Cub Scout Pack 36 honors veterans

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Moosup - posted Mon., May. 23, 2011
Aiden Johnson and Wendy Smith put mulch around the newly planted rhododendron at the Veterans' Memorial Park. Photos by Denise Coffey.
Aiden Johnson and Wendy Smith put mulch around the newly planted rhododendron at the Veterans' Memorial Park. Photos by Denise Coffey.

Boys from Cub Scout Pack 36 spent an afternoon up to their elbows in dirt on May 22. The boys spruced up Veterans' Memorial Park in Moosup. The lawn was raked, the clutter cleared from the sidewalk, and new trees and flowers were planted.

American Legion President for Auxiliary Unit 91 Arlene Bianchi was planting geraniums near the flagpole when they arrived. Her father, Herbert “Red” Bianchi was instrumental in the park's creation in 1971. He had taken it upon himself to get the park ready every spring. When he passed away seven years ago, Arlene took over the duties herself. The bed of her Toyota Tacoma was filled with trays of dusty miller, salvia and geraniums. Forty-pound bags of mulch lay piled on the ground. Some of the flowers were headed for stone planters and the flagpole. Others were going to surround the granite marker erected in honor of all departed veterans.

The Cub Scouts brought more flowers that had been donated by area businesses. Trays of marigolds, pink dianthus, celosia and pansies waited for transplanting. The boys turned the hard earth, loosened the soil, dug holes for the flowers and spread mulch when they were done.

By the time they were finished, a rhododendron and azalea had taken up positions near the front sidewalk. Pansies surrounded each of them. A flowering crab apple went into the large round planter on the right side of the park. Geraniums flanked the flagpole and two granite markers. Salvia and dusty miller and celosia spread themselves out around the tree.

Cub Scout Committee Chairman Tom Millet said the boys were involved in other community projects such as canned food drives for area families and toys for tots at Christmas. “You can't ask for a better group of kids,” he said.

Assistant Bear Leader Mark Barstow spent most of his time turning the soil so the trees could be planted. An Eagle Scout himself, he is now leading the boys in the pack, including his son Mitchell, by example.

It's what Bianchi tries to do daily in her job as a school bus driver. “I just try to set an example,” she said. “This is the time to honor all who served our country, living and dead.”

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