An Eagle at work

Justin Endrikat revitalizes pet cemetary for Warwick Vlley Humane Society as his Eagle Scout project

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  • Beginning in the back grow, from left to right are: Leader Steve Bower, Justin Endrikat, Brian Bower, Shea Gormley, Henry Searle, Kyle Bower, Leader Bob Steuerman and Leader Dan Decker. In front, from left to right, are: Tristan Searle, Tristan Weaver, Nate Searle, Hunter Endrikat and Nick Fox.

  • Justin Endrikat's Eagle Scout project was to revitalize and beautify the Restdale Park Pet Cemetery (on Restdale Road in Chester) for the Warwick Valley Humane Society.

  • This is the marker on the bench that was part of Justin Endrikat's Eagle Scout s project to revitalize the Restdale Park Pet Cemetery in Chester.

— Justin Endrikat recently became the first member of Troop 477 in Greenwood Lake to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.

His Eagle Scout project was to revitalize and beautify the Restdale Park Pet Cemetery on Restdale Road in Chester for the Warwick Valley Humane Society.

The pet cemetery was all but destroyed and then abandoned when a housing development was put in 20 or so years ago.

Justin, along with members of Troop 477, refurbished the landscape by removing dead trees, branches and leaves and resetting grave markers. He then built a wood bench with donations from Rustic Contracting, a local contractor, and the local lumber and hardware store, Greenwood True Value.

The final touch was setting the bench on a concrete pad near the entrance for visitors to enjoy.

Justin is a sophomore at Warwick Valley High School. His family lived in Greenwood Lake until last August when they moved to Pine Island. Troop 477 is a relatively new troop based in Greenwood Lake.

Justin is an avid outdoorsman which is why he loves scouts. He signed up right at the very first orientation meeting at the end of kindergarten and has been an active and enthusiastic scout ever since. He also served as the Den Chief for his brother, Hunter’s Cub Scout den every year of Hunter’s Cub Scout “career.” Hunter just became a Boy Scout in February, joined the troop and was able to help with his big brother’s Eagle Project.

Justin has also been an active volunteer at Winslow Therapeutic Riding Center for almost three years.

Suzyn Barron, president of the Warwick Valley Humane Society, offered this perspective on the project:

“I almost didn’t recognize the cemetery,” Barron said in an email exchange with The Warwick Advertiser. “The last time I saw it, it was a plot of overgrown land with dead trees and downed branches nearly burying the original grave markers.

Justin and his Troop cleared the land, righted the markers and outlined the graves with stones making them visible. One can now see that it is clearly an old cemetery and not just a wooded lot,” she added. “ He cleared the original entrance and built a beautiful bench at the front. It was a labor intensive project and Justin has restored a long forgotten pet cemetery dating back to 1949.

“Finally, it took Eagle Scout Justin Endrikat to begin the restoration,” Barron said. “After all of these years, I am thrilled and amazed that this is actually happening. Our organization simply could not get this done without outside assistance and I am so grateful that the Boy Scouts, with Justin in the lead, managed to make this dream a reality. We, at Warwick Valley Humane Society, are so proud of his achievement and well earned Eagle Scout induction. He embodies all that it means to be an Eagle Scout.

“Thank you, Justin and Troop 477,” the Humane Society president added,” for your labors of love for long gone but not forgotten beloved pets.”

Justin also thanked his fellow scouts of Troop 477 for all their hard work and his sponsors, Rustic Contracting and Greenwood True Value, for their help in making his Eagle Service Project a success.

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