After last year’s growing season, Food for Others’ community garden at Bo White in Annandale needed a good cleaning and renovation to be able to grow more produce for families in need this summer. Eagle Scout candidate Joey Powell took on the project and organized a group of volunteers to restore the community garden.

The project was originally designed to be completed at the end of March but due to the COVID-19 crisis, Joey feared his project would have to be postponed for months. He sped up his prep work and adapted his plan to complete the project with only 9 people, keeping compliant with the COVID-19 restrictions in place at the time.

Joey and his team began by removing all of the boxes, bricks, mulch, trash and any remaining equipment from the garden. Before laying the new garden boxes, a water permeable weed barrier was rolled out over the entire garden to prevent weeds from sprouting. Then, all eight boxes were brought into the garden and aligned and leveled. The scouts drove stakes into the ground to secure the boxes and screwed the boxes into the stakes.

They filled the beds with a mixture of topsoil and leaf mulch. In addition, he gathered regular mulch to build walking paths in and around the boxes. He set bricks around the edge of the garden and arranged the tools and equipment.

Joey completed his project just in time – the very next day, Bo White Gardens were closed by the Fairfax County Park Authority due to the COVID-19 crisis. The gardens have since been reopened and FFO volunteers have already planted herbs and vegetables for hungry families.

“There weren’t any instructions on ‘how to plan for a pandemic.’ And no one had ever experienced anything like this. So I just had to figure it out and do the best that we could under the circumstances.”

Joey raised all the funds needed to complete this project. The total project cost was $900 and $1,400 was raised. Joey donated all excess funds to Food for Others to help stock their pantry during COVID-19.

Joseph (Joey) Powell is an Eagle Scout candidate in Troop 1128, based at Andrew Chapel United Methodist Church in Vienna, VA. Joey is a junior at Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, VA.