Jason Talbot knew he wanted his last Eagle Scout service project to have a lasting impact on his Lincoln County community before aging out of the scout program, he said.
However, finding something that the 18-year-old could complete in time for local residents to appreciate was an obstacle.
After combing the county for ideas, and asking around for merit-worthy suggestions, he found his winning topic from the local Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) chapter. He heard about a landmark in the eastern part of the county that was in poor condition and could use some help. Talbot visited the Jacob Forney Monument — a marker remembring of a pioneer who settled in Lincoln County in the early 1700s — and decided cleaning it up would be his final project.
“It was completely overgrown,” Talbot told the Times-News last week. “I tore everything out — shrubs and weeds — and leveled out the area, put in a retaining wall and brought in new mulch and trees to make it pop.”
Taming the area that was overtaking the monument was something that would take time and money.
Typically, scouts end up needing funds for their service projects. This year, Talbot raised the money for mulch, plants, trees and other tools by himself, said Jason Harpe, executive director of the Lincoln County Historical Association. The equipment had to cost between $500 and $750, Harpe estimated, and he really did a great job with the project, he said.
Throughout his time as a Tiger Cub, Boy Scout and later an Eagle Scout, Talbot worked on various local projects, such as landscape work for elderly neighbors and cleaning church parking lots in the county.
For now, the Gaston College freshman is focusing on business management, while also working full time as an assistant manager at a local Zaxby’s.
His experience throughout the scout programs has helped him become both a leader and a man, and showed him how to learn from others, he said. Talbot said he plans on working with the scout program in the future.