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St. Coletta's of Illinois benefits from Eagle Scout project

Jul 18, 2023

Maksym Sierak from Troop 318 spruces up garden, adds meditation area for participant enjoyment

When Maksym Sierak was debating what to do for his Eagle Scout project, he thought of the developmentally disabled individuals served by St. Coletta’s of Illinois.


“One thing that the people used to do over there was visit the garden,” said Sierak, a Life Scout in Troop 318 of Orland Park.


But after COVID forced the nonprofit to shut down for an extended period of time, the garden dried up and was quickly overtaken by weeds.


On Saturday, July 15, Sierak led a team of helpers, including fellow Troop members, as they cleaned up the garden and replaced the weeds with colorful, fragrant perennials that will be enjoyed and tended to by developmentally disabled individuals in St. Coletta’s Community Day Services program.


“It’s best to put (the garden) back to its proper use,” said Sierak, as he directed Troop members on what to do.


Before putting his plan into action, Sierak consulted with the experts at Ted’s Greenhouse in Tinley Park and selected catmint, Russian sage, Black-eyed Susans, feather reed grass and daylilies to fill the garden.


That way, “the garden is always alive,” said Sierak.


The Life Scout even added a bench in the revived garden for people to rest and enjoy the view.


“We appreciate the work Maksym has put into this project and look forward to rebooting our horticultural program,” said Heather Benedick, St. Coletta’s CEO. “Our students and adult participants enjoy getting outdoors and learning about the different plants we grow and how to care for them.”


Based in Tinley Park, St. Coletta’s of Illinois is a non-profit social service agency that provides educational, residential and vocational training services to children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities so they can achieve their greatest potential.


It has several gardens in place, including a pumpkin patch (near Sierak’s new meditation garden) and several raised garden beds where students grow vegetables for the school’s culinary arts program.

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