When it comes to working outside and getting their hands dirty, Midway FFA members from Cleveland, know how to get the job done. These five young agriculturalists have a passion for combining their love for nature with community service activities which is why they gladly took on the project of landscaping the Lion’s Club Park in El Dorado Springs. This club just happened to be in the hometown of their agriculture instructor/ FFA Advisor, Megan (Eaves) Richner where she is currently a member-at-large.
The El Dorado Springs Lion’s Club maintains a city park which is the central location to many community events and recreational activities. Over the past few years the landscaping was not maintained to the park’s fullest potential, resulting in a berm that became overgrown with weeds and sprouts. Richner, realizing the value of an aesthetically pleasing landscape, thought it would be a great idea for some of her FFA members to take on the challenge of landscaping the berm. Not only would this be a fun activity for the students to gain landscaping career experience and earn community service hours though the National FFA Organization but the group would be improving the beautiful park of her hometown. She always hated driving by the park and seeing the overgrown berm and this was the perfect opportunity to revert the park back to the beautiful setting it once was.
The Lion’s Club members and FFA students gathered on Saturday, Nov. 10, to begin the landscaping project. The group cleaned the berm, digging up sprouts, weeds, small trees and old landscaping plastic. Once the berm was free of unwanted plant matter it was time to get to work laying landscape timbers, planting mums, tulips and other spring blooming flowers, covering the area with landscape cloth and mulch and finishing off the landscape area with decorative rocks.
“I really enjoyed the opportunity to work with the Lion’s Club members to accomplish a common goal- and it was fun and I learned a lot about the landscaping profession and most importantly the berm looks much better!” said Erik Nance, Midway FFA member.
Developing personal growth and citizenship through involvement in philanthropy is part of what the National FFA Organization (Formally known as the Future Farmers of America) is about. Throughout their FFA career, these students will be eligible to receive their State and American FFA Degrees. These degrees are the highest awards Missouri FFA and the National FFA Organization can bestow on their members. By taking an active role in volunteerism throughout the state, these students will have the opportunity to be selected for one or both of these degrees.
Past District Governor Lion Charles Winfiel noted that Ms. Richner has been a member-at-large of the El Dorado Springs Lions Club for nine years due to being away at the University and teaching Vocational Agriculture. He said, “It fits her personality to be of service to others and it was great for her to come home to lead this project. It is also noteworthy that her parents, Sam and Nancy Eaves, have been Lions since Jan. 1, 1980.”
LIONS PARK RESTORATION CREW – Megan Richner, advisor, (on left) brought Midway FFA members (from left) Tayler Minta, Megan Yahnig, Courtney Yahnig, Erik Nance and Ryan Sparks, to restore the berm in the Lions Club Park.
CHEERLEADERS – El Dorado Springs Lions Club members on hand to cheer on Megan Richner and her FFA students as they refurbished the berm in Lions Club Park were (from left) Megan (Eaves) Richner; Nancy Eaves, Sam Eaves, Edith Winfiel, President Charles Winfiel, Sharon Grant and Lewis Carnes.