PLAISTOW — Outside Drew Hogg’s bedroom window are countless memories from his youth. Hogg spent many hours playing on the jungle gym, shooting hoops and playing t-ball at Smith Field on Ingalls Terrace, just seconds away from his house.
But it saddens him to see what has hapened since Plaistow built the Plaistow Area Recreation Facility on Old County Road several years ago.
“It’s been neglected,” said Hogg, 15. “I just want to give back to the community and show how much it gave to me as a young child.”
Hogg is doing something about that for his Eagle Scout project. Hogg has recruited friends and family to assist him in renovating the dugouts and pavilion areas of the park.
“I’m at a loss for words what he’s done on his own,” his mother Jenn said. “He’s done an exceptional job.”
Hogg pitched the idea to Plaistow Recreation Director Christina Cruz and the two made a plan that he could accomplish.
“He’s beautifying it,” Cruz said. “He’s helping us make sure that all of our facilities are up to par.”
Cruz said the park is still used every day, but most of the organized recreational activities now take place at the new facility.
Before Hogg could start work at the park, he went around to local businesses asking them to donate money for the project.
“We raised about $4,000 in a couple months,” he said. “The community support given to me was incredible,” he said.
Hogg also recruited, organized and directed a crew made up of friends, family members and fellow Scouts.
The project is being done over two days; the first was Aug. 3.
“It was a huge success,” he said. “We had 30 people show up and complete 120 working hours.”
The crew repainted a pavilion and both dugouts on the baseball field. They also graded underneath the dugout and removed vines that had begun growing on the outside of the dugouts.
“We basically made it look a lot prettier,” he said.
Hogg and his crew still have one more working day scheduled for their project. The group will focus on the bigger pavilion and put up a new welcome sign donated by Kelly Graphics. Lambert Roofing of Haverhill will also be there to put up a new roof on both dugouts.
The second day of work has not yet been scheduled.
Cruz said the work will help allow Smith Field to be used for years to come.
“He wanted to make sure that it still had the sustainability to be used,” Cruz said. “I can’t say enough about what he did. He’s a phenomenal young kid, doing a wonderful thing for the town.”