Checkmate for the Eagle Scout Project at Battle Point

Bainbridge High School junior Ben Watson installed an outdoor chess board and benches at Battle Point Park this summer to complete his Eagle Scout requirements for BI 1564 Troop.

The project was supported by a $2,700 community grant from the Bainbridge Island Parks & Trails Foundation.

“I thought I really wanted something that would last,” Watson said. “I wanted something really permanent that I could go back to, all the way down the line.”

“Permanent” meant concrete, in both senses of the word, and Watson wanted something more interactive than a typical park bench. Although not a chess player himself, he landed on an outdoor chess table typical of many city parks.

“I thought it would be nice and add something to the park,” he said.

Watson and his project advisor, Ken DeWitt, scouted locations around Battle Point before settling next to the KidsUp! Playground. It also serves as the perfect picnic table for a parent and child, between frolicking around the play area.

Watson and his fellow Scouts built formwork and poured the concrete base, with the help of Park District construction staff. The plank, concrete with marble inlay, pedestal and benches were from a commercial supplier.

“We did the concrete mix and everything, but the Park District really helped us with the leveling,” Watson said. “We couldn’t have done it without them.”

The project was one of six funded by the foundation’s community grants program in 2021. Others included the BHS Sailing Club, $3,000 for a new C-420 sailboat for youth regattas; BI Water Polo Club, $3,000 for new fitness equipment; Parks Stewardship Program, $3,000 for tools for volunteer conservation and stewardship events; BI Swim Club, $2,775 for a new record board for the BI Aquatic Center; and Eagledale Pottery Studio, $1,450 for a new pug mill for recycling and reusing pottery clay.

Since 1998, the foundation has awarded community grants totaling more than $852,000 to support parks and recreation programs for youth and adults on BI.

The foundation’s Community Grants round goes live September 1, and applications are due October 1. See for details.

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