The Coast News Group
Carlsbad Eagle Scout, Jace Hansen builds a pathway at the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation Discovery Center and the left over money he had from fundraising for the supplies he gave to the foundation. Courtesy photo

Teen takes on impressive Eagle Scout project

CARLSBAD — A Carlsbad teenager is receiving major kudos for a job well done at the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation Discovery Center. 

Jace Hansen, 15, a Carlsbad High School Student entering the 10th grade, noticed a need and decided to do something about it.

An active Eagle Scout, Jace called others into action to help him build a pathway to join two patios at the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation Discovery Center together.

For Jace, it was an Eagle Scout Project, but for the foundation it meant far more than that.

“We can’t express in words our gratitude for Jace’s efforts, dedication and flawless execution of this great addition to our facility,” said Lisa Rodman, the executive director at Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation. “By connecting the side patio to the back patio, Jace made a significant and lasting contribution to the center.”

According to the foundation’s numbers, last year it served 10,000 public visitors and 6,000 students for its environmental stewardship program.

“With this new connection in place our traffic flow both for the schools and general usage will be much more fluid,” she said.

Jace raised money by himself for supplies to build the pathway. With homemade 1-pound bag toffee sales and private donations he raised $5,790. The cost to build the pathway was a price tag of $3,781. Jace donated the leftover monies totaling a little more than $2,000 back to the foundation.

Rodman said the cash donation will help with the purchase of a new server. The current one was eight years old and needed replacing.

Jace is thrilled he took on this project for a variety of reasons.

“Lots of school kids visit the center each year and they had no way to get from one patio to the other,” he said, noting that it made the area safer for people who visited. “I picked it because it filled a need, was outside, and it was close to my house, so that was nice.”

The project, completed toward the end of summer, took a total of two days and a lot of pre-planning.

Beneath the artificial grass, Jace ultimately chose a road base, which is known as dirt and rock combo.

Jace wants people to know that he couldn’t have undertaken this laborious chore alone. Many pitched in. In fact, he had four teams, which were estimated at 40 people per day.

“Each team had tasks to accomplish with specific goals like the wall team, plant team, river rock team and the pathway team,” he said, adding that a retaining wall was also removed. “Having four teams helped me manage and lead the large number of people who came to help.”

Jace admits his favorite part was the pathway completion. “It looks like it was always there, which was nice to see,” he said. Jace continued, “I am happy that this is a memory I learned from and I will always have it with me.”

In the weeks ahead, Jace is presenting his project to a review board in hopes they consider him for an Eagle Scout Award.

Jace’s father, Jason Hansen, said on a personal level the project was quite an experience.

“It was hard to remember that this was his project and he is a 15-year-old boy, not a person who has been in the business field for 20 years,” Hansen said. “It was fun as a father watching him learn and not only listen to my advice, but to also make his own decisions as well.”

Jace’s father has noticed a growth in his son’s self-confidence when dealing with others during the scope of this venture; he calls these Eagle projects pinnacle for their scouting career.

Jace thanks everyone who helped out describing the experience as an educational and one to remember. “I was happy to give something back to the community,” he said. “Thanks to my dad, too, he didn’t let me give up when I just wanted to play.”