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Eagle Scout has plastic recycled into bench for handicap-accessible kayak launch in Norfolk

Campbell Fox used his Eagle Scout final project to improve the Highland Park Veterans Kayak Launch at Knitting Mill Creek.

NORFOLK, Va. — Campbell Fox used his Eagle Scout project to make a difference for the environment and his West Ghent Neighborhood.

“I was just kind of biking, and I needed a place to rest, so I just turned onto this street, and I just saw it, and I realized that I hadn’t really ever seen it before," he said.

 "But it was a nice commodity to the city, so I thought that it should be improved, and kind of put it into the spotlight, so other people could enjoy it.”

The 15-year-old Norview High School sophomore is talking about the Highland Park Veterans Kayak Launch at Knitting Mill Creek, there.

It's a handicap-accessible boat launch for the Norfolk community. But, the gently floating ramp at the end of a side street was missing something.

“I found the TREX recycling program through my synagogue, and they showed me how to do it, how it worked, and just showed me the idea. I really liked it for the environment.”

The company takes recycled plastic and turns that into park benches. It's no easy feat, though. Each bench calls for 500 lbs. of plastic film.

“No hard plastic," he said. "Like grocery store bags, wrappers, things like that." 

Fox said he asked his school, his friends and his synagogue to help him collect the film. With them behind him, Fox didn't just meet the goal. He surpassed it.

Credit: Laurel Pont
Campbell Fox donates recycled TREX bench to Veteran's kayak launch at Knitting Mill Creek, Norfolk

Now, a green, composite bench invites people to enjoy the view over the kayak launch.

“It’s very satisfying to see all my hard work in the final product. It’s nice, I see people here more, after, now."

He said he stops by often to make sure things are still going well.

"Eagle projects are great. They help the community, they help scouts, they help everyone around," he said. "Becoming an Eagle Scout is fantastic.”

His isn't the only Eagle Scout project to have focused on the spot. A covered map of the watershed that stands near the ramp was donated by another scout.

After school, Fox spends his time practicing tennis and playing the string bass in orchestra. He said his plans are to attend college when he's graduated, and study something in the STEM field, but he's not sure what subject, yet.

You can visit the kayak launch at the end of 44th Street, right off of Colley Avenue.