By Michael BRUER
Local Life Scout Rhys Teff of Crescenta Valley High School and Troop 288 wanted to find a way to make La Crescenta nicer. When his mom read about local members of the community seeking to do just that, Teff began an effort to develop his Eagle Scout service project and create a park. Crescenta Commons, as it is affectionately named, is to be built at the corner of Rosemont and Orange avenues in La Crescenta. That particular corner was chosen by Teff because of its proximity to Monte Vista Elementary School and because it is a heavily trafficked region of La Crescenta. Construction of the relaxing outdoor area is currently scheduled to commence on Dec. 20 with a tentative deadline of Dec. 23.
Teff has been a Boy Scout for six years, and spent six years before that as a Cub Scout. He is personally spearheading the effort to raise funds for the park, which in its most basic design will cost $5,000. A more elaborate plan includes a monument, complete with a bulletin board and plaques to honor the respective donors of the project. This second plan, if the necessary funds are amassed, will cost $15,000.
The plans are to push back the ivy and put in a boulder wall, five benches, decomposed granite and native plants that can be appreciated year-round. In order to fundraise appropriately, Teff is going door-to-door in addition to fundraisers at local eateries. One such fundraiser is Dec. 2 at Straw Hat Pizza in La Crescenta.
“I think it will bring the community together more. It’s a nice gathering area where parents and kids can sit and talk and enjoy the outdoors in a comfortable setting,” Teff explained. He said that the main aspect of the project is leadership.
“It is to show that you can devise the project and get it done by leading others to help in the project,” he said. “The Eagle Scout service project demonstrates that you have grown into someone who can lead, instead of being led into things.”
Although Teff is looking forward to seeing the project to its completion, the journey to get to this point has not always been a smooth one.
“The process of getting the plans approved by the county was difficult. It took a couple of years and a lot of edits to go through step-by-step and look over every detail of the project before it was officially approved,” he said.
Teff cites the help of Ines Chessum in bringing this project to fruition and engaging the town council in a way he wasn’t otherwise doing.
“She lives next to the site for the Crescenta Commons, and proposed to the CV Town Council that something be built on the corner there,” he said, adding that Ines helped to develop the plans digitally, which aided his efforts by allowing him to demonstrate the plans for the park physically, rather than just as a theoretical idea.
Anyone interested in donating to the cause may do so by sending money to the Crescenta Valley Town Council, which serves as the fiduciary of this project (P.O. Box 8676 La Crescenta, CA 91224-0676). Interested parties can also visit the commons website for more information and to see what the current site looks like: www.crescentacommons.weebly.com. The Crescenta Commons website also contains a donation form and an alternative website to donate: www.gofundme.com/5ajkos.