By Evan Hacker (Boy Scout Troop #457)
On Saturday, April 17th, 2010 my Eagle Scout project took place at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and the University of Miami’s Smathers Four Fillies Farm Preserve from 9 a.m. until about 2 p.m. Over 70 volunteers contributed 295 hours of their time to help remove non-native invasive species such as Oyster plant (Tradescantia spathacea) and Jacquinia (Bonellia macrocarpa). At one of the removal sites, “the island”, we used handsaws and shovels to remove the unwanted plants. At the other 3 sites, volunteers hand pulled the invasive species. We planted approximately sixty-four native plants and chose one plant to commemorate Troop 457’s hard work with an identification plaque.
Everyone had an enjoyable afternoon, especially because there was a huge feast for lunch. Some scouts even said “it was the best lunch at any Eagle Scout project ever”. We were able to use the picnic table constructed at the site before it was moved to its permanent location at Four Fillies. Fairchild was very happy with the outcome of our environmental work during the week of Earth Day. The day was an absolute success!
I would particularly like to thank Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and the University of Miami for allowing me to have the opportunity to complete my Eagle Scout project on their properties. Sam Wright, Hillary Burgess, Eric Fleites and Bob Brennan all contributed their time, energy and expertise to help set up my project and carry it out smoothly.
Thank you, Pirates Patrol, for coming and supporting me the day of my project. Both Scouts and parents acted as team leaders and assistants; they all provided needed extra hands to carry out the project. Thank you, also, Mr. Burg, Eagle Scout Project king of setting-up! Also, a big thank you to the Ziskas who were a huge influence in guiding me from the very beginning of my service project idea to the take down of the site on the afternoon of the activity.