Eagle Scout project to bring raised garden bed to Luther Acres

By on August 20, 2014

Residents of the Personal Care Memory Support program at Luther Acres will soon have a relaxing new spot to tend flowers or vegetables thanks to the work of a 17-year-old Lititz Boy Scout.

Peter Harris, who will be entering his senior year at Warwick High School, is planning to construct a four-foot by six-foot raised garden for Gardenia Court at Luther Acres. Gardenia Court, in Luther Acres’ Muhlenberg Lodge, provides a secure environment for personal care residents who are facing the early stages of memory impairment. Gardenia Court features an exterior courtyard where the new raised bed will be placed.

For Harris, who is raising funds for the endeavor, the project is a way to give back to Lititz, a community that has supported him when he needed it most.

Boy Scout Peter Harris is in the middle of fulfilling his goal of building a raised garden bed at Luther Acres, with the help of funding from the community, Scooters and Dosie Dough. Show (left to right) are: Chef Tim Whitmyer from Scooters; Peter Harris; Amy Lloyd, owner of Dosie Dough and Vicki Cozzone, Activities Coordinator of Personal Care at Muhlenberg Lodge. (Photo courtesy of Luther Acres)

Boy Scout Peter Harris is in the middle of fulfilling his goal of building a raised garden bed at Luther Acres, with the help of funding from the community, Scooters and Dosie Dough. Show (left to right) are: Chef Tim Whitmyer from Scooters; Peter Harris; Amy Lloyd, owner of Dosie Dough and Vicki Cozzone, Activities Coordinator of Personal Care at Muhlenberg Lodge. (Photo courtesy of Luther Acres)

On April 11, Harris was riding his racing bicycle on South Broad Street when he was in a severe accident with a car. He was in a coma for a month and has amazed everyone, including doctors, with his speedy recovery.

“The support of the community for me and my family has been remarkable. What they have done for me says a lot about the type of community Lititz is,” said Harris, son of Bernard and Norma Harris.

Plans for the Eagle Scout project were underway before the accident, and Harris, with the help of Boy Scout Troop 142 Assistant Scout Master Ian Schouten, is now ready to tackle the project.

“I’ve been on the other side as a patient at a rehabilitation hospital where they had things like raised gardens, ponds, and flowerbeds to aid me in my recovery,” Harris said. “It helped me raise my awareness after my coma, slowly bringing me back into this world. I was already planning to build the raised garden at Luther Acres before my accident, but now I truly see their value. The residents at Luther Acres are not in my situation, but I’m sure they will enjoy the raised gardens for flowers and vegetables.”

“Peter’s project of building raised garden beds for the residents here at Muhlenberg Lodge in their courtyard area is wonderful,” said Vicki Cozzone, activities coordinator of Personal Care at Luther Acres. “It will give our residents the opportunity to plant flowers and vegetables or just plain get their hands in the dirt without having to get down on their hands and knees to do so. The residents will surely enjoy watching their plants grow.”

Harris would like to build two raised gardens in Luther Acres’ Gardenia Court; one for flowers and one for vegetables, with edges large enough that residents can sit to tend the plants.

To do so, he needs to raise about $1,000 to purchase the lumber, soil and other supplies for two raised gardens. Two local businesses &tstr; Dosie Dough and Scooter’s Restaurant & Bar &tstr; are partnering with Harris to support the project.

From Friday, Aug. 22 through Thursday, Aug. 28, Dosie Dough, 45 S. Broad St., will feature a coffee, “Peter’s Brew,” for sale with proceeds going toward Harris’ project. And from Friday, Aug. 22 through Sunday, Aug. 24, Chef Tim Whitmyer of Scooter’s, 921 Lititz Pike, will offer a peach cobbler dessert, featuring fresh peaches grown in Lititz, and a dollar from the sale of each dessert will go toward the Eagle Scout project. Both Dosie Dough and Scooters will accept additional cash donations designated for the Eagle Scout project.

Harris hopes to have the raised gardens in place before October. Schouten and other Boy Scouts will help him construct the boxes for the project off Luther Acres’ property and bring them for installation. Gardenia Court residents and staff members will select what kinds of flowers and vegetables to plant.

“It is really quite remarkable. Just four months ago, Peter lay in a coma for weeks, with no one knowing what the future held for him and his family,” Schouten said. “Now he just wants to be a normal kid, get back to school and complete his Eagle project.”

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