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Scout Projects at the Arboretum

The Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center truly appreciates all of the enhancements that have been made to the grounds and trails at the UT Arboretum over the past forty-plus years by Boy's and Girl's Scout volunteers. The following are highlights from projects completed just within the last five years.

Eagle Scout Project

Boy Scout Troop 451 · Hunter Connell · 2017

Scout Troop Members Working On Bridge Finished Bridge by Troop 451
Scout Troop 451

Hunter Connell from Troop 451 completed his Boy Scouts of America "Eagle Scout" project in the UT Arboretum this past July. He and members of his troop rebuilt/replaced an aging bridge on the upper Heath Cove Trail. This project is part of the ongoing effort to improve and update the Arboretum trails, support infrastructure, and signage.

Top Left: Boy Scout Troop 451 preparing railroad tie bridge supports for new bridge
Top Right: New replacement bridge
Lower: Hunter Connell (far left, first row) proudly poses on the new Heath Cove Trail bridge with members of his scout troop and their dads who helped with the project.

Service Project

Boy Scout Troop 46 · 2017

Troop 46 sitting on the newly refurbished Oak Hickory trail treads. The newly refurbished Oak Hickory Trail stair treads.

Stuart Row, Boy Scouts of America Scoutmaster - Troop 46, coordinated a service project at the UT Arboretum on April 15th. A small contingent of his scouts, and their dads, refurbished the trail tread stairs leading from the Oak Hickory Trail Bridge up and into the adjacent forest trail interpretive area. The work day was focused on hauling new chip aggregate in buckets up the stairs and then spreading/re-compacting the tread surface. This project is part of a long-term initiative by the UT Arboretum Society – Trails Committee to improve and update the Arboretum trails, support infrastructure, and signage.

Left: Members of Boy Scouts of America Troop 46 proudly pose sitting on the newly refurbished Oak Hickory trail treads.

Right: The newly refurbished Oak Hickory Trail stair treads provide an access point from the trail bridge up and into the interpretive area.

Eagle Scout Project

Boy Scout Troop 40 · Micah Cravens ·2017

Troop 40 replacing Marsh Area pole bridge with new structure
Micah Cravens and parents on refurbished Oak Hickory Trail Bridge

Micah Cravens from BSA Troop 40 in Knoxville completed his Boy Scouts of America “Eagle Scout” project in the UT Arboretum this past March. He and members of his troop rebuilt the deteriorated pole bridge in the Marsh area and installed much-needed “new” foot boards & hand rails to the Oak Hickory Trail Bridge. Both of these projects are part of the ongoing effort to improve and update the Arboretum trails, support infrastructure, and signage.

Top Left: Boy Scout Troop 40 dismantling old Marsh Area pole bridge.

Top Right: New replacement bridge.

Lower: Micah Cravens and his parents (left) proudly pose on the newly refurbished Oak Hickory Trail Bridge.

Eagle Scout Projects

Boy Scout Troops 285, 30, and 20
Morgan Buckley, Aden Watson, Nicholas Kiss · 2016

During the month of October volunteers from local Boy Scout Troop(s) 285, 30, and 20 completed three important work projects within the UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center’s Arboretum. All of these projects have added value to the Arboretum’s outreach and education mission, while also meeting the Boy Scouts of America - Eagle Scout project requirements mission of: leadership, teamwork, project management and sustainability.

The Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center truly appreciates the volunteer work by the Boy Scouts of America on these much needed infrastructure and outreach projects. Otherwise, these projects might not have been completed due to the Center's limited resources and staff time.

Boy Scout Troop 285 · Morgan Buckley · 2016

Morgan Buckley Scout Project Morgan Buckley Project Team

Morgan Buckley, Eagle Scout candidate from troop 285 said that “accomplishing my eagle project was a major part of my life, and I think that it will be forever. I learned that you should always plan for both minor and major accomplishments. I feel more connected to the troop as a family than I did before we all worked on the project together.”

Photos: Troop 285 (left photo) works on the “Heath Cove Trail Eagle Scout Bridge Project”. Morgan Buckley (third from left – right photo) poses with his project Team.

Boy Scout Troop 30 · Aden Watson · 2016

Aden Watson Scout Project Aden Watson Project Team

Aden Watson, Eagle Scout candidate of troop 30 said that “it is startling to note how quickly time has passed since the day I joined the Troop. I have grown from a 12 year old Second Class scout, to the age of 17 and on the verge of being awarded my Eagle Scout. Regarding my continuing involvement in scouting, I am interested in becoming an adult leader with Troop 30".

Photos: Troop 30 (left photo) works on the “Arboretum Wildlife Planting Eagle Scout Project”. Aden Watson (back row, fourth from left – right photo) poses with his project Team.

Boy Scout Troop 20 · Nicholas Kiss · 2016

Nicholas Kiss Scout Project Nicholas Kiss Project Team

Nicholas Kiss, Eagle Scout candidate of troop 20 said that “scouting has always had a positive impact on not only me but also my friends and family. So I wanted to give back to the community in a way that was a little different but also educational and enjoyable. With the completion of my project I hope to establish a place where people can learn about our forests or even a place where people can escape from their busy lives".

Photos: Troop 20 (left photo) works on the “Arboretum Forest Measurements Eagle Scout Project”. Nicholas Kiss (back row, fourth from left – right photo) poses with his project team.

Repairs on the Heath Cove Trail and New Trail Additions

Boy Scout Troop 30 · Andrew Christiansen ·2016

Heath Cove Trail Bridge Repair: Before and After
Andrew Christiansen's Bridge Project Team

Andrew Christiansen and Bridge Repair Project Andrew Christiansen from BSA Troop 30 completed his Boy Scouts of America “Eagle Scout” project in the UT Arboretum in November, 2016. He and members of his troop rebuilt the deteriorated bridge on the lower part of the Heath Cove Trail and installed gravel and waterbars on the new “yet-to-be” named trail near the Visitors Center. Andrew, who most people call Rudy, is a Life Scout in Troop 30 at Eastminster Presbyterian Church. He is a 15 year-old freshman who enjoys piano, martial arts, marksmanship, hiking, camping and mountain biking. Andrew was quoted as saying “the UT Arboretum has an amazing number of unique plants along its many beautiful trails” and thanked the Arboretum staff for the opportunity to help maintain the safety and health of the trail system.


Top Left: Bridge before

Top Right: Bridge after

Lower: Troop 30 Bridge Project Team (Andrew far left: blue jacket)

Above: Andrew Christiansen

Photos courtesy of Andrew Christiansen

Silver Project: New benches for the Cemetery Ridge Trail

Girl Scout Troop 21033 · Maggie Clark · 2016

Maggie Clark's Bench Project at the Arboretum

The UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center (FRREC) received a generous donation of two new resting benches for the Cemetery Ridge Trail this past September. Maggie Clark (standing next to bench) of Girl Scout Troop 21033 completed the construction of the two new benches as part of her Silver project award requirements. Maggie is a ninth grader at Karns High School and has been a Girl Scout since she was in the first grade. She chose the Arboretum for her Silver award project because she loves to wander the trails with her mother enjoying nature and the fresh air of the property. She has long-term career aspirations of working in a science field as either a microbiologist or a geneticist.

Eagle Scout Project: Wood Deck Project

Boy Scout Troop 451 · Josh Lennon · 2015

Arboretum Deck Eagle Scout Building Project Josh Lennon's Wood Deck Project

In July, volunteers from Boy Scout Troop 451 finished construction of the UT Arboretum Office/Visitors Center wood deck project. This project included a new wood walkway connecting the building's front side walk to the new 12 ft. by 12 ft. wood deck viewing platform. Josh Lennon, Eagle Scout candidate, provided the project design plan, resource supply budget, leadership, and safety direction for his team during the multi-phase project work day. Josh has been involved in scouting for many years and had previously earned the distinguished "Arrow of Light" award as a Cub Scout. After the project was complete, he commented that "Troop 451 has always been a troop focused on going above and beyond what we were expected to do. We always want something that is going to challenge us and stretch us just a little bit more, and that is what scouting is about, always bettering yourself." A large contingent of over 20 scouts, friends, scout leaders, and parents turned out to help Josh on this much-needed project, which now completes the exterior facelift of the Arboretum Office/Visitors Center.

Left: Boy Scout Troop 451 had a long 12+ hour build day in July to complete wood walkway/deck project at the UT Visitors Center/Office. Steven Lennon (Josh's dad) is seen in the top photo (gray t-shirt) working on the deck support frame.

Right: Josh Lennon poses proudly on the new wood deck that he designed and built with his team as part of his Eagle Scout project.

Eagle Scout Project: Trail Stair Project

Boy Scout Troop 451 · Andrew Nagle · 2015

Scout Troop Members Working On Bridge Finished Bridge by Troop 451
Scout Troop 451

Andrew Nagle's Arboretum Trail Stair Building Project This past June, volunteers from Boy Scout Troop 451 finished construction of the UT Arboretum “Trail Stair” project - near the front of the arboretum parking lot entrance just off of the Old Kerr Hollow trail. This project included a “trail stair” entry way into a yet “to-be-named” trail and two new resting benches that will allow visitors a direct route up to the new auditorium and associated plant gardens. Andrew Nagle, Eagle Scout candidate, provided the project design plan, resource supply budget, leadership, and safety direction for his team during the multi-phase project work schedule. Boy Scout Troop 451 is chartered at the Cumberland Campus of Wallace Memorial Baptist Church on Western Avenue in Knoxville, TN, and the troop has been involved in several excellent Eagle Scout projects at the UT Arboretum over the past five years. Andrew’s Eagle Project involved 28 volunteers with a total of almost 300 hours of work. After completing his Eagle Project, Andrew Nagle earned his Eagle Scout Rank on July 28th, 2016. Andrew stated that “My Project was the creation of a new Trailhead and Trail to the UT Arboretum Auditorium. It will become one of the primary routes used to get from the main entrance to the new Auditorium at the Arboretum.”

Top Left: Arboretum Trail Stair Building Project - Before

Top Right: Arboretum Trail Stair Building Project - Completed.

Lower: Arboretum Trail Stair Building Project - Work Crew.

Above: Andrew Nagle (orange hat) poses for a shot sitting on his “in progress” Trail Stair Eagle Scout Project.

Eagle Scout Project: Stair and Bridge Project

Boy Scout Troop 129 · Joshua Cottrell · 2015

Joshua Cottrell's Project In Progress Final Construction

Throughout late September and early October, volunteers from local Boy Scout Troop 129 constructed an exit platform/staircase on the Arboretum marsh area bridge that was built in 2014. The project has provided a much-needed throughway from a gravel road bed to the marsh area plant collection and associated riparian zone. Joshua Cottrell, Eagle Scout candidate, Senior at Hardin Valley Academy, and aspiring computer software developer provided the leadership and safety direction for his team during the project. A contingent of over 15 scouts, friends, and parents turned out over multiple workdays to help Joshua with this extremely important project.

Left: Joshua Cottrell’s Eagle Scout project “In progress”.

Right: Final construction of Joshua Cottrell’s Eagle Scout project.

Silver Project: Information Boxes

Girl Scout Troop 20737 · Sophia McDuffee, Megan McEahern · 2014

Girl Scouts Replace Information Boxes

The UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center (FRREC) recently received a generous donation of fifteen new trail information boxes from Sophia McDuffee (left) from Hardin Valley Academy, and Megan McEahern (right) from Oak Ridge High School. Both girls are from Girl Scout Troop 20737 in Oak Ridge. The donation was part of their Girl Scout Silver Award project which requires at least fifty hours of community outreach service. These newly donated boxes were either reconditioned from the existing boxes or were new construction, and which will now be re-installed on the Oak Hickory and Tulip Poplar trails.

Eagle Scout Project: Parking Lot Stair and Bridge Project

Boy Scout Troop 140 · Brandon Puckett · 2014

Boy Scout Troop 140 Staircase Project Boy Scout Troop 140 Staircase/Bridge Project

On August 23rd, volunteers from local Boy Scout Troop 140 constructed a much-needed staircase/bridge project, which now safely connects the Arboretum parking lot area to the large map/information kiosk. Brandon Puckett, Eagle Scout candidate, senior at Hardin Valley Academy, and future missionary, provided the leadership, direction, and safety emphasis for his team during the project work day. A large contingent of over 30 scouts, friends, and parents turned out to help Brandon on this extremely important project.

Left: Brandon Puckett (gray shorts/shirt/safety glasses) leads a discussion with his team about how to make the final connection between the staircase and bridge.

Right: Brandon Puckett poses proudly with his family, on his completed Eagle Scout staircase/bridge project.

Eagle Scout Project: Bridge Project

Boy Scout Troop 101 · Cothron Theiss · 2014

Boy Scout Troop 101 Bridge Project Boy Scout Troop 101 Completed Bridge

During July and August volunteers from local Boy Scout Troop 101 completed the dismantling of an old bridge and construction of a new bridge for the UT Arboretum. Cothron Theiss, Eagle Scout candidate, junior at Roane County High School, and future engineer, provided the vision and leadership to complete his Eagle Scout bridge project in the Arboretum marsh area. The Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center truly appreciates all of the Eagle Scout projects done by the Boy Scouts of America over the past forty-plus years. Through their continued hard work, community involvement, and combined efforts, so many much needed sustainable projects are being completed throughout the Arboretum.

Left: Cothron Theiss (top center – green shirt/tan hat) provides direction and leadership to his team during his Eagle Scout bridge construction project.

Right: Bridge Project

Photos courtesy of Benet Theiss

Wood Duck Boxes

Girl Scout Leadership Project · Sarah Lloyd · 2013

Wood Duck Boxes Wood Duck Box Installation

The UT Arboretum recently received a generous donation of three cedar wood duck nesting boxes from Sarah Lloyd. The donation was part of Sarah's Girl Scout leadership/community outreach project requirement. The wood duck boxes have been installed in the Marsh Area and near the front pond located adjacent to the Arboretum office. A third box will be located in the Research area of the Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center (FRREC). Yvonne Hitchcock, FRREC Senior Field Worker, and Bo Duncan, FRREC Senior Farm Equipment Operator, worked together to fabricate the wood duck box mounting poles/hardware and required predator-proof devices.

Left: Sarah Lloyd proudly displays one of the wood duck nesting boxes that she built and donated to the Arboretum (Her proud father Peter is shown in the picture with her).

Right: Sarah Lloyd helps to install one of her donated wood duck nesting boxes in the pond near the Arboretum office (Yvonne Hitchcock - left).

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University of Tennessee - Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center
901 South Illinois Avenue, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830 · Telephone: 865-483-3571 · Email: UTforest@utk.edu