Grant Smith has always had a love for the Marsh Walk. So it was only natural when the 16-year-old chose his Eagle Scout project that he turn there for inspiration.
Smith, a member of Troop 396 at Belin United Methodist Church, plans to replace the 16 planters along the Marsh Walk, rebuilding the wood products from scratch. He plans to have the project completed this summer.
“I went to Sue Sledz (Murrells Inlet 2020 executive director) and asked if she had anything that would improve the inlet or Marsh Walk,” Smith said. “She had a number of ideas, and that’s the one I chose.”
It was a natural for Smith to pursue his Eagle Scout designation, the highest rank in scouting.
His brother, Greg, now 24, planted trees all over the area, and his father, Dennis, now an attorney, also is an Eagle Scout.
“They taught me the importance of becoming an Eagle Scout,” Grant Smith said. “It shows maturity and community involvement.”
He added that it also gives youngsters a chance to do “something big” on their own.
“It takes analyzing and planning.” Already Grant has gone through his troop’s Board of Review and the advancement chairman, as well as the Murrells Inlet 2020 board to gain approval for the project. His next step is to fundraise – to ask for donations of building materials and then to line up a crew to help do the work.
While he says he probably completed some wood projects as a youngster, but nothing that involves the detail the Marsh Walk planter project will involve. He said he hopes to update the planters’ design a bit, too. “These are going to be on the Marsh Walk for a while,” he said.
Of course, he plans to juggle the work between his paying job at Chick-fil-A, practice for cross country and enjoying his summer. Of course, being outdoors on the Marsh Walk is enjoyment as well.
Plus he recently added skills in sailing and kayaking, which will give him new impetus to use the Marsh Walk – just in case he needed more impetus.
“It’s one of the most relaxing places for me,” he said. “I want others to enjoy it as well.”
By Anita Crone
For The Times