On November 9th and 10th Scout Mark Lemke and the scouts and parents from Troop 586 paid the Southern California Live Steamers a visit to perform Mark's Eagle Scout Project of installing irrigation and sod in front of our station across from the loading area between the tracks. That area was previously just dirt and rocks and looked pretty bad not to mention very dusty.
Mark approached SCLS a few months ago wanting to help us out and it was decided that he could install sprinklers and grass to help beautify the place. Mark then went into action to write up the project for approval by the SCLS board as well as the BSA eagle review board. Once approval was secured, Mark started fund raising and doing the research on proper ways to install sprinklers, and how to put down new sod and fertilizer.
On Saturday morning at 9:00 AM, November 9, 2013 Mark, and about 20 other helpers, both scouts and parents arrived at SCLS with shovels in hand. The first step was to shave off about 4 inches of rock and hard packed dirt from between the tracks, and to level off the areas that were too low. Dirt was moved by hand with Tom lending a hand with the clubs tractor to scoop off the places where the tractor fit between the tracks. He also brought in 5 scoops of dirt to help level the ground for the grass.
The truck arrived with the sod and it was placed on the sidewalk with the forklift. The boys later moved it inside the compound and watered it down to keep it moist during the day.
The dirt that was to be removed was so hard in areas that we needed to use an electric jack hammer to get through it and break up the hard pack adobe. After the ground was leveled, the jack hammer was used to dig a trench down the center for the irrigation line and sprinklers. The sprinkler pipe and heads were all glued into place by the scouts and placed into the trench. Another pipe was glued together and laid along side the sprinkler pipe which will be used for future signal and switch wiring as part of our electrification and control project.
Tom attached the sprinkler pipe to the existing water line and valves and gave the sprinkler system a test. Everything worked perfectly with the exception of one faulty sprinkler head that acted like a gyeser. That head was quickly replaced with a spare and everything was perfect.
We all cleaned up and stowed all of the tools and called it a day at around 4:30 PM.
The next day, Sunday the 10th, the boys started arriving at around 9:00 AM. Some from the previous day and some new ones that were ready to start on the project. The boys started covering up the sprinkler pipes with the dirt that was removed from the trench. The leveled it and then spread around top soil for the grass. Time release fertilizer was spread around and the sod installation was started. It went down very fast and there was some left over so we cleaned off the area in front of the depot and put the remaining sod down near the Crenshaw switch and in front of the depot porch. It looks GREAT! There are no sprinklers in that section so we will have to hand water it until we can install a few more sprinklers.
The boys cleaned up and put away all of the tools in the shed. We all stepped back and admired a job well done. What a difference a little grass can make in dressing a place up. Thank you to Mark and all of the Scouts, Scouters and parents from troop 586 for another job well done. Again, we at SCLS are happy to be a part of another scout earning his Eagle Scout Award.