Ellis Ayers, the Committee Chair for Boy Scout Troop 814 out of Crossnore, NC, heard about our conservation work ‘through the grapevine’ and recognized a great opportunity for his scouts to do local land stewardship.
“I never had the pleasure of being a Boy Scout growing up,” said Travis Bordley, SAHC’s Roan AmeriCorps members. “That explains some odd holes in my outdoor education and training — and was one of many reasons why I was delighted to team up with Boy Scout Troop 814 out of Crossnore NC on behalf of Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy.”
Partnering with SAHC in a volunteer workday helped the boys further their outdoor education while cleaning up part of our Elk Hollow Preserve. The event was particularly special for SAHC because the Troop’s headquarters are located less then 20 minutes away from the Preserve; this was a local group of conservation heroes! Many of the boys and a few of their troop leaders had wonderful heritage stories of the land that we are now protecting.
Currently, we are working on building a camping platform at the lower portion of the Preserve, a project that involves a bulldozer and some earth moving. This earth moving actually uncovered large amounts of trash and scrap metal that had been previously covered by vegetation and could potentially move into nearby streams. The worksite was a muddy construction area, but seven boy scouts, three troop leaders, one AmeriCorps member and SAHC Board President Jay Leutze stood up for the challenge.
“We spent three hours digging thorough mud, dragging old tires and removing barbwire — no small feat for a group aging from 8-15,” said Travis.
The troop was sure to leave time for lunch and an afternoon enjoying the beautiful sights of the preserve.
“The scouts thought the property was beautiful, and they enjoyed the opportunity to clean up an area that not only they can come back and visit — but also for the community as well,” remarked Ellis. “They are all eager to return.”
Thank you to the members and leaders of Boy Scout Troop 814 for pitching in for this special 2017 Earth Day volunteer workday in the Highlands of Roan — we appreciate your service!