Joseph Candia, a junior at North Babylon High School, receives a...

Joseph Candia, a junior at North Babylon High School, receives a certificate of commendation from North Babylon schools Superintendent Glen Eschbach for his efforts to beautify a local playground. Credit: North Babylon School District

A North Babylon High School junior recently led a project to restore and beautify the playground at a local church.

Joseph Candia, 16, who is a member of Boy Scout Troop 179, repaired and replaced a damaged fence, trimmed low tree branches that could cause injury, and removed garbage and debris near the playground at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in West Islip.

In the adjacent parking lot on Toomey Road, he created playground art, including outlines of tic-tac-toe and hopscotch boards. He also planted more than 70 perennial bulbs in various gardens around the church.

The project was part of Candia's Eagle Scout Service Project. He was presented with a certificate of commendation for his efforts by North Babylon schools Superintendent Glen Eschbach .

"I'm very happy with how it turned out," Candia said.

To raise funds for the project, he hosted a bake sale at the church over a two-day span that he said collected about $1,500.

"He's one of the nicest kids you'll ever meet," North Babylon High School Principal Jonathan Klomp said. "I think he represents the whole package for our students."

Candia is a member of the high school's National Honor Society chapter, as well as the Spanish Honor Society, Quiz Bowl team and science research program. He also is on the Superintendent's Student Advisory Council.

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