While we may not like a lot of the restrictions the Covid pandemic has placed on us, the truth is there are some very positive things that have come out of this time. Stories abound of families spending more quality time together, or getting some of those projects done around the house that we have been putting off until we “had the time.”

During the past three weeks we have met some Gothenburg youth who have used their free time during the Covid pandemic for something productive. Gothenburg High School junior Ty Bartels is one of those young people.

“I was looking for a project to do because I’m not really one to sit in the house all day and play video games,” Bartels said. So he began looking for a way to fill his time, and turned to something he has been passionate about for years.

“My whole life I have helped my dad and both grandpas with many woodworking projects. I have always loved to build things with wood. Kyle Fornoff asked me if I could build a garden box for him. He gave me some plans that he found on the internet,” explained Bartels. “When I got done with that one he liked it so much he had me build two more. I had built some shelves for my dad and I was done with that, and this was an awesome opportunity when Kyle called me to build the first boxes.”

Bartels has now constructed 15 garden boxes, and says most of them were 2´x8’x30¨ high. “I pre-cut everything in my grandpa’s shop and then built most of the boxes on site so it took about three hours on average per box.”

Little did he know what would result from building those boxes for Fornoff. “Kyle started getting comments and questions about the boxes. He told me I should take some pictures and have my mom post them on her Facebook page. When she did that I got like eight orders the first day! I ended up building boxes from Brady all the way to Cozad.”

Bartels said he has had so much fun building the planter boxes that he would like to do more of that. “Maybe next spring when people start planting again I might offer to build some more if there is any interest,” he said.

Now that school is back in session he is a very busy young man. Bartels participates in football, basketball, track, FFA, and “hunting whenever I get the chance”. Staying busy seems to be just the way he likes it.

Contact Ellen Mortensen at ellen@gothenburgleader.com or call 308.537.9498