By Melanie Petrucci, Contributing Writer
Westborough – Ryann Smith, 14, a freshman at Westborough High School, is working hard to earn her Girl Scout Silver Award. On Sept. 9, she installed two benches, which she assembled, at the Haskell Street Park playground, off of Lyman Street, in Westborough.
Ryann has been a Girl Scout since she was a Daisy in kindergarten. Now a senior Girl Scout in Troop 30508, she is into building things. She is currently taking some tech classes at the high school but she began her project in middle school.
“I always knew I’d build park benches for my Silver Award,” she said. “It was either building benches for Haskell Park or by the Senior Center.”
In the end, she opted for Haskell Park because, “I went there growing up and there weren’t any places for parents to sit and watch their kids play.”
To get started, she went to her Girl Scout leader – her mother Pam Smith – for guidance. They first went to the Girl Scout website to get information. Then she filed the necessary paperwork and completed some prerequisites before starting her project.
Westborough Recreation Director Alan Grady was consulted and he gave his support. He met Ryann and her mother at the park to pick locations for the benches which are made out of recycled plastic and wood, are weather resistant and require little maintenance. They should last up to 20 years.
Raising funds for the benches was a project requirement. Ryann held a tag sale and enlisted the help of other girls in her troop. Materials for the benches came in kits needing assembly. Once assembled, they were secured into the ground with nails. She reached out to her friend Malcom, a Boy Scout, who assisted with installation.
Ryann is already thinking about her Gold Award. Her older sister recently earned hers. She has plenty of time, however. Meanwhile, Ryann said, “You should come, use the park and sit on the benches.”