Fifteen-year-old Parker Liggett paused to wipe his brow as he and others from Boy Scouts of America Troop 245 spread mulch at Hilton Head Island Elementary School on Tuesday.
Liggett and his crew were finishing a walking trail they hope will help improve the physical fitness of the school's students and staff.
Liggett, a rising sophomore at Hilton Head Island High School, took the lead in building the trail at his former elementary school. It was part of his community service requirement to become an Eagle Scout, the highest rank of the Boy Scouts.
He and about a dozen other Scouts and parents have worked on the project since school ended in June.
"I thought it would be a great opportunity to give back to the school I attended, because of all of the great teachers," Liggett said.
He added that he has learned a lot about managing a project, which in this case included purchasing materials, arranging deliveries and managing work schedules.
The elementary school was one of five across the state to receive a $1,000 grant earlier this year from the S.C. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, an organization of teachers and school administrators, to purchase the materials needed for the trail.
The award seeks to help school ensure students are "safe, healthy, supported, challenged and engaged as they enter school each day," said School Improvement Council chairwoman Diana Magnan, who applied for the grant.
Magnan and principal Jill McAden said the walking trail is the school's latest initiative to improve student health.
"We have an avid walking club that meets every morning during the school year, and until now has walked on grass around the school," McAden said. "The trail also will be used by our physical education classes and also by our after-school clubs and school staff."
Last year, the school added a soup and salad bar to encourage healthy eating. Healthy breakfast choices and more fresh fruit and vegetable options have also recently been added to daily school menus, and exercise equipment has been purchased for students and school staff.
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