WILKES-BARRE — Josh Woodworth had a long way to go before crossing the finish line at the Kirby Park running track.
With the help of a backhoe from the city’s Department of Public Works, shovels, rakes and more than 50 students, Woodworth was much closer Friday afternoon than he was a few months ago, when the youth was planning to resurface the track for his Eagle Scout service project.
“All I did was organize the project,” said Woodworth, a member of Troop 55 of the Firwood United Methodist Church in South Wilkes-Barre.
But it’s no small feat to get the track ready for runners and walkers.
Just a few sections of the quarter-mile oval were edged in around midday on Friday. Kids worked in shifts to shovel grass and dirt into the backhoe’s bucket to be dumped into a truck and hauled away. Waiting offsite were 100 tons of crushed stone that would be spread on the scraped dirt surface and compacted by a roller.
Butch Frati, the city’s director of operations, estimated it would take several weekends to complete. He’s been coordinating the use of city equipment, labor and supplying the material for Woodworth’s project for months.
“It’s our field,” Frati said. “We just want to participate in any way we can.”
Dave Lewis of the DPW said the city provided three skilled laborers and approved overtime for them.
Woodworth chose the track because a lot of people use it and the project would benefit the community.
That resonated with Michael Horvath, a friend of Woodworth, who pitched in Friday afternoon.
“It seemed like a good thing to do,” said Horvath, 17 and a junior at Meyers.
Fellow scout Michael Deutsch-Jones contributed his time and labor.
“Usually, the scouts help each other with Eagle projects,” said Deutsch-Jones, 16, a freshman at Meyers.
He didn’t mind getting dirty or sore from shoveling. “A lot of work for a lot of benefit,” he said.
Reach Jerry Lynott at 570-991-6120 or on Twitter @TLJerryLynott.