Boy scout gives Fletcher Hills a new welcome sign as part of Eagle project

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The community sign welcoming visitors to Fletcher Hills via westbound Fletcher Parkway has been a symbol of the neighborhood for more than 40 years.

Located just west of Cuyamaca Street, Welcome to Fletcher Hills was inscribed into a slab of redwood and several pieces from an old telephone pole. However, weather and termites left the sign growing decrepit, precariously ready to topple over.

The community sign welcoming visitors to Fletcher Hills via westbound Fletcher Parkway has been a symbol of the neighborhood for more than 40 years.

Located just west of Cuyamaca Street, Welcome to Fletcher Hills was inscribed into a slab of redwood and several pieces from an old telephone pole. However, weather and termites left the sign growing decrepit, precariously ready to topple over.

Meanwhile, the City of El Cajon was unable to replace it due to budget restraints despite public appeals.

So Jacob Byerline, 15, a member of the Boy Scouts, decided to do something about it.

“I really wanted to do a project that would impact my personal community and that I could show my family when I have one,” said Byerline, a Fletcher Hills resident who attends Grossmont High School. “My family drives past the sign a lot and it is makes our community feel more welcoming now.”

Working out of La Mesa Troop No. 324, Byerline made replacing the sign his Eagle Scout project in order to obtain the lofty ranking in the scouting community.

Byerline endured six months of red tape because the sign belonged to the neighborhood association (which did not know it owned it), while the land belonged to the City of El Cajon. The city said it would maintain the sign in the future.

Raising more than $2,500, including a $400 donation from Fletcher Hills Kiwanis Club, the finished project was unveiled to the public in March.

“Becoming an Eagle Scout is a transformative process for these boys. Many come into scouts like a chick clinging to the parent,” said Assistant Scoutmaster Perry Zavala. “At the end of the process if the believe in their mentor they are confident and secure young men.”

Byerline’s plans include continuing his scouting career and attending college. His aspirations are in computer engineering.