Alden Scouts want to build pergola

Published 9:40 am Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Alden Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts are working to expand the Alden Community Museum for their latest project.

Cub Master Ann Bryson said the plan originally started when the troops asked the museum if they could help with anything. Gloria Peterson, president of the Alden Historical Society, said they’d like a tent in the back to create an outdoor space for activities. The troops then came up with a new plan that will involve creating an entire outdoor space with a pergola instead of a tent.

“We wanted something more permanent than a tent,” Bryson said.

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A pergola is a framework that often covers a patio, similar to a gazebo. Vines and other climbing plants often adorn pergolas. The pergola will provide shelter and shade outside the Alden Community Museum. One large part of the project is to make the museum handicap-accessible.

“There’s no space for a ramp on the street side,” Alden resident Bill Wittmer said. “There’s a step by the front door.”

The step before the front door of the museum makes it impossible for those in wheelchairs to get into the museum. Randy Tolzman Construction has already said they’d donate enough money for cement, materials and construction of a ramp for the back of the building.

There is much to be done before any work can start on the plans. While a lot of time and money has been donated the troops still need about $13,000 before they can begin. Many area businesses have donated to the project but the troops are also hoping for community donations.

The outdoor meeting space under the pergola will be able to be used by anyone who’d like to book time there. The museum will also use the space to do demonstrations they can’t do indoors.

“It’s always more fun to be outside in the summer,” Peterson said.

One example Peterson gave of a demonstration would be an old washing machine that’s been in the basement because it would be too messy to try indoors. Bryson explained why the troops haven’t started working on the project yet and why they won’t start until they have enough money to finish it.

“We want to do it right and have everything looking good,” Bryson said..

Plans for the project include the wooden pergola, built-in benches and a table, solar motion lights so it can be illuminated at night, wheelchair ramp, new steps, new back door and retaining walls lined with plants.

Bryson said the Scouts needed a project and the museum badly needs accessibility, so it worked out that this project will help a lot of people in the community. Donations can be sent to Ann Bryson at 22374 670th Ave., Alden, MN 56009.