Hearing that a local monument to the great flood of 1934 needed some loving care, Boy Scout Charles Pingry was ready to help.
By Mary O’KEEFE
Nothing gets historians in and around Crescenta Valley talking like a question about the great flood of 1934. It was after a large wildfire in the area that rains began to fall. Sound familiar – like 2009 and 2010?
Just a few minutes after midnight on Jan. 1, 1934, a reported wall of mud estimated at about 20 feet high came crashing down from the mountains. The flood was responsible for destroying hundreds of homes, many people were injured, and there were deaths. It was a tragedy that still resonates with many locals.
In 2004, a Flood Memorial Park was dedicated at the corner of Rosemont and Fairway avenues, but over the years the small park has been neglected. That is when Boy Scout Charles Pingry stepped in.
Pingry is a Crescenta Valley High School sophomore and a member of Boy Scout Troop 288, sponsored by the American Legion Post 288.
“The [American] Legion sent out a request for the project asking if somebody associated with our troop would like to help [with the park],” Pingry said. “I was the first one to respond.”
Pingry has made the undertaking his Eagle Scout Project. Crescenta Valley has been the lucky recipient of many Boy Scout Eagle Projects. The Eagle Project gives the scout an opportunity to “plan, develop and give leadership to others,” according to the Boy Scouts of America’s website. It must benefit the community.
Beyond that, it is a lot of work. Boys not only work on the overall design of their project; they are also held responsible for everything from raising funds to organizing volunteers. That organization was evident on Saturday when Pingry had many, many volunteers at the location to begin the work. This Saturday he plans on finishing the project.
“I am adding some new plants and [creating] a pathway of decomposed granite,” he said. “There will be railroad ties [installed as] borders.”
He is also adding boulders and rocks throughout the property.
“I have been working on this since late spring, early summer,” he added.
Pingry said he has learned some about the Great Flood along the way.
At this point the project’s planned completion date is this Saturday, Feb. 6. Pingry still needs some volunteers to help so if anyone is available Saturday he plans to be there about 9 a.m.
“We aren’t sure how long it will take to [complete],” he said.
There have been several people along the way who have helped Pingry including the American Legion members and Boy Scout Troop 288.
“And I would [also] like to thank Paula Simmons and Cas Sernak,” he said. “Paula is a landscape designer and helped get the plants and bench for the project. She did the drawings [for the project]. And Cas donated the decomposed granite and edging and he helped with the plans.”
Pingry will be at the site on Saturday to complete the project.