Scout gives field a fix-up

Staff Writer

 Gerardo Rivera Gerardo Rivera JACKSON – A Boy Scout from Troop 204 who is working to attain the rank of Eagle Scout has received kudos for refurbishing a Little League baseball field.

Gerardo Rivera, 16, of Jackson, was honored by the Jackson Township Little League on June 20 after he planned and executed a revitalization of the Jackson Little League Complex on Route 527.

“I always wanted to give back to the community in some way and that was one of my main points to the project,” Gerardo said. “At the end, seeing what we were able to do … and being recognized for what happened … I can’t describe how it felt.”

The young man said he began planning the project in November after he noticed problems at the field he played on as a child.

“I was looking for a project to do and I saw the [field] was in pretty bad shape and needed some work done,” Gerardo said. “Overall, the look of the field was deteriorated, compared to the other complex Jackson has.”

After discussing his plans with Little League officials and getting their approval to proceed, Gerardo set out to take an inventory of the work that needed to be done.

Work at the field began in March. The teenager said both dugouts and the concession stand received a fresh coat of paint and old wooden bleachers were rebuilt. An area with flags received new landscaping.

The work was completed two weeks ago.

Gerardo’s father, Jose Rivera, said he was proud of his son’s accomplishment.

“By completing this project, my son gained firsthand experience as to what it takes to be a leader and the commitment required to transform an idea into a reality,” Rivera said. “This was a very special moment for our family. I felt extremely happy and proud of him because I know how persistent he was and how much this project meant to him.”

Gerardo said he has passed by the field recently and seen children playing baseball.

“I am thinking about holding a baseball camp at the field to help teach kids the game because the game has done so much for me,” he said. “We have been talking about maybe holding some tournaments there, too.”

Gerardo’s completed project will be reviewed by the Boy Scouts as he pursue the rank of Eagle Scout.