The Scout who came up with the idea is Zane Welch, son of Andy and Kalynn Welch and a member of Troop 115. Welch actually started working on the project in 2008.
“I started fundraising in 2008,” Welch said. “The actual work began on June 30 and I finished up July 10.”
The work involved building a walkway through the wetland area that is north of AMS. To start, Welch had to go in and clear out weeds, bushes and small saplings. He then received mulch, donated by Mill Creek MetroParks, that was put down on the newly created pathways.
Taking the project a step further, his fellow Scouts in Troop 115 make a variety of bird habitat boxes. Those boxes were installed in the wetland area to attract specific species.
“I installed nesting boxes for owls, bluebirds, bats and ducks,” Welch said.
He oversaw work crews that included his 11-year-old brother Seth, who is also a Scout in Troop 115. When the project was completed, Welch totaled up the work hours that went into the project.
“With everyone’s work time added up, I have 1,200 hours into the project,” Welch said.
Welch’s father, Andy, said the final project report was sent into the national headquarters and Welch should know when he will receive his Eagle Award in a few months.
“We’re probably looking at September,” Andy said.
He didn’t have to wait that long for recognition though. He was presented with a plaque of appreciation, for a job well done, at Monday’s school board meeting.
“Zane had one heck of a good idea,” said Superintendent Vince Colaluca. “It is a great asset for the students at AMS.”
The new environmental learning center path begins at the northwest corner of AMS and is clearly marked with a sign. If all goes well, the habitat boxes will be filled by late summer and will offer students a closer look into the world of nature.
Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Troop 115 Scout Zane Welch was presented a recognition plaque at Monday’s Austintown Board of Education meeting by Superintendent Vince Colaluca. The honor was for the recent completion of the environmental learning center at AMS that Welch had been working on since 2008.