Jacob Fork Park - Eagle Scout projects
Jacob Fork Park has received some welcome enhancements thanks to the efforts of three Eagle Scout candidates from Boy Scout Troop 238, and the vision of the Catawba Valley Heritage Alliance and the City of Newton.

The three scouts and approximately 35 other people donated over 1,000 man-hours to create a half-mile walking trail, a picnic area, park benches, as well as some creative landscaping at Newton’s newest park. Troop 238 of Zion Lutheran Church is in the Lakeland District of the Piedmont Council.

Caleb Price decided to build a walking trail at the park for his Eagle Scout project. He designed and helped construct the half-mile trail, which makes a complete circle around the park’s two softball fields. The rock-dust trail provides a great location to get some exercise at the new park. The major work for the trail included clearing brush and cutting trees, leveling the trail with a tractor, and covering the trail with gravel and rock dust. Price expressed his appreciation to the people and organizations that helped make the trail a reality, including the Catawba Valley Heritage Alliance, the City of Newton, the City of Conover, Scoutmasters of the Lakeland District, and his friends and family.

Luke Shely located a wooded area near the river at Jacob Fork Park to create a picnic area. The first part of his Eagle Scout project was to clear the densely-wooded area by clearing brush, cutting down small trees, digging up roots, and leveling the area. He then built four sturdy picnic tables and placed them strategically in the cleared area, which is currently a work in progress. Shely also constructed and installed two park benches along the new walking trail so walkers will have a relaxing spot to rest.

Aaron Smith decided to complete a beautification project at the park for his Eagle Scout project. Smith designed and built an outline of bushes that form the letters “JFP,” which stands for Jacob Fork Park. The “letter box” covers an area of 648 square feet on a hill behind the upper ball field and gives the park more character. Smith expressed his appreciation to Hawks Ridge Farms for donating the bushes, to Martin Marietta for donating the gravel used as ground cover, and to family and friends who contributed to the project.

The City of Newton appreciates the hard work and dedication of these Boy Scouts, the Catawba Valley Heritage Alliance, and everyone who contributed to the enhancement of Jacob Fork Park.

Jacob Fork Park is located at 3730 NC Hwy. 10 West, near the intersection with U.S. Hwy. 321. In addition to these new features, the park has a canoe outtake and intake, and two softball fields.

For more information about the City of Newton and its Parks & Recreation Department, visit www.newtonnc.gov. For more information about the Catawba Valley Heritage Alliance, visit www.heritagealliance.org. For more information about Boy Scouts, visit www.piedmontcouncilbsa.org.
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