Oskaloosa.com

November 7, 2013

Eagle Scout projects focused on conservation

By ANDY GOODELL
The Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA — Becoming an Eagle Scout is a long journey, one that two Oskaloosa High School students are on right now.

Senior Trevor Mabee and Junior Jared Buckallew are each working on projects on the OHS campus in order to earn their Eagle Scout designations.

Buckallew said his older brother, Joel, earned his Eagle Scout a while ago, noting that the designation is good to put on things like a college application.

Mabee said he’d been in scouting for most of his life and earning Eagle Scout is something of a goal in his life for a long time.

Mabee’s project is a nature trail behind the high school, while Buckallew’s involves a 20 foot by 50 foot section of prairie grass.

Both of these projects fall under the umbrella of outdoor education, said Mike Goudy, Pheasants Forever high school chapter sponsor and adult leader of Boy Scout Troop 77.

Buckallew’s prairie project will include plants that are indigenous to Iowa, including grass that will eventually grown to be 7 or 8 feet tall, noted Goudy. This project will serve as a teaching tool. Buckallew noted that there’s plans for signs to help students understand different plants.

Both Mabee’s and Buckallew’s projects, which are related to the high school Pheasants Forever chapter’s conservation aim, are expected to serve as educational tools for years to come.

Mabee’s trail project is of the non-concrete variety and will serve as a way to lead students to the wooded area near the high school where scientific learning opportunities can be found, noted Goudy.

The half-mile-long trail project involves removing prairie grass and putting down mulch, as well as adding a bridge, explained Mabee.

Mabee said having the opportunity to learn in the outdoors would be more fun than the traditional classroom setting. Buckallew and Goudy agreed.

“Real science is about asking questions and questions don’t come up very readily sitting in this room,” said Goudy.