HARTFORD, S.D. (KELO) – A local high schooler wants to make his city even more welcoming.

This Veteran’s Memorial is located in downtown Hartford.

Life scout Gavin Gerlach has taken on the task to spruce up the park.

It’s all part of his Eagle Scout project.

“Our scout troop was helping a member of the legion, he was putting out flowers along the landscaping during Memorial Day weekend, and he asked if the troop would help, and we helped,” 17 years old, life scout, Gavin Gerlach said. “I think that veterans don’t get enough recognition in this country for what they’ve served so I wanted to make my project here.”

The updates will include a picnic shelter, ADA-accessible sidewalk, and some updated landscaping.

Work is underway on the project and he’s already seeing a lot of support from the community.

“Central States offered to provide tin for the rood, which is a big plus, and then First Interstate gave us a decent amount of money as well,” Gerlach said.

To help, he’s set up a building materials account at the Hartford Building Center. It’s similar to a gift registry and community members can purchase materials to help support the project.

“They just put whatever they want to put towards it, some people come in with $5, some come in with $500, so really any amount big or small he’s accepting, and we are putting it towards his overall expenses,” owner Hartford Building Center, Lisa Hellvig said.

Gerlach wants to have the project finished by the end of the year.

He says this wouldn’t be possible without community support. And once finished, he hopes it will be a space for everyone to enjoy.

“My hope is that the community would use the park a lot more, I think the park is under appreciated, it’s in a great spot, right in the edge of downtown Hartford,” Gerlach said.

If you’d like to make a donation to purchase materials, all you have to do is go to the Hartford Building Center.