Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hoe, Hoe, Hoe the Boat!

Lubber Run teens turn a dinghy into a garden.

Like so much that happens in the greater Buckingham area, the Teen Boat Project in Lubber Run Park came about thanks to caring adults, hard working teens and a little bit of dumb luck.

Katherine and Lisa stencil the boat's gunwale. (Click to enlarge the image.)

“We found this old boat that the teens had built” at the Arlington Mill Community Center, Joyce Harris-Gray said yesterday afternoon while a handful of the 25 participating teens painted the gunwales with positive messages. Ms. Harris-Gray directs the Lubber Run teen program.

The boat is a half-dozen or so years old, and was sailed at one point, but Luis Matos said he found it “under the deck” at the Arlington Mill Community Center. No one was quite sure what to do with it. Mr. Matos is working at the Lubber Run Community Center while Arlington Mill is redeveloped.

“They were going to trash it,” he said. But since he grew up on an island, he could not scuttle a boat. They considered a number of options including slicing it in half length-wise and hanging it on a wall.

They said they talked to Carol Hoover, the Lubber Run Center director, about installing it in front of the center on N. George Mason Drive, but she suggested the location inside the park, where a tree had been planted by other teens a half-decade ago. The location at the north end of the park is supposed to be a garden, but has fallen into a bit of disrepair. So, with some Junior Master Gardener Training from the 4H, the Teen Boat Project that turned this dinghy into a flower garden set sail.

Joyce Harris-Gray (right) and Luis Matos examine the transom. (Click to enlarge the image.)

Yesterday, while most of the teens set-up the Haunted House at the Lubber Run Center, a handful cared for the boat-garden and the space around the tree.

Over the summer, the boat had gotten a new coat of paint and was hand-lettered with positive messages about staying out of gangs and away from drugs. Recently it was repainted, and yesterday, the teens stenciled on more positive messages. It looks a little neater.

The group, Mr. Matos said, is always looking for donations of plants and seeds. Swing by the Lubber Run Community Center, 300 N. Park Dr., with donations.

Before... (Click to enlarge the image.)

After... (Click to enlarge the image.)

Related sites…
  • Junior Master Gardener

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