Gardnerville teen builds dog run at museum |

Gardnerville teen builds dog run at museum

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer

Life Scout Robert Parks stands on the fresh sod he and his volunteers used to create a small dog park at the Nevada State Railroad Museum as part of his Eagle Scout project. Parks, 13, will complete the requirements to earn the rank of Eagle Scout before his 14th birthday.

After 30 hours of logistics and two Saturdays of manual labor, 13-year-old Robert Park is set to become an Eagle Scout.

The Carson Valley Middle School student, who said he likes trains more than school, built an 80-by-24-foot dog run park outside the Nevada State Railroad Museum, 2180 S. Carson St.

The famed community service project completed by a scout seeking the revered title isn’t undertaken alone. Robert called all his Boy Scout friends whom he had helped with their Eagle projects. He had several volunteers helping him over the two weekends that it took to complete the weeding, leveling and landscaping. The second weekend, 14 volunteers helped him lay the sod and gravel.

The entire project took 6.5 cubic feet of gravel and 545 square feet of sod. The construction cost was about $500, donated in supplies or services by Syncon Homes, Cinderlite, Dayton Valley Floral and Desert Star Landscaping.

“It took about 60 hours total to do, with 30 hours for the manual work,” Park said.

He has also helped other Boy Scouts with their projects.

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“I’ve helped paint fences at the Gardnerville cemetery and planting at the nature walk in Gardnerville,” the lanky teen said. He wore his scout uniform, which was festooned with 27 merit badges, including the badge of model railroading. He needed 21 to make Eagle Scout.

The wire fence that will keep the dogs from wandering onto the museum’s train tracks should be installed this week.

“We’re very appreciative to Robby Park,” said museum director Peter Barton. “He did an extraordinary job in planning it and getting all the materials together and getting the job done very quickly and very professionally with no disruptions to our visitors.”

Park’s mother, Pamela, planted the mums. His 16-year-old sister, Alyssa, helped weed, lay sod, and spread gravel.

His father, Jim, is an Eagle Scout and the scoutmaster for Troop 495 of Gardnerville.

“I’m thrilled to death,” he said. ” We’ve been able to spend a lot of time together in the outdoors. I’m very proud of him. He’s really worked well to be where he’s at now.”

The purpose of the Eagle Scout project is to demonstrate how he can lead and manage a team. It has to be done for a government or nonprofit agency, Jim Park said.

“I’m so proud of him,” Alyssa said. “It’s the biggest accomplishment of Boy Scouts, and a lot of boys procrastinate it until they’re older. But he got it done and did such a great job at it.”

Robert Park, who spends some of his free time dressing up as a private with the Comstock Civil War Reenactors, is looking forward to bringing his chocolate Labrador, Max, to the dog run.

Last year, more than 100 teens attained the Eagle Scout rank in the Nevada Area Council, which includes Carson City, Reno and Carson Valley.

n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at or 881-1212.