Walpole fourth-grader Leif Pedersen loves and cares about his local park, Bird Park. Growing up a little more than a half-mile from the park, he’s spent countless days riding his bike there, meeting up with friends, running around, and having fun. That’s why this past summer he donated the proceeds from his lemonade stand to The Trustees to support the preservation of the 89-acre community park.
“I wanted to donate to The Trustees because I love Bird Park. It’s a place where a lot of people play and relax, and I just want them to be happy.” Leif said.
This past summer, all the incoming fourth graders at Leif’s school were tasked with creating a business and could choose to do whatever they wanted with the profit. Leif chose to donate his proceeds to a nonprofit. After some thought about what type of business to run, Leif settled on running a lemonade stand at, and in support of, one of his favorite places, Bird Park.
“We’ve used the park their whole lives,” Leif’s father, David, said about Leif and Leif’s younger sister. “We’ve gone on hikes there, gone to concerts, taken them to ride around in the tot lot, so it was nice to give back to the park.”
Leif devised a business plan, made a sign for the stand, had his parents help him buy the lemonade and pink lemonade ingredients, and staffed the stand by himself with some moral support from his family, including his grandparents. Over three afternoons on three separate weekends in the summer, Leif raised $310 in support of Bird Park.
Leif’s donation will help The Trustees and its ongoing revitalization of Bird Park ahead of the park’s 100-year anniversary in 2025. Restoration efforts will include an enhanced Polley Lane entrance, renovations to the children’s playground, improved pedestrian connectivity to the recreation area, and more, all while preserving the historic character of the park. Work has already been done resurfacing the tennis courts and installing new play equipment in the playground, which happens to be near where Leif set up the lemonade stand.
“We chose a spot between two trees near the playground. It was near the entrance where runners would go past, and people walked through,” Leif said. “We gave out free candy to attract customers and also had water for dogs because lots of people walk their dogs through the park.”
Leif said he had fun running the lemonade stand and was happy to see so many people willing to support the maintenance and protection of the park, so much so that he might do it again next summer too.
“I could definitely see myself doing it again,” he said. “I really enjoyed it.”