FAIRFIELD — Matt Haberly, a Boy Scout in Troop 82 in Fairfield and a senior at Easton Country Day School, has completed his Eagle Scout project.

Matt’s project took place at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Greenfield Hill, where Matt along with his fellow scouts, friends and parents added a 40 foot by 50 foot extension to the large vegetable garden used by the Church to grow fruits and vegetables to donate to Fairfield’s Operation Hope and other social agencies.

Matt began looking at potential projects a year in advance, riding his bicycle to various churches in Fairfield to discuss possible projects. One of the churches Matt met with was one he already had a long term connection with, Our Saviour’s Luthern Church where he had first attended Vacation Bible School since age 7, and then came back for many years as a counselor. Pastor Mark Christofferson of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, directed Matt to the church’s master gardener, Eric Frisk, and after speaking with Frisk, Matt decided to pursue adding onto the Church’s vegetable garden.

After months of planning the project, purchasing the necessary materials and fundraising with the Church, Matt along with assistance from scouts, adults and friends, began preparing the site for the garden, which began in July 2019 and continued into August 2019. This included the laborious work of pulling out mugwort, thistle, thorny underbrush and weeds by hand, clearing out the area, and leveling and tilling the garden so that it could be used to grow fruits and vegetables.

The last step was to install 9 foot fencing and posts around the garden extension, which began in early Fall and finished in October 2019. All told Matt’s Eagle project took a total of 117 hours to complete.

Matt said, “Creating this garden space was a great way for me to give back to the Church that I had learned so much from. And it was amazing to turn a field of weeds into a vegetable garden.”

Pastor Christofferson said, “We at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church are grateful that Matt planned and organized an Eagle Scout project, with Master Gardener Eric Frisk’s help, to expand our community garden by constructing more fencing to keep out the deer and other wildlife that might eat the food we will be donating to Operation Hope’s food pantry, the Connecticut Food Bank and other social agencies that will help people in need.”

Troop 82 has been an active Boy Scout Troop since the 1920’s at The First Church Congregational in Fairfield, Connecticut, where it meets every Thursday evening. Troop 82 believes in learning while having fun. Scouts learn to be better American citizens, to develop the mental and physical skills needed for growth, and to follow a set of Scouting principles which build character and nurture personal values.