SNOW HILL — A Boy Scout’s effort to help a gardening program for young children has won accolades from the Greene County School Board.

At its April 26 meeting, board members praised Greene County Early College senior Dorien Sutton for work completed at the Greene County Pre-K Center.

Sutton is a member of Boy Scout Troop 74 and was searching for an Eagle Scout project when he learned from Michelle Miller of an opportunity to repair the small garden beds at the pre-K.

“Many years ago the Cardinal Garden Cub started our children’s garden. Through the years, if not maintained properly wood starts to deteriorate,” center Director Yuvonka Davis said.

“Last spring, Dorien Sutton reached out to me and it was perfect timing,” said. “He was interested in refurbishing our children’s garden.”

Sutton started his own garden in March 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic caused most of the country to shut down. He wanted to help the center with its own growing project.

“It’s been a pleasure to be able to go out to the pre-K center and help the students. I’m excited to see where it goes. I hope they enjoy it for years to come,” Sutton said.

Through the use of a Go-Fund-Me page and other fundraiser activities, Sutton collected enough money to rebuild the six existing beds and add an additional four — enough for each classroom to have its own bed.

Sutton was helped by center staff, his family and other troop members, who also assisted with landscaping the garden area and digging up and pressure wash stepping stones before relaying them.

“We had a grand time on that Saturday. It was almost like you forgot you were out there working,” Davis said.

Sutton also filled the beds with dirt to get them ready for planting.

“He is one of the most organized young people I have come into contact with,” Davis said. “He had everything organized, detailed, talked to me about his plan and asked about what we were interested in.

“He did an amazing job from start to finish,” Davis said, adding that Sutton set up a check-in table to screen peoples’ temperature, a snack table and a first-aid table.

Classes at the pre-K already have begun to utilize their newly designed gardens and have planted okra, tomatoes and cucumbers. Sutton is working on getting signs for each garden bed.

“The classes have selected names for all the boxes,” Davis said.

Sutton gave the center something to be proud of, Davis said.

“It’s like a showpiece. I’m very proud to show off not only our pre-K center and what our students and staff do but I’m very proud now to have nice children’s garden,” Davis said.

Members of the Greene County School Board praised Sutton for his efforts.

“They look fantastic. I’m super proud,” said Greene County Schools Superintendent Patrick Miller. “Out of this service project, which benefits pre-K and the kids there, you also get to cross over from Life Scout to Eagle Scout and that is huge, my friend. I’m proud of you and your efforts.

“I saw when you first started in Troop 74. You have hung in there and done some fantastic work,” Miller said.

Board member Brandon Johnson added, “It’s something to be proud of you. That speaks volumes to young people that want to rise up to that standard. Keep the motivation going. Keep going strong.”

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