Dimitri Kartsonas helped his son, Christopher Kartsonas, in building the kiosk, as did fellow Scouts Luke Holbert and Peyton Gunnel. (SSC)

Christopher Kartsonas used a Sandy Springs Conservancy (SSC) Micro Project grant to complete his Eagle Scout project, which was an informational kiosk at the Sandy Springs Library Reading Garden.

The SSC Micro Project grant covered the $450 cost of materials. The organization also worked with the library for project approval. A member of Troop 379 from St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, Kartsonas completed the project with the help of his father and fellow troop members Luke Holbert and Peyton Gunnels.

The covered kiosk in the reading garden displays information about library programs and news. It adds to the newly renovated reading garden that SSC completed in stages earlier this year with funding from a grant from The Sandy Springs Society.

“Christopher’s Eagle Scout project exceeded expectations and is a wonderful addition to the library’s Reading Garden. The message center not only looks amazing, it’s a great way to communicate what’s going on in the library to those utilizing the garden,” Michael Kim of the library branch, told SSC.

Kartsonas has been a scout since first grade. The 17-year-old senior attends Mount Vernon Presbyterian School and plans to study aerospace engineering in college.

“I liked the idea of an outdoor kiosk because they are helpful in providing information to people in parks about news and events going on,” he said, according to an SSC release.

It took 10 hours to build the kiosk.

“It came out a lot better than I expected. At first, I was worried it wouldn’t hold strong because I had little experience with carpentry and building things like that. I’m so happy it came out the way it did,” Kartsonas said.

Other Micro Projects completed by scouts include an heirloom fruit orchard at Lost Corner Preserve led by Boy Scout Troop 379 with help from Mayor Rusty Paul, a member of Friends of Lost Corner, and SSC Board Members. And the addition of benches, signage stands, and railings to Bluff Trail at Morgan Falls Overlook Park was led by a local Boy Scout Troop. The benches were made of salvaged wood.

SSC invites community members to help improve and enhance greenspace and parks through its Micro Projects program. Project proposals are welcomed, and grants are available.

Micro Projects are completed within a year and cost up to $5,000. They are volunteer-driven and focus on enhancements and improvements to Sandy Springs parks, trails or greenspace. That improves the value of green lands to benefit the entire community, SSC said on its Micro Projects web page.

Volunteer groups from businesses, congregations, schools, scouts, or other groups of citizens are invited to submit project proposals and to apply for SSC Micro Project grants. These partners will provide the volunteer manpower to plan, secure the supplies and implement the proposed project. SSC grants will provide for project materials in part or in full.

SSC works with the partner to coordinate with the owner of the property – usually a governmental agency, school or church – that would grant the group access to complete the project. Community groups who want to submit a proposal are asked to submit a one-page application. Contact the Micro Project Chair at info@sandyspringsconservancy.org for an application.

Christopher Kartsonas built the kiosk for his Eagle Scout project despite a lack of carpentry experience. (SSC)

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.