A Matthews Cub Scout pack has made a long-term commitment to a park with personal connections.
Pack 140, which meets at Cross & Crown Lutheran Church, recently adopted Sardis Park on Sardis Road. The pack has committed to keeping the park clean and helping with projects.
Cubmaster Bob Adams said the pack received a special exemption to adopt the park.
"It's the first time a group has adopted this park, and the first time they've allowed a group this young to adopt it," said Adams.
The pack, which has 48 members, has used the park as a meeting place for years, when the weather is nice. Some pack members, including Jackson Stewart, 9, a fourth-grader at Elizabeth Lane Elementary, have siblings who went there.
Adams said the park adoption fits with the Cub Scouts' goal to teach boys about being good citizens and giving back to the community. He said he has often driven through town and seen signs signifying areas adopted by groups and businesses, and decided the Cub Scouts should adopt the park.
"The hope is to instill in them community service," Adams said. "We want the kids to have an awareness of conversation, taking care of the outdoors and working with the community and giving back."
The pack will pick up litter at least once a month and pitch in for special projects such as spreading mulch on the playground and clearing brush.
Recently, the pack's fourth- and fifth-graders fanned out around the park to pick up litter.
They found broken glass, cigarette butts and plastic bottles.
Several boys said they liked that the project would keep the park clean for families. They said they felt good about clearing the litter.
Austin Brooks, 11, a fifth-grader at Elizabeth Lane, said helping out made him a better person.
Fourth-grader Josh Adams, 9, who attends Elizabeth Lane Elementary School, said "It will make the park cleaner, and if it's a clean park, it's a good park."
Each month, a different age group from the pack, including kindergarten members, will clean the park.
After the recent cleanup, the Scouts walked to the park entrance to check out the new "Adopt-A-Spot" sign with their pack number on it.
They plan for that sign to be there for a long time.
"It's a forever commitment," Adams said.
"We're looking at that as our continuing legacy for Pack 140."