Way to Go: Damien O'Donnell, Massapequa

Damien O'Donnell, a Boy Scout and senior at

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. (Credit: Handout)

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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.

O'Donnell is on his school's varsity football team and volunteers with Bellmore-Merrick Emergency Medical Services and the Massapequa Fire Department.

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