LARAMIE – Warren Buffet once said, “Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” With that sentiment in mind, a Laramie 9th-grader planned his Eagle Scout project in order to make life a little easier for the handicapped at LePrele Park.

Tanner started his plan in the fall of 2018. After presenting his plan to the Boy Scouts’ Eagle Scout Board and the City of Laramie, he worked his plan. After a week of labor at the site, the project is near completion.

Volunteers from Albany County Fire District #1 - Central came on Wednesday during a snowstorm and brought their Fire Engine and Demolition saw to help cut the steps back, giving them an opportunity to get several of their personnel trained on using the saw.

Tanner told LaramieLive that the crew of volunteers got all of the concrete poured Saturday with the help of Wyo Concrete, Bustos Concrete, and Wylie Concrete. Each company volunteered some of their professionals to help the project along. Almost 100 man-hours were recorded by Tanner, just on Saturday.

Tanner said it begin curing very well over the weekend and is now safe to walk on.

Tanner said the handrails on the sidewalk are not yet installed but are expected at the end of this week, “so please be careful.”

From left, Kayden Kinghorn gets a lesson on how to use a bull float to smooth concrete from Andy Bustos, while Thomas Crawford observes. Josh Hepworth, Hinckley Crawford (in the blue coat) and the unidentified young man in the red hat is the son of Matt Blaney of Wyo Concrete. Kayden is a Star Scout, and Thomas is a Life Scout. Both will be working on Eagle Projects later this summer.

He also recommends taking it easy on the edges of the sidewalk because it will still take two weeks for the concrete to reach full strength.

“I’ve got to say I'm pretty proud and impressed at how well this came together and with the leadership Tanner showed. We took a few minutes on Saturday between working to celebrate his 15th birthday,” said Braeden Hyde, Tanner’s father and Scout Master of Troop 138.

“We'll be painting the handrails this coming Saturday, and that should finish everything off nicely. It will take a couple of months for the paperwork and administrative reviews of his application, but we anticipate having his Eagle Court of Honor in July and will hold it at the park. We'll place the plaque as part of that ceremony.”

From left, Jaxon Hepworth, 2nd Class Scout; Gage Hepworth, Life Scout who will soon be doing his own Eagle Project; Duane Rhoades, and behind him is Ashton Hepworth, Star Scout, preparing the base of the new sidewalk. In the back, Tanner is with two volunteers from the Albany County Fire District #1 -Central.

The Life Rank Boy Scout in Laramie Troop 138 wanted his Eagle Scout project to be something personal and meaningful.

While earning his Eagle Scout Rank, Tanner’s last requirement was to spearhead a large service project for the community. Love for his sisters is what motivated him to concentrate his effort at LaPrele Park, a place he and his family visit frequently.

“I have two sisters with special needs, one who is currently wheelchair bound,” Tanner said. “This has made me very aware of accessibility constraints and I decided to choose a project that would improve accessibility in Laramie.”

Last year, the estimated cost of the project, if the City did the project themselves, was $30,000.

“That was if they hired an engineer, hired a contractor, and went through the whole city process. Tanner had to give them a presentation to show what it would cost them, but if Tanner did it on his own, and the city just paid for materials – Tanner asked for $7,000 – it’s a no-brainer, the city paying only $7,000 versus $30,000,” said Braeden.

The City approved the project and allotted the $7,000 requested for materials. The response from the business community has also been stellar with their monetary and in-kind donations. Martin-Marietta will be doing the concrete work at a substantial discount; Bloedorn Lumber is helping with building materials to set up the concrete forms, Rodeo Excavation is doing dirt work at a reduced cost; and a few more businesses that have offered services, as well as monetary donations from Laramie citizens.

"CH Yarber's quote for the handrails was too much, so we went with a local welder (and Eagle Scout) Adam Stanfill with Stanrod Welding and Plasma who offered a much better price. That helped us get back within budget. Grand Avenue Urgent Care was also a major financial contributor," Tanner said.

“The City has been very supportive,” Braeden said. “They have plans for the sidewalk, for the Spring Creek Trail project down to 9th St., and a path around the pond at a future date. This project kind of ties everything together. And as far as an Eagle project goes, this is a big undertaking. But Tanner has done very well with it.”