Matt Pawinski’s Eagle Scout project is boon to Kellogg Park in La Jolla


A new pedestrian path from Vallecitos into Kellogg Park was completed on Oct. 7 by a team of Boy Scouts from Troop 271 working under the direction of Eagle Scout candidate Matthew Pawinski, a 17-year-old La Jolla resident and senior at High Tech High School.

The Scouts spent the day clearing out thorny natal plum and overgrown vegetation, removing more than three yards of dirt, and relocating birds of paradise and fountain grass plants. They carefully set the borders of the walkway, shoveled, spread and tamped down four tons of decomposed granite to complete the pathway.

“My goal was to improve a place where I have come to play for over a decade,” Pawinski said. “Surfing is my passion and the ocean is my second home.” Pawinski worked with Mary Coakley Munk, president of the Friends of La Jolla Shores, and Dan Daneri, City of San Diego District Manager Parks and Recreation Department, to determine the best location and dimensions for the path.

“It’s a great project and Friends of La Jolla Shores is extremely pleased to have had the opportunity to work with Matthew,” Munk said.

Originally, Pawinski presented an idea to build a three- dimensional bathymetry model of “The Map” of the La Jolla Shores Underwater Park and Ecological Reserves to the La Jolla Shores Association. The Map helps park visitors learn about the underwater canyons and fish that live just off the shoreline.

His idea received unanimous and enthusiastic support, but the project couldn’t be completed in time to meet the requirements for the Eagle Scout rank. The plan for the pathway was substituted. Pawinski plans to continue working on the bathymetry model as his senior-year project at High Tech High.

Pawinski said he hopes that through-traffic will take his alternate route path so “The Map®” continues to be a clean, vibrant resource for everyone to enjoy.

He added that another highlight of the project for him was meeting world-famous oceanographer Dr. Walter Munk during the project, and learning first-hand about his experiments that resulted in the ability to accurately predict waves.

Troop 271 is chartered by Torrey Pines Christian Church. The Scouts meet on Tuesday evenings at Stanley Middle School in University City. Troop 271 (

) has a robust outdoor program with 49 Scouts and 46 registered adult volunteers, residing in San Diego, from Bay Park to Carmel Mountain to La Jolla. The troop expects to have 10 Scouts reach the Eagle Rank in 2011.