On Aug. 14, Eric Frieb, a senior at Otis Bison High School, received an answer to a prayer. The soon-to-be Eagle Scout needed extra funding to complete the first phase of a garden pavilion project at Heartland Farm, west of Great Bend. He proposed the build for his Eagle Scout community leadership project after learning of the need the Dominican Sisters of Peace had for such a building while volunteering at the farm. While it was a particularly ambitious project, Frieb convinced the Boy Scout council and the board at Heartland Farm that he was up to the challenge.
After a story about the newly completed basic structure appeared in the Aug. 7 edition of The Great Bend Tribune, W.R. and Yvonne Robbins, Great Bend, were touched by the effort Frieb had made. They contacted Tim and Laura Boxberger with Farmers Bank and Trust, who arranged a donation to Frieb and the Dominican Sisters of Peace to assist with the remaining costs of the project. They met at Farmers Bank and Trust of Albert, where the Boxbergers presented the check to Sr. Jane Belanger and Sr. Teresita Huse, with the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Eric Frieb, Eagle Scout candidate, and his parents, Tim and Amy Frieb.
This paved the way for the completion of sidewalks leading to the pavilion, seating, and ceiling fans under the canopy.
Over the past few weeks, Frieb and his father, Tim, and brother have been hard at work setting up straw bales around the perimeter of the structure and covering them with a concrete and sand stucco mixture like that used in other straw bale construction buildings around the farm.
Weather permitting, the seating will be ready for use when the Dominican Sisters of Peace open Heartland Farm free to the public on Saturday, Sept. 12 for their annual Open Farm Day event. Activities start at 10 a.m. and run until 3 p.m.
The public is invited to visit and experience the slower pace of life on a farm. Alpacas and chickens are the livestock of choice on the farm, and visitors will have the opportunity to meet them up close. There will be crafts and garden produce from the organic garden available, and area craftspeople and purveyors of sustainable practices will be on hand to provide demonstrations of spinning, bee keeping, and more. Refreshments will also be available, including solar-baked cookies, providing the sun cooperates. The farm is located at 1049 C.R. 390, Pawnee Rock.
This year, in addition to tours, demonstrations and hay rack rides around the farm, the public is invited to stay for the Eagle Scout ceremony at 2:30 p.m. at which Frieb will receive the coveted top designation earned by only four percent of Boy Scouts.