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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Chelsea, Alabama, USA

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Chelsea, Alabama, USA
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Registered: November 2010
City/Town/Province: chelsea
Posts: 2
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My project was not just any regular environmental project; it was also my Eagle Scout project. I have been in scouts ever since first grade and never got tired of it even as a senior and I plan on staying involved even as I get older. There is something about the outdoors I absolutely love and always will. I however waited till almost the last minute to finish up all the requirements for Eagle before I aged out. You see, I haven’t always been the boy that favored all the rank advancement stuff. I was the boy that would be the one doing all the skills in the book not just reading over them. In fact, I have been told quite a couple of times that if they got lost in the woods that they would want to stick around me to stay alive. Books just weren’t my thing then, but I was young so you must understand. When it came down to the project a couple of things came through my mind but I wasn’t too gung-ho about them. I have heard of other eagle scouts building book shelves or painting benches, and I almost planted a bunch of trees, but I wanted to do something big. Then one day I get a phone call from a guy saying he had a bridge opportunity, I jumped on it. Initially, I didn’t think it was going to be that big of a project but as I got deeper into it I knew it was perfect. I crossed over to Boy scouts on a bridge, and now I have aged out of scouting by building bridges of my own for other people to cross over.
The bridges were on the Dunnavant Valley Trail in Chelsea, AL. the trail goes from a sports complex, down 2 miles to county road where it currently ends but eventually it will go all the way to Mt. Laurel. I was given the opportunity to hike it myself and it is a very beautiful trail and what makes it so much better is that it is right next to urban city. It gives an escape for those who live around there, to experience nature, and give people a reason to be more physical. And to me, it is very important that other see the value of nature because I want to be able to enjoy it for the rest of my life and I want my children, their children and so on to have the same opportunity as I do.
My crew of people spent a combined time of 136 hours working on the bridges and I myself spent 53 hours on it for a grand total of 189 hours. The project was to build not one but two bridges. You are probably thinking, “Oh that would be easy” but think again. We didn’t just throw some boards across a creek; there was a lot of measuring, digging, carrying, dragging, sparks, drilling, and sweat involved. And trust me, when I say, “a lot of sweat” I mean pants, shirt, socks, and shoes drenched completely and repeatedly, my pants still have the odor if you don’t believe me.
After all the sites where designated and marked off, the digging began. These trenches were 8’ long and deep enough to place the mud sills at a depth where the bridges would be even and there wouldn’t be a step-up to the bridge. This process took some time and had to be one of the hardest parts of the whole project. Then it came time to get the rest of the materials down there. This is where team work and communication came very in handy, we had to carry A LOT of wood to these sites which weren’t all that close ( ¼ a mile) to the trucks and this wood wasn’t all that light either. After that we wad to carry more stuff down to the sites to do the cutting and drilling. Once that got started it was pretty enjoyable then it was off to the next bridge to start putting it together. The first bridge was 16’ long with a width of 6’4’’ and the second bridge is 20’ long with the same width. When it was all said and done, we cleaned up any trash that we saw and cleaned up around the bridges and along the trail that we used to make it look as if we were never there. Though it was done not too long ago, I can look back to it as a great success and

What really makes me happy is that I know they will be there for many generations to see and to know that part of my history will be there. It will also be a great story to tell my children and grand kids to inspire them to great things and never quit.
Date: November 29, 2010 Views: 5723 File size: 20.1kb, 191.8kb : 600 x 800
Hours Volunteered: 189
Volunteers: 14
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 16 & 16 to 66
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