Boy Scout Helps Navy Widow Keep Husband’s Dream Alive

Future Eagle Scout Timothy Bedford displays the completed Warrior Fire Pit project her organized and help build for Landing Zone Grace Warriors Retreat.

Future Eagle Scout Timothy Bedford displays the completed Warrior Fire Pit project he organized and help build for Landing Zone Grace Warriors Retreat.

As one of the final qualifications for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout, a scout must organize and complete a community service project. For his project recipient, Timothy Bedford of Troop 996 in Virginia Beach chose to help the Landing Zone Grace Warriors Retreat (LZ-Grace) build a relaxation area for special operations forces veterans returning from deployment.

“I chose the project because our family has a great appreciation for military personnel,” said Bedford, whose father is a retired Navy senior chief. “We are aware of the effects of wartime deployments on service members and their families. I wanted a project that would help those who serve our nation and sacrifice to protect us.”

With Cambridge Cobble pavers donated by Belgard and local dealer Lancaster Farms, Timothy organized over 35 volunteers to build a fire pit and patio area as a relaxing gathering spot where veterans can help each other decompress from the tensions of deployment and transition back to life at home.

The dream for the LZ-Grace retreat center was originally conceived by 32-year veteran Navy SEAL, Steve Bukowski, who himself had trouble transitioning from each deployment. But before Bukowski could achieve his dream, he died of a massive heart attack only six months after his retirement.

A little over four years later, Bukowki’s widow, Lynette, and the Bukowski family have now brought this dream to life by converting a rundown horse farm into LZ-Grace where special operations forces veterans will benefit from peer mentoring, recreation-based therapy, life skills instruction, and post-transition planning.

LZGraceFirePit“Mrs. Bukowski shared her late husband’s vision of a place where service members could rest, heal, and reconnect,” Bedford said. “She told me recovery happens when people can talk over a meal or sitting around a fire. As a scout, I have always enjoyed campfires. I would have done whatever project she needed most, but my heart was to build the fire pit.”

Although, the retreat center is not scheduled to open until late summer or fall of this year, the Warrior Fire Pit, as it has been named, is already well used by the numerous volunteers working daily to renovate the property, many of whom are retired or former combat special operations forces, local firefighters or police officers, or SWAT team members.

“I often find many of the guys volunteering out here sitting around the fire talking after a full day of hard, dirty labor,” said Lynette Bukowski, LZ-Grace founder. “The comradery which naturally takes place around an outdoor fire opens a space for healing of hearts and minds and spirits in many. It’s easy to talk and tell stories around a fire. It’s also easy to sit quietly and listen and reflect.”

New 2015 Idea Books
Hot Off the Presses

IdeaBookLooking for ideas to transform your backyard or create curb appeal that will be the envy of the neighborhood? Order your free Belgard Idea Book for ideas on how to use a variety of hardscape colors, patterns, and textures to enhance the beauty, functionality, and value of your home. From picturesque walkways and cozy outdoor fireplaces to gourmet outdoor kitchens and traffic-stopping driveways, the 2015 Belgard Idea Book will help you explore the possibilities.

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Click here to order your free Idea Book today!

Belgard Hardscapes Showcased in Southern Living Show Homes across the South in 2014

Showcase homes and idea houses are sponsored by various magazines, builders, design professionals, organizations and manufacturers across the country to illustrate the top design trends in today’s custom homes. In 2014, Southern Living Magazine looked to Belgard Hardscapes to create stunning designer looks for a total of nine showcase homes across the south. Here is a taste from some of these stylish homes.

Southern Living Idea House – Palmetto Bluff (Bluffton, SC)

Belgard Aqua-Bric permeable pavers not only add character to the parking areas and walkways of this airy coastal-style home, they also filter pollutants from stormwater to help protect the three rivers that surround the development. In a separate and unique interior application, Lafitt Grana Slab added a rustic touch to the mudroom, powder room, and multi-purpose “clutter room” off of the home’s kitchen.

Creative Home Concepts Showcase Home – Hallsley (Midlothian, VA)

The hand-cobbled appearance of Bergerac pavers provided the perfect complement for the walkways and back patio of this English-style cottage, further enhanced by the rough-hewn texture of Celtik Wall on the fire pit and surrounding seat wall. Both the front and back porches were floored with the slate-like Lafitt Grana Slab in coordinating colors to add a contemporary touch.

Wayne Harbin Builder, Inc., Showcase Home – Ford’s Colony (Williamsburg, VA)

The random flagstone appearance of Mega-Arbel pavers creates a striking look for the back patio and sunken fire pit of this colonial-style home. Mega-Bergerac provides the step ledge and complements the patio trim of smaller Bergerac pavers. Weston Stone provides the ledge fascia, fire pit and surrounding seat wall and end caps in a texture, laying pattern, and color scheme that coordinates with the home’s brick accents.

Join the Thousands Using
Belgard Style File

A few months ago, we launched the new Belgard website with a unique feature, the Belgard Style File. Since that time, over 12,000 Style Files have been created by more than 8,000 homeowners and contractors across the country.

How People are Benefiting from Belgard Style File
Style File allows you to collect, organize, and share ideas you love from the Belgard website. Web surfers can browse our image gallery, save photos for inspiration, explore styles and textures, and collaborate on projects with friends and professionals. Homeowners are using Style File to help with the planning, designing, and decision-making processes of outdoor living projects. At the same time, contractors and dealers are also using Style File to share design solution ideas and information with their customers.

stylefile_iconHow to Create Your Style File
If you haven’t already starting filing your ideas in your own Style File, simply click here to get started or click on the Style File icon (see image at right) in the upper right corner of any page on Then select Sign Up and fill out a brief form (see image below). Select Get Started on the form to start collecting your ideas.

8.26.13 - 2Once you’ve set up your Style File profile or have logged in, simply click on the Start a New File button to create a new file and begin organizing your favorite photos, products, and contractor information. 8.26.13 - 3As you browse the website, click on the plus sign on any photo to add it to one of your Style Files. At any time, you can print one of your Style Files or share them with others via email, Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook.


Ready to “Visualize” Your Backyard Makeover?

LibraryBelgard’s new and improved online Project Visualizer gives you the ability to be your own hardscape designer. Choose from one of our library images of patios, driveways, and walkways or upload your own photo to experiment with a variety of paver styles and colors and explore an infinite number of design possibilities.

Image Editing

Library images are divided into paver regions. Regions will be listed on the left and viewable by mousing over the image. By selecting one of the regions, you can choose from the many styles, colors, and laying patterns available in your geographic area to change the paver design. The visualizer is powered by sophisticated imaging software that allows you to get a realistic view of each design. Mix or match paver choices in the available hardscape regions to create your own unique look.

Upload Your OwnTo create a custom design, simply upload your own photo and use the easy-to-navigate tools to create your own paver regions that you can customize with the same variety of paver choices. The design grid incorporates click-and-drag maneuverability, making it easy to edit your paver regions to create the exact look you desire.

Whether working with a design from the image library or creating your own custom design, you can print, save, or share your designs to turn them into realities.

Click here to get started.

How to Create Your Style File

If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, you know about some recent upgrades we’ve made to the Belgard website. One of our favorite additions is the Belgard Style File.

What is the Belgard Style File?
Now you can collect and organize ideas you love with your own Belgard Style File. Browse our image gallery, save photos for inspiration, explore styles and textures, and collaborate on projects with friends and professionals.

How to Create Your Style File
To create your Style File, simply click on the Style File tab in the upper right corner and then select Sign Up.

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Fill out the brief form and then select Get Started.

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And just like that your profile is created!

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From here, just click on the Start a New File button to begin organizing your favorite photos and products. You can create as many files as you’d like and easily print or share them.

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Plus, we make it easy to take your dreams to a reality by providing recommended dealers and contractors, as well as a local Belgard expert to answer any questions you may have.

Good luck and happy filing!