Ambitious Eagle Scout project will benefit Cubs for generations to come

June 19, 2017

An ambitious project by a Brownfield Boy Scout to earn the coveted and honorable rank of Eagle Scout has grown well beyond its original intent, but when work is completed in a couple weeks local athletes for generations to come will benefit.

Tucker Nelson, an incoming freshman at Brownfield High School, has been an active scout for most of his life and currently is a Life Scout, one rank shy of Eagle.

In order to earn that final honor, scouts must plan, implement, and achieve a project that demonstrates leadership and improves the community they call home.

An avid baseball player when he’s not scouting, Tucker’s project began as an idea to run a water line to the outfield Cub Field to allow for easier connections of hoses and portable sprinklers.

Further consideration and planning though has seen that idea grow into his current project — to install a complete, state of the art, underground irrigation system to the entire baseball complex located adjacent to Cub Football Stadium.

“It’s bigger than I ever imagined and it’s going to be hard, but its’ going to be worth it when we’re done,” Tucker told the Brownfield News this week as he looked over the baseball field. “I love scouting and I love baseball so this project just made sense when I was looking for something to do. I want to play for the Cubs on this field so I want to make it as good as it can be.”

Tucker said he has played in the outfield at the ballpark and noticed inconsistencies in the height and health of the grass because of where water lands from portable sprinklers.

The planned system should alleviate that problem and promote a lush, even layer of grass from home plate to the outer fence.

The scope of the project grew well beyond Tucker’s initial idea and when completed will include more than 7,000 linear feet of pipe and a total of 138 sprinkler heads.

Part of the project involves leadership and Tucker’s leadership skills will be on full display as he orchestrates a team of volunteers in the coming days to trench and install the impressive system with the blessing and support of Brownfield ISD.

“It’s a really neat system and the controls will be in the dugout,” he said. “The system will monitor itself and checks each quadrant and will even send an email to the maintenance department if something is wrong like a broken sprinkler head.”

Tucker’s dad, Alan Nelson, Brownfield ISD’s school resource officer, said the system would cost upwards of $100,000 if the district paid to have it installed.

“We are doing it for much, much less than that, thanks to the generosity of numerous businesses and individuals, but we still have expenses and would appreciate any contributions possible,” he said. “This is going to take a community effort and we have been blessed so far with a positive response.”

The Nelsons are asking for any able bodied volunteers to make their way to the ballpark over the next week.

They will begin marking the grounds Monday and trenching — all 7,000-plus feet — will begin Wednesday and is expected to last two days.

Installation will begin after that.

“We have to give the field time to recover and regrow the grass this season, because once we move into fall and winter, it won’t grow back in time for baseball next season, which begins before the grass greens up again,” Tucker said. “I will be the project manager and I’m nervous, but excited to get started and see it through.”

Tucker began planning the project in January and earned approval from the Boy Scouts district council in March.

School district officials are supportive and appreciative of the project, he said.

“The coaches have come out too and helped decide what is needed and where some aspects of the project should be,” he said. “I can’t wait to play ball out here and know that I had a part in making it better.”

Following the project, Tucker will submit a recap and other paperwork to the Boy Scouts.

If successful, he will earn his Eagle Scout designation by the end of Summer.

Anyone interested in volunteering or donating can reach Alan Nelson at 806-559-3339.

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