Matt Walker, currently an eleventh-grade student at Valley Central High School completed his Eagle Scout project with Troop 33 in Walden this past fall with a ribbon cutting held on November 13, 2019. The project was an outdoor classroom and nature trail installed in the woods behind the Berea Elementary School as proposed by the building Principal, John Solimando.
“The planning process took the longest,” shared Walker. “I started in the winter of 2018 and had a lot of help and support from other scouts. I also received donations from Messco Building Supply (pressure treated lumber), Standbeck General Contractors (decorative mulch), and Echo Construction (wood chips). Also, John Carola from Walden Savings Bank provided financial support which covered food, transportation, stain for the table and two benches, as well as hardware for the benches to be put together.”
Walker also said students were able to use the new nature trail and outdoor classroom area prior to the school closing its onsite facilities related to the Coronavirus. Some feedback posted on social media indicates many teachers and students are enthusiastic about using the open air learning site upon returning to Berea Elementary.
Future plans following high school graduation in 2021 for Walker include a continued pursuit of both music and forestry.
“The Boy Scouts definitely influenced me wanting to be involved in forestry,” he said. “I might work at National parks, lead treks or become a guide for hiking excursions.”