When Boy Scout Lleyton Leonard sought out a service project for his Eagle Scout designation, he turned to Lake Lanier. He’s a member of Troop 514 that’s based at Fairview Presbyterian Church in Lawrenceville when not conducting its meetings virtually.
“My scout leader Ed Fleeson suggested doing something with the Corps of Engineers that would help the public and promote safety; the idea really intrigued me,” said Leonard, a senior at Chamblee Charter High School. “Through my research, I found out that the Corps has 11 parks on Lanier with life-jacket loaner stations with a total of 14 stations. With more than 23,000 visitors each year, Buford Dam Park is the most visited park around the lake. It made perfect sense.”
Leonard connected with Friends of Lake Lanier, a volunteer group that works with the Corps of Engineers to accomplish projects that are part of the Corps’ mission but outside the scope of the budget.
“Lleyton has been such a joy to work with on this project,” said Connie Howell, who serves on the board of the Friends group. We talked about what was needed and how important it was to ensure that people who come to the lake have access to life jackets. He immediately undertook the project – designing and building two new life-jacket loaner stations – and saw it through.”
The two wooden structures are brand-new and include roofs to protect the life jackets from the weather and extend their life. Signage in both Spanish and English has been added. They were dedicated in late September and will be in use during the season, which runs from April to September.
Leonard joined scouting in the first grade as a Tiger Scout. “From the very beginning, my goal was to earn the Eagle rank,” he said. “I’ve always dreamed of becoming an Eagle Scout, and now it’s a reality. It has been a lot of hard work, but it also has been very rewarding.”
After graduation, he plans to attend college to pursue a degree in computer engineering.
Friends of Lake Lanier is a 501 (c) 3 organization that supports the Corps of Engineers’ recreational, water safety and natural resource projects on Lake Lanier.
For more info, visit its Facebook page at “Friends of Lake Lanier.”