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BV FFA service project ‘rocks!’

Bureau Valley FFA members show off the sign’s new seating area, easily utilized for school and team pictures.
Bureau Valley FFA members show off the sign’s new seating area, easily utilized for school and team pictures.

“FFA Rocks!” said chapter members Sadie Reinbeck and Addie Schoff.

Why? Reinbeck and Schoff both found the pleasure of bettering their communities through leadership. Their project — the restoration of Bureau Valley High School’s sign on 2125 North Avenue — required a commitment of planning, securing donated materials, and advocating for service.

This idea arose when both students and teachers expressed disappointment in the sign’s condition. Weeds were rampant, and no direction was provided for resolve. Willard Mott, head of the agricultural department at Bureau Valley, however, knew just what to do. As the National FFA Organization encourages a student-run program, he asked two of his students to step up and organize a solution. Reinbeck and Schoff took the challenge.

“It took us a good month to plan and get everything together,” Schoff said. “It was something that we had to stay on task with, definitely.”

The planning process included calling various parties for materials and monetary donations, securing a design, and working with administration to plan the date/times of execution. The Bureau Valley FFA and BV CUSD No. 340 would like to extend a special thanks to Elite Landscaping, Illinois Agri Women, Schoff Farm Service, McCormick’s Nursery, Walnut Gravel Pit, Ryan Taylor, Gail Edlefson, Jason Jaggers and Dennis Thompson for their donations to the project.

The girls also weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty when refurbishing the sign’s landscape.

“My least favorite memory is when we were laying down the landscape fabric and hit my head on the sign,” Reinbeck said. “But it wasn’t just Addie and I, but the efforts of everyone that has improved its appearance.”

The Bureau Valley FFA Chapter expressed a great deal of commitment to Schoff and Reinbeck’s work.

“The day we began work was an early out day, and people stayed to help us instead of going home,” Reinbeck said. “It was cold, but I could detect the sense of accomplishment as my fellow FFA members experienced the power of service. We are both constantly impressed by the dedication of our peers who soon will serve as educators and leaders within the community.”

When asked about the benefits of the new landscaping, both girls knew they would be virtually endless.

“This project shows that we care not just about what you see when the bus pulls up, but also for the community to know that we take pride in our school and FFA chapter,” Reinbeck said.

It is designed to be low-maintenance, requiring only occasional watering of the plants. The rocks won’t require tender care or watering, an improvement over the previous.

Contributed by Section 3/Bureau Valley FFA Chapter Reporter Michael Lotspeich.

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