Visitors to the Observation Deck at Dimock Twp.’s Woodbourne Preserve are now sitting pretty and climbing stairs a little more easily with the help of a local Eagle Scout.
As he looked for local projects to perform in order to earn his Eagle Scout badge last year, Griffin Arnold, 18, of Springville, learned that the old bench on the Observation Deck at the nature preserve was unusable and needed to be replaced.
So he got to work.
Once finished, Joyce Stone, chair of the Woodbourne Stewardship Committee, the citizen group which oversees the 648-acre preserve locally, was so impressed that her group decided to earlier this week present Arnold with a certificate of thanks.
“I still feel speechless about his capabilities and his generous spirit of time and money that he contributed to building and installing these two benches and railings for the Observation Deck,” Stone wrote in a presentation read to Arnold and his parents, David and Sherri, during a committee meeting.
Donated in 1956 by the Cope Family, the 648-acre Woodbourne Nature Preserve is The Nature Conservancy’s first preserve in Pennsylvania.
The Nature Conservancy’s Pennsylvania Volunteer Program Manager, Molly T. Anderson, joined the meeting via an Internet hookup and encouraged Stone to read Griffin’s award given “in recognition of an outstanding accomplishment and contribution to the Nature Conservancy’s Woodbourne Forest and Wildlife Preserve”
“The nature conservancy is honored that you have chosen one of our preserves, the Woodbourne Preserve, for your project and I think everyone is as equally grateful and impressed with the work that you have done,” Anderson said.
The benches cost under $200 to build and the materials for the railings were donated by Ely Building and Remodeling of Springville.
“I’m very proud of him,” his mother Sherri said. “He’s actually done a lot of his Eagle Scout work on his own. I wasn’t your typical Eagle Scout Mom. He really did a lot of it on his own, so I’m really proud of him,” she said.
“A lot of the kids don’t follow through, and he has,” said Sherri.
His father, David, a former diesel mechanic, shared Griffin’s mother’s pride.
“I’ve always worked with my hands and he’s kinda fallen into the same path, especially with his woodworking,” David said.
“I’m proud of him. It’s an accomplishment,” he said.
Asked if he looked forward to relaxing on one of the benches his son built, father David smiled and said, “I got the honor of helping him carry them down there.”
According to the The Boy Scouts of America website, the Eagle Scout rank was established in 1912 and represents “a milestone of accomplishment—perhaps without equal—that is recognized across the country and even the world. Men who have earned the Eagle Scout rank count it among their most treasured possessions.”
Well known Eagle Scouts include former president Gerald R. Ford, Neil Armstrong, the first person to set foot on
the Moon, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, and Academy Award
winning director Steven Spielberg.