San Benito streets. The Eagle candidates must provide detailed plans, garner technical advice, solicit donations, and manage the roll-out. In this case, the roll-out involved setting up the 16-foot, 200-pound posts studded with carriage bolts for earthquake safety. Help with planning and design came from John Barrett of McKinnon Lumber, Scout coach Mike Chambless, Mike Hodges of County Public Works, and Eagle coach Lupe Miller.

Pearson, according to Eagle project guidelines, could not work directly on the construction but rather had to fulfill the role of supervisor, responsible for job assignments, work flow, and volunteer safety. This challenge marks the pinnacle of leadership training required to earn the special distinction of Eagle Scout.

Pearson’s work team included Brendan Barton, Ryan Barton, Sean Barton, Daniel Chambless, Chris Chambless, Michael Chambless, Mathieu Morin, Jacques Morin, John Morin, Dylan Row, Liam Row, Bill Row, Chris Parga, Jr., Chris Parga, Sr., Devin Wright, Garth Rialson, Theodore Rialson, Dawson Garcia, Chase Beasley, Kris Pearson, Julia Pearson, and Rebecca Pearson.

Lois Locci

A Hollisterian since 1999 (and a Silicon Valley escapee), Dr. Locci taught English and Intercultural Communication at De Anza College in Cupertino for years before adding a second career as chair of the education department of UC Extension, providing professional development for teachers K-14 in four counties and three countries. Also at UC, Dr. Locci led the development of Advanced Placement® and honors courses for the University of California College Prep Online until retiring in 2012. She served a four-year term as Trustee for Gavilan Joint Community College District and currently serves on the board of BenitoLink.