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Boy Scout hopes to harvest his wings
August 18, 2012, 05:00 AM By Ashley Hansen Daily Journal Correspondent

Jake Bornstein

Flowers will bloom this weekend at the Maple Street Shelter in Redwood City thanks to Jake Bornstein, a Boy Scout from Los Altos who will finally get his wings.

This weekend, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Bornstein will lead a group of approximately 10 to 15 Boy Scouts and their families in rebuilding a community garden for the people of the Maple Street Shelter as part of his final step to becoming an Eagle Scout — the Boys Scouts of America’s highest honor.

"It all comes down to this, to see if you can become a leader,” Bornstein said of the project.

In complying with the leadership project rules, Bornstein chose the Maple Street Shelter, a nonprofit of the InnVision Shelter Network that has been aiding homeless adults since 1987.

"The garden that Jake is putting together is a key component to providing [a] safe environment so that people can overcome the challenges (of homelessness) and get back to permanent housing,” said Maria Duzon, marketing manager for InnVision Shelter Network.

"This project is a form of leadership,” Bornstein said. "It’s probably the hardest step in becoming an Eagle because this is where you’ve proved everything you’ve learned throughout your Boy Scout experience.”  

The garden will take shape in front of the shelter and Bornstein said he hopes the residents will spend time in the garden and help with the upkeep once the initial remodel is finished.

"It means a great accomplishment to have said that I was able to do this, something that takes years to be able to become,” Bornstein said of becoming an Eagle Scout. "It really teaches you how you can help other people and be a leader in ways you never thought you could be.”

Since the Boy Scouts was founded in 1910, only 5 percent of its Scouts have reached the Eagle level and each of the 21 badges is a huge amount of work that can take any number of months to obtain.

Bornstein said his community project took four months of planning and donations from the community. Lyngso Gardens in Redwood City was a huge contributor, donating many of the supplies needed to complete the garden.

"He (Bornstein) is a very sweet guy. I was very impressed with his maturity,” Pamela Parkinson of Lyngso Gardens said. "[Donations] are new for Lyngso and it was a small amount he needed for a small area to add beauty. A little goes a long way.”

Additional donations came from other garden-supply companies, family and friends. On top of the garden, the money raised will go toward a solar-powered fountain, something Bornstein said he felt was a must for the residents of the shelter.

"Not only is it (the garden) helping residents that are there now but it’s going to help the residents that come through our doors for years to come and we’re so honored to be a part of this great project,” Duzon said.

Self-independence, character building and a service to others are all goals of the Boy Scouts and they’ll be on display this weekend when Bornstein rebuilds a garden for the residents of the Maple Street Shelter.

"It’s pretty much the first time I’ve had a significant amount of leadership and I’m feeling pretty excited and nervous at the same time,” Bornstein said, "It’s myself leading the group of Scouts in this garden and I’ll be in command.”

Donations can be made to Jake Bornstein at

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