Scout’s project brings new Avera landscaping to church recovering from fire

Positively KELOLAND

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Believe it or not, destruction can often make us stronger and bring us together. A local church and hospital are finding that to be true through a unique connection. An Eagle Scout-hopeful is uniting them through his community service.

It’s planting season. While most people are waiting for their plants to take root, these Boy Scouts turned gardeners are tearing out these shrubs.

“We’ve gotten a lot done in a pretty short amount of time,” Luke Meyer said.

The plants aren’t headed for the compost heap. Luke and the scouts from Troop 48 are transplanting the greenery from Avera Heart Hospital to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.

“I thought it would be really great to do it,” Luke said.

Luke chose this community service project to advance him to an Eagle Scout, and chose these two places for a reason. Tornadoes hit Avera Heart Hospital last fall, and workers had to fix up quite a bit of the building. To do some finishing touches, they would’ve had to tear out the landscaping.

“So, instead of just throwing them out, this scout troop volunteered to dig them up and transplant them to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church,” Mick Gibbs, president and CEO for the Heart Hospital, said.

The church has gone through its own turbulent time. A 2018 fire damaged a big part of it. The church has since recovered, and now members will be able to enjoy some new landscaping.

“Those kids. Those scout kids are so inspiring to me and a reminder of what makes this city more than just a city. It’s not just buildings and roads. It is people who are supporting each other,” Gibbs said.

Kindness has deep roots in this community. It just takes a gardener like Luke Meyer to tend to it, and help it grow.

“It shows other people that see that that being nice has some impact and it’s a good thing to do. Being nice also helps other people to try their best to help others out, too,” Luke said.

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