As a child, Ryan Langley took several trips with his grandmother to the site of a historic Augusta artesian well.
The Georgia Military College student now is working toward his Eagle Scout badge, and when it came to choosing a project, the 17-year-old knew just what to pick.
He decided to revitalize Flowing Wells Spring, which is off Wrightsboro Road at Flowing Wells Road.
"She used to come here to get free water," Ryan said of his grandmother, who now lives in Arizona. "Over time, I kind of saw the area getting trashed and neglected. It was just depressing coming to it."
Phase one of the project started Nov. 7 when Ryan and a group of about 35 volunteers spent the day collecting bags of trash, cutting back overgrown foliage and planting flowers and shrubs at the site. Ryan, a senior Boy Scout patrol leader for Troop 15, enlisted help from his troop, family and friends, as well as the Warren Baptist Church College Youth Group.
"He actually loves getting out there and doing the work," said Ryan's mother, Dawn Langley-Brady.
The group also added a sitting area with two concrete benches in addition to bird feeders and bat boxes to help with mosquito control.
Some motorists driving by the area that day stopped and donated about $280 for the project, Ryan said.
Several area businesses offered their support by donating items and their services. They include Wild Birds Unlimited, Green Thumb West Nursery and Garden Center, Daylight Donuts, Stevie B's Pizza, Stallion Tree Professionals, Silas Sanitation and Rent-a-John.
The well, which is entrusted to the city of Augusta, was built in the 1930s and provided fresh water to the original Sue Reynolds School. Many area residents continue to visit the site to fill up jugs and bottles with water.
"This particular project is not only the Eagle Scout project, but it has aspects of a conservation project as well," Langley-Brady said.
Water flows out of the well at a rate of 10 gallons per minute, or more than 14,000 gallons per day.
Ryan, who one day hopes to transfer to another school and major in zoology, currently is in phase two of the project, which includes painting the well's roof bright blue and installing a solar-powered light. If funding is possible, he wants to repair the stairs and railing.
An informational plaque is planned for the third phase. Ryan hopes to finish the project by the end of the year.
"Once it's complete, it's going to be safer for people ... and people will feel better about coming here," Ryan said.
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