Gilbert teen beautifies neighborhoods by painting hydrants - East Valley Tribune: Gilbert

Gilbert teen beautifies neighborhoods by painting hydrants

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Posted: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 12:00 pm

Several neighborhoods in Gilbert now look a little prettier thanks to some Saturday-morning efforts of a local Boy Scout and more than 30 of his cohorts.

As part of his effort to become an Eagle Scout, 14-year-old Bryson Jones gathered 25 other Boy Scouts from unit 507 along with 10 adults to paint fire hydrants in the community. The collection of painters repainted 60 fire hydrants over the course of three hours on March 29.

“It was a great opportunity to give back to the community,” he said.

Jones, an eighth-grader at Mesquite Junior High School, said he picked the hydrants as his project because of the state they were in prior to his project. Several were all white due to prolonged exposure to the sun, and he said several were filled with dust and cobwebs.

This isn’t the only community project Jones and his fellow Boys Scouts have engaged in, as Jones said in an email they have planted trees on two separate occasions and painted buildings for Sunshine Acres in Mesa. Like those projects, Jones said a fun perk of painting the fire hydrants is the opportunity to see the end result of the group’s efforts on a frequent basis.

The practical purpose for these kinds of projects comes from necessity in becoming an Eagle Scout, and Jones still has a little more work to do to earn the designation. But the other point Jones emphasized was the youth factor, given the number of young people who opted to help him out with this project.

That, he said, helps mitigate what he considers to be a stereotype of his generation, one that features phrases like “self absorbed” and “lazy.” It’s not easy to call someone lazy if he or she opts to spend a Saturday morning working on a project to better the community.

“It was nice to know people would give up a Saturday morning to do something for the community,” he said.

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