0

Boy Scout honors grandfather’s memory with garden

Eagle Scout Michael Habetler directs fellow Scouts during the construction of six garden beds at the community garden at Snellville’s Briscoe Park. Habetler enlisted his fellow Scouts to help with the project, which was aimed at honoring his grandfather. (Special Photo)

Eagle Scout Michael Habetler directs fellow Scouts during the construction of six garden beds at the community garden at Snellville’s Briscoe Park. Habetler enlisted his fellow Scouts to help with the project, which was aimed at honoring his grandfather. (Special Photo)

A 17-year-old Snellville Boy Scout found a way to preserve his late grandfather’s memory and help the community Saturday.

Michael Habetler recruited 12 fellow Scouts to help install six new, elevated garden beds at the community garden in Snellville’s Briscoe Park, honoring his grandfather Steve Penzkowski, who died in 2010, after a long life of using his green thumb.

After Penzkowski died, his wife sent Micheal’s mother, Bridget, some money people had given her at the funeral and said Penzkowski would like it if she did something nice with the yard. Michael, a Brookwood High School student, ended up with $250 of the cash and, on a trip to Briscoe Park, decided that would be the right place to put it to use.

“This is in honor of my grandfather,” Michael said in a news release from Snellville. “Since there really isn’t a place near me for a garden, I think this (location) was perfect.”

Bridget said Michael never got to see his grandfather much, since he lived in Wisconsin. But come summertime, Michael would visit and help in the garden. A first-generation Polish American, Penzkowski worked his family’s fields as a child and planted a wide variety of fruits and vegetables at home when he became an adult.

“He was a very avid gardener,” Bridget said, adding that he would love how Michael’s idea turned out. “I definitely think he would be very happy to (see) this. It’s a really nice way for people to be able to do some gardening.”

Kurt Schulz, who manages the garden, said the new beds were a welcome addition. He was also pleased to see the young folks helping out.

“It’s good to see all these young people – it’s a combined effort,” he said in the news release. “It’s all for the good of the garden.”