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Boy Scout Project: Interpretive Trail
by Doug Thiel
Tim Leong (L) with Doug Thiel at the Centennial Farm Open Space, the site of one of his Hornaday Conservation Projects.
The Boy Scouts of America and the conservation movement have been partners for many years. Camping, hiking and respect for the outdoors are a part of the scouting heritage. On a local level, the Conservancy has worked with a number of scouts over the past fifteen years on Eagle Scout projects that have enhanced the use of local properties for Grosse Ile residents.
A special award that can be achieved by a boy scout is called the William T. Hornaday Conservation Award. This award has been established to recognize Americans who work constructively for wildlife conservation and habitat protection. Since its inception in 1914, it has been an extraordinary accomplishment to receive this award. Awardees are determined at the national level, with only 1100 (est.) bestowed in the entire country over the last century.
A project on Grosse Ile was recently completed by Tim Leong who is an Eagle Scout with Troop 1721 in Trenton that may qualify him for this prestigious award. His project involved the development of a native plant interpretative trail in the open space parcel just west of Centennial Farm. The project involved the improvement of an existing trail which included laying down wood chips, trimming vegetation that was encroaching on the trail and cleaning up household debris that had been disposed along the trail over a number of years. It also involved the development of a pamphlet and installing markers on select tree and shrub species for identification purposes for trail users. Tim also prepared and installed a sign at the beginning of the trail along with a weather-proof holder for the pamphlets.
The project was completed in late October and will be enjoyed by the many residents who use this open space parcel. In addition, it will be used during the Conservancy's annual Earth Day Celebration at Centennial Farm with guided tours on this trail.
Tim is currently awaiting feedback on his application submission for this prestigious award. In our view, Tim's conservation philosophy and effort on this project make him an excellent candidate for this award.