A vandalized section of the Massapequa Preserve has been restored to its former glory thanks to the hard work of a local teenager.
Damien O'Donnell, a Boy Scout and senior at Massapequa High School, recently spearheaded a project to restore a quarter-acre section of the preserve between Fillmore and Grant streets that had been defaced by bikers, who had built nearly a dozen dirt ramps.
O'Donnell recruited more than 60 volunteers to repair the damage. The group moved about 500 wheelbarrows of dirt, repaired and repainted a metal footbridge that had been deteriorating, and retrieved debris scattered throughout the preserve's forest and stream.
"It was a lot of fun. It didn't feel like work," said O'Donnell, 17, who took on the task for his Eagle Scout project. "The preserve means a lot to people."
To raise money for the restoration, O'Donnell coordinated a collection of more than 1,000 recyclable bottles and solicited donations from local stores such as The Home Depot, Lowe's Home Improvement and Ace Hardware.