When deciding on his Eagle Scout Project, Wesley Smith, decided that he wanted to build something where kids could spend time with their friends outdoors at Bell Park.
Smith came up with the idea a hammock park and received approval for his project the day before his 18th birthday. Eagle Scout Projects must be in the works before the scout turns 18.
The Greenwood Parks Commission aided Smith by funding his project to the tune of $5,000 with the help of Davis Iron and Metal, who cut Wesley a deal on the metal poles that support the hammocks. The projected cost of the park was estimated to cost nearly $10,000.
“I had seen where a girl scout had created a hammock park in Fort Smith,” said Smith. “I thought that was cool and I came up to Bell Park and set up a hammock between some trees with some friends and a lot of bark came off. We are not the only people doing that and damaging the trees.”
Wesley and his father made a trip to Rogers to see the hammock park at the Mercy trailhead to gain some more inspiration and borrow some design ideas with the help of Scoutmaster Rod Powell.
Bell Park is notorious for having large rocks just beneath the surface. “We thought this place was just covered in rocks and thought we were going to need to have a lot heavy equipment,” said Smith “But as we started digging we didn’t come across any boulders and so I started calling all of the scouts that I could and said, ‘come help me, we are having a work day!’”
With the help of the scouts Smith and his team were able to dig a majority of the 21 holes for the park. The final five post holes were dug with the help of the Greenwood Street Department.
Each post weighs in excess of 800 lbs, which the scouts were able to place themselves with a lot of teamwork. The poles will eventually have sails attached to them to provide relief from the sun during the spring and summer months.
“Hammocks just kind of blew up,” said Smith. “Everyone had to have a hammock and every hammock had to be different from everyone elses. Just to go out and read a book and hang out with your friends. I gets you out of the house. There is not much to do in our area so just going out and discovering Greenwood with a hammock and your friends is just kind of cool.”
Wesley stated that he and his friends seek out areas without cell service so that they can take a break from social media. “It is just really peaceful.”
Smith is currently attending classes at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, where he is studying Biology Pre-Med.