Eagle Scout project a howling success; transforms dog park in Fargo

Dawson organized and oversaw the construction of various installations that now adorn the dog park, including bridge ramps, hurdles and shade houses.

Nick Dawson visits with Scott Geiselhart and his dog, Sarge, during a recent evening at Brandt Crossing Park dog park. Dawson spent part of the summer supervising the construction of improvements to the dog park as part of an Eagle Scout project.
David Olson/The Forum
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FARGO — Nick Dawson spent part of the summer of 2022 completing an Eagle Scout project that will be enjoyed by visitors to Fargo's Brandt Crossing Park, particularly visitors that have four legs and an over-the-top fondness for chasing tennis balls.

Dawson organized and oversaw the construction of various physical installations that now adorn the park's dog park, including bridge ramps, hurdles and shade houses.

The materials used to make it all happen cost approximately $3,000, much of which Dawson came up with himself through fundraisers.

His effort was assisted by a $1,300 grant from the Fargo Park District's Matching Grant Program and volunteers pitched in to help Dawson complete the work, providing about 300 hours of labor.

Much of that work involved mixing 60-pound bags of cement by hand, the results of which were used to make slabs to anchor the installations.


Among those pitching in were Dawson's parents, Vicki and Steve.

Vicki Dawson, who is a member of the Park Board and who removed herself from any vote having to do with the matching grant, said the project helped her son hone his planning and leadership skills and capped many years of involvement in Scouting, which began about the time Nick, who just turned 18, started school.

On a recent fall evening, mother and son were at the dog park with their dog, Cola.

A number of fellow dog owners became aware that Nick was the force behind the recent improvements to the dog park and they made a point of thanking him.

"This is awesome," said Scott Geiselhart, who was visiting the dog park with his German shepherd, Sarge.

Vicki Dawson said similar encounters were common this past summer when the installations were being set up.

Nick Dawson said his Eagle Scout project has yet to be officially recognized, but he anticipates that will happen soon.

"I have my awards ceremony, then I'm done," Dawson said, adding that during his years in Scouting he learned a lot and met a lot of people.


Dave Leker, executive director of the Fargo Park District, said he appreciates it when someone like Dawson asks if there is something they can do for the city's parks.

"The more you can get the public to volunteer and do things with the park district, you get buy in and they see ownership in that," Leker said.

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